The next chapter in moto progression?

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11/11/2019 9:03 PM


We've all witnessed the significant improvements with suspension, power, and weight reduction in bikes over the last several decades that have resulted in increased speed. Riding style has also changed a bit in the last couple decades with the progression of scrubs, seat bounces, whips, whoops, etc. But as of late it It seems like we have hit a plateau and there is not much these guys can do to go faster...

As far as bike progression goes, it's obvious electronics and electric bikes will take over. For example, "smart suspensions" with electronics, and electric bikes with "smart torque", "traction control", and electronic transmissions. Computers and electronics are a given whether we want them or not, but what is the next big thing that will change riding forever? Could we see "smart front wheel drive" (2wd) electric bikes in the future for extra traction?

As far as riding, what else can these guys possibly do? Will there be some sort of new technique surface like the scrub that no one has seen yet?

I like where moto is at right now and I like to think we have hit the ceiling of what is possible but things will change with technology. Who's got the crystal ball?
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11/11/2019 9:25 PM


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11/11/2019 10:01 PM

Electric bikes? Nope

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11/11/2019 10:09 PM

Electric bikes will save the sport over here in the UK, so many tracks being closed down because of noise. Sadly we need it!

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11/11/2019 10:11 PM

De-evolution? Bikes with kick-starters and carbs. Riders who hang out at Havasu during the week.
We're heading back to the '90's---who's on the train with me?

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― General Anthony McAuliffe, 101st Airborne, while addressing troops at Bastogne during the Battle
of the Bulge.

11/11/2019 10:48 PM

Moto progression plateaued in the late 80s and has been ever since really.

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11/11/2019 11:04 PM

CPR wrote:

Moto progression plateaued in the late 80s and has been ever since really.

EFI, 4 strokes, suspension, traction control, blue tooth engine mapping, launch control, programmable ECU's.....what are you talking about plateaued man?

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11/11/2019 11:16 PM

Michael551 wrote:

Electric bikes will save the sport over here in the UK, so many tracks being closed down because of noise. Sadly we need it!

Thank your 4 strokes bec noise wasn't as much of a issue with 2 strokes… .. now I said not AS much but a 4 stroke sound carries much farther than any 2 stroke.

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11/11/2019 11:48 PM

Weight reduction? I must have missed something...

Electric bikes are coming and will take most of the mx market, especially in densly populated areas. When authorities realise that there's a quieter alternative they will say: Yeah, you can keep your track, but only with electric bikes.

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11/12/2019 1:01 AM

Michael551 wrote:

Electric bikes will save the sport over here in the UK, so many tracks being closed down because of noise. Sadly we need it!

Lightning78 wrote:

Thank your 4 strokes bec noise wasn't as much of a issue with 2 strokes… .. now I said not AS much but a 4 stroke sound carries much farther than any 2 stroke.

Er... no. Not in the UK. It's different issues for us over here as most of the UK is more densely populated than the US so there's a lot less 'open space' for noise to diffuse. Even when everyone was on a two-stroke people still complained. Couple that with everyone now being ten seconds on Google away from "best way to get your local council to shut down a motocross track" and the problem is rammed home ten-fold.

Electric bikes will massively detract from that if they can ever figure out how to make them last more than an hour at full-charge or be re-charged between motos without everyone needing a generator. For the UK, that's a very big thing.

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11/12/2019 1:35 AM

I would like to see a goggle lens that could adapt quickly to light changes. Similar to those old folk transition glasses, but faster. WAY faster.

All brands have multiple handlebar positions, how about more adjustability to pegs, subframe and suspension link lengths stock.

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11/12/2019 1:36 AM

CPR wrote:

Moto progression plateaued in the late 80s and has been ever since really.

navalseabee wrote:

EFI, 4 strokes, suspension, traction control, blue tooth engine mapping, launch control, programmable ECU's.....what are you talking about plateaued man?

And E Start!

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11/12/2019 2:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/12/2019 2:57 AM

But there isn't that much more to gain except with developing new materials or using current but very expensive materials (carbon fiber and titanium).

The big thing that the MX and enduro bikes lack is high-end electronics that has taken the superbike category by storm the last couple of years. It is however way more difficult to get similar systems working in our discipline (and banned in pro racing so the OEMs wont develop it).

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11/12/2019 2:50 AM

CPR wrote:

Moto progression plateaued in the late 80s and has been ever since really.

navalseabee wrote:

EFI, 4 strokes, suspension, traction control, blue tooth engine mapping, launch control, programmable ECU's.....what are you talking about plateaued man?

