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What say those of you with newer bikes that have ride modes?

Tourmeister

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The Virtues of Rain Mode

I have always been a BIG believer in slow down to go fast, be smooth. However, I have never had a bike with different ride modes.

Have any of you with these kinds of bikes really played around with the different modes?
 

South Tex

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I have an ‘11 GSA with Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes (esa button). I usually keep it on Comfort since it is really just my pavement touring bike but if the bike is on the center stand and you switch between them it actually raises and lowers the suspension. When I remember to switch to Sport on rides like the sisters in the hill country or even rougher dirt roads I really think I feel a difference. I’m 250 geared up FYI. Now ASPR rode it a few weeks ago and we hit a dirt road so I stopped and showed him how to switch it and later he said he couldn’t tell a difference at all. He’s a skinny bearded millennial.

This isn’t the rain modes which limit power but maybe rider size counts there too
 

mitchntx

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My 1290 SA has an offroad mode.

Detuned the motor to ~100hp, allows an instant of wheel spin prior to TC kicking in and the rear antilock brake is disabled.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

South Tex

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The sport mode on the GSA felt a lot better on the twisties of the sisters. I forgot to turn it on the going and remembered on the return trip so kinda got a real feel. I’m not a peg dragging guy and I think Drunk Uncle got bored waiting on me, but I think his wait was less on the return trip.
 
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I have an ‘11 GSA with Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes (esa button). I usually keep it on Comfort since it is really just my pavement touring bike but if the bike is on the center stand and you switch between them it actually raises and lowers the suspension. When I remember to switch to Sport on rides like the sisters in the hill country or even rougher dirt roads I really think I feel a difference. I’m 250 geared up FYI. Now ASPR rode it a few weeks ago and we hit a dirt road so I stopped and showed him how to switch it and later he said he couldn’t tell a difference at all. He’s a skinny bearded millennial.

This isn’t the rain modes which limit power but maybe rider size counts there too
I'll remember that next time you are behind me in the mud!
 

Jarrett

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Frankly, I think all those modes are the only reason I could have started off on a liter bike and then jumped up to a 127 hp bike so quickly.

Granted, I run in the most aggressive mode (which is typically Sport Mode 3 on 2016 Honda's) on both of my bikes all the time but I think what really saves my butt is the traction control, ABS and of course, DCT.

My bikes don't have global mode settings like rain, dirt, etc. You just pick and choose what parameters you want.

I typically run my Africa Twin like this:

Sport Mode 3 - most aggressive power and shifting, but I find I still do a fair amount of downshifting even in this mode
Traction Control 2 - middle setting of three that lets the rear wheel spin just a bit. I run in TC3/highest when its raining for no slip
ABS On - I've played with it on and off and I just don't find myself on enough steep, rocky descents to make it useful for me off
G-Mode On - G-Mode just makes the clutch "pop" a little more giving a more abrupt feel of acceleration at low speeds/easier to wheelie

The way Honda implemented DCT and these other options really makes their DCT stuff easy to use and also saves your butt in bad situations.
 

mitchntx

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Do you find these extra modes helpful?

Do you ride smoother?
Yes ... when I remember to engage them.
I wish it were easy ... the menu system on the 16 model is a bit user hostile and not readily intuitive.

A for instance ... a dirt road in Arkansas that was being maintained when we passed through.
The dirt was loose and deep sandy loam.
One turn, the front washed a bit, I rolled throttle, the rear spun around and I found myself upright and pointing the correct direction.
It was the first time I had felt the bike fix my mistake.
 

Lucydad

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Definitely a yes on my MV Agusta. The bike weighs 400 pounds and has 145 HP, and the triple spins up really, really fast. And, yes it rains here on the Coast, and I do get caught in slick conditions. Rain mode definitely helps: smoother power delivery. MV calls it a "Dragster" for good reason. On my V7 III Moto Guzzi: heavier, 50 hp: the modes are not as necessary, but the high torque engine does like to spin... so yes again on modes and TC. I think modes, TC and ABS are wonderful additions to riding safety.
 

Jarrett

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I've been following the Zero electric motorcycles recently. They make a couple of models that put out 116-ft. lbs of torque and have no traction control. For comparison, that's more torque than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, which has all kinds of cool rider safety features.

Unlike ICE (internal combustion engine) bikes, electric bikes make their torque instantaneously. To keep people from dumping the bikes on take off, Zero has dampened the torque up to 30 mph or so where the bike suddenly gives the rider back 100% of that instant super torque (with no traction control) and it has been causing issues with owners.

I've seen 35+ mentions online where the bike suddenly spun out from underneath them in an unexpected manner. These reports have even come from racers and moto journalists with decades of riding experience. This stark difference in power delivery is apparently catching seasoned riders by surprise.

