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Bosch and KTM Take Electronic Assistance to the Next Level With Motorcycle Stability Control


Can production motorcycles get any more high tech?  Of course they can, and the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure will include MSC  technology developed by Bosch.  The new KTM will otherwise be identical to the 2013 model we have already tested.

The Bosch system, illustrated in the video that follows, does a number of things already available on other production bikes, but additionally assists in preventing crashes while leaned over and applying the brakes or accellerating. Potentially, this could dramatically decrease the number of crashes while cornering on the street. Take a look at the KTM/Bosch video that follows.


  1. AJSB says:

    …and if the d++n thing decides to malfunction when you are riding ?!?

    I tell you what happens….you WILL crash almost for sure.

    More, with these kind of stupid systems , in some years riders will actually loose any kind of skills and in case of malfunction, a crash will be FOR SURE.

    This reminds me electronic throttles in cars that sometimes go wrong and provoke accidents….only this a MOTORCYCLE and consequences are potentially much WORSE.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Riders malfunction far more often than these systems ever will. So most motorcyclists may never develop the skills of an elite rider. 99.9% never do anyway.

  2. Colors says:

    Ya know if you want to really be safe leave the bike in the garage and sit on your couch.

  3. Bob says:

    The ideal motorcycle is a bicycle with a big ass motor on it. Anything more misses the point. They can keep two wheeled technology. I’ll keep it simple, and fun!

  4. carl says:

    Why not put training wheels on all two wheelers. Been riding for 30+ years without any help from technology and still here. Just going to end up like cars, when all the electronics starts to go south nobody can figure out how to fix it or costs an arm and leg to fix

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Glad you are still here. There are many who aren’t here anymore but still could have been with technology like this.

      I don’t really get the backlash people have towards safety systems such as this or ABS.

  5. Roberto says:

    I’m surprised at all of the negative comments regrading this new technology. Do you all feel the same way about ABS brakes? I watched the video again and it appears to be non-intrusive technology. The only way it activates is on an imminent crash. I ride an adventure tourer and would not mind if this technology existed on my motorcycle.

    • ed says:

      You may be surprised because you’re one of the few with any common sense. Most of these comments are lacking in any kind of intelligence.

  6. Gronde says:

    I can’t believe I’ve been riding safely for nearly 40 years without this new technology. My riding includes commuting and weekly trips to the twisties in the SoCal mountains. I’m not an expert rider by most standards, but I know my limits and keep to them. BTW, what does this 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure cost with all this new technology?

    • Roberto says:

      Like any new technology, I’m sure that the initial cost will be high and then will steadily decline. Sometimes it’s not our limits that get tested, could be the environment changes quickly. I too have been riding for 40+ years and never had an incident on the road. I have crashed a dozen or so times at the track. It’s bad enough there that I never want that to happen on the road.

  7. denny says:

    Hey people, while you discuss questionable electronic gadgetry you missed something: let’s look at positives – this bike is BEAKLESS. Yes, first in traillies and beakless; indeed beautiful and natural as it should be. Spell is broken…..

    • Dave Kent says:

      Denny, you’re brilliant! I think you’ve uncovered that, up until now, the standard traillie’s dirty little secret has been that it’s the BEAK that provides the stability inherent in the breed. Now, with the wonders of modern electronics it’s no longer required, hence its absence from the new 1190! Who knew??

  8. Hot Dog says:

    I’m suffering information constipation. I’m not buying until they have gyroscopic stabilization, on board medical exams and a owner’s manual that has less than 2000 pages. Next thing you know, we’ll be able to take a little blue pill, start thinking we’re superman, and not have to put our feet down for 4 hours.

  9. Les says:

    Sounds about as exciting as driving a car. The day I can’t get a bike without linked brakes and abs garbage is the day I’ll take up skateboarding.

  10. Mike Simmons says:

    For y’all who like this feature; are you ready to take out a second mortgage to pay for it when it breaks? And, it WILL break!


    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think it is safe to say that everything eventually breaks if it is in service long enough. Those of us who can afford the bike that comes with it are not terribly concerned about the replacement cost of a sensor or even the control unit… that MAY break during our ownership of the bike. I’ll wager these systems will prove to be extremely reliable just as they are on autos.

  11. Brent Meeker says:

    It’ll be just like MotoGP. Riders will learn to use the MSC to the limit. So then when they crash it’ll be at a higher speed.

  12. AFW says:

    Motorcycles won’t be banned when cars drive autonomously, don’t be ridiculous. It will be safer to ride a bike when cars are on auto pilot, but they have to get rid of all the 100+ million vehicles on the road today before this system is fully adopted= 10-15 years, maybe more. Motorcycles will probably have some type of radar brake system, satellite traction control etc. Cars are not the future, mass transit is. Bikes and cars will be a luxury.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      WAY longer than 10 – 15 years.

