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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been watching my fellow bikers around me with their fancy hi-tech bikes while I'm riding my humble T-dub during the past three years.

When they see me riding my bike some of them will grin and wave at me and some of look down at me in disdain, as if I'm suppose to be inferior.

Obviously those poor guys don't know how much fun riding the T-Dub is, and not to mention the fact that it is very easy to work on and repair the bike ourselves.

I was reading an interesting article this week describing how it feels to have all the head-spinning electronic aids built into a bike and then trying to use it.

Here is an excerpt of the very interesting and humorous article below, CLICK HERE if you want to read the full article

"I recently had another ride on KTM’s magnificent 1290 R. Incredible bike, however aspects of the bike got me thinking

The key fob, or transponder, or whatever you want to call it, must be near the bike, perhaps ideally in your pocket. You then press the grey activate button on the right handset which brings the TFT dash to life. At this point you can press the starter button integrated into the kill switch to bring the beast to life. But, sports lovers, that’s not all. Now you scroll through the menu via arrowed switches on the left hand switch gear to check which engine mode you are in.

It is quite possible that, by this stage, a blue notice flashes on the screen to tell you to download the ‘KTM I RIDE’ app onto your smartphone. [God help you if you still have an old Nokia!] With this installed you can access a Satnav function as well as all the other info already available. If you are curious you may also wish to see if traction control is activated as well as ABS. Maybe just maybe you can now ride the bike.

You may think I am having a go at KTM. Not so! Buy a new BMW or Ducati and you have the same story. In fact, some of those allow you to set up your suspension, adjust your engine braking and even more, as well.

Problem with mankind is that we don’t know when to stop leaping, until we leap right of a cliff. Manufacturers will tell you that these are rider aids to make bikes safer. Hate to break it to you guys, but bikes are inherently unsafe! Leave them to their own devices and they fall over. You simply cannot idiot proof bikes. What you can do is upskill the riders so that they don’t get into poo in the first place.

The same thinking applies to engine modes. Set the bike up properly with smooth throttle response that allows you to access the engine power in a smooth and predictable way. Now it is up to the rider to hone his skills to suit. Take the true story of one of my mates, who, for the purposes of this illustration, shall remain nameless. We arrive at Khama Rhino sanctuary in Botswana. To get to our accommodation we have to ride down a sand track with a deep ‘middleman’. The sand is quite firm in the tracks, so no real problem. Until my buddy suddenly comes to the realization that he has not put his 1190 Katoom into ‘off-road’ mode, and he is, after all, now off-road!

He immediately starts scrolling through the menu to engage the ‘appropriate’ mode. Needless to say, he stops paying attention to where he is going and runs off the track which he was managing perfectly up to that point. He runs the front wheel into the deep sand next to the adjacent electric fence and capsizes! I wasn’t sure if it was the headlight or his eyes flashing with the current from the fence, but it certainly got his attention! Fact is, as a hugely experienced rider he had no need for anything other than to pay attention to where he was going and for appropriate throttle control. The so called ‘rider aids’ played mind games with him, making him doubt his own ability. The end result was quite literally, shocking!"
 

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Progress is inevitable – complete with manuals like the old style telephone directories – and an exam before you even think about starting it

I’m still learning things about my Mercedes, like the seat belts tightening up when the car considers that you’re driving like an idiot …….
 