Here is a video of a racer out riding with some friends on public roads having the issue below. In this video, you can hear him start to give it throttle coming out of this corner and suddenly the rear wheel spins up faster than he can react, highsiding him. Not sure if its NSFW or not:


Zero is releasing a new bike this month supposedly with considerably more power and torque than this bike, but it will supposedly have traction control.

It's interesting to see what can happen when this safety tech is not in place.
 

Tracker

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I've been following the Zero electric motorcycles recently. They make a couple of models that put out 116-ft. lbs of torque and have no traction control. For comparison, that's more torque than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, which has all kinds of cool rider safety features.

Unlike ICE (internal combustion engine) bikes, electric bikes make their torque instantaneously. To keep people from dumping the bikes on take off, Zero has dampened the torque up to 30 mph or so where the bike suddenly gives the rider back 100% of that instant super torque (with no traction control) and it has been causing issues with owners.

I've seen 35+ mentions online where the bike suddenly spun out from underneath them in an unexpected manner. These reports have even come from racers and moto journalists with decades of riding experience. This stark difference in power delivery is apparently catching seasoned riders by surprise.

Here is a video of a racer out riding with some friends on public roads having the issue below. In this video, you can hear him start to give it throttle coming out of this corner and suddenly the rear wheel spins up faster than he can react, highsiding him. Not sure if its NSFW or not:


Zero is releasing a new bike this month supposedly with considerably more power and torque than this bike, but it will supposedly have traction control.

It's interesting to see what can happen when this safety tech looks is not in place.
Looks like he lost it on the paint stripe?
 

jfink

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I have three bikes with ride mode control. And their modes are all different. All are throttle by wire, so it makes it easy to "program" the ride modes, I suspect these modes are designed by their respective engineers. One makes it difficult to start from a stop (BMW). Another keeps me from tipping it over during an accidental wheelie (KTM). And the last completely rearranges the throttle response and exhaust note (Honda). For everything except the Honda, I ride in Dynamic/Sport mode. On the Honda I ride in "Tour" mode, the exhaust tone is just too much for me in "Sport", plus I lose about 10mpg. And let's be honest, there is absolutely no reason to hot rod around on a Goldwing. To some degree, for me anyway, these modes are novelty. I don't really spend much time switching between them and they really don't serve to make my riding any better.
 

2WheelNut

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I have ride modes on my KTM Super Duke and I do use them. It's 173 HP at the crank and no matter how good you are, you'd better be a little scared at a HP number like that in full manual. With traction control, you can actually have fun using it rather than just being afraid of it. It also helps a lot in rain where it detunes the engine quite a bit to something more like 125 HP. I've ridden the KTM on some pretty rainy days and hundreds of miles of rain and it never slipped or got squirrely on me.

Having said that, I've done the same on many other bikes such as my Goldwing and I've never had much issue with stability on them either.

Even so, I was reading on the Goldwing forum about a guy and his wife that crashed on their Wing in the rain. They were on highway, got caught in rain that was coming down hard enough that it was making puddles in the lane groove depressions. Under steady power, the rear tire broke free and he lost it and went down. I believe a rain mode or traction control like the new 2018 Goldwing has would have prevented that crash.

So....I absolutely think they help, but that doesn't mean you can't ride safely without them.

Side note...you mentioned being smooth to be fast. If we're talking about ride modes and electronics helping you be fast, they absolutely do. In MotoGP, the pinnacle of fast racing, teams win or lose based on their electronics settings. Team managers and riders are quoted all the time saying that you cannot win if you don't trust the electronics and if the electronics aren't tuned correctly. They trust the electronics to be able to keep the power from spinning up out of control and / or burning up the tires but also to get maximum drive out the corner.
 

2WheelNut

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PS... My KTM has 3 engine mapping modes; Rain, Street, Sport and 3 suspension modes, Comfort, Street, Sport as well as lean angle sensitive ABS, clutchless upshifts, traction and wheelie control. That's quite a bit of electronics that a rider can use to help tame the beast or extract maximum performance from it.

I tell people it's by far the safest motorcycle I own but also the one I could get in the most trouble on.

The most important riding aid is between your ears.
 
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My Tenere (Gen 2, 2014) has only has two modes, Sport and Touring. Touring softens the delivery but ultimately you'll have full power in the upper rpm's. The acceleration reminded my of riding my Wee most of the time while in touring. In Sport there was heavy engine braking which caused some abruptness between parital throttle and no throttle. A lot of people prefer the Touring mode because of this (Think Mr2mch for example). I got the ECU reflashed and don't suffer this anymore and stay in Sport all the time. If traction was really sketchy I'd consider touring.

Traction control settings are 1, 2 and OFF. 1 doesn't allow any wheel spin and if I was riding (especially taking off) on loose sand over pavement type conditions this is what I'd use. I usually run in OFF if I remember to switch over to it when stopped. On start up the bike automatically reverts back to 1. The bike will only lift the front wheel in OFF or so I'm told. 2 is a decent compromise of both and allows limited rear wheel spin. Its also a soft cut of power when the the traction control cuts in.