    • dino says:

      I do NOT want to live in a future where Mass Transit is the future.. Maybe it works in high density areas, and small countries, but in the Big ‘ol U. S. of A., we cannot possibly build mass transit systems to fill the needs of the majority of the population, for the majority of their needs, at an acceptable price.

      Individual transportation, whether owned, or some sort of rental or time-share, will always be needed. More effective and more efficient, surely. But Mass transit is only for the masses.

      That is why motorcycles are a common good for humanity. Smaller and more efficient than most cars, take up less space moving and parking, less cost, less carbon footprint, whatever. You are on a motorcycle website, yet you don’t understand how motorcycles are more of a solution for the future than Mass Transit??

      • Don Fraser says:

        I commute and bikes are not a solution for most people. Bikes are toys, most are not as efficient as a small car, spew out way more pollutants, especially the ones that have been modified. The only reason I ride is that I love to ride, not to save money, not to save the environment.

    • Gary says:

      Dude … there are cars zipping down the freeway here in the Bay Area TODAY that are marked, “self-driving vehicles.” They are being beta tested by Google. I tend to give them a wide berth.

      Ten-to-15 years? Dream on.

  13. Gary says:

    There are already cars that drive themselves, to an extent. At speeds up to 35 mph, a Mercedes S-class will do your morning commute for you. You can actually remove your hands from the steering wheel and your feet from the pedals. The car obediently follows the vehicle in front of it, neither too close nor too far. Will bikes follow? The dynamics of riding are more complex. Not sure if it is even possible, short term. The bigger question is: once cars become autonomous robots, will two-wheelers be banned? I hate to say it, but I think the answer is probably, “yes.”

  14. Erik S says:

    I was corner marshalling at a club race about 8 years ago and noticed that some of the bikes were cutting out in the middle of a very tight 180 degree hairpin. Turned out what was happening was that these bike tip over switch that cuts the ignition when the bike falls down was activating at extreme lean angles. I don’t recall the brand, but I think it was a big three 600 sport bike. The boys soon found out where the wire to the switch was and pulled it off :-). Doubt it is a problem anymore with newer bikes, but who knows? Having said that the more electronics the better I sez, Why shouldn’t the motorcycle be an active participant in keeping itself from damage and its rider safe? Saves on medical and insurance costs.

  15. Jeremy in TX says:

    I am sure KTM has an option to turn the system off for the real players. However I think this is a very good feature for those of us who aren’t in the elite .1% of riders who can truly ride the frayed edge of a bike’s limits. And it is a truly invaluable system for the many who THINK they are part of that .1%. Even the elite can get tossed by an unexpected patch of sand in their line or an unexpected change in surface conditions.

    Most people don’t frequent race tracks and therefore really don’t have the opportunity to drill pushing the envelope, and that kind of practice is paramount. Often a rider’s first exercise with pushing a wheel mid-corner is during a panic situation and usually results in testing a helmet rather than the envelope.

  16. takehikes says:

    Lame but they will all have it some day soon. Remember manufacturers are all about increasing sales. To do so they don’t need to sell this stuff to us, the current (and in my case ancient) riders. They want the “newbie” with cash in his pocket. If they can convince them its even safer than ever to ride they will sell more. Flip side of the coin is the newbie also usually chooses some damn wild ass sportbike for his first ride. I’m betting most of us started small and as DECADES went by slowly moved up as our skill level increased. Doesn’t seem to work that way anymore so the manufacturers have to get the newbies on the bikes some how…..and a safer bike will sell. Just not to us probably.

  17. cj says:

    You guys are not getting it. If you know how to ride, and execute correctly 100% of the time, the system does not intervene. It’s only when you screw up that the electronic aids step in to help save you. I’m sure you’re all educated, responsible, experienced, proficient riders , but who among you is infallible?

    • Hair says:

      I am not sure if you are getting it.
      After all motorcycles crash. It happens all the time. Sometimes the rider over extends them selves. Other times road conditions change. BMW has had a similar technology in place for years. It seems to be working well for them.

      • Roberto says:

        So, if what you say is true that motorcycles do crash, is it not a good idea to include prevention from some of these crashes? I agree with CJ, if it can prevent some crashes, why not? I consider myself an expert rider and welcome this technology.

  18. dingerjunkie says:

    Sorry…I will actively choose to avoid purchase of such systems, even if it means I am on “vintage” equipment in a few years. I like to be able to back it in on a corner. I like, when I’m feeling naughty, to “throttle steer” out of a corner. I like applying skills learned with a steel shoe. I like knowing I can push a vehicle past the “normal” envelope without a computer trying to stop me. I like the immediacy and constant focus needed when I am fully responsible for the control and performance of my machine.

    • Ricardo says:

      Rock on!!!

    • TexinOhio says:

      You speak truth.

