Are new bikes to complicated and fragile?

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by Johannes Carlsson, Oct 6, 2020.

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Are all new bikes to complicated?

  1. Yes, all i need is a engine on wheels

    26 vote(s)
    81.3%
  2. I love gadgets! Can´t ride without bluetooth, colour screen and keyless

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    I like the whizz bangs bike.

    I can set my Multistrada from full tilt street boogie to gravel roads with literally one button changing it from Urban/Sport to Enduro, this changes the engine mapping, throttle mapping, suspension, and turns off the rear wheel ABS

    Being able to crank up all of those rider aids with the same process because its raining is nice as well.

    Being able to change the preload on the fly depending on what I have on the back is frigging magic.



    Plus I am an electronics tech by trade, I would MUCH rather deal with lap tops and sensor signals, and manually tune a Mikuni carb set....and yes I can do both. I don't get burned plugging a laptop into a maintenance port.
    #21
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  2. panhead_dan

    panhead_dan This aint jo daddy's Grundle.

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    Plus I am an electronics tech by trade, I would MUCH rather deal with lap tops and sensor signals, and manually tune a Mikuni carb set....and yes I can do both. I don't get burned plugging a laptop into a maintenance port.



    If you are an E tech, you know that software for any manufacturer's bike is proprietary.
    Maybe you could play solitaire on your laptop while you are stranded in the middle of nowhere. Anyone can learn to repair and tune carbs. No one can diagnose an ECU without a dealership. This can cost a lot of money for towing, repairs and the motel bill. No cell signal out there in the middle of nowhere?

    You are a pedestrian.

    Did you bring any water?
    I'm talking about potentially life threatening situations here.
    #22
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  3. Ljislink

    Ljislink Been here awhile

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    Well anybody who thinks TC is not needed has never experienced an 80mph highside. To the OP, I just bought a 2021 Triumph RP and with 1 button it turns off TC & ABS I used it yesterday so simple even I could do it ! And if you don't like the TFT dash you can buy a roll of duct tape so maybe the new RP is exactly the bike your after.
    #23
  4. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

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    @panhead_dan in a life threatening situation no one is going to fiddle with a carb..:baldy
    So that's a non argument.

    Modern bikes are far more reliable than the ones from the old days.
    There is no need to fiddle with carbs every x thousand kilometers. Changing oil in 5000km is long behind us.
    ABS made them safer, and even the ride modes can add safety.
    Is it all necessary? no
    Do we need Iphone X or 12 or a 4K TV.
    No but it's an ever changing and developing world.
    And this stuff is what the customers seem to want, because there is not 1 company that is making stuff that no one buys.

    My Guzzi V85TT switches between 3 ridemodes on the fly with 1 button.
    And has a fancy flashy logo on the TFT screen after turning it on.
    During which I can start the thing. :D
    But above reliability is so much better than back in the old days that there is hardly any need to diagnose ecu's
    #24
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  5. Johannes Carlsson

    Johannes Carlsson Spreadsheet Racer

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    Have you guy's seen the ridiculous boot time on the screen of the AfricaTwin? Total dealbreaker, same with the ABS auto on after stall that the KTM790AR features

    The point is not that TCS is bad, in the right mode it's nice. ABS is a no brainier, it has probably saved me from falling on gravel.
    If we want to be safe we shouldn't ride motorcycles at all. What i feel is that when it's waiting time to boot the computer, takes multiple and focused inputs to change mode for desired situation. Sometimes i just want to be stupid and spin & slide without any interference. While waiting for the computer to allow me to turn off rider aid i can feel that some of the freedom of being master of the situation is restrained. For me riding is supposed to be playtime

    FI power and dependability is an all win in my book.

    BTW, great to hear it's faster to switch modes on the newer models over mine
    #25
  6. coast range rider

    coast range rider Been here awhile

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    Cornering ABS, cruise control good.
    Keyless ignition, $2K+ TFT display, no good.

    Fragile? Well bikes made in Japan are more reliable than bikes made in Europe. Are the Japanese going to catch up to the nicer European designs, or are the European mfr's going to catch up to Japanese reliability?
    #26
  7. Johannes Carlsson

    Johannes Carlsson Spreadsheet Racer

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    When you drop it, will it flex & scratch or will it break?
    #27
  8. c-m

    c-m Long timer

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    This forum has long had a fear of electronics. Normally more so in those from the US. IMO electronics are far superior to mechanical items. Less prone to failure, wear etc... Just look at how few cars you see stranded on the side of the road compared to when you used to take road trips in the late 80s and early 90s. Look at how long the warranties are.

    In all my touring and commuting all of the failures have been mechanical not electronic. These have been fuel pump on the ZXR750, fuel pump on ZX9R, carb issues on GPZ500, fuel pump again on KTM 950 adventure, shock absorber on G650x.

