Wow. I feel like every single week I write a new article about a manufacturer’s upcoming motorcycle app. Last week it was KTM’s new app for controlling their MX bikes suspension and engine settings, and a few weeks prior to that it was Ducati’s MyDucati app to keep you updated on all Ducati-related things. This week, I’m introducing you to Husqvarna’s addition to the motorcycle app world.
myKTM, myDucati; what could this new Husky app possibly be called?
… the app is called myHusqvarna (sigh)…
The app will work seamlessly with all your 2021 4-stroke Husqvarna dirt bikes and 2020 FC 450 Rockstar edition bikes as well.
Similarly to the myKTM app, this rendition allows for controlling engine performance and power, while having an additional feature to let the bike tune/adjust the suspension depending on rider weight, skill level, and what kind of track you’re running around.
If you’re not very experienced with motorcycle setup, the app has 2 modes, one of which is a stripped-down version that allows for traction control sensitivity. The advanced model on the other hand gives the rider full control over throttle response, engine braking levels, launch control, etc.
You can create and save presets to use at a later date in the event that you find a perfect set up for your local track, but it perhaps doesn’t translate to a different track and you want to have multiple presets ready for a seamless transition when unloading and starting up your bike at a new track.
The unit that you connect to your bike to allow for the app to connect properly mounts directly to the bike and communicatess with your smartphone (both iOS and Android) so you can have full control of your motorcycle with the touch of a button (or screen, rather).
A device you wear on your wrist could alert you to a rider in your group falling behind, contact emergency if you crash and even monitor your riding behaviour.
So far the campaign has raised $A4546 or 18% of its $25,000 goal from 28 backers in the first couple days with a month to go.
It will cost $A180 (€109, $US130) for supporters and the retail cost when/if it goes to market in May 2021 will be $A280 (€169, $US200).
So how does it work?
Motobit SENTINEL connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone and the Motobit app provides the rider with warnings about potentially dangerous situations through strong vibration feedback, called haptics.
They say the haptic response is “non-distracting” so the rider can keep their focus on the road.
There are some interesting, helpful and dubious features of the wearable device.
Like many emergency call features now available, it will call the ambulance or a nominated contract if it detects you have crashed from its G force sensors. You can obviously override these if you’ve just dropped the your bike!
A useful feature is in group riding where the combination of two devices or more can alert a lead rider if another group motorcyclist cannot keep up or has crashed.
A dubious feature is its use of algorithms to monitor rider behaviour and analyse the course of the road ahead to suggest the adequate riding speed.
Surely that’s part of simple road craft!
We also worry about its ability to provide incriminating information to the police or your insurer!
Motobit SENTINEL can be worn on on your wrist, attached to your trouser belt, kidney belt or in your pants or jacket pocket.
Motobit Sentinel is the product of two years of research and development by Austrian company motobit GmbH, which was founded by two motorcycle enthusiasts.
MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.
Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.
Australian smart helmet start-up Forcite Helmets, has released exciting world-first, racer-perspective video from their Forcite MK1 helmet with an integrated camera, bypassing the usual racing restrictions on body-worn cameras.
The Forcite MK1 helmet retails for $A1299 and the next limited batch will be available for Australians this summer.
ASBK competitor Giuseppe Scarcella on board his Forcite Racing Ducati 1299, filmed his race with an integrated camera contained within the chin of the Forcite MK1 smart helmet at the recent NSW Championship race meet at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Watch this video which will make you feel like you are really there.
The film of Giuseppe coming from the back of the grid to finish third overall captures the daring and skill needed to handle a Ducati 1299 at race pace.
From being tucked in down the straight at just a few clicks under 300km/h, to leaning over millimetres from the tarmac, the POV helmet footage gives the viewer an exhilarating experience that on-board cameras cannot.
The video was made as part of the European certification (ECE 22.05) process.
Forcite’s co-founder and CEO, Alfred Boydagis, believes this footage will be a game-changer for fans.
“The Forcite MK1’s ability to capture every twist and turn of the race from the perspective of their favourite rider will give fans an unbelievable perspective on the action,” he says.
“The race legal integrated camera is engineered to give the best view, whatever the position of the rider. Fans can expect this POV footage on their TVs soon – this is the cutting edge of live race action.”
While testing the MK1 during the opening round of ASBK/WSBK at Phillip Island in March, Forcite Racing’s Giuseppe Scarcella says he is happy with the way the helmet feels on the race track.
“Especially popping up from the bubble at over 300km/h to brake for turn one,” he says.
“The helmet’s just stuck to my head and just feels amazing. You realise the difference between a great helmet and a cheap helmet.”
The Forcite MK1 shell is made of carbon fibre and the helmet is packed with AI such as Forcite’s patented RAYDAR™ helmet system.
This server-based software system uses millions of data points through mobile applications, GPS, and cameras around the world that are currently inaccessible to motorcycle riders.
It also features LED technology inspired by communicative visual cues found on F1 car steering wheels, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handlebar controller.
A special app also allows the rider to control settings and use their phone for sat-nav, music and calls.
With all this tech integrated, it does away with the need for bulky click-on devices. That also means it passes race scrutineers who ban body-worn cameras and helmet attachments.
It would be the ultimate track-day helmet to video and relive your day!
Pairing helmet intercoms used to be a fiddly process, but now QR codes are making it easier.
You may have recently used a QR code when checking in at a restaurant during this pandemic, so you will know how easy it is to use.
Just turn on your phone’s camera and hold it over the code, and it brings up a window which you click to then enter details.
