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Who should control your motorcycle?


Whip

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With so many different settings and buttons on a new bike does it cause extra anxiety?

 

When riding before ABS, side control ABS, linked ABS, non linked ABS, wheelie control,  rain, sport, street, off road and comfort settings I knew what I was riding on and consciously changed the way I modulated the throttle and brakes for whatever condition I was riding in or on.

 

NOW I feel a rain drop and start scanning the computer for the proper setting for a little rain but not too much. :)

 

....seems a lot like texting and driving to me.

 

Do WE want the control of our bikes or do we want people that don’t ride as much as we do working at a desk in a cubicle deciding for us how fast we can stop and how hard we can accelerate? 

 

FYI...I no longer have any bikes that have these features (except first gen ABS) but I AM looking at buying a new bike that will prolly have them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RecentConvert

I use the settings to adjust for preload between me alone and then with the wife on board.  Antilock brakes have saved my ass more than once.  Most everything can be shut off if desired.  I have lots of those new features shut off on my new truck.

 

I just wish they weren't "standard" because I don't like paying for stuff I don't want.

 

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Yamaha pondered that same question and came up with the Tenere 700. This looks like an awesomely fun bike for smaller adventure travel but...coast to coast or Salida to Key West not so much. :) That’s where the big motors work better. Yup, not telling ya nothing you don’t know already. ;)
 

 

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If you read some of the stats from the VTTI study, we need all the help we can get both from technology and training.  Probably the best technology we could have would be autonomous braking, judging by the number of 'rear-end, striking' incidents that occurred (Page 14), much more so than the left-turning vehicle that we normally blame. 

I personally don't change modes while riding, or try to do dash-board stuff while moving.  I admit I'll pull over and put the bike in 'rain mode' if the situation calls for it.

My personal theory is we riders tend to lie to ourselves about risk, and one side-effect of that self-deception is a tendency to poo-poo new rider aid technology.  "I've been riding since I was a kid!', the old biker rants.  "I don't need some new-fangled [insert tech from shock absorbers to traction control] to make me a better rider!".

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Pretty soon the bikes will just be able to pick the setting for you based on ambient sensors and data pulled down from the net regarding upcoming weather and road conditions, so no need for you add anxiety in selecting...and maybe not too long after that, they'll just be able to ride themselves so we can stay home and be super safe!

 

 

Less smart assed sidenote: the GS I got this year ('12) is the first bike I've owned with any sort of traction control type thing, and I have to admit to it having kept me upright once (that I noticed!). About 2000 miles in to ownership I was starting to feel like I knew what I was doing with the bike, and it was a nice day and I have was having a run ride; after stopping for a stop sign at a T, I was turning left onto a 50 MPH road and got on the throttle pretty good while leaned over mid-intersection...much to my surprise the front wheel decided it was done being on the ground, and I'm pretty sure if the bike hadn't reduced power to the rear wheel I would have ended up sliding into the ditch on the far side of the road! I totally admit that would have been my own dumb ass fault for not understanding the bike's abilities, but I have to say I was glad for the nanny control at that moment...and I also now know how to turn most/all of that off ;)

 

 

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I don't know that ABS has saved me. I do know it puckered my butt on the Oilhead RT when coming to a stop with gravel on the road at an intersection on two occasions. ( No braking, it thought I was skidding.....). 

 

I didn't get keyless or autolock or shift pro on this RT. Mainly due to my lack of faith in keyless. 

 

BUT...I want all the stuff on the RT. I like the ride modes and use all three. Don't even have to look to set them. Love the traction control and I think the ABS will work when needed. Love the things that make an RT sort of luxurious. 

 

I remember riding a CB 500 Four on long trips. I enjoy trips on the RT more...and part of it is less stress. I trust the bike to help me when needed and to keep running......

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2 hours ago, Whip said:

With so many different settings and buttons on a new bike does it cause extra anxiety?

 

When riding before ABS, side control ABS, linked ABS, non linked ABS, wheelie control,  rain, sport, street, off road and comfort settings I knew what I was riding on and consciously changed the way I modulated the throttle and brakes for whatever condition I was riding in or on.

 

NOW I feel a rain drop and start scanning the computer for the proper setting for a little rain but not too much. :)

 

....seems a lot like texting and driving to me.

 

Do WE want the control of our bikes or do we want people that don’t ride as much as we do working at a desk in a cubicle deciding for us how fast we can stop and how hard we can accelerate? 

 

FYI...I no longer have any bikes that have these features (except first gen ABS) but I AM looking at buying a new bike that will prolly have them.

