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Ride Modes versus Right Wrist

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I'm a luddite that's never put many miles on new-fangled machines with multiple Ride Modes. The miles I have done on these were all in one mode the whole time.

My motorcycles all have Ride Modes - enabled by twisting the right wrist:
Rainy: twist less
Sunny: twist more
Sport: twist all the way

This allows me to make the difference in power based on conditions or testosterone levels. I don't have to pull over and fiddle with buttons to get more or less power.

So: what am I missing about these? For ya'll with oodles of miles on Ride-Mode-enabled bikes, how often do you really change modes? I think I'd be nervous using the right wrist the same way on wet gravel in "wet" mode as I would on Lime Creek Road in Sport. I think I'd second-guess throttle position for a while each time I changed settings - while re-learning the new mapping.

Or, it is easer than that? Do you find it truly useful to change modes as conditions change?

Let's keep ABS modes out of the equation for the moment, unless these too are mapped to "Ride Modes".
 

drfood

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I going to watch and see how this discussion develops. :popcorn:
 
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I don't see any high power bikes in your sig. Don't know about your ownership history but I'd suspect that's probably a possibility why your method works so well. With more power comes a harder hit, which can't always be as controllable with the wrist and some electronic aids help you to reign in the horsies so they aren't as abrupt.

I don't have anything with these aids but just like ABS, if it helps to keep the bike upright in an oops scenario that might not afford time to react, then I kinda like it. I'm hoping my next bike has enough power to necessitate such aids.
 

Tourmeister

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I believe that have to do with how the power is generated. So for a given amount of twist, you don't get the same amount of output. It allows the rider to be less precise about throttle control.

A good example would be a truck my Dad used to have. He put a chip in it that upped the pressure for the turbo on the diesel. Sure, you "could" still manage the output with the pedal, but on rainy days it was REALLY hard to pull away from a stop and NOT spin the back tires. The hit from that initial leap off of idle was just so big that there was no way to avoid it be being easy on the pedal. The ability to put the truck in rain mode to soften that initial hit would have been nice. In the dry, it was a non-issue. So I suspect it might be similar on a bike in terms of the transition between off the gas and back on the gas, like coming out of corners.
 
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Yeah, none of my bikes have ever been very powerful - and the most hi-tech thing on any of them is fuel injection. And to be clear, I didn't mean to insinuate that I'm "better" than ride modes or those that use 'em. Anyone that's ridden with me knows that ain't true :)


So for a given amount of twist, you don't get the same amount of output. It allows the rider to be less precise about throttle control.
But - that also requires the rider to re-calibrate the brain-wrist connection each time the mode changes. Right?

... He put a chip in it that upped the pressure...
Ok - I that makes sense. But wouldn't that be a 'set it and forget it' kinda thing? Or, perhaps that two modes would make sense (full power & wet weather) ?

I'm asking partly because I just read a rundown of the new F850GS. Among other improvements - they apparently added three ADDITIONAL ride modes, so there are now 6 options - I believe. Is that cutting things a little thin?

I guess to re-state my original questions:
For those with a ride-mode enabled bike, how often do you actually change ride modes? Only when going from wet to dry or pavement to dirt? When you do change back from a low power mode to a full power mode - does that take some mental adjustment to keep things in line?
 
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Tourmeister

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:tab Depending on the bike, the ride mode may do more than just change engine mapping and throttle response. It may also adjust suspension settings, ABS, and traction control. I believe the new 850 GS has the electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) system as an option. This system has been on the bigger 1200 GS/GSAs for a while now. Also, the big KTMs have the ability adjust the level of traction control as well as ABS for front and rear independent of each other. That might account for more than just the typical three engine mapping modes some bikes have.
 
