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Thread: Pontificating about Safety features I would like to see in NEW BMW motorcycles

  1. #1
    Registered User AjaxTheDog's Avatar
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    Pontificating about Safety features I would like to see in NEW BMW motorcycles

    I don't mean any of these to replace rider skills. I always need to be vigilant and paranoid at all times, and I am. I have several hundred thousand miles on two wheels and it may kill me someday but at least I'll go out doing what I love to do. I find motorcycling to be a good and healthy outlet for the schizophrenia/paranoia that runs in my family. I am only half kidding. Come to think about it I might not be kidding at all.

    My mantra has been don't trust anyone around you on the road. And it is getting worse between distractions and drugs and just plain that anyone can get a license to drive a car now regardless of the ability, maturity, or understanding of the responsibility that the driving a two ton object brings. And then there are the wackos, I canít explain why they do what they do but they are out there. Any time, any place.

    Have you ever seen the display on a modern fighter jet? There are many assists because things just happen too fast to be turning your head and looking all around for dangers around you. That went out with WWI and II. I think we are entering a new era of motorcycling and we need new tools and assists.

    Anyway, back to BMW bikes and what I would like to see:

    1. Turn on the brake lights when the motorcycle is decelerating. When in traffic and my buddy lets off the gas on his K1200GT his bike slows down fast without any warning. He can downshift several times slowing way down without any indication to those behind him. My smart phone can detect deceleration, so why shouldnít my bike be able to also? Turn on the brake light!

    2. Blinking brake lights - I have these because I added them on aftermarket. but I have noticed that new cars have the third (high on the back window) lights that now blink 3 times when a car brakes. It doesn't have to be the whole motorcycle brake light, but some portion of it should flash when we brake. Hopefully this will catch the eye of the distracted driver and make them notice us.

    3. Blind spot radar or whatever it is on cars that shows a red dot in the rear mirror when there is someone within "X" feet of your tail end on either side. I have ridden in a Ford car that had this feature. I won't count on this alone to make sure no one is at my side but when it is ON I will probably wonít move until I am absolutely sure no one is in my blind spot. Even when It is not on I will look anyway.

    4. An oscillating headlight for daytime use. If you have ever ridden through Kansas you know what a long, long stretch of two lane highway does to your depth perception. Bikes need to be seen far away. Ideally this could be turned off and on, or maybe auto on when radar indicates no one is near.

    5. A kickstand warning - You are stopped but it is not down. I have dropped a couple of bikes thinking the stand was down when it wasn't. Yes, I am stupid, but it has happened. Judging from widespread sales of tip over protections there are many who either have done this or worry about it. Just a little tiny dash light that is red when not down and green when it is. It's a very costly error on a K or R bike, I know that firsthand. Super embarrassing too.

    6. OK this one is an outlier, but I sure would like it. How many times have you pulled up to an intersection, put your feet down and found roller bearing gravel beneath them? Many for me. I even considered putting golf cleats on my boots to help with this. In a Jetsonís world there would be a couple of kickstand on either side that shoot out when your bike is at a standstill and exceeding a certain angle so that it doesnít fall over. Ideally these would retract when you start moving. I did say Jetsonís didnít I?

    I am not advocating for the nanny state. Like I said I would not expect any of these to replace rider skills. I am thinking more like supplement. Some of these are features that are now in use on cars, of which there are many more than bikes, so they must be somewhat reliable.

    Recently I looked at a brand new RT. Impressive, color display, etc. It made me think however how much more useful it would be to have a few of these features rather than a color display. Don't get me wrong, a color display is nice, but itís not essential.

    I have crashed a couple of times and luckily been able to walk away without serious long term injuries and continue to ride. I hope I never have to stop. I would like to see these features as a optional safety package and truthfully Iíd be willing to pay at least a couple of grand for them. In the BMW motorcycle world that probably means $5,000.

    So what I am looking for here is not if you donít think you need these, but more about other safety ideas you may have. Not trying to dumb it down or make anyone buy or do what they donít want to.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, Colorado
    2017 R1200RT
    2007 Eton Beemer Scooter

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    2. Blinking brake lights - I have these because I added them on aftermarket. but I have noticed that new cars have the third (high on the back window) lights that now blink 3 times when a car brakes. It doesn't have to be the whole motorcycle brake light, but some portion of it should flash when we brake. Hopefully this will catch the eye of the distracted driver and make them notice us.

    .
    Available on some bikes

    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    How many times have you pulled up to an intersection, put your feet down and found roller bearing gravel beneath them? Many for me. I even considered putting golf cleats on my boots to help with this.
    Riding boots with vibram soles are a big help when putting your foot down in sand or gravel.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5

    Okay

    How does a driver in a car know blinking lights mean your decelerating? They might get the idea you're brake testing them or trying to piss them off.

    BMW has a modulating brake light but not approved for the US market. Let's say they offer it. People will still modify their lights. I use a Vizi-tech Suprabrake III. Seems to work well. Blinks at specific times based on an algorithm and can be tapped after a 3 second hold to blink again. High customizable. I have hyperlites on a K75 and they always flash like crazy everything I brake. I would like the new BMW brake system. I bet it a ECU program done by the dealer.

    I believe there are a few aftermarket options for modulation headlights. I think brighter light and auxiliary lights are better. Saw one great bright example coming toward me this week. He had a very bright light that immediately caught my attention. May have upgraded his LED bulb.

    The kickstand down means the bike won't start if the bike is in gear. I've heard of that switch failing and causes issues. Might have been the reason my RT would shut off going 60. More diagnostics mean more switches. More switches mean more stuff that can fail.

