Technology/safety: how much is too much?
I have a 2006 Ducati 749. A state-of-the-art bike at the time, but would hardly be considered cutting-edge technology today, just 4 short years later.
It doesn't have ABS or power mode control or DTC or a slipper clutch, etc.
And I don't want for any of it. ABS is scary and "iffy" enough on a 4-wheeler.
Case in point, ever roll-up to an intersection where the road is bumpy or covered with gravel? You step on the brakes and it's like the car doesn't know exactly WHAT to do. In that case, ABS gives me NO extra confidence and it certainly doesn't FEEL "safer" to me.
Then again, isn't part of the attraction of motorcycling that not everyone has the skill-set to do it properly? I mean, when you down-shift and "blip" the throttle just right and match your engine and tranny rev.-points, doesn't that give you a sense of self-satisfaction?
Same as mastering the power of some state-of-the-art litre-bike. Let ME decide how much to crack open the throttle. The computer can perform more mundane tasks such as cold-weather starts, altitude-compensation in the mountains, etc. Having "power modes" on a motorcycle to me is like those computer programs on cars that decide how many cylinders to operate in a given situation.
Finally, re.: tracition/stability control, again not everyone CAN successfully ride a motorcycle, and just like a racing craft (2- or 4-wheels), if you make it so easy ANY schmuck can do it, well then, where's the challenge and what's the bleedin' point?
These technological advances are great and all, and perhaps they DO add a margin of safety or two (the jury's still out), but once the bike runs out of warranty, you won't be able to afford to maintain the thing. Imagine having
a BMW S 1000R and once you've "run out the clock", what is it going to cost
to replace a part like that unique gyroscope contained deep within its bowels?
Some will say "safety HAS no price", but I disagree. And, again, I like having to summon up the confidence and skills to ride on the street, believing that I'm the one in-charge, not my bike's computer.
SIDE NOTE: I'm also heavily into motorsports, and that's why I LOVE Speedway bikes. Very few safety rules: steel shoe, helmet, kill switch.
You want to ride in a long-sleeve t-shirt and jeans?...knock yourself out.
No, NOT a proponent of window nets and Hans-type devices for "cages",
even on the track. (Yes, I DO wear a full-face helmet.)
Normally, at this point I'd make a joke at Milwaukee's expense such as, "If I want a non-techno. bike, I can always get a Harley", but even they're offering ABS throughout their model line-up. Oh well, if I want a "simple", low-maintenance motorcycle in the immediate future, I guess there's always Royal Enfield. Heck, they've still got rear DRUM brakes.
There are NO safety guarantees in life, but there IS one guarantee you can take to the bank: the more technology something offers, the more it's going to cost up-front and down-the-road. I say: make all of this modern-tech.
stuff optional, and leave us purists to be the ones in-control of our machines...not the other way around.