    • ed says:

      Who is power sliding on the street? That is illegal. Get real; not everyone has the same level of skill and if they want this system, they should be able to buy it. My advice: if you don’t like it, then stop whining and buy one without it.

      • dingerjunkie says:

        My bet is that, within 10 years, we won’t be able to purchase a motorcycle without this technology…just like we cannot purchase a vehicle without a factory/government accessible black-box starting in the year 2014. No more intrusions, monitoring or attempting to control my behavior in or on a vehicle, please.

        • Dave Kent says:

          Yep, that would be my prediction, also. All I want out of my automotive life at this stage is the ability to purchase a NEW vehicle with no more technology attached than what came with my ’65 Mustang and my ’72 R5C. Both are still quite capable of functioning safely and efficiently on any American road. I want the simplicity and mechanical accessibility these offered to those of us who maintained our own machines. I do support development of these systems for those that want them, but I shouldn’t be forced to pay for them if I DON’T want them. And we all know that Big Brother is gonna make sure we don’t get that choice.

      • dingerjunkie says:

        Oh…and I live near dirt roads, where low-traction fun is perfectly acceptable.

  19. Vroum_Ninou says:

    Rider skills optional…

  20. TimZ says:

    Gentlemen and pillion riders: does the Bosch system prevent death by stupidity? No, and again, no.

    The skilled rider mentioned so often above only becomes skilled by learning to control two in-line wheels, a difficult enough task, and any assistance allowing early riders to survive to develop all the needed skills must surely be valuable.

    Does the system prevent you having the time of your life on a challenging run? No. Does it assist you when you have overcooked a corner? Yes. How can this not be a bone-saving benefit to you?

    The video clearly explains the usefulness of the various sensors and applies their performance to the open road and B-class byways. If that’s where you enjoy riding, it might just save your life.

  21. Larry kahn says:

    So what does this do if you’re leaned over in a curve and hit some gravel or oil/slippery stuff? Or just go in hot enough to exceed the traction availible for the tires? Easy to do with knobbys for example.

    • Tom R says:

      I called and asked Bosch and KTM about this. They said: “Even WE cannot alter the laws of physics…but we’re working on it.”

  22. Norm G. says:

    re: “I’m all for safety, but sort of wonder if the skilled rider is being replaced with technology.”

    wonder no more. the answer is YES. if the skilled pilot can be replaced with technology, what prayer does the motorcyclist have…?

    anybody, see this on their local news this evening…?

  23. Buckwheat says:

    I wonder how badly such a system would screw-up a flat-tracker racing on a dirt oval?

    • sl says:

      Exactly. If you are riding on dirt you can almost lose the front quite often. How will this system deal with that. What if you get a little loose. Both of these are scenarios you deal with on a regular basis. Are you going to have to train yourself to react to how this system will deal with these situations?

      • Norm G. says:

        Q: “If you are riding on dirt you can almost lose the front quite often. how will this system deal with that(?)”

        A: it can’t. it’s on board camera will post a “selfie” to facebook of you taking a digger.

    • Tom R says:

      How irrelevant can a post get?

  24. paulysr says:

    it better be A LOT more transparent then the average abs system or the VSS Can-Am has on their Spyder.

    • Norm G. says:

      I don’t think you have a prayer. unlike car world, there isn’t enough difference here between “driver” mass and vehicle mass to insulate you from what’s going on. not sure if it’s realized…? but the very reason we ride a motorcycle is precisely because it IS engaging. there’s a lot more sensory input, or at least a greater AWARNESS of this sensory input. everything’s happening 3x and 4x as fast, so you will ABSOLUTELY know what’s going on and will more than likely be freaked out by it. the S1000 is like that. if it’s transparent…? then it’s either A. broken, B. switched off, or C. there was never any threat of crashing in the first place.

      • Tom R says:

        Very well put Norm.

        The amount and rate of “sensory transmission” between rider and bike vs. car and driver is far greater. I had not quite thought of it that way until you pointed it out, and yes it IS a primary reason I ride, even when it is in some ways inconvenient (such as changing into work clothes at the job site).

        I can understand why some feel that safety systems reduce the need for skilled rider input, but I still “feel things happening” when ABS or traction control activate…and I appreciate that my chances of going sideways are reduced when the road is letting me know who’s really the boss.

