The Kawasaki 1400-GTR Sportbike has already secured its place as one of the most technologically advanced bikes to ever hit the street. It features a Variable Valve Timing Engine, a keyless ignition system and tire pressure sensors from the factory, which seems like more than enough to keep anyone happy. However, Kawasaki decided the 1400-GTR needed more and are now set to make night-vision and a few other high-tech goodies part of the superbike's package deal.
The heart of the system is a pair of infrared cameras mounted on the front of the bike. They allow the rider to "see" about 300 meters ahead of the bike, which is well beyond the viewing distance provided by the headlights. Not only will the system be able to find a heat signature before the rider is able to see it, but it will also provide an audible alarm to the rider. This will keep focus on the road rather than the gauge cluster.
Aside from the night vision the Kawasaki Engineering team is also working to design a helmet mounted heads up display. If they are successful, it could be mean riders will rarely have to look away from the road to check their speed or whatever they are monitoring at the time. The current design is mounted on the exterior of the helmet, rather than being part of it, meaning it could quickly become a popular aftermarket accessory.
The team is also looking to incorporate all of their newest technology into the heads up display. One of the more interesting pieces of technology that will work hand in hand with the helmet mounted HUD is a tilt sensor mounted on the frame of the bike. During hard cornering, when a rider is leaning the hardest, it will automatically correct for the angle and project the information onto the visor according to how far off vertical the bike is.
They are also designing the infrared imaging system to be able relay data via a Bluetooth connection, assumedly to also work with the HUD they are designing. With so much information available, it would also make sense to offer some form of customization to the rider, depending on what they want to be displayed.
If everything falls into place the way it is being planned, it could lead to a drastic reduction in motorcycle related fatalities both at night and during the day. More information about the systems should be available when Kawasaki unveils the new model year designs at the Paris Motor Show later this year. Technabob