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. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I think I may have gone a little too far with that when I bought my street legal XL75. The top speed of 40 mph is a bit limiting. :lol3

    I'm thinking of putting an XR100 motor in it.
  2. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    When electronic throttle valves became a means to achieve smooth running and emissions compliance, ride-by-wire became easy and cheap to implement. After that, any number of throttle 'modes" can easily be implemented in software. Similarly, once you have ABS, you have the means to know wheel speed accurately and can add traction control via software. Finally, for the cost of nothing more than an accelerometer (not much these days) all of these features can be optimized to improve functionality. The extra cost is pretty small - although the asking price difference may still be significant, I expect you'll start to see all of this stuff become standard at very little incremental cost on smaller and cheaper bikes. It may seem like a lot of added tech but once you have FI and ABS, the rest does not really introduce anything new that can go seriously wrong. Maybe software issues but these are unlikely to appear "suddenly" during a ride and are also unlikely to prevent you from getting home.

    Keyless start has proven problematic on several models but it's a great theft deterrent and it does avoid the frequent ignition key and/or ignition switch issues that sometimes plague older bikes.
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  3. bykergrrl

    bykergrrl Been here awhile

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    I have a 2015 F700gs with all the basic gizmos - taken it across and out of the country a number of times - great ride.
    My other bike is a 2003 225XT - I consider it my earthquake bike - an electric start but no other electrical gizmos (can put a kick start on) drum brake in the rear - it's light, good mileage - can go just about anywhere - not an 80mph California freeway bike - but that's not why I have it.
    I'm heading back to Panama in a few months and this time the XT is going (on the back of a pickup). Most CA countries have 1 BMW dealer. A 225 will do the speed limit or better on most CA roads. Doesn't show me off immediately as a 'rich' tourist. What's not to like.
    At the same time, when I bought my first bike 50 years ago everything was kickstart, and I still have scars. And the guys on the HDs would tease me that they'd give me their bike if I could start it. I'm very happy having an electric start.
  4. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Corrected
  5. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    The difference in price is truly minuscule - it's just software, the hardware is already there. I think it'd be ridiculous for manufacturers not to add this $1 feature to a $20K bike.

    I did ride it in city mode (limited to 100HP) for the first few weeks, to get used to the jump in power from my previous bike. If I ever manage to take it to the track, I will use the sport mode. So I am glad they are here and cost me literally nothing to have.

    The main thing for me is that these features are unobtrusive, they sit somewhere in the menus which I don't need to access or even know of for everyday riding. If those were actual physical buttons, I'd probably be annoyed.
  6. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    I am sure they will have one big "AI" button, press it and the computer brain will just optimize everything for you.
  7. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Did you watch any of the Indy 500 this year? Those cars are under so much computer control the driver can’t keep up. It’s great until suddenly it’s not. Cars heading into the wall with no notice.

    Current fighter jets wouldn’t fly with out the computer.

    Maybe one day we’ll have recreation parks where we get to ride the old manual Motorcycles.
  8. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    A big part of that equation is linked to airframe design, not pilot skill. The B2 Spirit is the exemplar here.
  9. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    After all the gas stations close down, for sure.
  10. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    Yup. I don't even set my effing clock - at most I change ride modes when I remember. The stuff is there when you want it, or you can turn it off, or you can put tape over your 12 buttons. With crowded roads, distracted drivers, and bad road maintenance - glad to have a little help.
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  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    My bike has a horn, turn signal switch, hi/low on one side, starter and kill switch on the other. It has one cylinder/carb/pipe. I don't have ABS or anything else, although I think I'd really like front ABS, nothing much more than the bare necessities. For the most part I use a back pack as needed. Have a rack still in the box and some bags that remain unused at the moment.

    I have two like that plus a similar, but kick start only, single and a basic 550/4 Kaw street bike I'll probably sell. So my motorcycle life is pretty simple. Not that it is any better or worse than anyone else, just that it suits me right now.

    Gotta say each bike I've had and ridden let me know why I like them and also why I like others. The small single is great for off road/dirt/gravel, the big single is a hand full off road for my size. The kick start single is a Yamaha SR500 and as primitive as it is, it is still fun - but vibrates a lot. Reminds me why my old 1100 standard bare Gold Wing was so nice for the open road. The KLX650C is a riot playing supermoto. And so on.
  12. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    It must be hell posting to ADVRider with a quill on parchment. :nod
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  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    :-):imaposer:loco:photog:eek7:wings:fpalm:smile6
    :clap:lol3:loco:D:dunno:rofl:rayof:eekers:raindance:super:hmmmmm

    The crowd goes wild!
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Gotta say everyone should have a bare bones bike like an old Honda CB77/ CL77/ CA77, an SR500/400, an RD350/400, a Kaw triple, Suzuki GT500/550/750, 60s Triumph/BSA, Harley XLCH, or ancient BMW just to have to ride every now and again just to realize again how cool simplicity is, but how nice the new stuff is.
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  15. beemerphile

    beemerphile Unreconstructed Southerner Supporter

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    That is why I say "when given a choice, take both." But I don't just ride the old bikes every now and then, they get long trips as well. I have a 2013 GS in the stable, but for the last three years the R100RS is the bike I chose to go to Maine on. Chances are it will make the trip this year as well. Also, chances are that it will continue to make tproper motorcycle noises for the entire trip and I will not be seen on the side of the road with my ass sticking up and wrenches twirling - I do all that at home before the ride. It will do everything now that it did "then". I'd bet that nearly every place on earth that has been visited by motorcycle has seen an airhead BMW. But, I enjoy the newer GS as well and it always gets a late fall trip through the Ozarks and out to the Texas hill country.