Some helmet intercom products are now using a similar QR code system and the latest is popular Bluetooth company Sena with their Smart Intercom Pairing (SIP) system.
It will work with nearly all Sena devices and many Sena-powered devices with Bluetooth 4.1 that are branded by companies such as Harley-Davidson, Schuberth, Shoei, HJC, Polaris, Klim, Nexx, ICON, AGV, and more.
How it works
Instead of using your phone’s camera to scan the QR code, the Sena SIP system works via their Sena app which does much the same.
Just scan your friend’s QR code and you’re paired.
Chinese computer company Lenovo signed a multi-year agreement with Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati in 2018.
Initially the agreement was to support the Ducati MotoGP team with computer firepower, but also to develop products and collaborate on research and development.
The result of this collaboration includes special products such as this limited-edition Lenovo Ducati 5 laptop PC, starting at $1999. Only 12,000 will be produced.
It is based on Intel Core i5 processors up to the 10th generation, with a 14-inch full HD display with a thin bezel and Dolby Audio speakers facing upwards.
Lenovo Ducati 5 also has a fingerprint reader on the power button for secure access that is quicker than entering a password.
There’s also a Privacy Shutter, so you can close the webcam when you don’t want to be disturbed.
Matching Ducati’s MO of lightweight and powerful motorcycles, the laptop is 19.1mm thin and weighs only 1.52kg.
We love the official press release that also plays on the motorcycle relationship:
The Lenovo Ducati 5 can run for up to 12 hours without needing to pull over and refuel—more than enough to watch your favourite motorbike team go from pole position to the podium. And when the battery’s low, there’s Rapid Charge. Just 15 minutes of recharging and you’re good to go for another three hours.
Get off to the best possible start with lightning-fast performance and various options, including 1TB PCIe SSD storage, 8GB DDR4 memory, and WiFi 6. Plus, with a state-of-the art USB-C port, you can charge your other devices or transfer data at speeds up to 10Gbps.
Ducati. A symbol of speed, performance, and innovation. The Lenovo Ducati 5 taps into that spirit. Dynamic and aesthetically engineered, it fuses pure horsepower with style and verve. With its metallic chassis elements and Ducati detailing, this special edition 14″ laptop is sure to ignite your passion. Start your engines.
However, this can be difficult when you’re out on the road unless you have your laptop with you.
The 50 series now comes with wifi capability allowing you to automatically download firmware updates with the special charging cable.
Just plug in the wifi charger and connect to a nearby wifi source such as your phone’s hotspot.
Mesh is an intercom software system that allows multiple riders to connect even when some riders are out of line of sight.
It’s not a system I use much, but for group rides it is very convenient and is a vital safety feature. (In fact, on one occasion, a rider behind me yelped and I knew straight away he had gone down even though I couldn’t see him.)
Critics say the Mesh software is unreliable, but Sena claim the flaws have been fixed.
I haven’t found any difficulties at all. In fact, there is less “crackling” interference from surrounding obstacles such as blind corners, trees, buildings, trucks, etc.
Sena says the intercom range s up to 2km in open terrain, which is about right by my tests.
I haven’t tested its full capacities with a “virtually limitless” number of riders in Open Mesh and 24 riders in Group Mesh intercom. (I don’t have that many friends!)
However, I have no reason to disbelieve Sena’s claims that Mesh extends range up to 8km (5miles) between a minimum of six riders.
Sena 50R tech specs
Price: $545 (single pack), $965 (dual pack)
Warranty: Two (2) year from date of purchase on manufacturers defects
Dimensions: 97mm x 48mm x 27 mm (3.8in x 1.8in x 1.0in)
Speakers: 40mm diameter, 7.2mm thick
Weight: 65g (2.29 oz)
Operating temperature: -10°C to 55°C (14°F – 131°F)
Working distance: up to 2 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain; Mesh extends up to 8km (5miles) between a minimum of 6 riders
Bluetooth Intercom: 4 riders
Open Mesh Intercom: virtually limitless (9 channels)
Group Mesh Intercom: 24 riders
Microphone Noise Cancellation: Advanced Noise Control
The chin guard has a dual safety opening system and ventilation system.
There is a removable and washable internal padding, a sun visor with UV 400 protection and reflex inserts for greater visibility.
Black Steel helmet ($A949)
The Black Steel helmet is based on the Arai Renegade V and designed by Drudi.
The outer shell is made of SFL fibre while the inner shell is made of EPS with differentiated density.
Its interior is made of antibacterial and washable fabric, the VAS visor has a wide field of view and the ventilation system is able to circulate about 14 litres of air per minute.
All Terrain Touring Boots ($A569)
These CE-approved, full grain leather and suede, all-terrain boots were made in collaboration with TCX.
They are equipped with a waterproof and breathable eVentmembrane and a closure system with adjustable, interchangeable aluminium levers.
The boots have a rubber sole for maximum grip on the pegs and feature lined pleats to increase comfort.
Ducati Communication System V2 ($A569)
This intercom system with voice commands allows up to 15 motorcyclists to communicate simultaneously in a range up to 1.6km in “ideal conditions” and about 1km in “real conditions”.
The connection is automatic, activates by talking and goes off after 30 seconds of silence.
In case of interruption, the connection is automatically restored.
It is based on a Cardo Intercom System and allows the rider to make and answer calls, control mobile devices with the touch of a finger or a voice command and listen Bluetooth music or the integrated FM radio.
The volume of the device adjusts automatically according to the background noise.
It features universal connectivity with any Bluetooth headset of any brand.