MCN Editorial on X-By-Wire

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  • MCN Editorial on X-By-Wire

    Dave Searle's editorial on X-By-Wire systems on modern cars and motorcycle has me re-thinking my desire for more electronic controls on a future Goldwing. Check out the September issue. There are many things the Goldwing needs, but more complexity and less reliability is not one of them.
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  • #2
    MCN had trouble properly balancing a wheel/tire so I am sure they reallly struggle with Fly-by-Wire (FBW).

    I am not sure I want to see any FBW functionality on any vehicle, much less a motorcycle. Consider FBW steering and the computer hiccups when you at full lean angle in a curve. Additionally, a whole new industry has been born as we employee computer security experts to prevent hackers from hacking in to the computer on your vehicle. Another one to consider....you are driving down the road at Interstate speed and a hacker (using Bluetooth) decides to mess with your head by activating your ABS brakes; then deactivating the brakes; then reactivating, etc. Sound like fun? But since the morons at NHTSA are already looking at seatbelts for bikes, we know we are all safe....Right?
    Richard
    Darksider #390
    Murgie's FAQ

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TravelinLite View Post
      MCN had trouble properly balancing a wheel/tire so I am sure they reallly struggle with Fly-by-Wire (FBW).

      I am not sure I want to see any FBW functionality on any vehicle, much less a motorcycle. Consider FBW steering and the computer hiccups when you at full lean angle in a curve. Additionally, a whole new industry has been born as we employee computer security experts to prevent hackers from hacking in to the computer on your vehicle. Another one to consider....you are driving down the road at Interstate speed and a hacker (using Bluetooth) decides to mess with your head by activating your ABS brakes; then deactivating the brakes; then reactivating, etc. Sound like fun? But since the morons at NHTSA are already looking at seatbelts for bikes, we know we are all safe....Right?
      Absolutely a terrible idea for the reasons stated above. Also consider the debacle that almost happened with the new throttle by wire (TBW) system on some of the current Indian motorcycles. The ECM was programed to disable any throttle input from the rider if either front or rear brake was activated for longer than two seconds. After the huge outcry from motorcycle riders and all the bad press from moto-mags Indian decided to do away with the brake/throttle override on the 2015 models and owners of current models could go to any Indian dealer to have the ECM reflashed with new software to disable the brake/throttle override feature. What may work great in an automobile, could be disastrous on a motorcycle.

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      • #4
        I read that article. Seems to me it opens the door for more problems. More complex is not always more better.
        2007 Crucible Orange Metallic
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        • #5
          Did you guys also reject fuel injection and want to stay with carburetors? What makes you think a cable hooked to a lever is more reliable than DBW?

          We must fight to stave off OMS... Old Man Syndrome... I'm not familiar with it, therefore it can't be any good :D

          DBW is a mature technology and comes with many benefits. Got the stumble or twitchy throttle... easily fixed in DBW systems but not so on a cable.

          Embrace change and accept that newer things... might... actually... be... BETTER!

          George - 2013 F6B Standard - Largo, FL

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          • #6
            Seems to me this article has merit, I'm quite happy with my 2005 without all the electronics. There's a point where it really gets to be "to much", way too many distractions. Maybe I have reached the OMS point, who knows, I can't judge that.

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            • #7
              As BikerBill says, I may have OMS too, although I'm not really sure what that means. But, I am old, that I do know (64), but it doesn't mean that I am a technophobe by any means. I was in the telecommunications field for a big part of my working career, so I do like technology and I try to keep abreast of new technology. I have and use many electronic "gadgets" and my smartphone is an integral part of my day. But I only adhere to and adopt the technology which I deem to be safe and secure after I do my own research. Ride-by-wire has not proven itself to be safe to my satisfaction as yet. I will hold off on trusting my life to it until it does so.

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              • #8
                I'm not a bit afraid of fly by wire.
                I don't see it as adding complexity or having negative effect on reliability.
                In fact, I would wager that if the current Goldwing had fully electronic throttle control that there would not be a stumble, it is much easier to control engine funtions when not mixing electronic and mechanical inputs.

                This is not a new or unproven technology. We were using this stuff all the way back in the 90's on diesel trucks with far less reliability issues.

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                • bikerbillone
                  bikerbillone commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If it works on the K1600, that's fine, just not for me; different strokes for different folks. That's why there are many brand of motorcycles out there.

              • #9
                It's not just the K1600, it's in the future of all vehicles. The control precision needed in new vehicles makes it inevitable that cabled linkages are on their way out. There isn't an equivalence in these overlapping technologies... cable vs. DBW... so there is no different strokes for different folks unless you will always drive older vehicles.

                I would venture a guess that there's at least one person, maybe even in this thread, who has DBW on their car and doesn't realize it.
                George - 2013 F6B Standard - Largo, FL

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                • #10
                  ... but I do agree that getting too fancy, too soon, with any technology is a disaster waiting to happen. Searle makes a good point in this regard.
                  George - 2013 F6B Standard - Largo, FL

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                  • bikerbillone
                    bikerbillone commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sure having a lot of recalls on the 4 wheel vehicles lately, could that be a result of new technology, or just sloppy quality?

                  • srt8-in-largo
                    srt8-in-largo commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Automotive design is so complex... not anywhere near aviation, but still very complex. Engineers can spend weeks and months choosing or spec'ing what they believe are the best components... but it's hard (impossible) to test the function of that component for every circumstance.

                    Further, when a component can be tested for a particular usage, it now becomes a problem to devise some sort of accelerated test to gauge how it performs over the span of a few years. Factor in the high heat and weather that some stuff needs to endure, and the fact that the market demands innovation to differentiate your product, and it's really a wonder that our cars are as reliable as they are.

                    An example can be the ignition switch problem that some makers are having. People who are hanging 10 pounds of keys off of it are likely operating outside of the range assumed by engineering.

                    So... in addition to unforseen failure modes of new technology and sloppy quality... lots of other things can happen... because of the complexity. And we haven't discussed the bean counters trying to tilt the tables :-)

                • #11
                  Originally posted by srt8-in-largo View Post
                  ... but I do agree that getting too fancy, too soon, with any technology is a disaster waiting to happen. Searle makes a good point in this regard.
                  I would agree, but it really is not a new technology. DBW has been around long enough to have been proven.

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                  • #12
                    Drive by wire, hacked by wireless.
                    Richard
                    Darksider #390
                    Murgie's FAQ

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                    • #13
                      Originally posted by jmohme View Post
                      I would agree, but it really is not a new technology. DBW has been around long enough to have been proven.
                      Searle gives some history in the quoted article that goes back to mid-century aviation use. The ability to have electrical controls rather than mechanical is a big advantage in weight savings on an aeroplane.

                      In the automotive world, DBW used to control the throttle body isn't a new application... but specific things like braking-by-wire and steering-by-wire are new.

                      In engineering there's a type of testing called DFMEA, Design Failure Mode Effects and Analysis. In this testing the engineers create hypothetical situations of component failure and they attempt to figure out how the rest of the system will behave. As good and as thorough as any engineer may be, and regardless of how many iterations of peer review takes place, a complicated system will ALWAYS produce a failure mode that surprises everybody. It may take 10 years but it'll happen. The only real measure of design robustness is performance over time.

                      DBW used to control the throttle body has had this test of time. It's safe to say, IMO, that the unforseen failure modes have been observed and corrected. I don't know if I feel as comfortable with braking-by-wire or steering-by-wire because they haven't been proven over time.
                      George - 2013 F6B Standard - Largo, FL

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