Motorcycle manufacturers have introduced ABS and traction control, dual clutches, variable valve timing and lots of other interesting technology, but one thing we haven’t seen yet is night vision. If you’re a rider like Darren Haley and you work for FLIR, a company that makes a lot of thermal imaging equipment for the military, police and other folks that need to see in the night, that’s not a problem, you just head over to the parts bin and start looking around.
Darren set up his BMW 1150GS for night operation by replacing one of the driving lights with an infrared camera. A GPS unit with a video input, takes the camera’s signal and displays it where the rider can easily see it. After 9000 miles on the prototype, he likes it a lot and so do the others who have tested it. He’s trying to keep the unit under $2000, which isn’t cheap but there may be a few early adopters ready to add something like this to their BMW or Gold Wing or other higher end machine.
On nights where he would be blinded by oncoming lights, he says you can actually just look at the screen until the oncoming traffic has passed. Although this may not look as cool as the night vision gear you see worn by helicopter pilots, it certainly seems to do the job. I like this a lot and I’d love to see it in action.