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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going back and forth with a couple members here about tech; guys willing to bet their lives on "computer/hardware control systems" in motorcycles making decisions FOR us in routine, and dangerous, situations...the machine overriding your decisions...No thanks.

For motorcycling, what does tech really do...and when does it "do" too much?

I would never want a motorcycle to "over-ride" my decision to lock the tires and put the bike in a slide to avoid a t-bone collision...which I've done and it saved me from that nose first crash when a car pulled right in front of me..very common crash situation...bet it happens a 1000 times a day in the usa.

In 2019 $$$ (inflation adjust), my first brand new 750cc street bike (before Reagan was pres:grin:) cost $3800...100% lacking in "computer/hardware control systems" yet it was just as fun, and safe, as that same bike today costing ~$9000

More than double the price....for what? So I don't have a cable for the clutch/throttle? So the computer can control the air/fuel instead of me with a simple turn of a screwdriver? So the computer can stop me from learning the lesson that it's not a good idea to exceed the red line?

Good gosh...if you want to change the air/fuel on a Harley, you have to pay the dealer or spend ~$500 on a box in order to "re-map" the computer...I think we're just getting silly with all this.

Oh, and bikes with saddle bags that open via "the push of a button"...good lord.

Adding tons of initial cost, complexity, and outrageous repair costs...for what? What are we really gaining...not much I suspect as those old "pre Reagan" bikes are still out there and in high demand.
 

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I do not like all the modern tech stuff.
Bluzu the Suzuki has fuel injection and a computer that we have had a chat with. ABS that I do not like. Will never buy a bike with traction control.
A future new favourite will be the 81 XS1100 Midnight Special.

UK
 

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Ace Tuner
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Computer fuel injection is okay with me. You can add a "box" then dial in the amount of fuel you want for any and every 500 RPM throughout the RPM range.
The early computer FI systems were pretty clunky, now pretty good overall.
Now we have 'Fly By Wire' on the throttle. :surprise: A disaster waiting to happen....
 

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Fuel injection is far superior to a carburetor any day. Lower emissions, better MPG, better response, and adaptable in varying conditions. There is a reason that carburetors went the way of the dodo bird. Maybe we should go back to points and condenser for ignition too?

ABS brakes will stop a vehicle faster than non ABS virtually every time, it reacts faster than a human ever could to changes in surface conditions. The old theory of locking up the rear and sliding to a stop on the side (the old 'He pulled out in front of me so I had to lay her down') is a fallacy, usually spread by folks who locked up the back wheel and slid out due to lack of braking skills and or panic. Science can prove that there is no way that you will stop quicker sliding on chrome, paint, steel, or clothing, these all have less friction than rubber. The quickest way to stop is to stay upright, on the rubber tires, and use maximum braking on both wheels, and the best way to do that, especially under pressure, is with ABS. The absolute best that a highly skilled rider (who remains perfectly calm under pressure) can do is match the ABS in the hands of just about anyone who can squeeze the brakes and keep the bike upright.

Yes, I will bet my life on a well functioning ABS system, they work very well.
 

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There is some good and bad with new technology. ABS has saved my bacon a time or two, however that was in a car, but if it were a motorcycle I'd be okay with that. Fuel injection, okay, been around for years on cars. What I wouldn't like is being helpless on the side of the road because the bike quit running and a computer is needed to figure out what is wrong.
Pre-computer engines were easy to work on. They needed fuel, air and a spark to run. If an engine quit, find what it wasn't getting and fix it. With all the computer stuff, if it quits and its not getting fuel, is there a fuel pump problem or did the computer shut it down? Same with air and spark. And then why did the computer do that? Or is the computer fubar'ed and that's expensive.
I can see both sides of this. At what point does the rider not need any skill at all because the computer will figure it all out for you? Like cars they're experimenting with now that don't even have a steering wheel. Get in, tell it where to go, and start texting, the car will tell you when you arrive. (I know I'm exaggerating a bit here).
To me, a lot of older motorcycles are attractive because of what they don't have in the way of electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Fuel injection is far superior to a carburetor any day. Lower emissions, better MPG, better response, and adaptable in varying conditions. There is a reason that carburetors went the way of the dodo bird. Maybe we should go back to points and condenser for ignition too?

ABS brakes will stop a vehicle faster than non ABS virtually every time, it reacts faster than a human ever could to changes in surface conditions. The old theory of locking up the rear and sliding to a stop on the side (the old 'He pulled out in front of me so I had to lay her down') is a fallacy, usually spread by folks who locked up the back wheel and slid out due to lack of braking skills and or panic. Science can prove that there is no way that you will stop quicker sliding on chrome, paint, steel, or clothing, these all have less friction than rubber. The quickest way to stop is to stay upright, on the rubber tires, and use maximum braking on both wheels, and the best way to do that, especially under pressure, is with ABS. The absolute best that a highly skilled rider (who remains perfectly calm under pressure) can do is match the ABS in the hands of just about anyone who can squeeze the brakes and keep the bike upright.

