No, Mechatronic isn’t a new brand, it’s the new name for what we used to call electromechanical, albeit with a bit more computer control and electronics thrown in the mix. I see that Triumph announced the Sprint ST will soon be coming to the U.S. with ABS, joining Honda, BMW, Ducati and some others with this braking system. ABS is a perfect example of mechatronics and I was thinking about what other areas of the motorcycle lend themselves to this marriage of technologies.
The old electromechanical idea combined electric motors with mechanical components but the actuation and control was much more of a human controlled affair, now the computer does the thinking, and with ABS we just slam on the brakes and the computer pulses the calipers to maximize traction while slowing us down.
Active suspension technology which is found in quite a few cars these days might be an area where motorcycles could benefit, responding to road surface irregularities in milliseconds and changing damping and rebound on the fly.
As gas prices climb, cars are seeing more variable displacement engines, using only as many cylinders as necessary to maintain motion and performance. Would motorcycles benefit from this?
Motorcycles have been more mechanically accessible to the DIY inclined owner than the new cars have been but over time this may begin to change. I wonder where mechatronics will show up in motorcycles next.