On the E.S. model, the suspension can be changed electronically. Preload settings are, solo, solo + luggage, 2up and 2up with luggage. On the damping side, your settings are Soft, Standard and Hard which can be changed on the fly. When you're stopped however, you can fine tune any of those three settings between -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3. All told, I think there are 84 different combinations you can use form the above. If that sounds complicated it's really not that bad. If in doubt just set Soft, Standard and Hard to "0" and be done with it.

My suspension settings are the ones I change the most. As an example, going to Arkansas on any rough highway I'll have it set on Soft so I get more of an old Buick ride. When the roads get a little more interesting I switch to Standard and when the tight twisties suddenly appear I flick it over to Hard. I've found this very nice to have on a ride. With that said I haven't found the prefect settings on the E.S. and miss being able to take a screwdriver and really fine tune your suspension like on the standard model.
 
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I'm new to the electronics with my latest purchase. With my Gen 2 Tuono, I was the computer. I do like the traction control and I'm trying to get used to the wheelie control. I do not like ABS even in it's least intrusive setting and I've yet to try the launch control. Learning to trust a computer for wheelie control and launching isn't the easiest.

I'm running my bike in Track mode and have had traction control kick in on one corner. It definitely reacted more quickly than I could on the back end breaking loose.
 

Tourmeister

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Under steady power, the rear tire broke free and he lost it and went down. I believe a rain mode or traction control like the new 2018 Goldwing has would have prevented that crash.
I went down on an ST1300, riding two up with my wife, under steady power on wet pavement going in a perfectly straight line. We hit a tar patch on the chip sealed road and the rear spun up so fast that it was bouncing off the rev limiter before I could react. The next thing I know, I am fighting a bike that is flipping from one side to the other like a crazed bull. My wife got tossed off at 70 mph on the first snap back and I let go and low sided on the second snap back. Traction control probably would have prevented our accident. It wan't even raining at the time.
 

Jarrett

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My wife got tossed off at 70 mph on the first snap back and I let go and low sided on the second snap back. Traction control probably would have prevented our accident. It wan't even raining at the time.
Dang! (had to change due to the asterisks)

I can't believe you're still allowed to even have a motorcycle at the house after that.

I got caught in a torrential downpour around Austin one month into owning my AT with brand new Shinko 805's installed. Fresh rain as well, streets really slick. 70 mph on 35E because traffic wasn't slowing down. Rear tire spun a few times here and there, but traction control, ABS and DCT kept me up. I'm a fan of the nanny tech.
 

Yeeha! Stephen

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I've got modes but don't use them. Got a setup I like the most and I left it there.
Riding a BMW and they have 3 selections (usually), the problem is, I wish I had something between those setting. Once had a BMW with Ohlins and they were infinitely adjustable. If you need something between the 3 "factory picked" selections, you are out of luck. You can't adjust the compression or rebound or any preload beyond the 3 spots the factory decided you need.
 

Ocho

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I've been following the Zero electric motorcycles recently. They make a couple of models that put out 116-ft. lbs of torque and have no traction control. For comparison, that's more torque than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, which has all kinds of cool rider safety features.

Unlike ICE (internal combustion engine) bikes, electric bikes make their torque instantaneously. To keep people from dumping the bikes on take off, Zero has dampened the torque up to 30 mph or so where the bike suddenly gives the rider back 100% of that instant super torque (with no traction control) and it has been causing issues with owners.
I believe it, I read journalist/vloggers were crashing them frequently. You waiting for the new model?
 

Tourmeister

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Dang! (had to change due to the asterisks)

I can't believe you're still allowed to even have a motorcycle at the house after that.

I got caught in a torrential downpour around Austin one month into owning my AT with brand new Shinko 805's installed. Fresh rain as well, streets really slick. 70 mph on 35E because traffic wasn't slowing down. Rear tire spun a few times here and there, but traction control, ABS and DCT kept me up. I'm a fan of the nanny tech.
At the time, she was a rider as well. Due to good gear, we came out of it pretty well, with no serious injuries. She hasn't done a lot of riding since then just because that was right after kid #2 was born and then kid #3 came along... and well... But, she had no problem with me continuing to ride. I think I may have upped my life insurance though ;-)
 
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I have a rain, road, dynamic and dynamic pro on my S1000XR. I am currently on road because of the break in period. I was informed that the dynamic pro will back off on some of the ABS and automatic stability control. The dynamic pro is supposed to turn it all off allowing things like wheelies and drifting of the rear tire. This bike has 165hp on a bike that is 500lbs wet. I am pretty sure there are good differences between the modes. When I ride with a group (mostly cruisers I will keep it in road just to help with a smoother power delivery). When I am by myself I will go with the dynamic if I am out in the twisties. I honestly don't ever see myself riding in the pro mode.
 