Yes, I will bet my life on a well functioning ABS system, they work very well.
Fuel injection is good tech...I'm not a Luddite...I'm asking where is the line...where are we just adding expense for the sake of "High Tech"?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Take your pick:

>ABS and t-boning a car at 10mph...going over the handle bars and landing on the concrete on the other side.

>No ABS, locking the tires (out of honed experience on dirt bikes) and hitting the car sideways at 10mph...denting the hail out of the car, minor, if any, damage to the bike and maybe a bruise or two for you.

I did it once...textbook perfect...slide right into the side of a car and the bike stood up as I hit...wish I had a video of that one.

~~~~

It's not about "the quickest way to stop"...it's about being in total control of HOW you stop.

ABS exists because it's a substitute for skill...skill is not required to get a license in the USA..so in walks ABS...and "Lane monitoring systems"...and "Collision avoidance systems".

Oh, and love your qualifier about ABS..."well functioning"....lol...what about when it's not "well functioning"?

ABS fails, and fails, and fails...the ambulance chasing lawyers sure love ABS...Ads on TV..."ABS failures Can Lead to Serious Accidents"

"If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by the failure of a vehicle’s ABS, you’re likely to be traumatized by the incident. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our experienced car accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and determination to fight for your just compensation, and we’re here to help."

https://www.levininjuryfirm.com/abs-failures-can-lead-serious-accidents/

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Your beloved ABS:

>ABS has close to a zero net effect on fatal crash involvements.
>Fatal run-off-road crashes of passenger cars increased by a statistically significant 9 percent

For all of the expense with ABS, the NHTSA concluded it has DONE NOTHING but shift where the carnage occurs. Statistically ZERO net gain with overall safety...ABS just changed who "won" and who "lost".

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...ation/811182&usg=AOvVaw1E3wZsD8k4k2rj8UP4r7wX

Keep on believe'n son, I honestly hope your belief is never shattered in a life shattering event...keep that Levin law number handy:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
There is some good and bad with new technology. ABS has saved my bacon a time or two, however that was in a car, but if it were a motorcycle I'd be okay with that. Fuel injection, okay, been around for years on cars. What I wouldn't like is being helpless on the side of the road because the bike quit running and a computer is needed to figure out what is wrong.
Pre-computer engines were easy to work on. They needed fuel, air and a spark to run. If an engine quit, find what it wasn't getting and fix it. With all the computer stuff, if it quits and its not getting fuel, is there a fuel pump problem or did the computer shut it down? Same with air and spark. And then why did the computer do that? Or is the computer fubar'ed and that's expensive.
I can see both sides of this. At what point does the rider not need any skill at all because the computer will figure it all out for you? Like cars they're experimenting with now that don't even have a steering wheel. Get in, tell it where to go, and start texting, the car will tell you when you arrive. (I know I'm exaggerating a bit here).
To me, a lot of older motorcycles are attractive because of what they don't have in the way of electronics.
Technology is fantastic, until it quits working, and the dealer is the only one with the hardware/software to figure out the problem. Lose your "high tech" car keys? Neglect to write down their "code"...well, that'll set you back ~$1000 because we have to reprogram the computer to accept a new key...and it has to be done by the dealer.

Power steering pumps...tried and true..cheap and easy to replace...oh, that's not "high tech".

"By eliminating the power steering pump which can use up to 10 hp under load, an EPS system provides up to a 2% increase in fuel economy over the conventional system.

A 2% gain...at what cost...initial and down the road?

Honda estimates the life of the Electronic power steering control system at 5 years or 100,000 miles...then it's to the dealer for another $1000 repair...they are robbing us blind with UNNECESSARY tech.
 

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As well as stopping in the event of something in front of you, you need a plan B, and escape plan. If your brain freezes, ABS can help, but a escape plan was most likely factored in.
An expert licensed road racer, does not need ABS. Someone who has a lot of dirt riding experience, can survive without ABS.
The pros do not use ABS. The big bore bikes do use traction control. But they have 250 hp, and weigh a lot less than the tanks we use.

UK
 

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I may be an old dinosaur, but I have to agree with 450. I don't need some computer making up my mind for me on how to ride a bike. I just don't trust them. I will never own a bike that does the thinking for me. Part of the 'skill set' of owning and riding a bike is being aware of your surroundings. Ride at least 1/4 mile in front of you instead of three feet in front of your handlebars. You should be able to anticipate what the driver in front of you is going to do if you have the proper skill. I've been down, yes. One time it was a blind, off camper turn with gravel on the road. I low sided off the road into a barbed wire fence. No computer in the world was going to get me out of that one.

I'm all for advancement in tech. Fuel injection, more efficient engines, sticky tires. But to allow a bike or car to overrule or take away your basic skill is not in my wheelhouse.

Maybe it's a good thing for novice riders, but how are they going to learn?
 

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If you have ever locked up the front wheel you will become a real believer in ABS. While I think ABS is great I am too cheap to pay extra for it. Automatic transmission? Yes what a great thing to have on a motorcycle, my first ride on a 2019 DCT tour convinced me it is the real deal.
