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Bryan Bosch

Traction Control: gotta have it or no thanks?

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Coming from dirt bikes all my life, traction control is a feature that I tend to resist. Not only does it add cost and complexity, it ads weight. I'm sure it's good, but isn't part of the thrill of riding throttle and clutch control? Different strokes for different folks, but given KTMs off-road heritage, I have to believe there are more riders like me out there.

How do you feel about computer controlled traction? Love? Hate? Take it or leave it? I'd very much prefer it be an option only.

 

 

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I'm starting to think that it's probably really cool once you become really familiar with it, and really know how and when. 

Although, I'm not one to constantly mess around with buttons and settings. Having to deal with the old school ABS set up on my 990 was irritating, and usually resulted in me crapping myself when I realized I didn't turn it back off after stopping for the 20th time. 

Back in the day, I switched to ARB air locking differentials on my crawler, once you got used to flipping switches, it was the bee's knees...

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This is such a great topic!

I have always turned my traction control OFF when I ride off road, or at least when I had the GSA (#xladvproject990 doesn't have it).  That's because yes it is fun to drift corners but honestly traction control is a big downer when you're trying to climb a hill or get through sand and all you have is an engine that bogs.  I saw Kellon Walch (Dakar hero) do that on the Africa Twin at TOD until we figured out how to shut it off.

The only time I used traction control off road (GSA) was on an icy/snowy uphill in Death Valley.  It was invaluable.  And obviously on the street I very much want traction control.

Now with the current crop of big adventure bikes (KTM, BMW) we now have modes that keep the TC on the front wheel and turn it off on the rear.  I'd LOVE to try that out sometime because I hear it is super fun.  Cornering becomes a whole new game with that setup.

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On 4/25/2017 at 10:17 AM, Eric Hall said:

.  That's because yes it is fun to drift corners but honestly traction control is a big downer when you're trying to climb a hill or get through sand and all you have is an engine that bogs.  I saw Kellon Walch (Dakar hero) do that on the Africa Twin at TOD until we figured out how to shut it off.

 

Did I post that video?  I think i have it.  Bike wouldn't make it up the hill.  TC was totally a buzz killer there.  

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On 4/25/2017 at 7:37 PM, Bryan Bosch said:

Coming from dirt bikes all my life, traction control is a feature that I tend to resist. Not only does it add cost and complexity, it ads weight. I'm sure it's good, but isn't part of the thrill of riding throttle and clutch control? Different strokes for different folks, but given KTMs off-road heritage, I have to believe there are more riders like me out there.

How do you feel about computer controlled traction? Love? Hate? Take it or leave it? I'd very much prefer it be an option only.

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Edited by digitallysane
damn forum software

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I don't know how this new forum version works, but it was impossible to reply. /rant over

The actual reply:

I like traction control, it was great on the street on my 1190 Adv R. I completely disagree with the argument that "it adds weight".

Actually, the main reason for me to go with the '16 KTM 690 Enduro R as my new bike instead of the new gen '17 Husky 701 was exactly the lack of electronics on the latter. They brought only the new engine from the 690 Duke, without the electronics. The new engine is powerful and could use some electronic aids on the street. A 701 with the electronics package of a 690 Duke R would effectively make for a scaled down 1190 Adv R (traction control, corner ABS, all that jazz), which would be awesome.

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On the topic of traction control, I've only rode a few bikes with it and I found it strange. I think I prefer just using regular old clutch and throttle technique as a means of traction control. 

Does traction control fall into the category of, "helps newer riders"? That sounds like the same argument that they make about the Rekluse auto clutch. 

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Big power bikes it helps, especially when not at 100% focus(sight seeing, tired, sun blinded etc).

I have found ways to ride quickly in control with it on, but for real fun gotta turn it off

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On 6/6/2017 at 7:54 PM, 556baller said:

On the topic of traction control, I've only rode a few bikes with it and I found it strange. I think I prefer just using regular old clutch and throttle technique as a means of traction control. 

Does traction control fall into the category of, "helps newer riders"? That sounds like the same argument that they make about the Rekluse auto clutch. 

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I keep reading on the 'nets the argument that "my traction control is my right hand" and "it's for newbies".

I guess that's why they have it on MotoGP bikes, that's why it's coming to Dakar bikes etc.

It's a system that helps you preserve traction, when you normally wouldn't, no matter how good you think about your right hand. And it's great it can be disabled, so no interference if you don't need it.

On 4/25/2017 at 8:17 PM, Eric Hall said:

Now with the current crop of big adventure bikes (KTM, BMW) we now have modes that keep the TC on the front wheel and turn it off on the rear.

 

That's ABS, not TC.

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7 hours ago, Dragos Stefan said:

I keep reading on the 'nets the argument that "my traction control is my right hand" and "it's for newbies".

I guess that's why they have it on MotoGP bikes, that's why it's coming to Dakar bikes etc.

