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The near impossible to crash motorcycle...

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by robsalvv, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. http://www.wired.com/2015/06/new-ducati-stability-system-makes-crashing-near-impossible/

    New Ducati Stability System Makes Crashing Near Impossible
    Sean MacDonald
    • Date of Publication: 06.10.15. 06.10.15
    • Time of Publication: 4:44 pm. 4:44 pm

    Bosch-Systems-on-Ducati_TA-582x382. Click to Open Overlay Gallery
    Bosch's new stability control system is available for the 2016 Multistrada and 1299 Panigale. Ducati
    I’m sitting on a new Ducati Multistrada in a large paved lot. A light sprinkling turns into a downpour as I listen intently to a Ducati rep tell me how I’m supposed to ride in a circle at 45 mph at a 35-degree lean, then stab the front brake.

    In other words, I’m to risk crashing an $18,000 motorcycle.

    This nut actually thinks I’m going to stay upright. And all I can think is the stability control system developed by Bosch and used by Ducati must be really good.

    Staying Up on Two Wheels
    Stability control is a simple idea: A computer works with sensors in the vehicle to recognize loss of traction, then uses the brakes and the engine to stop the skid without any intervention on your part. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates stability control can eliminate one-third of fatal car crashes. That’s why it’s commonplace in automobiles. In recent years, stability control has made its way onto motorcycles, related to anti-lock braking and traction control systems. This latest iteration from Bosch, available on the 2016 Multistrada and 1299 Panigale, takes anti-lock brake and traction control systems to a whole new level.

    ABS9-facing-left_IL-289x177. Click to Open Overlay Gallery
    A car can move in two dimensions—back and forth or left and right—but a motorcycle’s got more options. It can roll (lean), yaw (turn left or right like a car), and pitch (the front or back of the bike lifts or dips under acceleration or braking, which sometimes results in a wheel coming off the ground).

    Oh, and the brakes use separate controls (the front brake lever is on the handlebar, the rear is at the right foot pedal).

    The stability control reins in the bike, providing the maximum braking force it can handle at a given angle of lean in a given condition, updating that by the hundredth-second.

    So Bosch’s system uses sensors to monitor differences in speed between the front and rear wheels, noticing if one loses traction. A five-axis accelerometer monitors lean angles and attitude. Data on acceleration, deceleration, yaw, roll, pitch, lift, and relative wheel speeds is collated and processed hundreds of times a second. If a problem is detected, the system does its work via Bosch’s ninth-generation motorcycle antilock braking system.

    If the rider applies more brake than the available traction can handle, the system bleeds away a little pressure, maintaining grip. It can also redirect that braking force to the optimal wheel. If the rear wheel starts to spin due to too much throttle, the system mitigates that input.

    The motorcycle’s performance is optimized in real time, in three dimensions. Environmental conditions remaining constant, the amount of grip a motorcycle tire has is reduced the further it leans over; at 33 degrees, grip is reduced to 85 percent of what it is straight up and down. This stability control system can rein in the bike, providing the maximum braking force it can handle at a given angle of lean in a given condition, updating that by the hundredth-second.

    Trying to Crash
    To see how it works, we headed to Bosch’s Detroit test facility, where the company replicates nasty weather conditions in the safety of a controlled environment. It features a track with banked turns, hills at a variety of pitches, and several stretches with different surfaces to represent a variety of traction situations. One bit is paved with porcelain and clay tiles, and is drenched with sprinklers.

    There, we were able to recreate the kind of conditions riders hate—like rolling over a wet manhole cover or down a rainy, oil-strewn road. If a car pulls out ahead of you and you grab the brakes, they could lock. A traditional anti-lock braking system would activate, but might fail to meaningfully slow the bike.

    DSC_3180-2_IL-482x308. Click to Open Overlay Gallery
    For extra safety on some tests, we used outrigger wheels on the bikes—think training wheels—that make crashing impossible. BOSCH
    No such problem with this new version of stability control, which determines how much grip each wheel can provide, and keeps the braking force just within that limit. That holds the bike stable while slowing it down as much as possible.

    To test it, I hit the wet tiled pad after a 40 mph rolling start, then apply the gas. Most bikes with traction control systems would switch between revving high and chopping power, applying power and then sensing the lost traction. The Ducati feels like I just popped into a much higher gear and am too low in the rev range (like putting a car in sixth gear while doing 35 mph). That keeps the power steady, while drastically reducing the torque in the power delivery. Traction is kept, seamlessly.

    The Multistrada just refuses to crash, instead smoothly translating the choppy brake and throttle inputs into seamless, safe deceleration or acceleration.

    That’s with the bike upright. For extra safety, we’ve slapped outrigger wheels on the bikes—think training wheels—that make crashing impossible. The real test for the system comes when a bike is leaning through a corner—and we forego the outriggers, to allow for the sharper angles.

