Traction Control for $1,000!
Plug and play TC for anyone
Plug 'n' play traction control for anybody? Or at least anybody with an extra grand and one of the more popular Japanese sportbikes. Can you believe it?
In this video from our friends at OnTheThrottle.com we get to hear about a new product from performance parts maker, Bazzaz Performance Design. Called Z-Fi Traction Control, the simple control unit plugs straight into the bike's existing wiring harness and, according to Bazzaz's website, "does not require any additional sensors to be mounted to the bike and is fully legal for AMA Supersport and Superstock competition." Ammar Bazzaz, the company’s founder, should know what he’s talking about, as he helped Mat Mladin bring home three championships during his tenure at Yoshimura Suzuki.
The Z-Fi Traction Control incorporates existing technology from Bazzaz for fuel-injection performance, as well as a quick-shift system. Considering it uses only the existing throttle position, rpm and gear-position sensors on the bike it's installed on, we can't help but think it mimics technology similar to that now available on bikes like the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R, for example. But, listening to rider feedback in the video, it sounds like the system is fairly advanced in terms of how it meters power when activated. Riders rave about how the system inspires major confidence when applying throttle, and one racer describes it as “must have.”
The Bazzaz unit is probably a similar system to what the Yoshimura Suzuki team was controversially using on its Superbikes before traction control was officially made legal under AMA rules. Instead of using wheel-speed sensors like full traction-control systems in MotoGP and World Superbike, the Bazzaz component bases its power interruption on how quickly revs rise. If it exceeds the parameters of how quickly wheelspeed increases when it has traction, the system dials back on the engine’s power. Included software allows adjustments for different riding environments based on the parameters of throttle position, engine speed and gear position.
This is a new era in motorcycle performance, one in which techno geeks can play a more important role than a simple mechanic. If the Bazzaz system is plug-and-play, is easily operated via a simple computer program and, most importantly, only costs about a grand, we're impressed!
The system is available now for many modern Japanese sportbikes.
Being the cynics we are, we kinda think traction control is cheating, somehow. What do you think? As tech like this becomes evermore available and more affordable, will the average rider using it become less-skilled as he or she relies on the ECU to do their thinking for them? Pop into Reader Feedback to tell us what you think. And if you're a rider or racer who's used Z-Fi Traction Control from Bazzaz Performance Design, please tells us your experiences with it.
The Old Geezers at Motorcycle.com