It's a system that helps you preserve traction, when you normally wouldn't, no matter how good you think about your right hand. And it's great it can be disabled, so no interference if you don't need it.

That's ABS, not TC.

Are you racing MotoGP or Dakar? Most aren't and as a dirt rider of over 35 years, I don't care about every second of forward drive that factors into a win. In fact, I find it hella fun on a my 690 to powerslide from corner to corner, grinning from ear to ear. I'm good if you like it, but no thanks. I simply don't want nor need it. Again, 35+ years of off-road time, from muddy clay trails of Hawaii & the Pac NW, to the Rocky Mountains, and deserts of the SW. It adds cost and complexity that most that came form the dirt bike side don't want. I think you're also missing the element of conquering a trail by YOUR skills, not with electronic aids. Same reason Ferrari has a track mode that turns off all the aids, so the driver can fully control the machine. I've been around dirt bike riders my entire like and most don't want stuff like this. Hell, some even balk at a hydro clutch b/c cables are just so damn simple. But, I love the Magura on my 690. Butta smooth. Turning it off is good. Not making me pay for it is better.

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24 minutes ago, Bryan Bosch said:

Are you racing MotoGP or Dakar? Most aren't and as a dirt rider of over 35 years, I don't care about every second of forward drive that factors into a win. In fact, I find it hella fun on a my 690 to powerslide from corner to corner, grinning from ear to ear. I'm good if you like it, but no thanks. I simply don't want nor need it. Again, 35+ years of off-road time, from muddy clay trails of Hawaii & the Pac NW, to the Rocky Mountains, and deserts of the SW. It adds cost and complexity that most that came form the dirt bike side don't want. I think you're also missing the element of conquering a trail by YOUR skills, not with electronic aids. Same reason Ferrari has a track mode that turns off all the aids, so the driver can fully control the machine. I've been around dirt bike riders my entire like and most don't want stuff like this. Hell, some even balk at a hydro clutch b/c cables are just so damn simple. But, I love the Magura on my 690. Butta smooth. Turning it off is good. Not making me pay for it is better.

It has nothing to do with all of that and your argument doesn't apply. It's not about me racing, it's about the fact that even the riders who are the gods of control do need it in order to keep the wheel on the asphalt.

Yes, you DO need it when you drive your 160HP adv bike in the rain. I was glad to have it in such conditions.

And guess what, you can also powerslide in corners if you want (with TC on), or for more extreme cases, you can just disable it.

I like the modern, big and sporty Adv bikes that are very, very powerful. But most of the people wouldn't be able to safely drive those, not to mention in a sporty manner or in difficult conditions. And it's mostly for the street anyway (even if it becomes more and more present in the offroad as well).

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I have an idea? Don't ride over your head for the conditions? Now, that's harder for a noob to know where there is, but not for me and many experienced riders. Again, happy you like it. More power to you. I simply don't want it nor do I want the added cost and complexity.

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By this argument, you shouldn't have ABS and even not wear a helmet. Just be careful not to crash.

I have to say that I have serious doubts that you and "many experienced riders" would manage those 160 HP bikes on the street without traction control. But whatever. I'm not trying to argue with you, but I'm a bit bored that people offer "preferences" as arguments.

It's not very clear to me from your posts, but do you have first hand experience with TC on a modern, powerful big adv bike on the street, in various conditions? Your first post only says that it adds complexity (debatable) and weight (false).

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2 minutes ago, Dragos Stefan said:

By this argument, you shouldn't have ABS and even not wear a helmet. Just be careful not to crash.

I have to say that I have serious doubts that you and "many experienced riders" would manage those 160 HP bikes on the street without traction control. But whatever. I'm not trying to argue with you, but I'm a bit bored that people offer "preferences" as arguments.

It's not very clear to me from your posts, but do you have first hand experience with TC on a modern, powerful big adv bike on the street, in various conditions? Your first post only says that it adds complexity (debatable) and weight (false).

Whatever makes you feel like your won the argument. I'm good with that.  Like I said, if you need all that stuff, enjoy! I'll keep my bikes simple, powerful, and continue to use my brain and skills to keep me out of the cheap seats. My longevity riding is all the proof I need. :thumbsup:

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I still prefer manual transmission in both my truck and car. People always ask me, is that a manual transmission, they still make those? 

It's all preference...

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3 minutes ago, 556baller said:

I still prefer manual transmission in both my truck and car. People always ask me, is that a manual transmission, they still make those? 

It's all preference...

A DCT transmission or a Rekluse clutch is preference.

TC is not, it's a safety feature (and not only that).

There wouldn't be 150+HP adv bikes on the market if not for TC.

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1 minute ago, Dragos Stefan said:

A DCT transmission or a Rekluse clutch is preference.

TC is not, it's a safety feature (and not only that).

There wouldn't be 150+HP adv bikes on the market if not for TC.

Ok, guy

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