Return of speed control threat

By Steve Farrell -

General news

 25 March 2011 17:28

A bike throttle which gets stiffer to force the rider to slow down has been developed in a European Commission research project.

The system uses an electric motor attached to the throttle cable to increase stiffness when an onboard computer calculates the bike is going too fast.
It could be used, along digital maps and GPS, to prevent speeding or slow riders for corners.

MCN recently tested a Triumph Sprint ST equipped with similar a system which warns the rider when his cornering speed is deemed too fast using an alarm inside the helmet and a vibrating glove.

The so-called Curve Warning System calculated maximum recommended speed for bends on a test track using GPS and pitch sensors in the bike. Our tester found it distracting and over-cautious. 

The ‘force controlled throttle’ system has been fitted to a motorcycle simulator in the same three-year EC project, called Saferider. The project was backed by Fema (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations), Yamaha and Mira (Motor Industry Research Association).

Trevor Baird, of the campaign group No to Throttle Control, said: “The danger is there will be another stage of research and the next step will be fitting it to a bike.
“In my experience it takes control away from the rider. Once you do that you’re into making a motorcycle dangerous.”

A report produced by the Saferider project said a motorcycle ‘will be equipped with a force controlled throttle able to tune the return force through a servo controlled electric motor in order to communicate a speed reduction warning.’ It said the throttle ‘is designed for a non invasive and highly intuitive feedback’.

Read more on this in MCN, on sale now