I will agree that traction control and limp mode should not be part of any package and in my opinion could be a danger more than a benefit.
 

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Personally, the most technology I'd ever want in a bike is efi. I like my vehicles to have as few of things to go wrong as possible. However, safety features like ABS are statistically proven to save lives so I'll never knock a bike that has it or a rider who feels they need it. You may think you're a superhero of a rider, but a computer can and will outperform you every time in real life.

I do think an argument can be made that some safety technologies encourage bad behaviour (lane departure systems, semi-autonomous functions, etc), however the solution to that shouldn't be the pulling back of the tech, but proper training of operators. Technology can aid a properly trained operator in safely operating the vehicle and correcting the mistakes humans are bound to make.

However, technology with poorly trained operators can be a recipe for disaster. In cars this can mean people driving with phones in their hand, relying on their car's tech to save their lives. In aviation this can mean a plane will crater into the planet because the aircraft manufacturer never published how to disable a critical system should it become faulty.
 
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Personally, the most technology I'd ever want in a bike is efi. I like my vehicles to have as few of things to go wrong as possible.
Same here.
My current bike, a '99 Goldwing, has none of that stuff and I like it that way.
It does have one thing that I wish it didn't have.
Interlinked brakes.
The brake lever controls one front disk.
The brake pedal controls the rear brake AND the other front disk.
I wish there was a way to separate them, but there isn't.
There are times when it is better to be able to brake one wheel without the other.
 

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I don't consider anything that may help save my life a waste of money. If you do, then that is on you.
 
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Now that would probably be the best invention in history. I see people mowing lawn and texting and even skateboarders:surprise: doing the same. I just wonder how we all survived without screens.
I get absolutely furious when I'm riding on the highway and see people driving while looking at their phones. I've thought about honking my horn at them but reconsidered it, fearing that startling them might make a bad situation worse. I settle for staying as far away from them as I can.

And of course, getting furious or otherwise emotionally charged while piloting a motorcycle at 70mph is not a good thing, either. All in all this texting/phoning/surfing while driving thing stinks. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
A. Personally, the most technology I'd ever want in a bike is efi. I like my vehicles to have as few of things to go wrong as possible.

B. However, safety features like ABS are statistically proven to save lives so I'll never knock a bike that has it or a rider who feels they need it.

C. You may think you're a superhero of a rider, but a computer can and will outperform you every time in real life.

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A: Totally agree.

B. The NHTSA "statistically proved" that ABS DID NOT "save lives"...it just changed what type of crash killed people. ABS reduced pedestrian deaths at crosswalks...and ABS also increased deaths due to "leaving the road" crashes (most likely due to that nasty vibrate/chopping that sets up when ABS activates).

All in all, the NHTSA, with mountains of crash data, came to the conclusion that ABS was not the panacea as promised by those selling the systems.

As I posted above, locally, and I'd bet nationally, "ambulance chasing lawyers" advertise "We're you hurt, or a loved one killed, by ABS in an accident? Call US!". ABS takes as many lives as it saves...the people that benefit the most from ABS are the people selling it...

C. No way! Good golly, look at how many people the "Computer" has killed in Teslas. Do you think computers can override the decisions of Formula 1 drivers, NASCAR, DRAG? Why not? If the computer will "out perform you every time"?
 

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I think a good example of overreach on electronics is the new canbus systems and controls on motorcycles like the Spyder. In the early years 90% of the problems with the Spyder was related to failed electronics and that famous limp mode. New cars along with motorcycles are now harder than ever to work on and add lighting etc due to the canbus which is extremely fussy.
However change is never without compromise and I see electric motorcycles in the very near future and have plans on acquiring one myself as soon as I find a crashed one that is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I see electric motorcycles in the very near future
How do you define "very near"?

Current, and "what's in the pipe" (that we know of) battery tech simply cannot store enough energy. It's hard enough with a car where you can make half the car a battery; in a motorcycle, there's just no room. An electric scooter is far more feasible than a motorcycle unless you want to, literally, spend as much time charging it as riding it.

Harley's ~$30,000 LiveWire has ~90 miles of combined distance max, then it's parked at home charging for an hour if you have a level 3 charger...if not, you're done riding for the day. This might be fun....every Harley dealer will have a level 3 charger (no mention if it's free or not), you could plan a trip coast to coast hitting dealers within a 100 miles of each other for a fast charge...interesting VLOG...maybe.

If you're over 50, you'll most likely expire before battery even parallel gas let alone surpasses it. Oh, and a gas engine can last decades...that same time frame will cost you many, many expensive battery packs...now lets talk the environmental hazard of those dead batteries...we'll, let's not discuss that...
 
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