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Thread: Traction control and cost (and a crash!)

  1. #1
    Registered User DonTom's Avatar
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    Traction control and cost (and a crash!)

    Even though I have not test rode one YET, my dream bike is the K1600GTL. I do have a few questions before I consider buying or even test riding one.

    I hear it has a traction control option. What is the price of that option and does anybody here have any comments on how well it works?

    I recently fell from my 1971 BMW R75/5 when it lost traction in a place in Pacifica, CA where I was slowly accelerating from a stop sign.

    In fact that place was right here:

    :

    I am not sure, but I think I was riding on the new black pavement, coming from where the stop sign is seen in the photo. I don't think I rode on the metal strip that outlines the manhole cover, but that was very close to where the bike shot out from under my legs, leaving me on the ground. I only suffered very minor injuries, which isn't bad for a 62 year old. I was able to ride the bike back home, but I now have a leaky valve cover on the right side. The bike does have crash bars, so that helped and the leaky valve cover was the only damage to the bike.

    Another question I have is about the brake. Did I hear that the front brake lever is linked to the rear brake, but the rear brake pedal is only the rear brake? I like that idea as that should really hold the bike when up hll, stopped with both feet on the ground. That will be handy for San Francisco style hills (some are a 31.5 % grade).

    And what's the approximate price out the door when the K1600GTL includes traction control and every option possible?

    -Don- Reno, NV

  2. #2
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the drop -- maybe some unseen fluid on the ground (water or oil).

    Not sure about the traction control price, but for the one time you need it, it's priceless -- I won't buy a bike it's available on without it. The pre-order GTL's were all loaded to the max, and traction control was in one of the included packages. Expect it to be in a package with other options when you go to buy.

    You are correct about the brakes -- partially integrated Integral ABS II, with front brake lever activating front and rear, rear activating rear only.

    Full MSRP of the fully loaded pre-order GTLs was $25,845 + $495 destination -- options from there (Nav IV GPS, engine bars, trunk light, Bluetooth headsets, etc., etc.).

    OTD price depends entirely on your state/local taxes. Pre-tax figure on ~$29K+/-.
    Last edited by mneblett; 09-09-2011 at 03:49 PM.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
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  3. #3
    still running...somewhere lostbearings's Avatar
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    I ride a 2009 R1200GS with traction control. I think it is great. Accelerating hard left or right from a stop can be very exciting if there is gravel or the road is wet. But with traction control, no issue.

    I test drove the 1600 and it has enough power to spin the rear tire on dry pavement. In the rain it could be a handful. But with traction control, it would be fine.

    My view is if you are spending the money for a 1600, the extra money for traction control is money well spent.

    Lostbearings

  4. #4
    Registered User DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostbearings View Post
    I ride a 2009 R1200GS with traction control. I think it is great. Accelerating hard left or right from a stop can be very exciting if there is gravel or the road is wet. But with traction control, no issue.

    I test drove the 1600 and it has enough power to spin the rear tire on dry pavement. In the rain it could be a handful. But with traction control, it would be fine.

    My view is if you are spending the money for a 1600, the extra money for traction control is money well spent.

    Lostbearings
    I have a few questions.

    Were you able to spin the tire with the traction control on?

    Can it be turned off?

    Is there an indicator for loss of traction (some of my cars do)?

    After this last fall, I will be afraid to ride a bike again without traction control. That means I own three bikes I need to get rid off and buy myself a K1600GTL.

    A couple of more questions. I recall there are thee positions on the K1600's to set the traction control. What does each position do? And where do you leave it for the unknown road hazard, such as when I dumped my R75/5?

    BTW, can the short wheel base have anything to do with these type of accidents? I think a couple of years later (73 or so) they used a longer swing arm to increase the wheel base fby a couple of inches for safety reasons. What were those reasons? I assume just to help prevent high speed wobble, but I ain't sure.

    -Don- Reno, NV

  5. #5
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    I have a few questions.

    Were you able to spin the tire with the traction control on?
    No -- the electronics pull torque output to prevent this.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Can it be turned off?
    Yes -- specific option in the dash menus.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    Is there an indicator for loss of traction (some of my cars do)?
    Yes -- also in the dash -- flashing symbol.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    After this last fall, I will be afraid to ride a bike again without traction control. That means I own three bikes I need to get rid off and buy myself a K1600GTL.
    What are they, and are you offering any disposal sale prices??

