Rider power modes
This set-up made its big debut on the Suzuki GSX-R range in 2008, where Suzuki’s Drive Mode Selector appeared. At the push of a button, you could give your 1000 the power of a 750 or a 600. Hmmm. It was even less useful on the 600, which was hardly a power-heavy monster to start with.
The principle varies – some older systems just keep secondary throttle plates closed a bit to lop a load of power off everywhere, with the aim to make a softer engine for novices and use in the wet. The better ones that are used on ride-by-wire bikes alter the shape of the throttle position map, so you still get 100% throttle (eventually) when you want it, but 10% at the twistgrip (say) gives you 7% at the throttle bodies, 20% gives you 15% etc.
Of course, we reckon the best power mode selector is your right wrist and with traction control systems getting better and better, you’ve got the safety net there to guard against losing grip at the rear. On really aggressive bikes (like the Panigale V4) we like the option of a sharper throttle profile for track use, and softer ones for day-to-day road use.
A really sensitive hard-edged throttle can be a pain in traffic or when riding with a pillion. But otherwise, we’re saying no to power modes.