My bike has 12 buttons on the handlebars... or, Are we ruining motorcycling?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by canoeguy, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    I guess I like the choices today. My newest bike is a 2016 Honda Africa Twin. It is the manual shift model so it really doesn't have much technology. It has ABS and a traction control that I have to remember to shut off if I want to spin up the rear on dirt. Otherwise it just kills the power. Very annoying... My other two bikes are a 2012 KTM 690 Enduro and an old Ducati 900 Superlite. Meanwhile I just bought a new Ford F150 and it has more technology in it than I'll ever use. Even an adaptable cruise control! WTF? I thought I bought a pickup not a Mercedes sedan... So I am with the OP, but my oldest son rides the latest BMWGS and he loves all those buttons!
    #61
  2. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    I had my DR650 up Mt. Evans with the stock jets...that's 14,000 feet. It ran fine.
    #62
  3. trailNtent

    trailNtent Been here awhile

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    Rose colored glasses.
    #63
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  4. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I'll take the mod cons thank you.

    Bugs in my face aren't nice. Neither are cold hands on long trips, or near misses with extreme braking.

    There are simpler bikes than the R12GS. Just buy one of those.
    #64
  5. ddavidv

    ddavidv Dark web dangerous

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    Something I've noted about motorcycle technology is it tends to follow automotive progress by several years or even decades. Fuel injection, ABS, electronic ignition, electric start and tubeless tires only moved to the motorcycle world after the auto manufacturers took years to figure it out--sometimes at large expense to consumers. When bikes gained the 'new' tech almost all the bugs had long been worked out.

    I don't miss things like carbs and points. These are technologies that enhance reliability overall, not diminish it. What I have little interest in are things that take control from riders like 'modes', TFT screens that require extra controls to scroll through endless options and lots of superfluous bodywork that makes servicing and cleaning a PITA. I also do not understand AT ALL monster cruiser bikes or the new 3-wheeled pseudo motorcycles. Just buy a Miata already! But that is my own bias.

    I enjoy fuel injection, ABS, heated grips and a screen that shows 'miles to empty' on my Tiger so I've succumbed to some of the modern upgrades. However, the appeal of a bike for the simple joy of riding is the ultimate pull and if I only had have one it would be something like this:
    [​IMG]
    Ultimately, this is what riding a motorcycle is for me.
    #65
  6. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer Supporter

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    I worked for IBM for 30 years in the mainframe arena so you would think that I would like all the high tech gizmos on the new bikes and autos. My daughter has a new van that is like a spaceship with all the stuff on board. I do go for EFI, ABS, and the backup camera.

    I have two plain Jane EFI motorcycles and a plain Jane 4x4 EFI truck which suits me just fine.

    Is there a way to change the African Twin's traction control so the default is off? I ask because I had a auto with front wheel drive only and if the traction control was on it would stall out going up my steep gravel driveway. What a pain to forget to turn off the traction control as I would have to back down to a level spot, turn off traction control and have another go at climbing the driveway. Also I ride a lot of steep gravel roads here in the mountains. You are going to get some wheel spin. On a motorcycle that would not be a good scenario, probably resulting in a drop.
    #66
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  7. beemerphile

    beemerphile Unreconstructed Southerner Supporter

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    Assuming with a 2002 as an icon instead of an M6, that you can understand the Op's logic and interest in the simple past?

    Not sure any of us would prefer handlebar mounted spark advance and suicide shifters to return as mainstream, but for most there is a happy place where convenience and complexity meet some kind of personal balance. I happen to like both and keep one modern bike and a variable number of older ones. Over 50 years on two wheels, my line has moved many times. I re-drew my own line a few years ago on this side of sealed wheel bearings, disc brakes, and tubeless alloy wheels, which is why my airhead is now a 1992 instead of a 1976 as it used to be. I simply got tired of dealing with all that. Others still deal with it joyfully in order to continue to enjoy the earlier bikes. Good for them.
    #67
  8. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    The newest traction control systems won't have this issue, especially if you switch them to off-road mode. I doubt you'd find such electronic controls nearly as intrusive as you think. I've got over 20,000 miles on my KTM 1290 and I have yet to notice when the systems have intervened - apart from the occasional flashing TC light when I'm deliberately giving it a quantity of throttle that might normally be inadvisable.
    #68
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  9. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    I honestly think it may be the interface that is causing me to get a bit disenchanted. Its really hard for me to quantify, truly. The thing is I think seeing my tire pressure, engine temp, ambient temp, elevation, direction of travel, and the literal dozen other bits of info is actually really cool. I love the heated grips. My GSA is a superb bike. But I just get this feeling that I am paying some esoteric price for it. I feel like I am cutting corners and that is odd as I don't hold anybody else to any standards for what they ride.

