It’s a very good time to be a motorcycle enthusiast. I have my days when I look back on the early days of the industry with a particular fondness.
When I rub my chin and think, ‘Simpler times.’ But who am I kidding? 2017 is where it’s at. Here are some reasons why.
Augmented Reality Helmet
Any Tron fans out there? If so, you’re going to love this. With one of these helmets, riders can place phone calls, play music, and operate a GPS—hands-free. It’s all thanks to advanced voice recognition technology.
Want to know the coolest feature, though? Some of these products even come with a rear-facing camera. It projects a Livestream for riders to view so that you can be acutely aware of your surroundings. Not just a neat trick—this technology could save lives.
We all know it; riding through the night comes with its setbacks. Especially for less experienced folk. It’s not always easy.
Your average headlight will only light up a section of the road when leaning into a corner. Potholes and other unexpected hazards often come as more than a surprise. They are practically invisible.
This is why the adaptive headlight technology is worth every penny. Next time you lean into a turn with these fitted to your ride, you won’t have to think twice about what’s ahead of you. Onboard sensors detect the angle of a turn’s lean. From there, these bright puppies calculate the best way to direct the available light.
According to some research by the American Automobile Association, this technology can offer as much as a ninety percent safety benefit. This 90% is unique to night-time crashes on curves, and so what? That’s the most dangerous time to ride!
Inertial Measurement Units were once for superbikes. Advanced technology that wasn’t necessary for standard choppers. Or, at least, it was too expensive for your average customer. Well, welcome to 2017. IMUs are what make fancy (and useful) equipment like adaptive headlights possible. They measure linear and angular motion.
Cornering and acceleration forces. You name it; these things probably have a measurement for you. IMUs have proven to be incredibly useful in ABS technology and TCE (traction control electronics). We are talking about something the size of a diamond earring… and luckily, in 2017 they don’t cost nearly as much as one. Today, all great US rides are fitted with an IMU.
Keep an eye out for smaller-engined vehicles, too. We’ve already seen the increase in sales of big adventure bikes. Think BMW 1200 GS. Why not go for a smaller equivalent?
Because until very recently, there just weren’t that many options. Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki have come to the rescue. Each with small-engine adventure bikes of their own, and why not? These things are killing it in the motorbike business right now.