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Apr 17th 2017, 07:36 AM   #1
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
End of Motorcycling or Just the Beginning?

I started riding in the '60's.
My first street ride was a mini bike with a lawnmower engine that had an actual rope-pull start.

Rode a Honda 50, a Trail 70 and Trail 90.
My first "real" street bike was a KZ400.

I rode an RD400 2-stroke, a GPZ550, which was my first bike with a single rear shock.
I had a 1986 GSXR750 that was oil-cooled.
When I was first taking to the streets on that mini-bike, Honda's looked like this:

To my mind, the period in which I have lived, and during which I have been riding, is the Golden Age of Motorcycling.
During the Satya Yuga of riding we have seen the advent of disc brakes, radial tires, aluminum frames, electronic ignition, fuel injection, robot welding, and a host of improvements to bikes that is nothing short of amazing. And now we have ABS and traction control which are transcendent advancements that actually, materially improve the riding experience. Just think a second about ABS and TCS. That you cannot lock-up a brake in a panic, and that you cannot accidentally throw-out the rearend with the throttle....that is some magic shit that makes riding safer and more fun and really, actually lets us go faster around turns and stay upright when Suzy-Q pulls out in front of us on Main Street because cellphone. Amazing.

ANd now we are on the cusp of electric bikes and I cannot imagine where that is going to go. Electric bikes promise the end of the torque curve and the inescapable trade-offs of torque vs horsepower. Imagine the change to motorcycling when the transmission is gone. Imagine the change to riding when the fucking gas tank and engine are gone, the exhaust is gone.



Think for a sec: no engine. no gear shifter. no exhaust noise. no gas tank. no oil. no chain lube. no maintenance!

I drive an electric car and in 60,000 miles I have never put a tool on it other than to fill the tires with air.

Imagine when motorcycling is divorced from wrenching.

We are within striking distance of a revolution unimaginable twenty years ago.



I cannot even guess what "AI" is gonna do to bikes. It is possible that Uber and Google will kill motorcycling by making "drivers" themselves irrelevant and possibly even illegal. I think that is possible.

It will be a shame if they kill motorcycling with robo-cars but it will have been an amazing fucking run of angelic engineering and existentially-sublime experiences.



My current sport-bike is a 20-year-old CBR900RR with carbs and almost no electronics. It is a thing of beauty and it sings my favorite song. But it aint no S1000RR or 1290 SuperDuke. Doesn't KTM have an electronic feature that prevents you from looping a wheelie? See what I mean?



We just might be the last people to ever have ridden motorcycles. It might be nearing the end of something wonderful. Or maybe not. I don't know.

I just know this - whatever happens, fucking motorcycles are a god-send, and we are living in the Time of the Motorcycle Gods, no matter the fuckery of iPhones and cops with laser-beams on their heads and I fucking love it.


Edited by Sentinel on Apr 17th 2017 at 07:48 AM
Apr 17th 2017, 10:47 AM   #2
 PeteN95's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Muklilteo, WA

  Suzuki DL1000, Honda XR650R, KTM 250 XC-W
Silent electric bikes with instant smooth torque? Bring it on, as soon as they have decent range from the batteries and quick charging, I'm in! All you'll hear is my roost bouncing off your visor!
Aug 21st 2017, 11:31 PM   #3
 Flyboymedic's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Hazel Dell, Wa

  Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S
I'll bet they never invent a driverless motorcycle where one just needs to sit on the back seat!
Aug 22nd 2017, 11:24 AM   #4
 Tripledij's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Custer WA

  Aprilia Tuono 1100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
ANd now we are on the cusp of electric bikes and I cannot imagine where that is going to go. Electric bikes promise the end of the torque curve and the inescapable trade-offs of torque vs horsepower. Imagine the change to motorcycling when the transmission is gone. Imagine the change to riding when the fucking gas tank and engine are gone, the exhaust is gone.
That cusp you speak of happened four years ago when an electric bike won Pikes Peak. The performance is there. When battery tech gives you twice the range as it does now, they will be everywhere. If you are happy with the range they have now, all you have to imagine is parting with 40K

Lightning Electric Superbike takes 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
craiger likes this.
Aug 22nd 2017, 12:26 PM   #5
 PeteN95's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  Muklilteo, WA

  Suzuki DL1000, Honda XR650R, KTM 250 XC-W
Unfortunately, Lightning Motorcycles went bankrupt 2 years ago. It also used a chain drive, so there would be some maintenance. This is also motorcycle related, so I am moving it.
Aug 22nd 2017, 12:46 PM   #6
 Tripledij's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Custer WA

  Aprilia Tuono 1100
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteN95
Unfortunately, Lightning Motorcycles went bankrupt 2 years ago.
I did not know that, probably because I quit paying attention to it when I found out it was 40 grand.

