Have motorcycles reached their technological peak? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Have motorcycles reached their technological peak?

Last year, when shopping for a motorcycle after being bike-less for quite a while, it seemed like I was frozen in time. "New" motorcycles seemed to be the same as they were twenty years ago, cruisers in particular (Gawd! They still have chokes). It was like shopping for a car and finding a showroom full of shiny, new Dodge Monacos.

Sport bikes seem to be almost the same. I don't know if Suzuki has really changed their Gixers that much over the last ten or so years. And the Versys is a modified Ninja with people calling it a "modern UJM".

Is the motorcycle industry fresh out of new ideas or is there a Star Wars bike right around the corner?

Last edited by charly; 05-06-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 12:36 PM
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I think that because motorcycles are relatively simple machines we have reached a plateau of sorts. There is only so much you can improve.

That being said, the Honda DN-01 with its "Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT)" might qualify as the Star Wars bike you seek. Google it, its quite interesting.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 01:00 PM
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yeah the DN-01 is new breed , but that not the only toys Honda is fiddling around , I heard rumors of their Hybrid engines on the goldwings and a all electric motor bike that uses magnets for charging and accelleration.

Working to make it my Streetfighter
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
Last year, when shopping for a motorcycle after being bike-less for quite a while, it seemed like I was frozen in time. "New" motorcycles seemed to be the same as they were twenty years ago, cruisers in particular (Gawd! They still have chokes). It was like shopping for a car and finding a showroom full of shiny, new Dodge Monacos.

Sport bikes seem to be almost the same. I don't know if Suzuki has really changed their Gixers that much over the last ten or so years. And the Versys is a modified Ninja with people calling it a "modern UJM".

Is the motorcycle industry fresh out of new ideas or is there a Star Wars bike right around the corner?
I can't speak for cruisers, but I can say pretty confidently sportbikes are constantly evolving.

Here's a quick example of the CBR 600 -

1987 CBR 600 - dry weight : ~400 , 83bhp
1999-2000 CBR600F4 - dry weight : ~375, 110bhp
2007 CBR600RR - dry weight : ~341, 118 bhp

That's a pretty big improvement - they've taken out 60 lbs of weight and added almost 40 crank horsepower since 1987. It takes a serious amount of mods to get 40hp out of an average sized car engine - it took alot more to get that out of a bike engine! Remember these bikes are already minimalist to begin with - 60lbs dry weight reduction is huge. They've achieved that by reducing wheel weight, engine weight, redundant frame members - etc. all of which takes a lot of engineering for very little reduction at a time.

All research numbers from wikipedia.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 02:01 PM
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Honda is out of fresh ideas and has been for several years.

The cycle industry has many avenues for technological improvements in the years to come. It's just that the industry has to implement them in very small tiny steps at a time.

After all, you all wanted and got a $7,000 bike out the door. You want more bells and whistles in 2009/2010, you'll have to spend more then that. And who wants to do that?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 02:47 PM
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I'm not looking for Star Wars. If I wanted Star Wars, I sure wouldn't have spent my money on a Versys. The V is cheap. It is simple. It is easy to ride. It gets over 50 MPG. It will outrun most cars. Mostly, though I like it because it puts a great big smile on my face. Every time I ride it, I am reminded of why I bought it; and it sure as heck wasn't Star Wars.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 03:23 PM
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I think bikes have come a long way from 20 years ago. Fuel Injection, ABS, wheel-mounted brake rotors and underslung exhausts. Frames that double as gas tanks/oil tanks. Not to mention cruise control, hydraulic windshields, EPA emissions controls, variable valve timing (Concours 14). I think for a primitive machine, they sure are "Star Wars" to me. Of course I'm younger but I remember watching dad adjust the points on his R100 many moons ago, build his BSA out of boxes of parts and try repeatedly to un-sieze the front forks on his old Ducati and I am glad technology has progressed to where I spend more time riding than wrenching.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 05:09 PM
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I am eagerly anticipating the day when good electric-motor motorcycles (electracycles?) are available to everyone. The combination of light weight, excellent torque and power, and no vibration are very enticing. So yes, I do think bikes are still evolving, perhaps more now than ever.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 06:25 PM
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Light weight and electric motors dont go together. Batteries have evolved slower then bikes.

81 Honda CB750F with Jupiter sidecar, 82 Honda CB750F, 86 Yamaha Radian, 87 BMW K100RS, 2002 Honda XR 200R, 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250, 2009 Green Versys, 2010 Kawasaki Vukcan 900 Custom
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 06:45 PM
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Technology evolves for all things. What's cool, is, we can be creative with it ... and can't help ourselves to improve.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danomar View Post
I am eagerly anticipating the day when good electric-motor motorcycles (electracycles?) are available to everyone. The combination of light weight, excellent torque and power, and no vibration are very enticing. So yes, I do think bikes are still evolving, perhaps more now than ever.
These engines we have now are SOOO antiquated !! Just another variation of a compressor . An electric motor has ONE moving part !!!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 07:14 AM
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Light weight and electric motors dont go together. Batteries have evolved slower then bikes.
Batteries may not be necessary pretty soon . Hydrogen is the answer.
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