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Discussion Starter #1
I test ride a 1200 rs BMW yesterday. It was an awesoem bike. Not much power, but a tractor like feel , and I enjoyed it.

One thing I really noticed was how much information was contained in the instrument cluster. It appeared to have speed, rpm, traction control, suspension, turn signals, fuel level, gear position, asc, dtc, temperature, riding modes, and that just off the top of my head. There might be more.

I suppose this carries over from the automotive world. In car, we are disconnected from the engine, drivetrain, and weather, that we need this information to make educated decisions.

On a motorcycle , you dont. All modern bikes are rpm protected. I cant spin my bike fast enough to hurt it.

If I am spinning it at 11,000rpm, shouldn't my eyes being pointed down the road?

A speedometer is nice to have. It is tough to tell the difference between 35mph and 40 if you are on a road where it matters.

The gear indicator is my biggest pet peeve. About the third time your foot goes for seventh gear, stop. Listen and feel. THAT is what 6th gear feels like. Commit that to memory, and you wont do it again.

Its not so bad in a car. To look at a cars instruments, its a small glance. On our bikes, its a deliberate head drop.

For todays ride, try this. Before looking down at an instrument cluster, ask why you are doing so. The decide f the info you gathered is worth more than the time it took away from looking straight ahead.
 

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Thing is, so many people seem to be requesting this stuff now a days. A common thing I hear and read with new bike reviews, is along the lines of "I'm surprised it doesn't have a gear indicator, it is the current year". It's nearly expected now to have all the info.

Ambient air temp cracks me up. Most mornings, I'd rather not see how cold it is, feeling it is plenty, lol. Sure, it can be somewhat interesting to see the temps throughout the seasons, if you're really into data that is. Even then, it's frivolous at best, unless I'm not thinking of something here.

Have you seen the new R1 dash? Holy ****, that thing is nuts. Just going through the modes, and sub-modes is insane. You can not only select from several preset modes, but you can adjust different parameters within each mode. I think you can even create your own. It's cool that that can be done, and it is impressive. In application though, I'll pass.

To me, it looks like bikes are heading down the same path as cars did in the last 10 years or so. It's more about the features, and less about the actual tech specs and performance.
 

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Ambient air temp cracks me up. Most mornings, I'd rather not see how cold it is, feeling it is plenty, lol. Sure, it can be somewhat interesting to see the temps throughout the seasons, if you're really into data that is. Even then, it's frivolous at best, unless I'm not thinking of something here.
IMO it's a must have in mountain areas.
Here temperatures can drop 5° on 10km ...
You're driving in the forest next to a river = much colder.

In summer not a problem ... in spring & autumn ... you do want to know if it's -4°C or not.

I bougth a Koso mini to tell me the temp.
 

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Ah, I didn't think of that! I should've, as I use it in my car, on the few weeks a year we get the possibility of ice. I don't ride then, so it didn't occur to me, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, anyone who lived in Utah can tell you ambient air temp has **** near zero to do with the ground we are supposed to be sticking to. If a person is assuming a positive reading on a temp scale means no ice is riding on borrowed time.

I would not see 38 degrees (3 for you guys) , ambient, and assume the ground was not freezing.

Thats the point. Anything around that area would have me aware of the possibility of seeing ice, or frozen terrain. Actually, at that point, a display of temp would be redundant. I'm not in a heated car, so I'm feeling a temp change?

I' pretty sure 90 degrees is hot. If its 87 or 93, I'll live. If the air rushing in my helmet is cold, I know to be aware of freezing ground????

But, more importantly, I'm riding along and see 32 degrees or 0c. What is my plan to change it?

Also, was the temp in utah today 104 (as my Ford said) or 95 as (our Chevrolet said), or 96 on the wall that my infared said?? Both trucks, parked together, were way different.
 

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You proved one thing RC it was hot in Utah lol, but you are right on the instruments no 2 measure the same readings, ive seen relative humidity gauges be as much as 20 points off from one another.
 

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I like the heavy information myself, and we just recently had a new R1 in our shop and i thought the display was very well done myself.

But I will say I only have one working eye ball, and no depth perception because of it. I have found it is MUCH better for me to keep my eye scanning around so I can keep some sense of depth perception. So I constantly scan my insturment gauge and my mirrors as a result.

