Regular readers may have noticed that I have a penchant for cruise control to the point where I may have said I wouldn’t buy a new motorcycle without it. Cruise control is indeed one of the best things the new Aprilia Tuono 660 has to offer in our main photo. When I complained that the new Ducati Monster didn’t offer the magic button in our May First drive, I suffered the nooses and arrows in the comment section. The new monster is now a ride-by-wire affair, and I’d heard from various knowledgeable sources that if ride-by-wire is already in place – i.e. the throttle is controlled by the ECU rather than the driver’s wrist – it’s a simple matter to add cc, most of the time it’s just a matter of adding the button and switchgear.
Born to ride confronted me as usual, pointing out that adding cruise control to any vehicle is much more complicated and expensive, amid a barrage of official comments forcing me to seek expert advice.
So we caught Stuart Wood, Chief Engineer at Triumph Motorcycles, telling us:
Ride-by-wire is a trailblazer for cruise control, but it’s not the only cost. When you need to write and develop cruise control software, there is a lot of detail, development, and testing to be done. If you have already written cruise control software and are in production, you may need to develop and fine-tune it for a new application. But that too is time-consuming and costly: You have to ensure that all functions for a particular bike with its individual combination of electrical and electronic components work correctly. The way the bike sets, breaks and resumes cruise control is critical and is thoroughly developed, tested and validated.
Every feature that is added to a new model is subjected to the same rigor and care during the design, development and testing process. I can’t give you numbers, but there is a real cost to adding functionality to a new model.
I hope it helps,
Chief Engineer, Advanced Engineering
Triumph Motorcycles Limited
I hate when others are right, but I think I should just be glad it happens so rarely. Anyway, with cruise control becoming more common on new motorcycles, I’ll just complain about those that don’t have the adaptive variant.
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[email protected]. If we can’t answer them, you’ll feel better, at least temporarily, thinking you’re talking to someone who knows what they’re talking about and who cares, even when we don’t. Usually we can track down a person who actually knows. It’s the thought that counts.