Automatic emergency calls that activate in the event of a crash are being installed in cars and some motorcycles and motorcycle helmets, but Triumph has now released a similar phone app that all riders can use.
Triumph SOS will detect if you have suddenly stopped and send an automatic emergency call that can be manually cancelled if you just happened to have dropped you phone or your bike and are not in any danger.
The service has been launched in Australia,New Zealand, Europe and North America.
It is available to any rider, but Triumph owners get a three-month free trial.
Paramedics say the chances of survival of a rider in a crash are linked to the speed of contact with emergency services, making this service vital.
However, it will be limited by phone coverage which can be patchy at best in Australia’s vast outback.
The Triumph SOS app has been specifically tailored for motorcyclists, and monitors key sensors in your smartphone to detect and validate an accident.
The Google-Cloud hosted emergency alerting platform automatically sends the rider’s details directly to the emergency services within seconds of the accident being detected, following a unique validation process.
Details include GPS location, direction of travel, bike details, and medical information, but
Triumph confirms the app does not record or send any speed or telematics data to the emergency services.
Advanced features include sophisticated auto-pause technology to prevent accidental triggering so you can fully focus on your ride.
The app requires a rolling monthly subscription with no cancelation fees or long-term contract commitment.
Riders can download the Triumph SOS app now from iOS and AndroidApp stores.
Sygic GPS Navigation was originally only available in iOS format but is now available on the Android Auto platform as one of the first non-Google navigation alternatives, offering the benefit of offline maps.
Apart from off-line maps, it also offers voice navigation through a helmet bluetooth intercom and quick connection to some modern motorcycle instrument panels.
It also indicates real-time traffic reports such as jams, crashes and roadworks, as well as speed limit warnings.
How the countdown works
The Traffic Lights countdown add-on does not trigger a green light.
Energica has been working with two other Italian brands on a new way for riders to interact with their motorcycles – using voice-enabled functions on the bike.
According to motorradonline.de, the CTO (Chief Technology Officer or Technical Director) at Energica, Giampiero Testoni:
“Thanks to this innovative communication system, the driver will be able to find information about his vehicle easily and without distraction while driving: Alascom uses artificial intelligence to guide you To create voice assistants that improve the motorcyclist’s driving experience, with intuitive voice commands that aim to manage and control the essential functions of the motorcycle.”
When it comes to voice-controlled interfaces, the technology itself isn’t new. Voice-activated commands have been in plenty of automobiles for years. However, this technology has not been found in motorcycles with the exception of Honda’s RoadSync equipped bikes.
In theory, this technology will be very useful for setting up trips or checking maintenance intervals. I’m not sure how practical it would be while whizzing down the highway at 60mph if compared to changing the song on your voice-activated Bluetooth device.
Voice-activation will certainly be more convenient instead of scrolling through menus while in transit. Actions like “Energica, enable rain mode” would save you from having to pull over and run through complex systems found on brand new motorcycles.
The motorcycle industry is constantly evolving. However, the next five years may see some rapid changes. With electrification becoming a more mainstream feature in the wider automotive industry and the necessary infrastructure developing with it, it’s clear that the motorcycle industry will have to rise to a number of new challenges.
Electrification is just one of the many facets of modern motorcycling. With the advent of smart technologies, motorcyclists can be more aware of their surroundings than ever before. New construction materials and methods are being applied to the latest generation of bikes and riding gear. And technologies that were once fun gimmicks are now becoming standard.
We don’t know what the next few years will bring, but we can focus on some brands that are likely to make an impact on the industry in general. You may disagree with our choices—and that’s fine. Whether you agree or not, and whether we end up being right or wrong, it’ll be interesting to see how these brands evolve, develop, or fade away, in the not-so-distant future.
So, let’s get started!
One of the most exciting brands out there is Canada’s Damon Motorcycles. Like many upcoming electric brands, Damon has made some impressive claims and what’s more, their claims seem to be more fact than fiction. If you’re not familiar with Damon Motorcycles, here’s a quick recap:
Damon Motorcycles is a Canadian EV start-up that was founded in 2017. Over the years, the firm has been able to secure serious funding and recruit some top-tier talent. Not only that, but Damon Motorcycles also acquired the IP of the now-defunct Mission Motor, making it a serious electric motorcycle brand that you need to pay attention to.
