I know that there are a few on here who ride, or used to ride, bikes and, after casually commenting yesterday on setting cruise control on the peage for an easy ride home, I got to thinking about how much motorcycles have changed since I were a lad.
My bike is a 2016 BMW and, for (relatively) not a lot of money, I have a bike that has the power of a 1990 Grand Prix bike (which were then described as unrideable) with sufficient technology that even a biff like me can ride it without killing myself in short order*.
The technology on a modern bike is simply phenomenal with the aforementioned cruise control, ABS and traction control that takes account of lean angle, suspension that adjusts according to road conditions and more sensors than you can shake a stick at. Some even have heated seats
Anyway, for those of a techy bent, my ponderings took me to this webpage on Inertial Measurement Units, which make so much of this wizardry possible, and it’s just stunning.
*I do appreciate the opportunity for famous last words here
Way back in the '80s I think it was I decided to become a born again biker and checked out a Goldwing in a garage. It had a heater and a CB fitted.
Although I wasn’t sure how I would keep it upright at the lights I thought it was as well to ask the price. What??? £9,000 ?? And then the dealer said ‘it’s a snip at that, a new one will cost you 14’.
‘It’s not new? My Saxo out there cost less than this new’.
You should see my son-in-law’s Harley Electra Glide, its luxury on two wheels and he has gone off today to ride round Wyoming, NDakota and Montana to give it a good run out after standing still for two weeks. My daughter won’t get on it, scared of it crushing her if it fell over.
I had a Harley Wide Glide for a few years, They’re no more difficult to hold up than a small bike, It’s picking them uo after you’ve dropped it that’s the problem The clutch was so heavy I used to change gear without it, apart from going into first.
Totally agree with you on the technology! What annoys me is that the real leap in control technology has only come in during the last twelve years or so.
I say it annoys me because in c 2005 or 6 I bought a Yamaha R1. It just sounded good and I had to have the best! Well, I lasted a week on it! Was nervous each time I changed gear! I sold it at a loss!
Today, the R1 has every conceivable control possible. It is a pussy cat in comparison. Absolutely love the bike, but sadly I have to admit I am too old for one now. I wish though I kept the first one, just to have in the garage and marvel at how they shoehorned everything into the frame perfectly.
5’7 with 29" inside leg and the bike has a seat height of 31 inches. Obviously that drops a bit when you actually sit on it but it’s still a stretch. I’m finding as I get older that the weight is more of an issue than the height, it’s very top heavy.
Motorcycle clothing has also improved beyond measure in the intervening period when I was a car-bound oik - not only much better crash helmets with anti-fog visors but incredible safety clothing equipped with high-tech plastic armour and fabrics that resist abrasion better than leather does.
Even my jeans have unobtrusive and flexible plastic armour at the knees and hips and are woven with Kevlar!
Plus the much improved weatherproofing and breathability, compared to the waxed cotton Belstaff kit I used to wear in the winter which made me look like a WW2 dispatch rider!