 

 Personally, I have not found my anxiety to have increased.

On my 2017 Versys 1000 there are two power settings and three traction settings (plus "OFF"), as well as non-switchable ABS.

Early on, I found the settings I like, and rarely change them unless I'm in a downpour. I know what I'm riding and consciously change the way I ride for the conditions.

Having said all that, The 2019+ Versys 1000 comes with most of the same bells and whistles as the newer RTs. Looks like we're not going to have much choice in the matter going forward, unless you like "vintage" bikes...

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1 hour ago, Whip said:

I thought I read somewhere that motorcycle crash stats are about the same as they were before ABS etc....? 
 

 


It has but a new factor has come to play.  People taking bigger risks because they think the electronics will save them.    ABS and it’s ilk are great at reducing the impact of stupid control inputs such as mashing instantly to full brakes but does nothing to overcome physics.   

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5 hours ago, Whip said:

I thought I read somewhere that motorcycle crash stats are about the same as they were before ABS etc....? 
 

 

I can tell you for Police bikes, that injuries and fatalities are way lower now with ABS.  Don't have info on the amount of crashes though.  But at the least its reduced the severity of the crash on the BMW's vs the old Kawasaki.  This may also be influenced by the brakes being light years better on the BMW's vs the Kawasaki.

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I like abs, most of the time, but a few times it has scared the hell out of me, extending stopping distance in unexpected situations.

I always find it interesting that professional riders can stop faster without abs. I'm not saying it isn't a good thing, I'm just saying it's not a perfect solution.

The problem with technology is that it has the potential to cause more problems as well.

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11 hours ago, Whip said:

With so many different settings and buttons on a new bike does it cause extra anxiety?

 

Don't have any bikes so equipped ... just a lot of old iron ... actually the only technological advance I find totally useful all the time is fuel injection .  Having lived through the carb era , FI is gold. ... well that and at least a 2 piston front caliper with high efficiency pads :18:

Don't need ABS , although nice ... ride enough within limits anymore that "feel" is enough to brake efficiently and safely. 

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3 hours ago, Hosstage said:

I always find it interesting that professional riders can stop faster without abs.

 

With proper braking, anyone can stop faster (in less distance) without ABS, but that doesn't mean ABS will make it take longer to stop - it just means that if you brake too much, it won't lock your wheels (which can be a problem when trying to stop on a loose surface where a little lock/slide is preferable to continuing to roll). 

 

Maximum braking force is the point just before lockup, and ABS only kicks in after lockup. Practice your threshold braking and you too can stop just like a racer. 

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11 hours ago, szurszewski said:

 

With proper braking, anyone can stop faster (in less distance) without ABS, but that doesn't mean ABS will make it take longer to stop - it just means that if you brake too much, it won't lock your wheels (which can be a problem when trying to stop on a loose surface where a little lock/slide is preferable to continuing to roll). 

 

Maximum braking force is the point just before lockup, and ABS only kicks in after lockup. Practice your threshold braking and you too can stop just like a racer. 

Morning   szurszewski

 

A motorcycle ABS kicks-in well before lockup, that is what all the ABS programming is about. The ABS  reads ahead to predict impending lockup then releases and continually modulates braking pressure to prevent actual wheel lockup. 

 

If the ABS system waited until actual wheel lockup, THEN kicked in, it would be too late as the  ABS response time would not allow the wheel to spin back up quick enough after release on a slippery surface. 

 

Basically a good  motorcycle ABS system needs to read ahead to prevent lockup not wait until lockup to respond.  

 

The secondary function of the ABS system on the BMW ABS is balanced braking between front & rear. The modern BMW motorcycle "linked" ABS system uses that read ahead to allow constant learning of the front to rear braking balance & constantly adjusts the braking bias to balance out the front/rear braking bias (when using the front brake lever only).  This works pretty darn good until the rider steps on the rear brake pedal too hard & overrides the ABS system's linked rear braking control. 

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My abs is not linked. Moderate braking while coming to a stop on lightly chopped tarmac will activate the abs, causing much longer stopping distance, and scaring the shit out of me. I'm ok dealing with the lockup/release of non abs brakes in that situation, but the total lack of braking is heart pounding. The only way to recover is to release the brake and start again, and hope abs doesn't kick in again. Now two thresholds of braking, normal traction loss modulated by my braking skills, and abs traction loss, doubling the efforts of my threshold braking skills.

Like I said, good and bad. Good in rain, sand, panic maybe. Bad when not working ideally. That extra milisecond of "what the hell is going on?" is disconcerting.