    There is just something kind of magical about having a bike that only you know how much choke to give on start up or what little quirks its going to have. A bike that you do get a few busted knuckles wrenching on it. One that you know inside and out and you can literally tear deep into the engine on the side of the road with just a handful of tools.

    I haven't had a chance to have many real adventures on my GSA since I got it two years ago for various reasons. Maybe that is part of the problem. I am going to be changing that over the next few months. Maybe I just need to get some bonding going on with it. The thing with my past KLRs is that I tear them apart and do all of the mods, suspension, engine work and etc. I have bolted on some reinforcement brackets to my bars and one or two other items on the GSA and that is about it. What else can I do? The bike is so amazing as is and being so amazing almost makes it boring. I think it is the same thing as why everyone loves a three legged dog or their old jacket with holes in it.

    I think my unicorn is a reliable thumper with 50-60 hp. It needs to have a fuel range of 200 miles and have a true rear sub-frame that can handle luggage. I would like to see this bike built with good suspension and brakes right from the factory. While we are at it I realize that one seat doesn't fit everyone but why is it that stock seats basically fit no one? I also would love to see it be sub-400lbs. So really, the bike that a lot of us want. No one makes it so I am going to have to. Thumpers are treated as bargain bikes and entry level with the exception of the 690 and it has its own issues for an everyday/ADV bike.

    Its a good thing I love motorcycles.
    #69
  10. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Sounds like you will have to throw a 690 motor in a 990ADV
    #70
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  11. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    I was just looking at 990's and 950's.

    I am already shopping for the right DR. I am going to put a 790 kit on it, an Acerbis tank, Cogent suspension, and Corbin seat. Then I am going to pull off every little thing I possibly can to reduce weight. Unfortunately I missed a good bike for 1k that someone had spray painted blue...like all of it...exhaust, frame and all. It was bad, real bad, but I don't care as I am going to strip it apart anyway.

    I am not getting rid of the GSA. I can't, it cost too much and it would be a kick in the teeth. Plus it really is a great bike and I am just ranting. I think I just need some thumper back in my life.
    #71
  12. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I get the same joy driving my 2002 as I do riding my Africa Twin. I don't think the AT is an overly complicated two wheel beast. It's heavy, but i like it's mostly neutral manners and great visibility. Its just enough power, just enough brakes, just enough suspension that gives it a ... balance that is hard to replicate. Much like the 2002.


    There are faster bikes than then AT. Same as the 02. There are better handling bikes than the AT. Same as the 02. There are better, ... you get the drift. My daily driver is a 95 Mercedes E320; great visibility, a little under steery but incredible balance, just enough power, just enough brakes, just enough, ... you get the idea.

    There is a line through which you can trace my automotive purchases; overall balance of "goodness" is the over riding factor.
    #72
  13. WindBlast

    WindBlast Three chords and the truth.....

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    I am wondering what kind of cars, trucks, and SUVs you "I like old school" guys are driving. :hmmmmm
    #73
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  14. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    I don't have any passion for cars at all. They are just a tool for me so I don't drive them to make me happy or for a feeling. In fact as far as days per year I don't drive them much at all.
    #74
  15. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I'm not one of the "i like old school" guys but my daily was a 1976 BMW 2002 into the aughties. Loved it and still do, but it lacked certain amenities that I would rather have.
    My daily is now an Africa Twin. My "inclement weather" daily is a 95 Mercedes E320 sedan.
    #75
  16. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Well, I'm driving a 2004 Suburban which makes it just 2 years newer than both of my bikes.
    #76
  17. IronButt70

    IronButt70 You don't have to be crazy to do this but it helps

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    To OP. As long as one of the 12 is not an eject button you’re GTG. :D
    #77
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  18. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Well, I can tell you from past experience a button is not actually needed to be ejected.
    #78
  19. Asgard

    Asgard Adventurer

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    We had Air-Con before them though:1drink
    #79
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  20. portalespeanut

    portalespeanut nEARLY nORMAL

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    #80