    All of my fuel injected bikes have given me less problems than my carb and mechanical fuel pump bikes.

    The argument that you can repair mechanical items by the side of the road is a fallacy. Cleaning a carb isn't repairing something. With fuel pumps you try to gravity feed, it doesn't really work on large capacity bikes. In fact it seems to be the other way around. When items like coolant pumps fail, I've seen people bypass them and use an electronic pump instead.

    I think the real issue that gets people's backs up, is not the electronics themselves, but how the manufacturers implement them. The returning ABS after a stall and re-start being a great example.
    #28
  9. Highsierra4r

    Highsierra4r Adventurer

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    It seems odd to me that you use electric fuel pumps and a complex BMW air shock as examples of why simpler is not better?

    I would also argue that complexity in vehicles and motorcycles is actually shortening their useful lives. The cost to repair and maintain them is going up. Manufactures don't want you to ride the same bike for 20 years, they want you to throw it away and buy the latest and greatest.
    #29
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  10. c-m

    c-m Long timer

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    There are very few show stopping trip ending failures on motorcycles, and of those that exist, most are of a mechanical nature.

    I chose my examples as they are things that happened to me. Without FI the alternative is a Carb. Carbs need fuel pumps on larger capacity bikes, or fuel hungry beasts. That pump is a source of failure. One of the most popular mods on the 950 ADV is to change the points on the fuel pump (mechanical item) for a solid state switch.

    Everything on a motorcycle is 'technology' so how/who decides how much is too much? Is something with a <200 year old history like a carb, better than something with a 150 year old history like fuel injection? What's the cut-off point? Aluminium swing arms and later frames came in the 70s for swingarms and 80s/90s for frames. They help keep the bike light, but are they too fragile? Most places in South America can't weld aluminium, so are only steel bikes acceptable?

    What kind of bike does that leave you for continent crossing tours (this is ADV rider after all, not go and ride in your local woods rider ;) )? Something carb based. gravity fed fuel, all steel frame, points ignition?

    I like Johannes Carlsson quote above "When you drop it, will it flex & scratch or will it break?" add to that, will it wear out, and after how many hours?

    P.S My X bike had the Sachs shock. I did actually try to purchase the Air shock (a lower tech item), but due to postal strikes I never got it.
    #30
  11. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Hrm...

    So, I've been stranded by CDI failure on a CX500.
    I've been stranded by stator failure on a GL500. Bought a car battery and some long cables and was able to get 600 miles back home. Just pulled the headlight fuse and bump started it.
    I've almost been stranded by TCI failure on a V65 Magna, but I had a spare box in my tool roll. (Known failure item)
    I've been stranded by a headgasket once.
    I've been stranded by a Yamaha XS650 more times than I can count. Mostly carbs, but electrical too.
    I've been stranded by a fuel pump relay failure on my V65 magna. Would gravity feed if there was enough fuel in the main tank. Carried a spare relay after that.
    I've been stranded by a faulty fan switch, causing overheating in traffic.
    I've been stranded by a petcock long tube detaching from the petcock, so I was running on reserve the whole time.
    I've been stranded by a main jet falling out into the float bowl (Virago)
    I've been stranded by tire punctures several times
    I've been stranded by a bad relay in the fuse box of an EX500.
    I've been stranded by a bad TCI box in an EX500
    I've been stranded by a wiring harness internal break that kept blowing fuses. Uwrapped the harness and found the short and repaired it. Not fun.
    I've been stranded by a CB750C that slowly discharged the battery below 3000rpm, even after replacing all charging components.
    My Virago's TCI dropped a cylinder below 3000rpm. It'd come back once it was off the variable advance curve and into the static advance. Not stranded, but not fun.

    The carb issues I had on the Virago were my fault. I didn't tighten the main jet after cleaning them. The XS650's carbs were made out of broken dreams and actual garbage, and i should have just replaced them but I was poor and this was pre-eBay.

    My somewhat-concern is that I've had my share of electrical issues. TCI boxes are small enough (and cheap enough) to keep a spare on the bike. ECUs? Not so much. BUT... for some perspective, I didn't start having problems with bikes until they hit the 30-year-old mark. So that's saying something about the reliability of electronics from the 70s and 80s. Todays electronics... not sure if they're better or worse, but you don't really hear about ECU failures much.

    Charles.
    #31
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  12. Johannes Carlsson

    Johannes Carlsson Spreadsheet Racer

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    I'm seing some ECU faliures on sportbikes here. Recently Honda 929RR so they do appear. A well engineered and developed part will be reliable. But when we start adding to many critical items chances are some of them will be shitty and fail.