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33 minutes ago, Hosstage said:

My abs is not linked. Moderate braking while coming to a stop on lightly chopped tarmac will activate the abs, causing much longer stopping distance, and scaring the shit out of me. I'm ok dealing with the lockup/release of non abs brakes in that situation, but the total lack of braking is heart pounding. The only way to recover is to release the brake and start again, and hope abs doesn't kick in again. Now two thresholds of braking, normal traction loss modulated by my braking skills, and abs traction loss, doubling the efforts of my threshold braking skills.

Like I said, good and bad. Good in rain, sand, panic maybe. Bad when not working ideally. That extra milisecond of "what the hell is going on?" is disconcerting.

Morning   Hosstage

 

That sounds like to old 1100 ABS-II system, if so the front to rear braking is sort of linked (not hydraulically but electronically).

 

The old 1100 ABS-II system had a crude anti-stoppie algorithm that monitored the rear wheel spin-down rate then used that to prevent rear wheel lift under hard braking. It worked OK for that specific function  but was very lacking on conditions like moderate to hard braking on lightly chopped tarmac, chatter bumps, small stones or gravel on the road surface, etc.

 

Just normal barking (somewhat hard)  with enough rear brake apply to allow the rear wheel to lightly lock-up (or just slow quicker than the built in decel curve)  when it skipped over the rough road surface made the ABS system think the rear wheel was lifting, so the ABS system momentarily released some front brake to lower the rear wheel  & regain rear wheel spin up. (comes with  a built in pucker factor if approaching an intersection or a stopped vehicle in front of you).

 

The work-around we used to use was to use less rear braking & learn to release more rear braking earlier during rougher road surface braking. Plus on my own 1100RT bikes I would simply replace the rear metallic brake pads with the less aggressive 1100R bike organic pads (this alone helped a lot).

 

On the old 1100 ABS-II  bikes a lot of riders make a big mistake when buying new rear brake pads as they choose an even more aggressive rear brake pad thinking it enhances stopping when in fact it does just the opposite & decreases stopping on a rough surface or chatter bump road.  

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Hosstage said:

My abs is not linked. 


ABS? You must ride one of them fancy new motorsickles Harley’s been experimenting with. :rofl:

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1 minute ago, TEWKS said:


ABS? You must ride one of them fancy new motorsickles Harley’s been experimenting with. :rofl:

 

It's true, only 9 years old!

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I have no truck with ABS, I like cruise control too and I have become fond of the electric windscreen. beyond that, I don't need more. If anything has annoyed me, it's that BMW doesn't allow owners to reset the service reminder I mean dealer extortion indicator. If you think that BMW is bad with the tech, I hear they are going to have subscription based options on cars. Build them the same and pay for access to things like heated seats or whatever. At some point I expect owning vehicles will be a thing of the past. Like a phone, we'll lease it for two years and trade it in. 

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6 hours ago, Ponch said:

I have no truck with ABS, I like cruise control too and I have become fond of the electric windscreen. beyond that, I don't need more. If anything has annoyed me, it's that BMW doesn't allow owners to reset the service reminder I mean dealer extortion indicator. If you think that BMW is bad with the tech, I hear they are going to have subscription based options on cars. Build them the same and pay for access to things like heated seats or whatever. At some point I expect owning vehicles will be a thing of the past. Like a phone, we'll lease it for two years and trade it in. 


look at Care by Volvo.   All inclusive (payment, insurance, gap, maintenance) monthly car “ownership”.    Change cars like underwear or cancel your subscription.  Not sure how I feel about it.   

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I'll take all the help I can get on tarmac, I want to control the computer intervention in dirt.

 

i remember riding your 1290, in two seconds I think from starting, every anti-stoooopid indicator lit up on the display.   That motor is something else. 

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:59 AM, Whip said:

I thought I read somewhere that motorcycle crash stats are about the same as they were before ABS etc....? 
 

 

 

Quite the opposite PDF link . ABS has been shown to be very effective in reducing fatal crash rates by almost a third.

 

The ABS doesn't help crowd is packed full of squids who want prove they can out brake an ABS bike by deciding on the exact surface, speed, and they get to choose when to brake.

 

Most people who get spooked by their ABS engagement don't understand that realization only comes into play after it has saved their butts from a potential loss of control.

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I like the features. I’m sure it makes me safer. I’ve turned off traction control a couple of times to play with it. I forgot it was off and was surprised and spooked when the front wheel raised up when not expecting it.  The only time I change settings is if I have a load or if I get tired of riding in normal and want to change to soft or hard. I love the features and would not buy a road bike without them

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2 hours ago, fourteenfour said:

 

Quite the opposite PDF link . ABS has been shown to be very effective in reducing fatal crash rates by almost a third.

