Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
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.
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
Booze Brother #4
The shortest distance between two points is for people who don't ride!
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