6. Traction Control, etc…


Then there’s traction control, which is no big deal most of the time on dry pavement street riding, but is excellent to have in the rain or in the dirt, especially in wet dirt … I haven’t said all I have to say about TC, but I said a lot of it here last year. Not to mention anti-wheelie-over-backward control like the new R1 and others employ, which allows you to amaze yourself by carrying the front wheel a foot off the ground for a hundred yards out of Turn 11 at Laguna Seca. The R1, the BMW S1000RR and a few others employ multi-axis Inertial Measurement Units which help you not crash in 3D!

Then there are the various ride modes many new bikes employ, the electronic suspension that lets you go from plush to battle stations with the press of a button, auto-blipping downshifters, slipper clutches … it’s all ride-enhancing, safety-forward stuff just in time to help out people whose reflexes aren’t quite as cat-like as they once were. In 1988. Okay, never.

Then there’s electronic cruise control. Would you own a car – one you actually go places in – without it?