Do Motorcycles have a Future? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Jan 9th, 2007, 8:29 pm Thread Starter
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Do Motorcycles have a Future?

http://thekneeslider.com/archives/20...have-a-future/


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post #2 of 7 Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:46 pm
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That's an interesting article, and if you remove the most important part about motorcycling from the equation (which is the approach the author took) it makes some compelling arguments. That component of the equation is passion for the sport. Without that I don't think many of us could make a strictly utilitarian, purely pragmatic decision to purchase a motorcycle as a primary form of transportation. There are numerous vehicles that are safer, easier to operate, provide better protection from the elements, are more reliable, and get better gas mileage. But luckily we humans have the capacity to attach emotional connection to our vehicles and the activities we do with/on them, otherwise there would only be a need for Honda Civics or Toyota Prius for us to drive.

That being said, I think that many of the technologies he mentions will be adapted to motorcycling as long as there is a passion for the sport. Many of the changes in the automotive world he mentions we already have on the bikes we ride (anyone here have a motorcycle with an onboard computer, cruise control, power brakes and a GPS?) or on other models readily available on the market (GoldWing with airbag, the new R1 has a fly-by-wire throttle, traction control on the ST1300 and coming on the K1200GT and other BMW models, etc.). And I don't think his comments eluding to a stagnation of motorcyling technology are valid. Look at the bikes that were made 20 years ago, or even 5. The technological advances over those time periods have been vast, and changes continue to occur (as is evident in cutting edge race technology).

Bottom line for me - as long as there is a passion for motorcycles and motorcycling, and people find pleasure in the various forms of riding (cruiser, sport, touring, off road, etc.) corporations will find a way to feed out desires and implement new technology as it is deemed necessary, worthwhile, and cost effective. Harleys don't change much (actually they do quite a bit, they just mask it well) because that's what their market wants. Sportbikes are redesigned and upgraded every couple of years becuase that's what feeds that market. I think the current state of motorcycling, both in sales and diversity in riding options, virtually disproves his assertion that it's going the way of the turntable.

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post #3 of 7 Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:54 pm
 
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I don't need to read an article to know that I'll be riding a bike as long as I'm physically able. As for "the future"? Let me know when it gets here...and I'll give you a more definitive answer then.
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post #4 of 7 Old Jan 10th, 2007, 5:58 am
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Do Motorcycles have a Future?

Some audiophiles would argue that vinyl (analog) sounds better than the best all-digital CD because analog has character (a "sweet" sound) and digital is very clinical.

Interesting at least.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #5 of 7 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 7:23 pm
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Actually, don't bicycles pre-date motorcycles? Are they still around, and embracing all sorts of new technologies?
How about walking? Has anyone priced a new pair of "low" tech Nikes recently??

As long as there are passionate advocates of a discipline, there will be tools to appease that passion, presuming, of course, that there is a profit to be made!

Unless the government gets involved, and legislates that passion!

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post #6 of 7 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 11:12 pm
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Exclamation

David, as a former Parisian I have to disagree with you about people not making the decision to use a motorcycle as a utilitarian vehicle. Despite a fantastic public transportation system Paris traffic is so dense that motorcycles and moped are legions. I remember a statistic that stated 10 years ago that Paris was also 200,000 parking spaces short every day. You have to take into consideration that many European cities were built nearly 2000 years ago, long before urban planning, and the population has outgrown the original infrastructure.
Motorcycles have become a way of life, and many people buy 2 wheelers out of necessity. Now that does not mean that there is no passion behind it, but there is a strong need driven by circumstances.
Just my 2 fractions of a Euro...

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post #7 of 7 Old Jan 12th, 2007, 12:31 pm
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Talking passion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
.....Bottom line for me - as long as there is a passion for motorcycles and motorcycling, and people find pleasure in the various forms of riding (cruiser, sport, touring, off road, etc.)
I agree David. Witness the photo. Passion will always drive our behaviors. Some of us ride [maybe a bit too fast] and have many outfits for safety and comfort at various temperatures. Some of us pose on bikes as art. My pal at Midas has an MV that he can't ride more than 40 minutes without pain. He loves it. He just likes to look at it and talk about it. I once sat in a meeting with HD and they were worried about going over 200,000 bikes in a year! Suddenly, they went over 300,000. Even though a town in China recently banned motorcycles, I believe they will be around for a long damn time.
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More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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