Daniel Morris: “How can technology change the motorcycling experience?”
mono motorcycles welcome the latest TEXA diagnostics software to our repertoire. To put TEXA through it’s paces, Daniel Morris reflects on how the major manufacturers latest technologies, can change the motorcycling experience.
“Over the last few weeks I have been fortunate enough to ride some of the most up to date motorcycles on the market. This story begins with a 200 mile ride with friends on my own Triumph Street Triple 765RS. Upon my return journey, I took the long route home. Hitting every apex, backing into corners & trying to keep the front wheel on the ground coming out of slower turns was exhilarating & great fun.
I have also been lucky enough to ride the new Yamaha MT-10. A mighty machine with the awesome sound of the ‘Big Bang’ motor as used in the Yamaha R1.
In addition to riding the 765RS & the MT-10, I have also had the opportunity to ride a couple of the new model BMWs, one of which is the latest BMW S1000RR. With active suspension controlled by a computer, 220+ BHP, traction control, quick-shifter & auto-blip, this got me thinking; do we really need all this technology?
Having formerly owned a Susuki K1 GSXR1000, a 160bhp no thrills ride that would spin the rear at 120mph, you would think that the gadgets on the newer models, would take away some of that raw experience, dare I say make a motorcycle less exciting to ride. With this in mind, I undertook an investigation with a BMW S1000RR.
mono motorcycles have been trialling the latest TEXA diagnostic software which has diagnostic capabilities for all of the major manufacturers. This software extends the mono motorcycles repertoire enabling us to perform more diagnostics, particularly to the latest model motorcycles. This gave me the opportunity to investigate the software’s capabilities & therefore I decided to switch all the modes off on the BMW S1000RR. No traction control, no anti wheelie, no ABS & no quick shifter.
I then took the BMW S1000RR for a ride. Without any of the additional technologies switched on, the motorcycle felt raw, dare I say brutal, just like my old GSXR 1000. Any tiny input caused the BMW S1000RR to feel edgy & my conclusion was, who needs a bike with this much power on the road?
Upon returning to the workshop, I inputted the base setting back in the BMW S1000RR & I took it for another ride. This time I switched all the technologies back on, but put the BMW in a more aggressive sport mode & turned the traction control down.
The difference was night and day! Immediately I felt like I was riding the motorcycle, not just a passenger & I could push it quite hard from the off. The frightening unpredictability was gone & what remained was quick, but with poise & plushness. The most noticeable difference was that I didn’t notice once any interference from the traction control, no feeling of the computer backing things off. With the technologies all switched on, I felt confident & Iike I was on track with super sticky tyres, but this was on a bumpy B road with mediocre rubber.
Therefore, having undertaken this investigation, I arrive at a question. Has modern motorcycling lost it spark? Have electronic technologies taken over? From my experience, no.
I feel with our busy & tired roads technologies are enhancing motorcycling, making riding an enjoyable experience, as it should be. Technologies can help make motorcycles safer, but in doing so, can still deliver the thrill motorcyclists all seek from those early days of the first Yamaha R1’s, Susuki GSXR’s & Kawasaki ZX10’s.”