The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Motorcycle advancemen­ts for comfort and safety


(MS) —Many 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 that riders can enjoy the road that much more. The following are some features for riders to consider when buying a motorcycle.*


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, angle-sensitivit­y or race ABS, this technology employs data gathered from various sensors on the bike. The data is then transferre­d to a processing unit, which figures out 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 riding.

Adaptive headlights

Riding in the dark has long been a concern for bikers. In addition to the rider’s limited visibility, 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. Liquidcool­ed 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.

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