    To test cornering performance, I put the bike at 35 degrees of lean—typical for a sharp corner—and stab the brakes or throttle, doing it faster each time. First 35, then 45 and 55 mph, all on a wet, slippery surface. It works against every survival instinct I’ve developed as a motorcyclist. It is absolute madness. At least on a normal bike.

    The Multistrada just refuses to crash, instead smoothly translating the choppy brake and throttle inputs into seamless, safe deceleration or acceleration. An added benefit is that, while braking, the motorcycle no longer pushes wide in a corner. Maintaining your direction of travel around a turn is just as important as keeping the bike upright.

    Wet or dry, dirty, sandy or rocky, using Bosch’s stability control on these Ducatis will keep riders safer in emergency situations. It should also allow owners to ride the bikes faster, by monitoring traction limits continuously and allowing you to apply as much power or brakes as the tires can handle.

    Riding a motorcycle just got a whole lot safer, which means that riding a motorcycle in the real world just got a whole lot faster, too. And more fun.

    = = = =

    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. Aye, right.......

    I remember when the BMW S1000rr came out.

    There were a number of folk who hung out on the Old Road who went and bought the bike that was sooooo bloody smart.

    AFAIK, only one of those who bought the bike hasn't actually crashed or "gone bush" with his bike.

    It seems to me that when someone tries to make something that is totally foolproof, the human race just evolves better fools.
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. I am conflicted.
    I'll say right now that I don't want to crash. It's not necessarily all about risk thrill.
    But on the other hand, what makes an uncrashable motorcycle any different from a theme park ride?
    (I do get that traction control etc can prevent high sides and lets you go faster.)
  4. Bit of a worry when the bike does all the thinking for you. Will riders just become cagers on 2 wheels ?
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. It might give me time to do my nails and update my Facebook pages.
  6. I'd like to see the video on what they actually tested. The article mainly seems to focus on breaking an acceleration. Is this supposed to respond to gravel or oil mid turn - or inexperienced riders unpredictable actions beyond the throttle and brake? Tank slaps? And let's not forget rear end collisions or side swiping cars.

    The safety's all good for moving forward (provided features can be disabled if wanted) - but the title "New Ducati Stability System Makes Crashing Near Impossible" sounds like near-fiction rather than neutral objective reporting.
  7. This appears to be the same system implemented in the "un-crashable KTM"

  8. As you know, if you have gone too hard into a corner and you are leaning as low as you can go some may go for the brake. This of course can send you wide or loose the front wheel! If this just helps new or overzealous riders in that situation surely that is a good thing.

    Or this....

  9. Another example of further deskilling. I was conflicted but now I just plain don't like it. But this is the future. So long to tinkering with your bikes.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Seems to me that the incompetent or inexperienced rider will just crash faster (with more speed)
    than ever before.
    Learn to ride and use the tech as insurance only.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  11. Wow!! That is a striking difference. I'd go for it if it meant preventing a trip to the pavement!
  12. your brain is still controlling the direction of the front wheel, so for the purists there's still an opportunity to crash :D
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. But there still will be only two type of motorbike riders:
    Those who have crashed their bike,
    .... and those who will eventually....
  14. that's just being pessimistic :p

    what happens to bike riders that never crash? negative karma?
  15. #15 Darrin Hodges, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2015
    Yeah, half the fun of riding is being able to operate this mechanical contraption competently enough to keep the thing rubber side down, otherwise I'd feel like I was just riding an appliance.

    nah, they get karma credit. When that runs out, then yer done! :p
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. There will be, of course, situations where this will not help you at all. Indoubtedly, this will breed up a new generation of fools.

    The laws of physics are inviolable.

    If you are clearly WAY too hot for the corner, they are going to dictate that you will be in the weeds,

    or hit a patch of diesel on a wet road on an off camber right hander.


    I think if it gives you a better chance, then that is a good thing. I don't think it will prevent every prang and won't make people into better riders, though it might keep some of them riding longer.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Lol :) GoldenberriGoldenberri there is still at least 50 years of bikes to tinker with! I only include stuff from say the early 60's onwards because before that they were too complicated ;)

    Not a lot tinker now unless you call putting coloured levers on your bike "tinkering" ;)

    I don't think somebody should have to slide their bike into the side of canyon to "pay their dues". If someone went too hot into some twisties and made it through unscathed with nothing more than their dash displaying "MCR Activated" maybe they will have learn't something.

    As was alluded to above, even with this system, there are still many ways to land in the back of an Ambulance!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Q3Arena has a point. A learner shouldn't have to spend months in hospital in order to learn their limits.
    But technology that doesn't teach riders how to avoid a crash may just lead to them into crashing at higher speeds.
    I'm still conflicted.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Some fancy technology which certainly could be a lifesaver once you're at the higher speeds and going into corners hot. I can't see it trickling down into entry level bikes for a number of years.
  20. I don't plan on paying my dues in a hospital. It's not just learners who crash their rides. Tinker with one of these bikes and void the warranty. Same as new cars. Tried changing a headlight bulb on a newer model car and the manual doesn't tell you how. It tells you to take it to the dealer.
    • Like Like x 1