Modern motorcycle riding is a completely different animal than riding bikes as little as 5 years ago. Science has made bike riding safer and more efficient, and in many ways has revolutionized the sport. In that vein, here’s a look at some of the latest and greatest ways that technology has revolutionized motorcycle riding.
Long used for sportsmen to keep warm in the field, Gore-Tex has made huge strides in motorcycle clothing. This lightweight yet heat-holding material allows riders, of any venue, from dirt bikers to cruisers, to ride longer in any kind of weather while the rider stays warm in most any weather conditions. Gore-Tex also sheds moisture, so although no biker ever wants to get caught in the rain, if that happens, you’ll stay drier and more comfortable too.
Kevlar is one of the lightweight mainstays of bullet proof body armor, and as good as it is in stopping bullets, it is equally as good in stopping road rash. Nasty spills can happen to anyone, but if your riding suit is made of Kevlar, the chances are that your suit will greatly resist any asphalt or cement abrasions, which means you will get superior protection for your skin. It is also more flexible than traditional leather riding gear, and a more flexible suit means a more comfortable suit.
LED lights have taken the motorcycling world by storm. These efficient yet incredibly bright lights use less energy than traditional bulbs, which means that the alternator doesn’t have to work as hard. It can be smaller and save weight, and the lights overall brightness means that any bike that has them will be seen easier. That means a safer ride every time you fire up your ride.
Anti-lock brakes may be the oldest of the science-driven revolutions on this list, but as the cost and complexity decreases, more and more bikes are being equipped with it. Although hardcore bikers may scoff at an ABS system on a motorcycle, the fact is that it can make riding safer in any situation where the tires lose traction. This type of traction control has been engineered into automobiles for decades, but it is just now becoming common on motorcycles of all types.
These bikes are the most innovative types available and promise a motorcycle that is different than anything else on the road. Even though they are not cost effective at the moment, as production ramps up, they will be just as competitive in cost with any fossil fueled bike out there. The breakthrough for electric bikes are the new Lithium-Ion batteries. These are the same batteries that power the wildly popular Tesla electric car, and when so equipped, any bike puts out zero emissions and little noise. Even Harley Davidson has a prototype electric bike in the works, and many people believe that electrics are the way of the future.
Manufacturing and Materials
Motorcycles offer the most bang for the buck when compared to any other gasoline powered vehicle. Their performance is far greater than any automobile, yet they are a fraction of the cost. This is mainly due to manufacturing and the materials used to build them.
Titanium, carbon fiber and advanced plastics are all motorcycle mainstays, as are the robots that build them. Robots are 10 times faster than humans, and their quality control is unmatched. These building methods guarantee that bikes will remain relatively inexpensive when compared to cars, yet the materials will remain on the cutting edge with every bike built.