    Compared to cars motorcycles are still simple but looking at some recent development from Honda and BMW tells it won't last
    #32
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  13. panhead_dan

    panhead_dan This aint jo daddy's Grundle.

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    The market is trying to cater to the newest generation but they are doing it wrong. These electronic rider aids will only satisfy as long as they function. We all know that anything made by man is destined to fail at some point. What do these new customers do when it happens?
    They should be offering training to them, showing them how to diagnose a failure on the side of a lonely mountain road. How to rig a repair that will allow them to limp it home or to a shop. They need to design the bikes more with this in mind. This would help instill confidence, pride, comradery and more. New riders can learn the new systems the same way we learned the old mechanical systems. This would open up the market to the full immersion experience. The same experience, with modern twists, that we enjoyed for a half a century or more. Why don't they do that? Greed. Pure and simple. They want the money for the servicing and repair. They fail to realize that many potential customers will not be able to afford towing, shop repair etc. so they are eliminating vast numbers of sales and 50 year return customers. This greed is the path that leads to the end of motorcycling.
    #33
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  14. Homer GSA

    Homer GSA R1200GSA 2008

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    The problem is not the bikes are too technical, heavy or complicated, its that riders, and particularly the media, expect bikes to do things they are not designed to do.

    GS’s, Africa Twins, Guzzi TT’s, Triumph’s etc are not trail/enduro bikes.

    They are super tourers for travelling big distances in comfort, carry your gear for travel, and are not daunted by secondary dirt roads and trails. They are VFR1200’s for the dirt.

    They are not trail bikes and any attempt to make them one is rather ridiculous. As much as some people slag off the Long Way series, what they use the GS’s for is really what they are about. And sans overloading, they perform that role superbly.

    Choose the correct tool for the job and you will be happy.
    #34
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  15. bark sampler

    bark sampler Been here awhile

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    To me it’s about if you can fix it while off in the middle of nowhere on that secondary road more so than expecting my 1090 to be suitable for extreme enduro.

    If it isn’t on the bike it can’t break. That’s why for some long distance trips a simpler bike with less parts and electronics is better. If it takes a special diagnostic tool or if a luxury feature fails leaving you broke down, it’s not good.

    I feel the same way about cars. They are getting more and more complicated and disposable as the cost to repair makes many write offs from part failures. Bikes are getting this way as well. It’s even more costly when you are 1000 miles from the nearest diagnostic tool and the part to fix it is on another continent.
    #35
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  16. panhead_dan

    panhead_dan This aint jo daddy's Grundle.

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    People say that the newer vehicles last much longer but it is not so. They are not designed to be rebuilt. They may run for 2oo,ooo miles but at some point, they become waste. All of them.
    I have a pickup that is 43 years old and runs great. I have a motorcycle that is 70. Seventy years old and can be rebuilt forever.
    #36
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  17. Ljislink

    Ljislink Been here awhile

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    Fragile? Well bikes made in Japan are more reliable than bikes made in Europe. Are the Japanese going to catch up to the nicer European designs, or are the European mfr's going to catch up to Japanese reliability?[/QUOTE]

    Well, pretty damm hard to figure out where anything made these days in the new world order. Below may not be 100% correct but it's more brand specific.

    KTM - only makes a select number of bikes in Europe most come from India
    Husky - same as KTM
    GasGas - same as KTM
    Triumph - same thing very few bikes made in Europe most bikes made in China
    Honda - makes bikes in USA & Canada & Japan
    Kwasaki - same as Honda
    Yamaha- Japan & some China motor production
    BMW - gets engines from China
    Beta - made in Europe
    Ducati - have plants in Thailand and Brazil
    #37
  18. Johannes Carlsson

    Johannes Carlsson Spreadsheet Racer

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    To me there's something about the simplicity, ease of overview and reliability. It gives me confidence in knowing the bike and that i can fix it myself without special tools.

    Also in small offroad downs, it shouldn't break to easy so you have to buy new plastics all the time.


    And if the motorcycle is to big & comfortable i could just as well take the car and not have to suit up for the ride
    #38
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  19. bark sampler

    bark sampler Been here awhile

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    One more thought, slightly off topic. Motorcycles are an escape. When I need to get away from it all I hop on either my oldest BMW or a Yamaha SR500. Two of the crudest, simplistic bikes I have owned but both with non points ignitions and capable of going trans-continental. There is something about simple, competent, and nothing else. It’s not the same release when I hop on something with a screen interface and rider aids. Guess I’m getting old.

    More stuff sometimes leaves me thinking “maybe I should have just taken the car...”
    (Edit: I should have read @Johannes Carlsson better! Already said it!)
    #39
  20. Johannes Carlsson

    Johannes Carlsson Spreadsheet Racer

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    It's on topic in my regard since part of the core in the question is why we ride in the first place.
    #40