You can buy a Ducati 1098R with traction control and it’s the kind of bike where you might expect it to appear, hit the hammer hard exiting a corner and the computer keeps you hooked up. Very nice, race oriented tech available on the street. So along comes Kawasaki, with their 2010 Concours 14, offering their ABS equipped model with traction control. Does a non-race oriented motorcycle like the Concours need it? It’s great technology and, like Kawasaki says, they have everything in place already with ABS and engine controls so it’s just a matter of adding the new function.
In the same way ABS is nice to have, even if it isn’t always necessary, there are times when it can be a life saver. I’m not sure a touring bike, even a super sport touring bike like the Concours, will run into a lot of occasions where traction control is really necessary, but there may be situations where it comes in handy and having the technology available may become the order of the day as we move forward. With the big Connie, once you have a computer along with sensors that detect wheel lock or wheel slip, traction control just becomes a bit of added programming.
I was thinking about this after posting the Concours article and then noticed Kenny left a comment remarking how no one seems to blink an eye when things like this pop up. As computers and sensors of all types make their way onto standard motorcycles, we’ll be seeing more of this as programmers will look for more features to offer. I just hope the features they add continue to be of this passive variety, they work when you need them and stay in the background until then. Feature creep can also mean lots of extra buttons and screens to play with, probably not the best idea for riders, but you can bet those computers still have a lot more to offer.