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Fifth Day Of Christmas | Five Big Buzzwords Of 2015 | NEWS

The blot on the history books that was 2015 will be remembered by many things. Here are five of the year’s most spoken words.


Even in this skinny-jeaned era of single-cylinder retro classics, 2015 proved horsepower will always be king. Among the vintage replicas which will no doubt help define the era, sitting right at the top of the heap of the bikes 2015 will be remembered for is the delightfully silly 300hp supercharged Kawasaki H2R. Suzuki’s not far off, showing a turbocharged production engine in Tokyo and is also known to be working on a four-cylinder engine. And Honda wants in, too. It’s also filed patents for a supercharged bike.


As well as the five different Scrambler variations (4 x Ducatis and 1 x Triumph) already available in the marketplace in 2015, the EICMA motorcycle expo in Milan saw five different brands unveil six new Scrambler models. Honda, BMW, Moto Guzzi and Benelli all threw their hat into the Scrambler ring, and Ducati threw two more in taking its total to six just to stamp its block pattern authority on the high-pipe craze.


Yes, that clash.


It was a segment we’d feared a mix of enforcement, ageing consumers and economic anaemia has began to get the better of. Boy, how wrong we were. BMW, Yamaha, Aprilia, Ducati and MV Agusta all raised the bar with heavily updated tech-laden superbikes this year, while Kawasaki and Suzuki whipped the covers off new bikes at the end-of-year shows. Honda is still said to be working on that V4.


So Inertial Measurement Units first appeared on a production motorcycle in 2014 when KTM debuted the Bosch-built system on its 1190 Adventure. Not surprisingly BWW wasn’t far behind and now in 2015, they’re everywhere.

Using a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer, the IMU calculates orientation, movement and g-forces. On Yamaha’s new YZF-R1, for example, a six-axis gyroscope is used. It measures angular acceleration and g-forces for pitch, roll and yaw movement and does it multiple times per second.

It then talks to all of the bike’s electronic-safety features, allowing them to all work as a complete package. The R1’s IMU feeds lean angle and g-force information to the TC system, allowing it to calculate the rotational speed difference between the front and rear wheels to measure how much traction control should be applied based on lean angle and g-forces.

The IMU can also detect a slide and adjust power and the pitch detection of the IMU sends information to the lift control system to stop wheelies, and the linked braking system relies on information from the IMU to calculate front to rear brake bias based on lean angle, g-forces and available grip. And here you were thinking your riding was improving.