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I'm asking partly because I just read a rundown of the new F850GS. Among other improvements - they apparently added three ADDITIONAL ride modes, so there are now 6 options - I believe. Is that cutting things a little thin?
With motorcycle test rides being few and far between, especially on new bikes, many buyers will buy based on paper numbers. This bike is lighter or this bike has more hp, or this bike has six gears and that one has five. I'm pretty sure in the tech revolution that is motorcycles, the number of "Modes" is being dictated more by sales teams and marketing than engineers. "Ooh, this BMW has six modes and that crappy Triumph only has three, it must suck."
 
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I'm with Jeff S. I learned how to ride 61 years ago. All I have that is "new" is F.I., thank God got rid of the manual choke! What happens when the mode "brain" goes whacky?
 

ThomasM

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I don't remember what mode I had it in coming down a freshly paved road covered in pea gravel in Mexico last year, but Vinny said it looked like two different guys riding the bike. I'm sure I had an out of body experience near a guardrail, so I demonstrated Dr. Jekyll mode. It works OK, but it's not covered in the manual. :eek2:

No mode would have helped there, but I like having them on the GSA and the rain mode especially has helped keep the rear in check on more than one occasion. Also rode in snow and ice around Davis Observatory two Christmases ago and it helped keep it mostly upright.

The computer taking over is somewhat disconcerting at first, but if you get out and practice making it engage in various conditions and terrains you'll really get a better appreciation for how it can help, and as mentioned above, on a lot of bikes it is changing more than just the throttle.

On the 250L I can't imagine that it would intervene often with so little power at the wheel and very little other electronically adjusted stuff. I'll probably welcome it when I get my KTM790Adv.
 
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For those with a ride-mode enabled bike, how often do you actually change ride modes? Only when going from wet to dry or pavement to dirt? When you do change back from a low power mode to a full power mode - does that take some mental adjustment to keep things in line?
Personally, I change my ride modes on the fly quite often. Usually because i'm going back and forth between gravel/dirt roads and dry/wet pavement. Rain mode makes a big difference in traction control, ABS and HP. TC and ABS both kick in sooner and more aggressively in rain mode to keep the bike more stable in wet weather. I also use this mode when i'm slabbing out long distances on pavement (wet or dry) to reduce tire wear and increase gas mileage. I have absolutely NO proof that it actually helps with these, but it makes me feel better. Because of the reduced HP in rain mode, i'm way less likely to blip the throttle after every stop like I tend to do in dynamic mode.

In regards to dirt/gravel roads I like to switch to enduro mode or even enduro pro mode so that ABS is virtually nonexistent. I like the ability to lock the rear wheel with no interference, and likewise spin the back tire without the bike trying to intervene too much. I rarely completely disengage ABS/TC, but mainly because I don't have the opportunity to ride in very steep environments. If I was riding trails in CO or even AR I would probably disable completely so I reduce the chances of ABS interfering with a steep downhill descent.

On dry twisty roads dynamic mode is a dream. Especially since I typically run in rain mode and get used to the reduced HP. When I switch to dynamic mode on fun twisty rides, it feels like a huge boost in HP and always puts a smile on my face. And there is something about going full throttle coming out of a corner and seeing the traction control like blink.
 

Tourmeister

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:tab I wish I could disable ABS only on the rear for my 1200GS. Not being able to lock up the rear on dirt can lead to unpleasant results. This is especially true on tight and steep switchbacks! However, having the ABS on the front on dirt totally saved my bacon after a turkey vulture hit me at about 65 mph and it caused my front brake to lock up. It would not release until I was able to rotate the controls back to their normal position. Had I not had ABS, I would have gone down pretty hard on nasty chunky gravel. I have no idea if the newer GSs have the option to set the ABS for front and rear individually.
 
