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Will stop-start tech come to bikes?

Yamaha Janus 125 with stop-start technology
Yamaha Janus 125 with stop-start technology

Would you buy a motorcycle or scooter with stop-start technology from cars to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions?

Like it or not, motorcycles are becoming more hi-tech as car technology filters through such as cruise control, ABS, traction control, active suspension and even blind-spot recognition.

Next up could be stop-start technology which was introduced by Honda on the PCX 125 scooter in 2010.

Obviously it wasn’t regarded as necessary on a two-wheeler because six years has gone by before another Japanese manufacturer decided it was worth implementing.

Yamaha will now add it to their Janus 125 scooter specifically for the Vietnamese market.

Stop-start technology is where the petrol engine switches off automatically when the vehicle is stationary and restarts as soon as the brake is let go.

Modern electronic fuel ignition provides instant ignition so vehicles are not left dawdling at the lights.

This automatic off and on system was introduced in hybrid cars that frequently switch between petrol and electric power. Then it was introduced to normal internal combustion engine cars to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The first models I tested were rough, but the start-up is now much smoother and less intrusive.

But do we really need it in motorcycles?

Motorcycles are usually not stopped for as long as cars because we tend to filter through the traffic.

Even in Vietnam where traffic volumes are enormous, the scooter traffic continues to dribble along, hardly ever stopping, so we don’t see the point of adding extra expense to a bike or scooter for the minimal economic advantages.

We can understand why it would be introduced on small-capacity scooters, but on heavy cruisers, the extra wear and tear on the crankshaft could reduce the lifespan of the bike.

Stop-start technology also requires more powerful and expensive batteries and starting system with uprated starter motors, solenoids, alternators and more. All of this adds to the price of the vehicle.

If you are really that worried about fuel economy, the starter button is right by your thumb, so you could easily switch off at the lights and fire up again when they change.


However, we don’t recommend that if you are lane filtering as you need to get away promptly before being swamped by traffic. That momentary lapse to restart your bike could be a little dangerous.

  1. If honda is making the janus for the vietnamese market
    then it cannot be too expensive.And you can bet other
    major asian markets will be insisting on this or electric
    to help with their pollution problems.
    The reasons motorcycles have low economy is that they are
    considered for the most part [recreational] so hot cams multi
    carb, sports tuning high revving. They are no longer the post war
    beasts of burden that our parents had because they couldn’t afford
    a car

  2. The wife’s car has that stop/start nonsense and I hate it. I turn it off if I have to drive it. And anyway, if you’re on a bike and stopped at a set of lights or a junction and some idiot in a cage looks like they are going to rear end you, you want to be out of the way pronto. That split second delay while you wait for the thing to fire up might just be the difference between a narrow escape and spending six weeks in traction. Plus I want to be away from the lights asap when they change. So no, I hate the idea.

  3. I don’t really like the idea of it, I mean I was always taught, 1st gear and ready to go, when stopped in traffic in case someone doesn’t see you and is about to bump into you…

    1. And lets be clear why this technology exists in the first place, it was NOT designed to help you the consumer out with better fuel economy. It was designed by vehicle manufacturers to lower the AVERAGE EPA fuel readings across their whole fleet (CAFE)while running in the DOT testing environment. For the average Australian driver there will be zero benefit to using this technology.

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