  25. Dennis says:

    I had a conversation with a guy some time back who was “riding” a Can Am Spyder. He was an experienced dirt rider who really didn’t want to ride on the street due to the danger element. Crashing in the dirt, while no picknic, pales with what street riders face on a daily basis. After talking for a while he ended up saying that he really liked the Can Am and that it was very safe. What with it’s traction control, stability control and abs, he could not crash with this thing. He said it “thought” for him, virtually eliminating the chance of a crash.
    Now, I’m glad he feels safe on his ride, and certainly hope he is.
    But I have to agree with what a lot of skilled riders think about all these safety devices being introduced to make riding safer for us:
    What about rider skill? What about training? What about competence?
    Traction control? Use your right wrist properly.
    ABS? Same thing. Learn to use your brakes properly.
    I’ve been riding over 40 years and like to think of myself as a competent rider. Not saying I’m an expert or a racer. But I ride a lot, have done the MSF courses and continue to take them.
    While I think these great for inexperienced riders, proper training and experience will help them out in the long far better than relying on electronics.
    These same safety devices cross over to the auto world.
    People don’t need to be better drivers, their cars make it so they don’t have to be good drivers.
    I know I don’t like the ABS in my car and truck at all. And forget about traction control. I know how to brake and know how to use the accelerator pedal so no traction control for me either. Heck, I don’t even own an automatic, then driving would be really boring.
    If you like the electronics(ABS, TC, whatever), great. If these things make the driving/riding better for you, great.
    Me, I’ll pass though.
    Flame me if you want, but I’ll stick to the proper usage and application of my brakes and throttle without electronic assistance thank you.

    • Magnus says:

      Although I am on your side I have seen first hand just what these new high end electronics can do. My wife, who is an excellent driver (much to my embarrassment on a few occasions), purchased a Mecedes with a whole bunch of electronic safety crap on it. We witnessed an accident at highway speeds happen one car length ahead and beside us resulting in a roll over and a car veering right in front of us. Neither my wife nor I have ever been in a vehicle that stopped so fast, it even veered to avoid the impending collision. We both conclude we should have hit the car, we didn’t. Any car we have ever owned, except maybe the Jaguar with it’s own safety features, would have been part of the accident. I am all for learning advanced driving skills but these new advanced safety features can save lives as long as they are used as a back up and not a relied on feature.

    • ed says:

      With all due respect, but do you really expect that ALL riders will rise to, and maintain, your personal level of excellence? And if they don’t, do you want them riding with you? I wouldn’t. I’d want them on a bike with this type of safety equipment.

    • Craig Jackman says:

      I don’t mind ABS, but dislike the traction control. If you need stability control, what’s the point of riding a motorcycle?

  26. Gary says:

    Riding is best left an analog experience.

  27. ApriliaRST says:

    Scary cool. I’ve never been a fan of stand-alone ABS, but I’m all in for traction control and now… stability control. Should be fun.

  28. allworld says:

    I’m all for safety, but sort of wonder if the skilled rider is being replaced with technology. The things they never mentioned when we were told of the wonders of the 21st century. I suppose when cars start driving themselves Motorcycles will need all the help we can get.

  29. bikerrandy says:

    I guess kind of like safety sensors Can-Am /Spyders so the rider doesn’t flip the rig, I guess. So then a rider can think, hey, since I have all these safety devices, I can go too fast or slow and my rig will keep me from getting hurt. I’m going to start pushing it to see where the REAL parameters are/like. Instead of learning the best ways to ride/safely, I’m just going to count on my faithfull bike/trike to do what it’s supposed to do and make me look like I really know how to ride. 8^ )

  30. sl says:

    Or I could get someone to ride the bike for me and tell me what a great experience it was. Not totally against this, but I feel as though manipulating the machine is part of the appeal of a motorcycle. Does anyone here drag the front to pull their line back in?

    • denny says:

      Actually, if it gives you some extra safety so you can have more use out of your and machine’s potential, I do not find reason against it. This is part of technical evolution in general. Overall, it looks KTM is becoming a leader.

      • sl says:

        I’m not sure of that. When will the system decide my inputs are in need of fixing. As I said I am not totally against this technology, but I do wonder when the moment will be that we discover the bike is doing it and I just point and relax. The most technologically advanced racing out there is realizing it needs more driver control to improve it’s product. If it was all about safety all cars would have auto trannys. Also don’t forget Bosch. This is their tech on ktm’s bike.

  31. SecaKid says:

    This might be a good idea, but I could see it creating problems by confusing riders on how to properly negotiate a turn.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Yes, they might be very confused as to how they can possibly still be upright after making such a booboo.

    • ed says:

      Did it work that way when they came out with these systems for cars? I don’t think so.

      • iliketoeat says:

        You don’t ride a motorcycle the way you drive a car. On a motorcycle you’re much more likely to slide a bit than in a car, and thus more likely to activate these safety systems. If you were driving your car closer to the edge, you’d notice your car behaving differently, too.

        • ed says:

          No-one should be riding a motorcycle “close to the edge” while on a public road. 1) it’s stupid, 2) illegal and 3) endangering other riders/drivers. I’d hate to be the guy that drove over you while you were “riding close to the edge” on while I’m simply trying to get some milk. It would ruin my day and scratch my car.

  32. Don Fraser says:

    future so bright, have to wear shades

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