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I hear you... but!
When I got my Husqvarna 701 last year I so hated the idea of antilock brakes front a rear that I ordered the dongle to remove the functionality, add the dongle to the ecm connector and you can turn it off from the dash. Yay who wants that pesky new fanged crap anyway. Well here's the "but". I was so busy working on my other carbureted bikes that spring (guess why) and I never put the dongle on. Well I was out on a solo ride on a very warm early spring day, nothing but jeans, a helmet a t-shirt, riding gloves and associated undergarments ;) It was beautiful out and I was ripping around a long sweeping right turn on a newly paved tree covered road that had the sun breaking through in just the right spots. It was just one of those days and one of those roads, just gorgeous..! Then as I'm leaned pretty hard right on this road that had brand new guard rail on both sides a very large dear jumps over the railing on the left side heading across the lane directly in my path, I'm soon to be impacted head on by that large dear, I can't cut left as a car is coming the opposite direction and is almost next to me, I can't turn harder right because the rail is right there. I'm doing close to 70 and this is coming togeather real quick there is no way that dear is not going to be a dead-on front wheel hit.. What do I do? Hit the freaking ejection button, launch off of the seat passing over the dear and land in the bed of the pickup in front of me. Technology has saved the day! Well no, not exactly I had no choice but to hit the front and rear break levers as hard as I ever did in my life all while I'm layed over in a turn at near 70 mph. The front and rear antilock brakes kick in, it was a feeling like I never had. The outcome? I ran over the deers back right hoof, lived to tell the story at least twenty times, lost at least a year off my life do to the heart pumping at that rate and the dear lived! :) (the dongle is in my draw if you want it). A very true story ask my friends who are tired of hearing it ;)
 

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Another curse part about technology, ever look around in a restaurant? Quite often nobody is talking, they all have their noses into their phones. Break time at work when I first started where I'm employed 29 yrs. ago, people gathered into small groups, grabbed a snack or coffee, and chit chatted about everything. Not anymore. Cars that park themselves? I wouldn't trust that at all. I think we have all seen what happens when a sensor or other gadget doesn't do it's thing properly when it's supposed to be controlling a mechanical thingy. On top of that, it "dumbs" people down by not having to learn a driving skill. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy not having to play with points on a motorcycle. :D
 

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I quite liked points - easier than a CDI that's for sure - a couple of bucks for replacement parts - carry a nail file - job done ...
 

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I really like the fuel injection on my FZ6 and I'm glad my TW200 has a CDI ignition instead of points but only because they work well and if I had to I could fix them myself. I have ridden some modern bikes an hated them because of having to screw around with screens and buttons only to find out the bike is a dog with shitty brakes and poor handling.
I totally agree with scotti158 about the cell phone thing. Sometimes I wish I didn't even own a computer.
 

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I hear you... but!
When I got my Husqvarna 701 last year I so hated the idea of antilock brakes front a rear that I ordered the dongle to remove the functionality, add the dongle to the ecm connector and you can turn it off from the dash. Yay who wants that pesky new fanged crap anyway. Well here's the "but". I was so busy working on my other carbureted bikes that spring (guess why) and I never put the dongle on. Well I was out on a solo ride on a very warm early spring day, nothing but jeans, a helmet a t-shirt, riding gloves and associated undergarments ;) It was beautiful out and I was ripping around a long sweeping right turn on a newly paved tree covered road that had the sun breaking through in just the right spots. It was just one of those days and one of those roads, just gorgeous..! Then as I'm leaned pretty hard right on this road that had brand new guard rail on both sides a very large dear jumps over the railing on the left side heading across the lane directly in my path, I'm soon to be impacted head on by that large dear, I can't cut left as a car is coming the opposite direction and is almost next to me, I can't turn harder right because the rail is right there. I'm doing close to 70 and this is coming togeather real quick there is no way that dear is not going to be a dead-on front wheel hit.. What do I do? Hit the freaking ejection button, launch off of the seat passing over the dear and land in the bed of the pickup in front of me. Technology has saved the day! Well no, not exactly I had no choice but to hit the front and rear break levers as hard as I ever did in my life all while I'm layed over in a turn at near 70 mph. The front and rear antilock brakes kick in, it was a feeling like I never had. The outcome? I ran over the deers back right hoof, lived to tell the story at least twenty times, lost at least a year off my life do to the heart pumping at that rate and the dear lived! :) (the dongle is in my draw if you want it). A very true story ask my friends who are tired of hearing it ;)
Great to hear that antilock system saved your butt. My opinion is that most brakes are now over engineered and a touch brings you to an immediate stop. On those you better have antilock. My Radian and my Tdub require gradually increasing force to stop. In my opinion those are normal brakes that only a deathgrip or stomp will lock them up.
 

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I know that every time you try to "idiot proof" any process or piece of technology, people start making better idiots. I think this has been true forever.
 
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