In 2019, they pulled the covers off of their Hypersport model. It promised a top speed of 200 mph, 200 horsepower, a maximum range of 200 miles, fast charging times, and a base price of only $24,995 USD.
In terms of base specification, it’s already hard to find any downsides. The charging times are more acceptable, with 45 minutes to reach 80% with a Combined Charging System, 2.5 hours to hit 90% at Level 2, and 15 hours to 90% with Level 1 charging. It’s not even heavy, which is often a problem with EVs, weighing in at around 440 lbs. It even has top-shelf components, such as Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes on the premium “Premier” model.
But all of those features aren’t even the main selling point of Damon’s premium motorcycles.
It’s the on-board tech.
Damon’s advanced CoPilot system is an amalgamation of sophisticated riding aids and modern electronics. We’re not talking ABS and traction control either—we’re talking about futuristic safety elements. CoPilot relies on sensors, radars, cameras, and modern technology to track moving objects and give riders a 360-degree view of everything that’s going on around them. If it senses danger, it will alert the rider.
Each motorcycle also features an innovative Shift system. This is an electronic ergonomics package that allows riders to electronically control their riding position. Handlebars, pegs, seat height, and screen height can all be adjusted electronically, allowing for a custom ride experience.
It’s the safety element that Damon’s bosses are really interested in. According to an interview with the company’s boss Jay Giraud, a heavy focus on safety was necessary to secure investors, and it’s a strategy that has paid off. Not only has he secured funding, but he’s also attracted the right target market.
“Half the people ordering are under the age of 40,” explained Giraud. “It really speaks to product-market fit.”
At the moment, it’s too early to tell how well Damon Motorcycles will perform on the market. However, the brand has highlighted exactly how much electric motorcycle you can get for a reasonable price. The competition will have to work hard to innovate and keep up with Damon in the years to come. Will Damon be able to dominate the electric motorcycle market? Again, it’s too early to tell—but whatever happens, they’ll have given their competitors something to think about.
And now we leap from one exciting and forward-thinking company to another that prides itself on heritage and nostalgia. It’s Harley-Davidson, of course. You’re probably wondering how a brand like Harley-Davidson could shake up the industry, and under normal circumstances, we’d also be scratching our heads. But something has happened to HDs high-command that gives us reason to believe that big things are in the works.
In March 2020, Jochen Zeitz took over the role of CEO at HD. He’s been on the board since 2007 and headed Harley’s Sustainability Committee since 2011. If you’re not familiar with Jochen Zeitz, he’s a very successful businessman with plenty of career highlights. In 1993, at age 30, he became the CEO of PUMA. At this time, the brand was in decline and faced serious financial difficulties. Thanks to a bold restructuring plan with a long-term vision, Zeitz was able to save the brand and increase its share price by 4000%.
With Zeitz at the helm, it’s clear that Harley-Davidson may be expecting something of a revolution. Currently, the brand has surprised critics by releasing or previewing a number of exciting new models: the LiveWire, the Pan America, and the Bronx.
The first is an innovative electric motorcycle, the second is an impressive adventure-touring motorcycle, and the third is an aggressive streetfighter. While opinions have been split, there’s no doubt that Harley-Davidson is actively testing the waters and feeling out other areas of the market. With an aging ridership and without younger riders replacing the outgoing generation of Harley-riders, the brand has found itself at something of a crossroads.
Even so, it seems that Zeitz’s business plan won’t be resting its hopes on new models. According to the man himself, his bold “Rewire” strategy will focus on smoothing out the company’s operations and making everything “lean and efficient” using “broad cost and cash savings measures.”
By streamlining operations it’s hoped that Harley will be able to continue developing desirable motorcycles and remain classed as a premium brand. It’s a bold strategy, especially as many brands have diversified to include smaller, budget-conscious models. For Harley, it seems like staying in the premium bracket is a high-priority.,
“We’ve always said that market share right now doesn’t really matter simply because we have to focus not on volume but on desirability,” Zeitz explained.