Now I fully get no matter what the meter's read, the real actual question is "what are you going to do about it". I have been riding for 20+ years. When it's cold out, tires have less traction. When it's wet, you have less traction. When the rpm's are high and you are leaned over, use cautious throttle control...etc I mean to say I learned to ride (and many of my formative years were spent with a motorcycle as my only transportation) without all of this information. I can ride, and ride well without the information.

But if it is available, then why freaking not...lol I am very OCD, and have an over active brain I cannot shut off (sadly when it does work, it's not at a level I wish it would be at) so when I am riding I am loving the over information. It makes me stop thinking about all the other stuff, and process the new information that is happening in real time...lol

I like the idea of a gear indicator. Don't think I have ever had a bike with one, but I like the idea. I like ambient temp, I like revs and speed, I love fuel range, really love current MPG when possible, like miles to empty, really like a digital temp gauge (never offered), like an oil pressure gauge (nearly never offered), love a miles to empty, love a re-settable oil change reminder, and other maintenance reminders that can be set, and reset (with a tattle tale). Plus if it has any electronic aids, I want to see that working as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mark, for sure.

I'm not saying I'm anti info. I'll take what info will make me more safe, or on occasion faster.

BUT, when I'm on the street, the best info I've found is my eyes. Ears are pretty sketchy.

Unlike a car, I cant see the motorcycle dash and straight ahead. As I get older, the focus time between the dash, and forward gets longer.

Te turn signal left on light would be nice to have in a prominent position. I am forced to do that. Funny how we can have traction control, but not a self canceling turn signal.
 

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I correct myself, i had an 08 GSXR1k, but back then the best ignition map was in 6th gear, so a friend made me a "TRE" that told the bike is was in 6th all the time.

Jesus god did it run better...lol So that bike constantly said 6 on the Gear indicator.
 

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When I had that POS tugboat I couldn't even read that dam display in the bright light. Somewhat wasteful, but I do like to know when the temps drop below 40 degrees
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That makes sense. Knowing its 40 or 45 is a big deal for ice. Still, here in utah, I can find ice at 45, and have done so. The trees in the neighborhood shade the street 24/7.

Still, my Chevy still registers way different than the Ford. If I'm worried about ice, that range just opened up. That turned into a situation as our compressor manufacturer was asking for an exact temp. We were like, "Well, it depends on what you mean by temp....See, car A says..."

A build up will not melt until there are several days of way above freezing.

That new Skully helmet has a ton of this info right in your viewing area, and includes a rear camera. Help or distraction? I dont think I could argue with either side of this one. As badly as I want to say distraction, it would be cool to be stopped at alight and know whats behind you.

https://www.skully.com/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Search&gclid=CjwKEAjwqdi7BRCL6Zmjk5-rsTwSJABmrVabBl92S16rpr2jj2E5s7FrnxZYpv3frfx93SGEihVNihoCo7nw_wcB
 

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The rule about frozen ground here is.

If it's 4° or less ... the ground can be frozen.

What can you do about it ?
Well I can ride at a normal pace when the water is just water.
I can't ... when the wet road that seems just wet ... is a bit frozen.
It makes a huge difference in grip.
So when I see 4°C ... I reduce my tempo to 50%, and hang off like the biggest idiot in corners, to keep my bike as straight as possible.
 
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Well, anyone who lived in Utah can tell you ambient air temp has **** near zero to do with the ground we are supposed to be sticking to. If a person is assuming a positive reading on a temp scale means no ice is riding on borrowed time.

I would not see 38 degrees (3 for you guys) , ambient, and assume the ground was not freezing.

Thats the point. Anything around that area would have me aware of the possibility of seeing ice, or frozen terrain. Actually, at that point, a display of temp would be redundant. I'm not in a heated car, so I'm feeling a temp change?

I' pretty sure 90 degrees is hot. If its 87 or 93, I'll live. If the air rushing in my helmet is cold, I know to be aware of freezing ground????

But, more importantly, I'm riding along and see 32 degrees or 0c. What is my plan to change it?

Also, was the temp in utah today 104 (as my Ford said) or 95 as (our Chevrolet said), or 96 on the wall that my infared said?? Both trucks, parked together, were way different.
LOL No assumptions here. But in my area, it's pretty darn consistent. In the canyons and forever tree-shaded areas, expect a minimum of a 3F drop. 5-7 is more like it, even in the summer. If it's 38 or higher, the road won't be much colder(and yes, I've measured road temps, what can I say, I'm a bit of a nerd). Less traction, of course! But no ice. 35F or lower, then there's places that are likely to have ice. 30F, or lower, definitely going to be ice somewhere. But, I don't ride at that time of year anyways. Mountain roads are bad enough in the winter, without freezing temps. I'll pass on riding in that. :rolleyes:

It all depends on your region. What works on the Peninsula in CA, I certainly would not expect to hold in any other state, or even other parts of the same state for that matter.

