14 MotorcycleMany motorcycle enthusiasts love the feeling of being on the open road and in touch with one’s surroundings. The style of a bike and the reputation of its manufacturer factor heavily into riders’ decisions when choosing bikes. But while bike fans may have their favorite features, safety and comfort remain at the top of many riders’ priority lists when choosing new motorcycles.

Recent technological advancements have pushed motorcycle comfort and safety to the forefront. Engineers continue to reimagine bikes and gear so riders can enjoy the road that much more. The following are some features to consider when buying a motorcycle.

Suspension

Fully active suspension systems are impractical in motorcycles because of the weight of the components, but some manufacturers, such as Ducati and BMW, are now offering semi-active suspension systems, which allow for a more stable ride and give riders greater control, particularly on rough terrain or uneven road conditions.

Cornering advanced braking systems

Also known as lean-sensitive, anglesensitivity or race ABS, this technology employs data gathered from various sensors on the bike. The data is then transferred to a processing unit, which computes the optimal amount of pressure to apply to the brake pads, as well as the proportional levels of braking force between the front and rear brakes. This is an important safety feature for any rider, regardless of his or her level of experience.

Adaptive headlights

Riding in the dark has long been a concern for bikers. In addition to the rider’s limited ability to see, other motorists on the road often experience difficulty seeing motorcycles. Turning while riding at night proves problematic as well, because standard headlights on a motorcycle will only light up a portion of the turn.

Adaptive motorcycle headlights, such as those produced by J.W. Speaker, are changing night riding. According to the American Automobile Association, adaptive headlights can make nighttime riding considerably safer. Such lights work when a bike leans into a curve and the onboard sensors calculate the angle at which the motorcycle enters the curve. The headlights then adjust the lighting array to illuminate areas where traditional headlights might provide inadequate lighting.

Liquid-cooled engines

Riding motorcycles on a hot day or when stuck in traffic can quickly become a steamy endeavor with aircooled engines. Air-cooled engines dissipate heat directly through the fins on the exterior of the engine. This heat can radiate and make riding uncomfortable for riders.

Liquid-cooled engines, however, have a streamlined and closed design, producing less noise and heat. They also transfer heat to a radiator near the front of the bike.

Evolving technology strives to make the motorcycle experience safer and more enjoyable for riders.

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