 

The ABS doesn't help crowd is packed full of squids who want prove they can out brake an ABS bike by deciding on the exact surface, speed, and they get to choose when to brake.

 

Most people who get spooked by their ABS engagement don't understand that realization only comes into play after it has saved their butts from a potential loss of control.

Morning fourteenfour

 

No doubt that ABS on a motorcycle can prevent some fatal accidents but to me that 1/3 reduction study has some flaws.  

 

First off it compared like motorcycles with ABS to same motorcycle without ABS. Where did  they get the BMW same motorcycle with ABS vs non-ABS info. Same with a lot of other general modern consumer motorcycles.

 

So that pretty well limited the study to motorcycles that have or had both an ABS & non-ABS  similar model available. 

 

So that brings us to what kind of (like) motorcycles are available with & without ABS & what type of rider  orders or buys a motorcycle with ABS vs no ABS? 

 

New riders probably don't have enough experience to even know to look for an ABS motorcycle so more than likely just buy the cheapest one that fits their usage. Experienced but less cautious (push the limit) types would be more inclined to buy a non-ABS motorcycle but due to  riding habits could be more inclined to have a fatal accident. 

 

The cautious types (like a co-worker of mine) is all about safety & would not buy anything without ABS, he also seldom exceeds the speed limit, never rides in the rain or on bad days, wears all reflective gear (including all over his motorcycle), brakes for falling leaves, & never/ever pushes the limits.    He hasn't had any accidents in his 20 years of riding but is that due to ABS or his very cautious riding style? My guess he has never had or experienced an ABS event while riding as he is way too cautious to ever have even tried it out. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Carlisja said:


look at Care by Volvo.   All inclusive (payment, insurance, gap, maintenance) monthly car “ownership”.    Change cars like underwear or cancel your subscription.  Not sure how I feel about it.   

Not my cup of tea, the Volvo or the new business model. 

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I think the study I am referring to compared motorcycle stats throughout the years and found that ABS and has made no difference in accident and fatality rates. We still crash like it’s 1969 no matter how they make the bikes. 
 

 

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20 hours ago, Whip said:

I think the study I am referring to compared motorcycle stats throughout the years and found that ABS and has made no difference in accident and fatality rates. We still crash like it’s 1969 no matter how they make the bikes. 
 

 

I will say this.  People ride/drive waaaaaaaaay more stupid than they did in 1969.  And speaking only for California, the roads were probably maintained better in 1969 than the bullshit they call highways now in California.

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3 hours ago, BrianT said:

I will say this.  People ride/drive waaaaaaaaay more stupid than they did in 1969.  And speaking only for California, the roads were probably maintained better in 1969 than the bullshit they call highways now in California.

...and there is more traffic.

 

...and bikes go faster.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Whip said:

...and there is more traffic.

 

...and bikes go faster.

 

 

 

 

...and drivers didn't have cell phones. 

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39 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

...and drivers didn't have cell phones. 

A huge issue.

There would be far fewer motorcycle crashes if cars didn't run into them. Phones just up the ante.

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12 hours ago, Hosstage said:

A huge issue.

There would be far fewer motorcycle crashes if cars didn't run into them. Phones just up the ante.


Fake numbers here (because I didn’t do the research) but, I bet inattentive cell phone users kill a 1000 innocents to the drunk driver’s 1 in these times.

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On 12/5/2020 at 7:35 AM, dirtrider said:

Morning   szurszewski

 

 

 

The secondary function of the ABS system on the BMW ABS is balanced braking between front & rear. The modern BMW motorcycle "linked" ABS system uses that read ahead to allow constant learning of the front to rear braking balance & constantly adjusts the braking bias to balance out the front/rear braking bias (when using the front brake lever only).  This works pretty darn good until the rider steps on the rear brake pedal too hard & overrides the ABS system's linked rear braking control. 

 

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Sorry for the mis-posting without some context.  Here is what should go with it.  First of all, the hi-liteing and underlining of the quote of dirtrider's post is mine, not his.

 

On my 2011RT, which I have owned for 16 months and 7k miles,  is application of the rear brake pedal during a "quick stop" working against the design of the BMW ABS system?

 

I am programmed to using both brakes to slow/stop quickly, and I have owned five previous bikes with ABS systems, a couple of which were linked to some degree, those being a 2008 Goldwing and a 2001 ST1100. 