Air temp sensors seem to be getting more accurate and consistent too. The one in my '06 Saab, is so-so, and slow to update. The one in the '09 Chevy Colorado I had, was much better, but still a bit off at times. In my '14 Volt, it's quick to update, and accurate. As for the ones on bikes, I have no idea. I would hope that they're getting better as well.

The R1 dash is quite nice, it's just a bit too much for my tastes, especially once you start drilling through the menus. I used to love that stuff when I was younger(not that I'm old now, lol), but now a days, I'm a bit over it. Laziness perhaps. :D I love all the info in my Volt, but on a moto, just a few bits of info will do. What the N1K has for info is plenty for me. But hey, if someone else loves it, then enjoy! Doesn't affect me one bit. The more choices we have in moto's and what they're loaded with, the better!
 

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The rule about frozen ground here is.

If it's 4° or less ... the ground can be frozen.

What can you do about it ?
Well I can ride at a normal pace when the water is just water.
I can't ... when the wet road that seems just wet ... is a bit frozen.
It makes a huge difference in grip.
So when I see 4°C ... I reduce my tempo to 50%, and hang off like the biggest idiot in corners, to keep my bike as straight as possible.
Nothing wrong with that. I do that a lot, just to give myself more wiggle room should I need to suddenly maneuver around gravel, or an animal-type threat. If I'm near max lean angle, then I'm SOL should I need more. Hanging off, I've got 50% or more handling left un-tapped.
 

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I'm an advocate of hanging off like an idiot as much as possible regardless. It's messy around here and I want as much traction as possible. Lady soccer mom also crosses the double yellow in her SUV routinely so having some lean angle in your back pocket coming around a blind turn is never a bad thing either.
 

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Black ice is crazy dangerous. You don't stand a chance in h3ll if you hit any on a bike. We don't get it here very often but one winter while going stir crazy I took my truck for a drive up one of our mountain roads (Hwy 35 from 9 to 84 for locals). While traveling on a straight I ran through a patch. It was so slick I had zero control. My truck slid right off the road and I didn't regain control until I was completely into the gravel on the shoulder. I was lucky I had a shoulder at the point and learned to respect black ice!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Jay, when you are on the KXF, how often do you look down to see...nothing.

I have a friend who worked for the local highway dept. He was doing a radio show offering winter driving tips. He all but forced me to call in...so I did.

Twice, he had mentioned "Black Ice". As in, "Don't use cruise control on winter roads. If you hit black ice, it will.....

So, I call in.

John, I said, "Why is it always about race, with you. You keep saying Black Ice, but what about white ice? Asian Ice? You never mention those. Its always black, black, black with you!"

He was afraid to laugh, but it made his show fun. He pretty much had to go the rest of the hour without saying black ice.
 

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Black ice is crazy dangerous. You don't stand a chance in h3ll if you hit any on a bike. We don't get it here very often but one winter while going stir crazy I took my truck for a drive up one of our mountain roads (Hwy 35 from 9 to 84 for locals). While traveling on a straight I ran through a patch. It was so slick I had zero control. My truck slid right off the road and I didn't regain control until I was completely into the gravel on the shoulder. I was lucky I had a shoulder at the point and learned to respect black ice!
Yeah, that stuff is the worst! In 2013 I think it was, I was driving down 84 on a winter Saturday morning, in a car. It was very cold, and there was even a bit of snow(for people not local, this is VERY rare)! I was going 20-25mph the whole time, and it was still dangerous. There was black ice everywhere, as well as visible ice. I'd be mid-corner, and the car would just start sliding, lol. I remember thinking to myself, I sure hope nobody tries to ride today!
 

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Nothing wrong with that. I do that a lot, just to give myself more wiggle room should I need to suddenly maneuver around gravel, or an animal-type threat. If I'm near max lean angle, then I'm SOL should I need more. Hanging off, I've got 50% or more handling left un-tapped.
Nothing wrong with it, but the way I do it really looks ridiculous.
There are corners my bike stays fully straight, and my head is further then the rear mirror. Had a lot of practice time for this monkey technique during night rides in the twisties.
 
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