Do we dream of the future or is it already here?
The world of motorcycling is undergoing a major transformation, with a number of tech trends set to revolutionize the industry. Let’s see some of the most notable trends.
Clearly one of the biggest trends. E-bikes offer a quiet (except for an unavoidable whirring noise), smooth (like a baby butt) and efficient riding experience, with instant torque (oh yeah) and zero emissions.
Advances in battery technology are making electric motorcycles more practical for longer trips, allowing them —to some extent— to compete with our beloved traditional gas-powered motorcycles, in terms of range and performance.
E-bikes have been around for a long time, but the more recent years have sparked interest en masse. Let’s break down some pros and cons:
👌 No more gas stops. No more dealing with the smell of gasoline or waiting in line at the pump.
👌 Stealth mode. You’ll be whisper quiet and able to park in the library or ride through residential neighborhoods without anyone noticing.
👌 Environmentally friendly. E-bikes are like a green superhero, saving the planet one ride at a time. Ride with a clear conscience and zero emissions.
👎 Range anxiety. E-bikes have limited range, so it can be like having a sidekick that needs a break every few hours, which can be frustrating.
👎 Charge rage. Finding a charging station can be tricky, especially in rural areas. Like a scavenger hunt, but instead of treasure, you’re looking for juice.
👎 Power play. E-bikes may not have the same HP as gas-powered bikes, which can be like going from a muscle car to a hybrid. You may save gas, but you won’t have the same roar of the engine.
Autonomous motorcycles, also known as self-driving motorcycles, are designed to be operated without a human rider. Equipped with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems, they have the potential to make motorcycle riding safer by reducing the risk of human error and allowing riders (also, people with disability) to focus on the experience of the actual ride. The goal of this tech is to improve safety, convenience and efficiency for riders.
In a 2019 paper by ACEM (European Automobile Association), there is some discussion around the question: “How will automated cars impact motorcycle safety?”. To summarize: motorcycles create a greater detection rate challenge due to their size. In 2023, autonomous vehicles already paved their way in Texas, with trucking and fleets leading the way. However, no sign of bikes just yet.
We, at ElixIR, are 50/50 about this one. But let’s see some pros and cons:
👌 Kick back and relax. Not only you can let the motorcycle do the work —personally, I don’t like that—, but you can also say goodbye to the dangers of drunk riding since you now have your very own designated driver.
👌 Delivery or emergency response. Where human riders might not be safe or efficient, these machines could actually be used to save the day.
👌 Never lost again. With an autonomous motorcycle, you’ll never have to worry about taking a wrong turn or getting lost on a road trip. It’s like your own personal GPS on two wheels. Creepy or what?
👎 No more thrills. You won’t be able to feel the wind in your hair or enjoy the open road thrill. It’s like going from a roller coaster to a kiddie ride.
👎 Forget about engine revving. Remember the school uniform and all the rules you had to follow? Well, welcome back. No more showing off.
👎 Robot rebellion. What happens if the bike goes rogue? Will we be stuck on the side of the road, or worse, will the bike take us on a wild ride we never signed up for? It’s like a scene from a sci-fi movie. Get your popcorn.
AI-Driven Airbag Vest
With the rapid growth of AI-driven tech gadgets, this piece doesn’t fall short of greatness. The AI (for those not yet familiar, AI = Artificial Intelligence) Airbag Vest, in this case talking about a specific product —Klim AI-1 AirBag Vest—, might be the safest protective gear out there. Their detection module offers an unprecedented (trending word) crash sensitivity through constant algorithm updates.
This will be a long one: lightweight electronic autonomous AI motorcycle airbag vest. Did you breathe? Or blink? Because it takes you about 100 milliseconds to do it and this vest takes 60 milliseconds to activate. Impressed already?
You cannot put a price on safety, and although this one is priced at about €400 (plus a subscription), it is probably worth it. You can tick one more worry off your list and make more room for other more productive stuff. Like what you’re going to wear to fit with this vest…
👌 Wireless and autonomous. It gets the job done by itself. Worry no more. Just make sure you do your part.
👌 Lightweight protection. At about 1.5 kg, this not-so-fashionable-item will provenly save your life.
👌 Connection, connection, connection. App, color-coded status indicators, charging via USB ports. Simple.
👎 Somewhat costly gear. You want tech, you need to invest. You can use the vest, but without this monthly/yearly In&Box subscription, you won’t be able to actually activate the tech.
👎 Power down. You need to make sure it’s turned on before you start riding. Otherwise you won’t be able to reach the power button. Important!
👎 Battery blues. Any tech requires power, and you’ll need to remember that. Still, 20 hours of battery life sounds pretty fine to me.
AR (Augmented Reality) Helmets
Ride into the future with AR motorcycle helmets! Gone are the days of fumbling with maps and checking your phone for directions. Say hello to the latest addition to the world of motorcycles. These babies are like having a person co-pilot on your adventures. With a seamless blend of traditional helmets and cutting-edge AR tech, you’ll never miss a beat on the road. Have I sold it yet?
Imagine getting real-time navigation directions, speed, RPM, fuel levels and more, right in your line of sight – all while cruising down the open road! And that’s just the beginning. With a heads-up display (HUD) or transparent visor, you can access info and entertainment like never before. Even connect your smartphone and other smart devices to make your riding experience even more immersive and interactive.
It’s just the beginning of a high-tech journey that’s sure to take the motorcycle world by storm. Curious to see one? Check these guys out. And let’s see some pros and cons:
👌 Road-ready navigator. Get real-time navigation directions without ever taking your eyes off the road.
👌 Highway Hollywood. From music to performance data, your AR helmet will keep you entertained on even the longest rides.
👌 Smart ride, smart bike. Connect to your smartphone to make your ride more immersive and interactive. Be in control like never before.
👎 Costly cruiser. AR helmets can be pricey and you’ll need to invest in the latest tech to enjoy their benefits.
👎 Early adopter blues. With only a few models available, you’ll need to put up with the occasional glitch or bug. It comes with being an early adopter.
👎 Battery blues. AR tech requires power, and you’ll need to keep your helmet charged. Still, less frustrating than an E-bike charging station hunt.
Did we miss anything?
With the rapid advancement of AI and tech, we don’t really know what awaits us. But we surely know to be ready to find out. In the meantime, follow us on social media to stay updated with our advancement on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Are you not a biker yet but you’re kind of into the discovery phase? Here’s “10 Things Outsiders Won’t Understand About Motorcycles“. Or perhaps you’re dating a biker and wish to make them (and yourself) comfortable? Then maybe ElixIR’s “Five Rules for Dating a Biker” will help you there.