The future of motorcycles and the motorcycling industry are slowly getting closer to a turning point which will lead to the next big thing in the two-wheeled universe.
From hybrid motorcycles to fully electric-powered bikes, the options of innovations are endless for motorcycle manufacturers.
The same can be said to the development of riding gears to ensure higher levels of safety and performance using the latest technologies.
As we head into the future, there are many folks out there whose trying their level best to embrace the inevitable and develop things that are truly extraordinary in many aspects of our lives. From the way we eat to how we travel, the future is all about improving our quality of living.
The motoring industry is not spared from this predicament as well. While most vehicle manufacturers have succeeded and further develop their technologies in hybrid and electrical vehicles, the same level of thought is said to be implemented in the motorcycling universe though not at the same rate as cars.
As much as we love going full gas using our internal combustion crotch rockets using fossil fuels, motorcycle manufacturers have to prepare themselves for something that can’t be ignored any longer; the world without fossil fuels. With the burning passion for two-wheels, some folks have already started developing certain technologies to cater to our motorcycling dose for future use.
Hybrid / Electric Motorcycles
Since the concept of hybrid vehicles has been successfully implemented into vehicles today, there’s no surprise if someone out there will use the same technology to power our beloved two-wheeled buddies. Major companies like KTM, Honda, BMW and even Harley-Davidson are already paying a lot of attention to the future of the motorcycling industries.
All of them are clearly working on their version of either a hybrid or a fully electric bike. KTM is clearly in the lead in this category especially with their E-range models proving to be quite an electric-powered off-roader in the motoring universe.
CLICK HERE to know more about KTM’s venture into a fully-electric KTM Duke road bike.
Others are steadily improving their technologies like the BMW Motorrad’s Concept Link scooter and Honda’s dino-inspired “E-Rex” machines. Above all others, the sexiest electric bike (according to this particular writer) is still the RM250,000 E-Raw torque monster from Essence Motorcycles.
CLICK HERE to check out Essence Motorcycles “E-Raw”.
All-wheel drive (AWD) Motorcycles
We’ve basically covered this particular subject a couple of weeks back into the legitimacy of all-wheel drive motorcycles in the industry. The concept of all-wheel drive motorcycles revolve around the rear tyre being driven as usual via the bike’s main engine and the front tyre powered by a tiny electric motor.
CLICK HERE to read more on BMW’s all-wheel drive system on their R1200GS.
A normal internal combustion engine working in tandem with an electric motor to help power the same vehicle is not new in the four-wheel range. With hyper cars like the holy trinity of Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 all successfully powered by this particular setup, the same thing is not that easy to apply on motorcycles especially considering the major space restrictions.
Nonetheless, we can confirm that bike manufacturers like BMW Motorrad and Suzuki do have their hands deep in this hybrid technology in hopes that it can exponentially improve how we ride in the future. We know that BMW is working on something with their BMW R1200GS and Suzuki with a smaller but significant target of a hybrid Burgman-like maxi-scooter. Hold on to your horses, things will definitely get interesting.
CLICK HERE to know more on Suzuki’s hybrid maxi-scooter patents.
Futuristic Riding Gears
The riding gears of our day have gone through so much evolutions that they’re significantly better when compared to gears used just a decade ago. The move from cow hide to kangaroo leathers was seen as mad at first but when it was proven to be more comfortable, durable and lighter than the usual bovine leather, kangaroos quickly ‘jumped’ to the top spot of high-quality riding gears. (Jumped, get it? No? Ok, moving on…)
The same can be said about the emergence of air-bag technology in racing suits used by many top riders in the field. Manufacturers like Dainese and Alpinestars have been developing their airbag systems for racing and road use which work in a similar fashion of the safety bags found in vehicles.
Right before the moment of impact or when the systems detect that the rider is about to crash, the airbag deploys to provide more protection on the back, shoulders and neck regions to hopefully reduce the chances of sustaining serious injuries.
Although Dainese’s D-Air system is currently in a major legal battle issues with Alpinestars’ Tech-Air system, there’s no denying that both systems work and will be further utilised for the good of mankind and motorcycling.
CLICK HERE to read about Dainese’s D-Air award-winning products.
The biggest technological advancements made in riding gears have to be the item that’s covering the most important part of our body, the head and its loyal protector – the helmet. What looks deceivingly simple comprises the most amount of work, technology and dedication all in the name of safety and performance.
From the materials used for construction to the design and also external accessories, the helmet is also seen as huge part of the rider’s persona and characteristics. Top brands like Arai, Shoei, AGV, HJC and many more have all dedicated themselves in providing nothing but the best in the business.
Just look at MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi and his specially-made AGV Pista GP-R. Besides the shell being constructed using 100% carbon fibre, the GP-R also has a ‘biplano’ multiple spoilers at the back together with a intricate hydration system for the wearer. Deceptively simple but decades worth of knowledge and experience have been poured into the making of that helmet.
CLICK HERE to read more on Rossi’s AGV Pista GP-R helmet.
In our recent article, we also talked about the announcement of the world’s first head-up display (HUD) system for motorcycle helmets which will be available soon by NUVIZ. The system will transmit real-time information to the rider via a small head-up display that can also be connected to the GPS and communications system.
CLICK HERE to know more about the NUVIZ head-up display (HUD) system.
To conclude, the future of motorcycling is here to stay and nothing will ever stop it from going through the evolutions to emerge better than ever before. Although we can sense that the trends are slowly changing to something most of us are unfamiliar with, we can fully trust the major players in the motorcycling industries to continue their efforts in providing us with the best of the best. The future of motorcycles is strong and it will never go away as long as the passion of two-wheels continues to flow in our blood and soul.