Whatever happens, it’s clear that Harley-Davidson is going to make some pretty big waves over the next few years.
Forcite MK1 Smart Helmet
Not all industry brands that are shaking up the industry are motorcycle manufacturers. Motorcycle gear is just as important to a rider as their motorcycle, and in recent years motorcycle helmet technology has really advanced. The promise of the Skully AR-1 may have dissolved into nothing, but there’s more to the modern helmet scene than one brand. In Ireland, there’s a firm called Koroyd with a fantastic invention that could replace traditional MIPS liners. But we’re not here to talk about that.
Forcite is an Australian helmet manufacturer with big plans. Their pioneering helmet, the MK1, has already sold out—and it hasn’t gone into full production yet. It claims to be the world’s first real smart helmet, one that would blow the Skully AR-1 out of the water, using modern construction materials and serious technology.
In short, the MK1 is a carbon fiber helmet with an innovative bamboo-fabric liner, a UV400 rated sun visor, with anti-fog coating, and plenty of ventilation. Currently, it has European ECE certification and Australian certification for road and track use, with US certification on the way. As an analog helmet, it’s already impressive. But it’s the level of built-in technology that truly elevates it above the competition.
The lid features an integrated 166-degree wide-angle camera that records 1080p/60 FPS, which can store up to 5 hours of riding footage, with regular autosave intervals. It also boasts built-in WiFi for easy file uploads, and for practical communication reasons.
Bluetooth is also included, with removable speakers and a pair of noise-canceling microphones for seamless audio capture, and for bike-to-bike communication, courtesy of the helmet’s built-in communication system. The communication system works using the internet though, and not Bluetooth.
If that wasn’t enough, the Forcite MK1 also includes built-in GPS and a number of other sensors that delivers information to navigation and geo-tagging system. There’s no heads-up display, but it alerts the rider and gives information via the audio system and LED lighting within the helmet.
So what does all of this mean?
It means that the likes of SENA and Jarvish have got a serious competitor. And as the industry leans towards smarter helmets, with built-in communication devices and Bluetooth-to-smartphone communication equipped as standard, every helmet manufacturer will have to start innovating and deploying their own solutions. So far, SENA has managed to dominate the communications market, and helmet manufacturers have been happy to provide device-sized recesses in their lids to accommodate third-party gear. But those days may be coming to an end.
As riders demand more technology in their helmets, the market may shift toward all-inclusive smart helmets like the Forcite MK1, rather than helmets built to accommodate third-party gadgets.
The motorcycle industry is continually evolving, and now with the advent of autonomous driving, AI technologies, the abundance of IoT (internet of things) technology, super light, and super strong construction materials, and more, the industry’s next evolutionary leap is expected to be quite a big one. Whether these brands will be riding the crest of that evolutionary wave remains to be seen—but they’re worth keeping an eye on, just in case.
MV Agusta has announced a distinguished partnership with Roni who is one of Switzerland’s most exclusive watchmakers. Roni is based in the home of luxury situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz, Switzerland.
This partnership is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of MV Agusta and to celebrate the milestone, RO-NI will be producing just 75 of these prestigious watches. This exclusive automatic watch named RO-NI RMV will be produced on payment. The RMV will be retailing at a sum of roughly $68,000 (€56,000). A small price to pay considering it will be only 1 of 75 on the planet.
The RMV will use materials often found in the “Motorcycle Art” crafted by MV Agusta. The automatic watch will consist of best grade titanium, 7075 aluminum alloy, steel, carbon fiber, leather, Alcantara, sapphire, and per RO-NI’s website “the search for the typical colors of the MV AGUSTA brand condensed into a perfect technical artistic balance.”.
This collector’s piece will also include “75” engraved throughout the watch in addition to “MV” on the face. All of the inner workings of the timepiece will be on display via it’s skeletal construction. These handmade timepieces will be accompanied by an official certificate from RO-NI.
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.