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FJR has a sport/tour setting. Sport feels normal and your just dampens the throttle, although you still get 100% of it all at WOT. I leave it in sport all the time.

I do keep ABS and traction control on all the time as well although I don't believe I've done anything goofy lately to where either have saved my bacon.

Had a Suzuki B-king which was just a naked 'Busa and thinking back I love how that beast didn't have any rider aids. It was brutally fast but it was very easy to ride. It did have 2 power modes which cut power (felt like a 600), which I tried it once and never felt the need again since the fueling was spot on and easily controllable in full power mode.

One time when the tires were worn and still cold I was froggy on my 1st to 2nd shift and noticed the revs spin up very fast. I briefly saw the speedo indicate triple digit speeds even though I wasn't moving but half that. Bike was so stable just going down the road in a straight line with the rear tire spinning.
 

jqueen

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I have road and rain mode on my Triumph, and I almost prefer the rain mode for smoothness (doesn't cut overall power, just makes the throttle less sensitive at low opening and more sensitive at high openings). If I had my way I would use rain all the time and road when I was wanting to be a bit more sporty (since there isn't a sport mode).

The only thing is, you can't change the default, so you'd have to remember to set it to rain mode every ride.

If you can set the default, then ride modes aren't a gimmick even if you never change it after the first setting.
 

WoodButcher

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My K1600 has Rain, Road and Dynamic. Rain limits to 70% power and slower response. Ups the sensitivity of the traction control, including lean angle. Road is full power, linear response and normal traction control. Dynamic is full power, throttle response varies based on how fast you twist the throttle (non-linear) and more "freedom" with the traction control. I use Road almost all the time, Rain when it is fresh rain on dirty roads or very heavy rain. Dynamic only when I'm following Snoopster on her favorite roads...in other words, not often. And not in over a year...
 

2WheelNut

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One thing I like a lot about my KTM is that it stays in whatever settings you had it in last even after you turned it off. I suppose it's good and bad, if you rode home in a rain storm and had it on rain, you'll start out in rain on your next ride on a sunny day but it's also very clearly displayed as to what setting the mapping and suspension are on in the display and both are able to be changed as you ride so it's not a big deal to switch.

The Super Duke is a street only bike so I haven't turned off the ABS, traction or wheelie control as I find them all useful in all of my riding on that bike. As a result, I'm not sure if they'd stay turned off it I turned them off or not.
 
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I bought a super Tenere ES brand new and it was my first ever bike to have an option sport/touring. I had read so many complaints about the stock settings that I had the ECU reflashed before I put more than 20 miles on the bike, since then I have tried sport and touring and just find touring mode flat and boring, so I have stayed in sport mode ever since, maybe in really slippery conditions the touring mode might get used, but I doubt it!! The traction control is far more fun, I love riding with it off as this old girl will lift the front wheel quite well, but it’s a real nuisance that it always turns on with the traction control in mode one and you have to be at a complete halt to turn it off. Shame there is no mode to disable the ABS on the rear wheel, that can be a real nuisance in soft downhill sections, you just have to learn to ride more slowly in those conditions..

In general I think these modes are a waste of money for me, but some seem to like them. Maybe if you have a very responsive powerful bike they do help, but on the Tenere they seem a bit pointless to me.

Gary
 

jfink

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My K1600 has Rain, Road and Dynamic. Rain limits to 70% power and slower response. Ups the sensitivity of the traction control, including lean angle. Road is full power, linear response and normal traction control. Dynamic is full power, throttle response varies based on how fast you twist the throttle (non-linear) and more "freedom" with the traction control. I use Road almost all the time, Rain when it is fresh rain on dirty roads or very heavy rain. Dynamic only when I'm following Snoopster on her favorite roads...in other words, not often. And not in over a year...
I usually keep my K1600 in Dynamic, when I am not in traffic, though I struggle at times with clutch release. I still kill it sometimes in stop and go traffic. No problem in either Road or Rain, but I don't like the sluggish throttle response at speeds above start up. It would be easy for BMW remap the throttle up in Dynamic???

I guess I don't ride any of mine hard enough to notice any difference in any of the settings other than the throttle response. Except for the Wing, whose exhaust tone definitely changes.
 
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I like the riding modes on my Duc. It has 4 modes, each programmable for TC and ABS, I have not changed any of those for now. The two modes I use are Sport and Urban, the biggest difference is throttle response and HP, Urban mode has a slower throttle response and 80% hp , very tame. If I grab a hand full of throttle it kind of thinks about for a heartbeat then the power just kind of rolls in nice and smooth, in Sport mode if I do the same thing I better have a good grip and hang on, it does not think about it, it just goes.
 
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