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I've only had one motorcycle with all the computer stuff... 1190R Adventure. So, my exposure is way limited for any kind of comparison. The TC drove me nuts on loose hill climbs. It feels slip and throttles back - just when I really preferred it didn't. And worse still, it keeps right on throttling back until you literally stop while the wrist is cranking away. Going up Imogene was especially loose and the TC just about put me in spots where I didn't want to be. Modes are pretty handy and honestly make me ride better in a lot of situations than I could do without. Yep, fiddling with buttons is part of it but you get pretty adapt with it before long and it becomes not such a big deal. Now, whenever anyone feels like an 1190 needs a smaller front sprocket... just turn off TC/ABS and put it in sport mode. Oh- and, have a really good grip when doing so. Mere words cannot describe... :trust:
 

mitchntx

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I have KTM 1290 Super Adventure with multiple suspension and rider modes.

My limited experience is moving from street/comfort mode to offroad/offroad modes.

while riding in Arkansas, the group turned down a dirt/gravel road. I was in street/comfort mode. The bike felt heavy and the throttle was difficult to modulate.

I stopped, engaged offroad/offroad and is transformed the ride and controllability. The damping and preload changed to allow better suspension characteristics, reducing the jolt through the handle bars ... which in turn affected throttle control.

Also, there was a significant reduction in power. I didn't really realize it on the dirt and gravel. But it was very noticeable once the gravel turned into pavement.
 

WoodButcher

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:tab I wish I could disable ABS only on the rear for my 1200GS. Not being able to lock up the rear on dirt can lead to unpleasant results. This is especially true on tight and steep switchbacks! However, having the ABS on the front on dirt totally saved my bacon after a turkey vulture hit me at about 65 mph and it caused my front brake to lock up. It would not release until I was able to rotate the controls back to their normal position. Had I not had ABS, I would have gone down pretty hard on nasty chunky gravel. I have no idea if the newer GSs have the option to set the ABS for front and rear individually.
The rear is kind of disabled when the ABS is off. You just have to use the rear brake first, before you use the front. As soon as you use the front, the partially linked rear still has ABS. So use the rear, don't let it up. Then apply front. Simple, eh?
 

copb8

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I toggle between sport and normal modes depending on whether my wife is on the bike with me. With normal mode I don't have to pay as much attention to the throttle as we're enjoying the scenery and the ride is smoother and more comfortable for her. When she's off I switch it to sport.

To me ride modes aren't a must, much like intermittent wipers, but they're nice to have if they're there.
 

Lucydad

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Jeff,

Well met, great question. Hmm. Well, I bought a 2018 MV Agusta 800 Brutale Dragster RR...the trepistoni is, well...fast. It has normal, rain and sport modes. I can vouch the rain mode is useful when it rains. The bike, well, it is incredibly powerful, and light, and the power comes on in a rush. So my answer, at least for this MV: safety is enhanced with the rain mode in the rain. The Sport mode, well, are they kidding me? The bike is a terror...above about 8000 rpm. Add auto shifter...Sugar Land police get very interested, very fast when I go zero to 50...uh...in very few seconds.

Great question
 

cdc

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I'm a rain mode rider.
 
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On the GS, rain mode if it's wet, Dyna otherwise. TC completely off if being a hooligan.

On a group ride, a while back, had the TC disabled and sliding the back around on some gravel stretches near Cranfills Gap. After a stop at the Rock Church, road changed to asphalt. Forgetting that the TC was off I really whacked the throttle in 1st gear, immediate monster, over center wheelie. Managed to save it but the blow of gas tank to chest was nearly a heart stopper. I turned the TC back on. Maybe no one was looking?

Moral of the story? Ride modes can save your bacon in a lot of cases, as can good judgment..
 

Jarrett

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On my DCT bikes, I just keep them in the most aggressive ride modes they allow all the time.

Which is Sport Mode 3 on the Africa Twin and VFR1200X.

I typically keep the traction control on the highest setting or next to the highest setting.

When I go off pavement on the Africa Twin, I like to dial the traction control back a little for more wheel spin.

On my KLR650 and CRF250L, they didn't have enough power to need any traction control or ride modes, imo.
 
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