 

I am familiar with the basic concept of ABS systems, but based on dirtrider's comments, I think I might need to re-think my braking technique on this 2011RT when stopping or slowing quickly. 

 

Any clarification will be appreciated.

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51 minutes ago, NRV-RT said:

Sorry for the mis-posting without some context.  Here is what should go with it.  First of all, the hi-liteing and underlining of the quote of dirtrider's post is mine, not his.

 

On my 2011RT, which I have owned for 16 months and 7k miles,  is application of the rear brake pedal during a "quick stop" working against the design of the BMW ABS system?

 

I am programmed to using both brakes to slow/stop quickly, and I have owned five previous bikes with ABS systems, a couple of which were linked to some degree, those being a 2008 Goldwing and a 2001 ST1100. 

 

I am familiar with the basic concept of ABS systems, but based on dirtrider's comments, I think I might need to re-think my braking technique on this 2011RT.

 

Any clarification will be appreciated.

Morning NRV-RT

 

That depends___ The braking system works best (best balanced) if only using the front brake lever as that way the ABS computer can adapt & keep the braking system balanced.

 

But you can still use the rear brake pedal for additional rear braking, or ONLY rear braking if needed.

 

The rear brake is hydraulic with only one input fitting to the caliper so can ONLY use one hydraulic input source at a time. Using the rear brake pedal in addition to using the front brake lever does one of 2 things. It either does nothing (except feel good the rider) IF rear pedal braking pressure is below the ABS system servo applied rear braking pressure. OR, it will shut the rear braking ABS control off then supply only your (riders)  rear pedal braking pressure (you can't have both, or have combined at the same time).

 

Or put another way-- If you use the front brake lever only & the ABS system applies 100 pounds of rear braking pressure, then you step on the rear brake pedal lightly (anything below 100 PSI)  then the rear brake pedal adds nothing to the rear braking apply. (pedal pressure is deadheaded) 

 

Now assuming the same front lever apply is still supplying  that same 100psi to the rear brake & you now step on the rear pedal harder supplying over 100psi to the rear brake then that will close the rear crossover valve & shut off the front braking servo input & you now have rear brake pedal input to the rear brake. If you then lift your foot a little & go back to under 100psi rear pedal input then it switches back to front  (ABS servo) rear braking control.

 

If you over-brake with the rear pedal it can still go into ABS mode on the rear brake if the rear wheel  decel rate is showing wheel lockup nearing. 

 

Using only the front brake lever & allowing the ABS system to do all the braking  will give you the best (continuous) front/rear braking balance. But lightly using the rear brake pedal (keeping the rear pedal input pressure  below the ABS rear servo  pressure) will not effect the learned braking balance but still allow the rider to retain the muscle memory of using the rear brake pedal on each stop. 

 

 

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Thanks D.R. for the explanation.

 

My muscle memory of using the "both brakes to slow" comes from teaching MSF and Rider's Edge classes for several years, and I can see now that with this bike I might need to re-think my braking technique.

 

I do often use only the back brake  when negotiating the mountain curves around here, essentially doing sort of "trail braking",  but still revert to the "programmed" use of both brakes when something tells me to "Whoa Nellie".

 

Today is a beautiful day with temps around 60, so I think I will gear up, go ride, and practice some new braking skills. This Old Dog can still learn New Tricks.

 

I appreciate the help! :)

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On 12/4/2020 at 12:22 PM, Carlisja said:


It has but a new factor has come to play.  People taking bigger risks because they think the electronics will save them.    ABS and it’s ilk are great at reducing the impact of stupid control inputs such as mashing instantly to full brakes but does nothing to overcome physics.   

 

This has a name, "risk homeostasis". Instead of riding the same and letting technology reduce risk, people ride more aggressively and let technology reduce percieved risk to what it was before. But if the electronics could have saved you at 30, but can't at 40, you're worse off than if you lose it at 30 without them.

 

My bike has multiple ride modes and electronically adjustible suspension. I'm almost always on normal ride mode, normal damping, auto preload. If I'm whizzing through twisties I'll change to firm damping, the only time I changed to enduro ride mode was leaving Chicken AK for Dawson City and in Quebec between the Manac 5 dam and Labrador City. I tried dynamic throttle and found it too twitchy, and have never felt like rain would have improved the situation - that includes riding uphill in blinding rain with 1/2" hail (of course I was too busy worrying about being rearended while focusing on the road ahead because didn't want to miss a switchback and couldn't pull over - I had no bandwith for thinking about ride modes!)

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