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    A couple of more questions. I recall there are thee positions on the K1600's to set the traction control. What does each position do? And where do you leave it for the unknown road hazard, such as when I dumped my R75/5?
    They are not traction control settings; you're thinking of what are primarily throttle response settings (with additional cross-bike electronics adaptations). Rain, Road (aka normal) and Dynamic. Each setting has different throttle curves (x degrees of throttle turn = y amount of engine response), amount of peak power available from the engine, and points at which the electronic nannies step in. Very noticiable/effective bit of kit.

    Sorry, no unknown hazard predictive software available on any bike yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    BTW, can the short wheel base have anything to do with these type of accidents? I think a couple of years later (73 or so) they used a longer swing arm to increase the wheel base fby a couple of inches for safety reasons. What were those reasons? I assume just to help prevent high speed wobble, but I ain't sure.
    They went to the 2" longer swingarm in the mid 1973 /5s. Sorry to tell you, but that had *zero* to do with your fall (FWIW, I have one of the last of the SWB R75/5 toasters in the garage). The longer wheelbase was one of the things done for high speed stability (there were wobble issues in the early /5s -- from what I understand, actually due more to improperly assembled/aligned forks, not wheelbase; in other words, the longer wheelbase makes for a more stable ride, but that was fixing the symptom, not the cause).

    HTH!
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  6. #6
    Registered User DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    What are they, and are you offering any disposal sale prices??
    The three bikes I now own are: 1971 BMW R75/5. 1984 Yamaha Venture and a 2002 Suzuki DR200SE. I also own a junk bike, a 1983 Venture, which has many (but not all) parts the same as the 1984 Venture.
    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    They are not traction control settings; you're thinking of what are primarily throttle response settings (with additional cross-bike electronics adaptations). Rain, Road (aka normal) and Dynamic. Each setting has different throttle curves (x degrees of throttle turn = y amount of engine response), amount of peak power available from the engine, and points at which the electronic nannies step in. Very noticiable/effective bit of kit.
    Oh, that's all that was!
    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    Sorry, no unknown hazard predictive software available on any bike yet!
    IYO, what are the odds that the traction control used in the K1600 would have prevented my fall? Just how effective is it?
    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    They went to the 2" longer swingarm in the mid 1973 /5s. Sorry to tell you, but that had *zero* to do with your fall (FWIW, I have one of the last of the SWB R75/5 toasters in the garage). The longer wheelbase was one of the things done for high speed stability (there were wobble issues in the early /5s -- from what I understand, actually due more to improperly assembled/aligned forks, not wheelbase; in other words, the longer wheelbase makes for a more stable ride, but that was fixing the symptom, not the cause).
    That's what I kinda assumed, but I didn't know it was to sweep another problem under the rug!

    I have yet to test ride a K1600, but I am already falling in love with it! But I am not sure if that love is worth almost $30K! .

    But I just cannot put a price on preventing falls, if I am going to ride.

    In the 45 years or so that I have been riding bikes, I have been dumped on the road from a street bike about six times for various reasons. Dirt bikes (like my DR200SE) just don't count. It gets dumped fairly often at very slow speeds when on very tough dirt roads.

    Thanks for answering all my questions!


    -Don- Reno, NV

  7. #7
    Registered User DonTom's Avatar
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    I just sent this E-mail to the City of Pacifica, Department of Public Works:

    Hi,

    Please forward this to whomever might be concerned.

    I was nearly killed because of the new road constriction recently done on Bradford way. I slipped on my motorcycle on the metal that goes around the manhole cover and was thrown off of my motorcycle onto the pavement. It's not the manhole cover that is so dangerous, but the strip that goes around it, especially at night when it cannot be seen.

    No doubt if these things become common, it will be at the cost the life of many motorcyclists. Such stuff this dangerous has no business being in the middle of the road. Please see the attached file of the exact location.

    BTW, I have posted the details about this accident in many motorcycle forums. This accident happened on September 1, 2011 at 1800 hrs.

    Thanks for your concern.

    -Don-

  8. #8
    Registered User DonTom's Avatar
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    My reply:

    Thank you fro your email below. The Department of Public Works will be immediately perform the necessary site investigation and forward your concern to the appropriate utility company that owns the facitlity.



    Sincerely,



    Van Ocampo

    Director of Public Works

  9. #9
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Walter

    All government, of course, is against liberty.
    H. L. Mencken

  10. #10
    George T'man A4Skyhawk's Avatar
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    Slippery Manhole Installation

    I suggest you inform/complain to the NHTSA and MSF as well.

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