Technology dominated motorcycle news this year with jet thrusters to prevent low-siders, sidecars with a drone launching pad, plus self-riding, self-balancing and even flying motorcycles.
While most of these are fanciful or far-off innovations, there was some advance in more useable technology.
Ducati and KTM have made giant leaps forward with Bosch developing blind spot alerts to prevents sideswipe accidents and adaptive cruise control that keeps the bike a set distance from vehicles in front.
Big Bosch tech
But the biggest tech story of the year for us was the Bosch jet thrusters that prevent low-siders.
The system uses pressurised gas to blast a jet of air out of the high side of the bike when sensors, gyroscopes and accelerometers detect the wheels sliding sideways.
This sudden jet of air is designed to help counteract the slide pressures and lift the bike back up.
ON the one hand, it would be great to have tech that would prevent low-sides, but just how much will this add to the weight of the bike and its expense.
And, like an airbag inflator it would be a one-time activation, so you would be up for the expense of a new activator after it’s been deployed.
Given the problems with faulty Takata airbags, we’re not so sure about this tech.
Quirky tech of the year
There have been some quirky bits of tech this year.
One of the most interesting is Suzuki beacon light that shines on the roof to make traffic aware of the rider’s presence.
They filed for a patent this year so it may be a while before that comes to market.
Then there’s the Furion M1 hybrid motorcycle from France that has a Wankel rotary engine and an electric motor. So far, its only CAD images on a computer screen.
And here’s some tech you never thought you would need that will be available soon in Australia.
The Russian Ural AIR outfit includes a DJI Spark drone and a special discrete and waterproof compartment with a launching platform!
And while a new electric motorcycle company seems to spring up every week this year, Ural also unveiled its plans for the world’s first electric outfit with batteries under the chair.
Perhaps the strangest tech is the Lazareth La Moto Volante Maserati V8-powered four-wheel leaning motorcycle with jet turbines in the wheels s it can fly like a drone.
La Moto Volante is planned for release on January 31.