What I'm talking about is the level of progression. The changes made from bikes in the late 70s to the 80s were astronomical. Of course there's still been advances like those you've listed but not radical change like that period.
For example here's the YZ250s every ten years since 1978. I included the change to four strokes just in keeping with the latest technology. I think it's plain to see where the most rapid progression was and it's plateaued since by comparison is all I was saying.





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11/12/2019 2:57 AM

CPR wrote:

Moto progression plateaued in the late 80s and has been ever since really.

navalseabee wrote:

EFI, 4 strokes, suspension, traction control, blue tooth engine mapping, launch control, programmable ECU's.....what are you talking about plateaued man?

CPR wrote:

What I'm talking about is the level of progression. The changes made from bikes in the late 70s to the 80s were astronomical. Of course there's still been advances like those you've listed but not radical change like that period.
For example here's the YZ250s every ten years since 1978. I included the change to four strokes just in keeping with the latest technology. I think it's plain to see where the most rapid progression was and it's plateaued since by comparison is all I was saying.





I'm not sure you understand the term plateau.

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11/12/2019 3:41 AM

The combustion engine will cease production within the next decade.

After that, composite structural components that can be 3D printed and allow chassis geometry changes. Drive by wire brakes. Magnetic adjustable suspension.

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11/12/2019 3:54 AM

Like it or not electric is the future.
The worlds fastest production car ever is electric
Here is the Tesla Roadster specs
0-100 (0-60) 1.9 seconds!!
Weight: 1300kg
Battery range: 1000km

Motocross bikes 20 years from now will be VERY different

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11/12/2019 4:02 AM

blockhead17 wrote:

Like it or not electric is the future.
The worlds fastest production car ever is electric
Here is the Tesla Roadster specs
0-100 (0-60) 1.9 seconds!!
Weight: 1300kg
Battery range: 1000km

Motocross bikes 20 years from now will be VERY different

Just like in the late 80s everyone thought the v8 engine was going away and never coming back.

Look at formula e. It sucks. No fans not exciting at all.
Electric bikes would be only for play purposes the combustion engine will be here for a while.

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11/12/2019 4:40 AM

tcallahan707 wrote:

I'm not sure you understand the term plateau.

Agree. There's a huge progression going on from the 78' to the 19'. Hell I've ridden all but one of those bikes (my son had a 16' instead of the 19').

Watercooling
Progressive link suspension (single-shock)
Power Valves
Disc Brakes
Upside down forks
Suspension (fork) refinements
Aluminum frames
4-Stroke engines
EFI
Mass centralization: Rearward facing engine (it's debatable whether is is "progression, or not").

I'm missing a bunch I'm sure, but I think I've hit most of the low-hanging fruit.

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11/12/2019 4:48 AM

Going in a diff direction..

Currently the car companies are putting turbos on small engines to make big power.

Kawasaki is putting superchargers on 1000cc engines to make 220mph+ bikes.

I see dirtbikes getting small motors with little superchargers to get bikes with big power with the weight and inertia feel of a smaller engine.

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11/12/2019 5:32 AM

blockhead17 wrote:

Like it or not electric is the future.
The worlds fastest production car ever is electric
Here is the Tesla Roadster specs
0-100 (0-60) 1.9 seconds!!
Weight: 1300kg
Battery range: 1000km

Motocross bikes 20 years from now will be VERY different

Excaliburbmx wrote:

Just like in the late 80s everyone thought the v8 engine was going away and never coming back.

Look at formula e. It sucks. No fans not exciting at all.
Electric bikes would be only for play purposes the combustion engine will be here for a while.

Not as many car companies making v8s outside of the US
Many naturally aspirated 4 cylinder cars now put out more than stock v8s did back in the 90s
The technology is just way better.
I don’t think combustion bikes will ever disappear I just think the electric bikes will far surpass them quickly.

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11/12/2019 5:33 AM

Will be the same as now in 10 years. Nothing new to improve what we have , its just dirt bikes.

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11/12/2019 6:19 AM

Markee wrote:

I would like to see a goggle lens that could adapt quickly to light changes. Similar to those old folk transition glasses, but faster. WAY faster.

All brands have multiple handlebar positions, how about more adjustability to pegs, subframe and suspension link lengths stock.

those exist in the skiing world already, not sure why no one adapted to moto yet, but in general the goggles offered for snowsports are way ahead of moto.