This looks like a hoot though....

https://www.altamotors.co/redshiftsm/#redshift-sm
Aug 22nd 2017, 03:23 PM   #7
 larsvons's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  PDX

  '15 KLZ1000BFF (BEST FRANDS 4EVER!)
Yeah, I'm 100% ready for all-electric bikes; slam dunk for commuters. Next full commuting bike I buy will be electric, with potential for some light tripping given capacity and availability of charging at destination.

The big limiting factor, for me at least, is touring bikes and availability of charging stations in rural areas. I can see what the future is (pioneering penetration via Telsa, etc.), but can't see it happening in rural NA to the extent that it could support a full touring situation.

Also can't imagine a hybrid approach on 2 wheels, but could be wrong.
Aug 22nd 2017, 04:43 PM   #8
 Mudslinger's Avatar
 
  Sep 2016
  Seabeck

  Africa Twin
I also started in the 60's on a mini bike that had a Briggs and Stratton 5hp lawnmower engine. Then rode a Honda 50 a Kawasaki 75 then graduated to a Honda 90.

Now Honda has riding assist, a self-balancing motorcycle, you don't even need to put your feet down at a redlight anymore. It freaken determines the optimum lean angle on a curve.
I do think that electric bikes will be really nice once better power cell tech is devised.
Aug 22nd 2017, 06:08 PM   #9
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
if my bike followed me to work like a puppy....

I am pretty sure that is the actual 11th sign of the apocalypse.

Nothing left after that but nucular combat, toe to toe with the Ruskies.....
Aug 22nd 2017, 11:35 PM   #10
 Zoomie's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland

I predict, we'll continue to enjoy motorcycling. Technology should add to that enjoyment.
Heck, people still run, and pedal bicycles, just for fun. Go figure.
Aug 23rd 2017, 12:36 AM   #11
 liberpolly's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle

  Ducati Diavel, Triumph Street Twin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomie
I predict, we'll continue to enjoy motorcycling. Technology should add to that enjoyment.
Heck, people still run, and pedal bicycles, just for fun. Go figure.
Yes, but there will be much less of us doing that, which means much less choice for the new machines.
Aug 23rd 2017, 02:22 AM   #12
 craiger's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Molalla

  2007 Aprilia Tuono Factory, 2010 Honda VFR 1200f DCT
Wow...that Honda with the electronic head, self balancing, etc certainly is a trip. I have VFR with the DCT and it's amazing, but a little on the soulless, boring side. Unless of course, I'm riding Apiary with Lee and Dave and Brian, but that's a different story. It is amazingly convenient in traffic, smooth, precise, predictable. But as for what the future holds...

Not sure if 'Mericans are gonna embrace anything other than being in a cage. We wanna lounge, surf the web, play with our gadgets. Not too many wanna be exposed to the elements. I imagine that the only people who'll be able to afford such "toys" will be the wealthy. But i'm cynical to a fault. We here in the state's seem to go out of our way to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the world. Where two-wheeled convenience is accepted almost everywhere but here, it's a constant uphill battle for acceptance and respect here. Encouraging people to use individual transportation mods like scooters and motorcycles makes sense for so many reason...and that's precisely why it's not happening. Not enough money to be made off of it. Sad.
Aug 23rd 2017, 05:46 AM   #13
 Tripledij's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Custer WA

  Aprilia Tuono 1100
Looks like KTM has another option on the way. MSRP $8299

https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bik...ride-e-xc-usa/



Edited by Tripledij on Aug 23rd 2017 at 05:48 AM Reason: Added msrp
Aug 23rd 2017, 07:00 AM   #14
DGA
 DGA's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  PDX

  An Ape and a Husky
End of motorcycling? Pshhhhhh.... The world moves on regardless of you being ready for it or not. I'm looking forward to a battery pack that will charge as quickly as filling up a tank of gas, no oil or coolant to change, a bike that does not spew heat on me in hot summer day traffic while trying not to overheat, no valve maintenance on your pain in the ass to work on Italian bike, and all that instant electric motor torque...

But even with all that, you'll still blow your Ohlin's forks single lip oil seals quickly, and over lube and over tighten that drive chain, while asking your online forum buddies what your suspension sag should be...
craiger likes this.
Aug 23rd 2017, 08:24 AM   #15
 
  Jan 2016
  Oregon

  2017 Kaw Ninja 1000 ABS (Z1000SX)
I want a laser beam to wear on each knee...
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