Rider aids....opinions wanted - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Rider aids....opinions wanted

Well, since I don't have any projects going I'm willing to admit to I figured I start a heated debate that is nearly all about personal philosophies.

Everyone typically hates traction control and thinks it should be band. I'm one of them. But what about other rider aids? (I'm a fan of darwanism)

Slipper clutches (everyone loves them but come on, the bike is pracatically down shifting for you!)
air shifters (same opinion as above, except its upshifting)
ABS (No comment needed, most hate it)
Steeering stabilizers.......where dones one draw the line? Just because its new tech is it a rider aid? I mean, way back when I'm sure someone thought that syncos in a car were cheating. Everyone complains about motoGP having traction control but what about all the other aids. I mean, the only time they pull the clutch lever any more is at the starting line. They don't touch it the rest of the race.

I am against all, except for the steering dampers, now that bikes have such aggressive geometry they are nearly imossible to ride without them. I tried, deosn't go so well. Of coarse one could alway rake the bike out and just muscle it a bit more into turns.

So do people think they are good? Esensial for safety? Just crutches for those than can't learn how to ride properly? Ways for peoplet that suck to go fast enough to not look lame? Let me here your thoughts.

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 09:05 AM
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I ony have experience with ABS out of your list and will limit my comments to that. On a large touring bike such as my FJR, I think ABS is an extremely valuable safety feature. To believe that your personal reaction time and riding skill can beat ABS in an emergency situation on a heavy bike ridden two up fully loaded is just not realistic.

Now on a lightweight sportsbike the benefits might be arguable, on a touring bike, ABS all the way!

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post #3 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 09:40 AM
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well you could make that aurgument about alot of stuff on a motorcycle,
hydralic clutches even, why not just use a cable? so you dont have to pump weights to pull the lever of a heavy clutch,(slipper clutch also helps here)
linked braking, hell even anti-dive front ends could be seen as "cheating" by some. i say go for it put that sh!t on the, offer it with or with out. but we should be able to have the choice.

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 10:24 AM
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It depends a bit on the bike, to me. Also, it depends a little on how aggressive you want to be and how much skill you have to be aggressive. For example, the slipper clutches. At the local track there are two corners in which the slipper clutch allows me to enter them much hotter and much deeper, and it is really fun!!! However, the three other bikes that I have taken to the track didn't need a slipper clutch, because I approached the same corners in a different manner (those bikes couldn't have done the same thing). I think traction control would be amazing for a trackbike, or a literbike ridden as a commuter. Beyond that, decent throttle control takes care of everything. ABS, that would be great on a commuter bike. It has been proven to stop shorter and safer. However, it wouldn't want it on any other bike. Air shifters (or the like) would be incredibly fun if you were competing on a high HP bike, but otherwise you would never use it (other than for being silly). And, steering stabilizers aren't as necessary as they used to be. I have only had one semi-tankslapper in 2 years on my ZX10, and it was a really weird situation (I was glad it was there).

So, to me, it depends a lot upon your use of the bike. However, I don't want anyone to have this stuff (except the commuters) until they have learned to ride a bike well without them (or they might do something stupid).

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post #5 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 10:30 AM
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It's an interesting topic. Personally, I have never experienced any of these features on a bike. But on my new Tacoma they drive me nuts. On the street, I think they exist only to take control out of a driver's hands. On a bike, that can be very dangerous. People have trouble with personal responsibility these days. "I don't know, THE CAR just lost control" NO. YOU lost control of your car. It may be a nice feature for some but many have come before us that have done very well without the help of a computer.

Back to the idea of "cheating". In a professional sport or race circuit I feel they should be utilizing all technology at their disposal. Why not? Would they have mechanical advantages or the competition? Well, then they win. There needs to be common regulations and safety concerns but manufactures should be allowed to use any backwards idea they want. Pair a good rider with a highly equipped bike and let them race. I don't think the riders should always be the distinguishing factor.

Don't think it should be banned for the street. If you want it use it. Just don't whine when it doesn't make up for lack of ability. And please don't force me to use it.

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 10:42 AM
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[QUOTE=BlackRig;286772] But on my new Tacoma they drive me nuts. On the street, I think they exist only to take control out of a driver's hands.
QUOTE]

Off topic, a bit. I'm looking at the Tacoma X-Runner. I test drove one last week, and was really impressed. Any chance that is what you have??? The traction control on it worked well, instead of shutting down the fun it just helped a little (I was purposely trying to "check" it).

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post #7 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 10:49 AM
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For racebikes, I think a team should be able to have whatever mechanical assist they desire (that would mean steering dampers, mechanical slipper clutches, etc. are approved). Any type of electrical or computer controlled assist should be banned. Where it gets tricky is fuel injection. Racebikes should be allowed to have FI, but not for the purpose of traction control or cornering assistance. Take out launch control but leave pit speed limiters.

Streetbikes, make it all an option.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
Streetbikes, make it all an option.
And make it so the rider can disable when necessary....one thing I thought was cool on the BMW adventure bikes we were checking out a couple of weeks ago was that they have a button to turn off the ABS for when you're riding in dirt or gravel.

Same thing on cars...I have no issue with traction control, think it's a great thing when you're crawling through snow. But give me a button on the dash to turn it off for when I want to go ripping through some dry curvy blacktop roads! BMW is good at that with their automobiles too, they love the electronic gizmos but they give you the option of turning them off as well.

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post #9 of 9 Old 03-08-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I wasn't getting at if these things are cheating or not. I know alot feel they are and are nott.

Personally, I don't like rider aids. But like I said before. Where does one draw the line? I know like steering dampers. But for sure it is important to ride without one first to learn not to push/pull excesivly on the bars while riding.
Like most other aids. It would be nice if everyone had to learn to ride without them first. I know several people that skid every time they down shift their VTX! That is just sad.

I know I hate traction control and ABS on a car. Especially in the snow. Bikes are a bit different concidering one can fall instead of just spinning. I know I'd rather ride without it. I make no claims to being better than a computer. But, so long as someone pays attension there seems to be very little need for it. Watch for the gravel on the road, look far enough ahead to see potential things crossing ones path.

Being an engineer it does seem dumb to outlaw certain technologies too. After all, not everyone roots for a rider, they also root for a manufacturer, or even a team. So why stiffel the R&D, or the crew, just to watch the rider work harder?

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