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11/12/2019 6:39 AM

Automatic transmissions, Variable Valve Trains, Direct injection, ABS, adjustable ride height, hybrid powertrains and more things made of plastic will all be making their debut on dirt bikes. All you have to do is look at automotive to see what's next.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

11/12/2019 6:43 AM

Black Diesel Bomber wrote:
We've all witnessed the significant improvements with suspension, power, and weight reduction in bikes over the last several decades that have resulted in increased speed. Riding style has also changed a bit in the last couple decades with the progression of scrubs, seat bounces, whips, whoops, etc. But as of late it It seems like we have hit a plateau and there is not much these guys can do to go faster...

As far as bike progression goes, it's obvious electronics and electric bikes will take over. For example, "smart suspensions" with electronics, and electric bikes with "smart torque", "traction control", and electronic transmissions. Computers and electronics are a given whether we want them or not, but what is the next big thing that will change riding forever? Could we see "smart front wheel drive" (2wd) electric bikes in the future for extra traction?

As far as riding, what else can these guys possibly do? Will there be some sort of new technique surface like the scrub that no one has seen yet?

I like where moto is at right now and I like to think we have hit the ceiling of what is possible but things will change with technology. Who's got the crystal ball?

We definitely do not need to go faster. Affordable and capable bikes should be the objective for the future, the body can only withstand so much and the threshold as far as speeds are concerned has been surpassed. Electric might open up new riding area's and seems like a viable option and companion to the ICE. Options create opportunity but we don't need to go faster. Ditch the 450 and create a new baseline.

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11/12/2019 7:40 AM

Michael551 wrote:

Electric bikes will save the sport over here in the UK, so many tracks being closed down because of noise. Sadly we need it!

Lightning78 wrote:

Thank your 4 strokes bec noise wasn't as much of a issue with 2 strokes… .. now I said not AS much but a 4 stroke sound carries much farther than any 2 stroke.

not so sure about that. A friend of mine races a ktm 125 and has a turn track on the back side of his property. which is probably 3/4 mile from me. He frequently has people over there. I hear his bike much clearer over the 4 strokes. Even the new 250f hondas with fmfs which have to be the loudest bikes ive ever ridden... i think its got more to do with people loving to complain about every little thing that interrupts their boring life

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11/12/2019 8:02 AM

As nuts as people are now about climate change, both the motorcycle and auto industry will be forced to continue to change. Electric will be a big part of it. For a first stab at a competitive motocross bike, I love my Alta. And electric minis from the big 6 will get a lot of new kids into riding. So much easier on the parents, and less bitching from the neighbors.

And before all of the complaints about electric, I own one electric bike and 67 ICE bikes. Still a HUGE fan of 2 strokes and can live with riding 4 strokes. But the future is with electric, and that's not a bad thing.

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11/12/2019 8:28 AM

Suspension that can be changed electronically.

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11/12/2019 8:44 AM

CPR wrote:

What I'm talking about is the level of progression. The changes made from bikes in the late 70s to the 80s were astronomical. Of course there's still been advances like those you've listed but not radical change like that period.
For example here's the YZ250s every ten years since 1978. I included the change to four strokes just in keeping with the latest technology. I think it's plain to see where the most rapid progression was and it's plateaued since by comparison is all I was saying.





I understand exactly what you mean, and you are correct. Once could argue the switch to 4T was, or was not, a big step but everything else off road has been tinkering. The public sees small YOY improvements and gets SuperPumped™ but upside down forks, alu frames, FI, rear linkage suspension, are all from the 80s. The reverse cylinder thing is a big change, everything else is evolution, not revolution.

Heck, some tech is going backwards.....2T, carbs, steel frames.

Most of the improvement has come from shrinking the motor, shortening the engine cradle, and moving the weight distribution around. All this must be designed and placed around a big rotating mass, a constantly draining bucket of liquid, a hot exhaust, fuel mixer, and big airbox. Once you have the ability to place weight anywhere without working around those things, big, big changes in chassis design and handling will come.

The range limits are a big barrier to commercial success, but that is creeping forward. The current technology level is close or perhaps on par with ICE already. In small displacement classes it may be better. Once people stop flipping out and realize that E bikes will be MUCH faster around a course the floodgates will open.

BP

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11/12/2019 8:55 AM

Interesting article rolled out by F1 today and their goal to go to “zero carbon” by 2030.

https://www.racefans.net/2019/11/12/f1-net-zero-carbon-engine/

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