    What if your kickstand sensor failed to detect you are stopped and activated on a curve leaning over? Bad things would happen quickly.

    Lane assist/detection seems to be a new feature on the K1600's and the scooters. I have it on my VW Alltrack. I noticed it doesn't work as well with the sensors are wet. I'm glad I have it but don't fully trust it.

  6. #6
    Cowboyatheart
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    Great ideas. The issue with humans are that they get used to something, then they rely on it, then they count on it, and when it doesn't work or fails, they crash, or run into something. They lose their skill set and behaviours by adapting and adopting to the new tech. I like the brake light idea, but I will stick to my habit of using my right foot to activate the brake light to warn others behind me, and I do this for me, not them.

    To each his/her own.
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  7. #7
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    KISS,

    Nothing, technology or gadgets will ever replace good practices.

    You want a brake light on decel, it's on your right foot or right hand. I use it for riders behind me.

    Blinking brake lights, I have them, I also pump either my right foot or right hand and use my mirrors to look behind to see who is coming up on me too fast. Also a habit where you live with 6 months of ice on the road. Identify your escape route.

    Every claim here posted wanting more technology is in my opinion an excuse to be lazy.

    In 40 years, I have had one crash that in retrospect, I should have seen it coming. I was young.

    Driver's head down, they are lap texting, technology has no answer for that. The rider does. Use your wits and get away from them.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

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  8. #8
    For the "kickstands" that lower at intersections, this has been done. Guy I play pool with has a friend that is too short to reach the ground on even a lowered Harley. He got a system put in that lowers two rollers as you come to a stop to stabilize the bike. Not sure whether this was a custom build or an option some company produces and sells, but evidently it does exist.

    I have also heard that some of the large victory bikes have some sort of auto balancing feature that basically does what you want, but without any "kickstands" coming down. Would guess it is some sort of gyroscopic system or something....shrug. I have also seen some concept bikes that do the same...

    I personally would settle for a kickstand lever that was easier to find with my boot. Or maybe a system that drops it when I hit a button or something. Feel like a moron every time I have to search for the kickstand...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Riding boots with vibram soles are a big help when putting your foot down in sand or gravel.
    Considering the height of some GS-style bikes, some vibram soles on a step-stool might be in order.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post

    Anyway, back to BMW bikes and what I would like to see:

    1. Turn on the brake lights when the motorcycle is decelerating. When in traffic and my buddy lets off the gas on his K1200GT his bike slows down fast without any warning. He can downshift several times slowing way down without any indication to those behind him. My smart phone can detect deceleration, so why shouldnít my bike be able to also? Turn on the brake light!

    2. Blinking brake lights - I have these because I added them on aftermarket. but I have noticed that new cars have the third (high on the back window) lights that now blink 3 times when a car brakes. It doesn't have to be the whole motorcycle brake light, but some portion of it should flash when we brake. Hopefully this will catch the eye of the distracted driver and make them notice us.

    3. Blind spot radar or whatever it is on cars that shows a red dot in the rear mirror when there is someone within "X" feet of your tail end on either side. I have ridden in a Ford car that had this feature. I won't count on this alone to make sure no one is at my side but when it is ON I will probably wonít move until I am absolutely sure no one is in my blind spot. Even when It is not on I will look anyway.

    4. An oscillating headlight for daytime use. If you have ever ridden through Kansas you know what a long, long stretch of two lane highway does to your depth perception. Bikes need to be seen far away. Ideally this could be turned off and on, or maybe auto on when radar indicates no one is near.

    5. A kickstand warning - You are stopped but it is not down. I have dropped a couple of bikes thinking the stand was down when it wasn't. Yes, I am stupid, but it has happened. Judging from widespread sales of tip over protections there are many who either have done this or worry about it. Just a little tiny dash light that is red when not down and green when it is. It's a very costly error on a K or R bike, I know that firsthand. Super embarrassing too.

    6. OK this one is an outlier, but I sure would like it. How many times have you pulled up to an intersection, put your feet down and found roller bearing gravel beneath them? Many for me. I even considered putting golf cleats on my boots to help with this. In a Jetsonís world there would be a couple of kickstand on either side that shoot out when your bike is at a standstill and exceeding a certain angle so that it doesnít fall over. Ideally these would retract when you start moving. I did say Jetsonís didnít I?

    .
    I like #3, but I have seen all but #3 as aftermarket items, although the kickstand idea is only sold for Harley's.

    For RTs, BMW needs to offer a lowering kit. Not all of us have 32" inseams.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkpilot View Post
    For RTs, BMW needs to offer a lowering kit. Not all of us have 32" inseams.
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    The "average"American male is 2" shorter than the average German male and US sales aren't the dominant market for BMW motorrad.

    If you want shorter, look to aftermarket suspension and seat vendors.

  12. #12
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Considering the height of some GS-style bikes, some vibram soles on a step-stool might be in order.


    I couldn't resist
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  13. #13
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    I am not advocating for the nanny state.
    Yes, you are.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    The "average"American male is 2" shorter than the average German male and US sales aren't the dominant market for BMW motorrad.

    If you want shorter, look to aftermarket suspension and seat vendors.
    Ouch! I would be surprised that there is that much difference. Even if there was, Germany cannot be their primary market for worldwide sales. And by the way, that attitude would cut out many female riders.

    There is no aftermarket kit for WC 1200RTs, and BMW elected to only offer a low option for the GS model. As for seats, if you give up the height, you also give up the comfort. I manage with my 29.5" inseam. It used to be 30", but time and gravity have modified my inseam.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post


    I couldn't resist
    Double Ouch! . The correct link is https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8bfyS-...layer_embedded


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