I rode two ‘big bikes’ recently. Enjoyed them to the last tenth. It's not because I have suddenly gone Marc Marquez in terms of skill, instead it’s because of the technology on the bikes. Both the KTM Super Duke R and Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R are equipped with engine modes, ABS and traction control. This Holy Trinity is watching out and protecting riders every millisecond of the ride. I was unsure whether it was a good thing or not, because as you can see that electronics have made driving cars quite like playing an XBOX simulation with all the assists on. Quite dull.
But, after spending a fair amount of time with the Super Duke R, I came to a kind of truce between the two warring ideas. The purist side agreed that electronics make it safer and more enjoyable to ride motorcycles on unpredictable public roads, but they also run the risk of lulling new riders into a sense of superiority. But on the other hand, the change can also help riders understand the limit and learn how to ride better and safer without facing the consequences of overstepping it. So if and when you switch off the assists, you would end up riding better than you would normally have. Use it, don’t abuse it. But I am still praying that the rapid evolution of electronics doesn't make motorcycles safe and boring. Those precious few moments in the saddle, weighing the pros and cons of every twitch, are the ones that give me the buzz of being alive. Let’s hope it stays that way.