    There is a unhurried calmness about the old bike that the new one can't muster. I like that. There is a technical competence with the new bike that the old one will never approach. I like that too. Why choose? But also, why relegate the old one to a museum or a short nostalgia ride?
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  16. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    But it doesn't have to be an old bike. I have a Spade 150 that is simple, in fact I rode it in today. Of course it is so small that it isn't really practical on any level but it is fun.

    Imagine a world like this, a world where there is a bike. This bike has an air-cooled engine built for reliability and simplicity but with attention to detail. The bike has no ride modes and no traction control. However it does come with top notch brakes and suspension right from the factory. Now maybe this bike does have ABS because after all it is 2018. But that ABS can be disabled with one button. This bike has maybe 50-60 HP. Shockingly it comes with a seat that most people find comfortable. Just a simple but quality built machine.

    Of course building a bike like that would likely not sell in our community. But there is one that does come to mind right off my head...and you all are going to hate it...the Sportster. The build quality is great. The suspension sucks though as does the lean angles. But they are indeed simple. They kind of stopped making a normal one though. I sat on an Iron 1200 the other day and despite the mini apes it felt really good. One simple gauge. normal buttons with one extra to scroll though the gauge. I am sure there are others as well. Just nothing really in the ADV community.
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  17. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    Way back in 1985, when my Dad had his bike dealership, I had the first K100RS on the road. I was waiting down at Butler & Smith for the trailer to show up from Kennedy with the first bikes. I went up to Montreal with my latest greatest Teutonic Wunderbike, and right in the middle of the city, about 100 degrees out, the fucker drops dead. I pushed it about 12 blocks, suffering the slings and arrows of passing Harley riders laughing their asses off, to the BMW dealer. Told him that I was a dealer also down in NJ, so I might get a little extra help. Turns out, are you ready "Better late than never", ………………………….the fuel injection brain had a stroke! There, you finally heard of your first ever in recorded history fuel injection failure!!!!!!!!!!
    They got me a new one in two days. Great! Except, BMW sent the wrong one. Right part number, wrong part in the box. I'd expect that from Ducati (we were dealers for only Euro bikes), or Moto Guzzi, but for fuck sakes, not the Krauts! Lucky for me I was hooked up with a lovely French Canadian girl and we were staying at her parents place, so the week and a half it took to get the right part at least didn't cost us a fortune in Hotel bills.
    That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

    BTW, just last summer I bought my first bike with FI SINCE the ill-fated K100RS, a Ducati Monster S4R, which I love. Except for one annoying little glitch. It's got a certain, roughness, just as the butterflies come off the stops. Talked to the local Ducati tuning wiz, he said no problem, we can tune that out. I asked, what'll it cost? He said, oh around 8. I said, are fucking kidding me, 800 dollars to tune out a tiny little hiccup right as I crack the throttle open???? He said, well, it'll take the better part of a day on the Dyno. I said, #1, I'll live with the fucking hiccup, #2, now I know just WHY I haven't owned a FI bike since my K100RS, carbs I can fix, thanks but no thanks.
    My analog 1976 MV is still one of the most reliable bikes I've had. My 2003, carb'd ZRX 1200, electronic ignition and that's it, may be the BEST bike I've ever owned. Between my first 1999 ZRX, and this one, I've had exactly ZERO problems, except for one fork seal on the 1100, period.
    I recently rode a Panagale (?) V4. Awesome bike. But giant electrical cables coming out of the tops of my forks and shock????? Thanks, but no thanks.

    Ride on!
    Chris

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  18. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    2009 Jeep Wrangler 4dr. Has 3 pedals. 3 1/2" lift.
    Bouncy, sounds like I may leave parts lying about when going over a shitty piece of road, annoying leak (stock on Wranglers) from A pillar on both sides, and I love the friggin' thing!

    Chris
  19. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    Maybe I should have said, "... in this century."

    1985 was 33 years ago. So many of the reliability stories about electronics come from the earliest days, when it really wasn't all worked out yet. It's the same with ABS. It was probably the same with tubeless tires, electric start and disc brakes.

    As for your Ducati, I suspect you can blame Euro IV for the off idle hesitation, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't an aftermarket map that fixes it for less than $800.
  20. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    Was Euro-4 a thing in 2004?
    Just wondering.

    Chris