Are we becoming obsessed with electronics? Suzuki aren't.
You've probably seen the video of Simon Crafar smoking up the 2012 GSX-R1000 at Almeria. Impressive stuff.
Suzuki are (correct me if I'm wrong) the last manufacturer of an inline four superbike not to offer it with some sort of electronic rider aids. Sure, you can buy a Fireblade without but Honda also offer them with ABS. The S1000RR? That really broke the mould as the first one to come with traction control, ABS, a quickshifter (of sorts) and power modes. ABS as standard on a superbike? You'd have been laughed out of the dealership a decade ago.
The ZX-10R? It's got the best traction control I've ever used.
Until you've had the ZX-10R (or any other similarly clever superbike) lit up, shimmying, protesting, sliding (if you're good enough, not sure I am) then you simply can't say electronics can't add something to your riding experience. Electronics have improved so much over the last 3 years, I think they're fantastic. They make you feel like you're Simon Crafar.
So what do you do when your bike doesn't have any of these new gadgets? Well, you shout about it, of course! That's exactly what Suzuki have done. It feels strange to think that this GSX-R - only tweaked from previous models - has a strong selling point in the fact it's not as technically advanced as its rivals.
No-one specs up a new car without airbags, parking sensors don't affect your masculinity; we like technology and progress but it seems this isn't always the case in motorcycling.We like to think we like our motorcycling raw. We love to poke the beast with a sharp stick and then tame it, it turns us on.
There are loads of bikers out there who lament the slow march of these new electronics.
Do electronics sanitize a superbike or help bring it to life?
I'm going to go and find out.
Posted: 24/05/2012 at 01:44
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