Of Apple Watches and Motorcycles

Apple fanboys would most likely hate me when hearing me say that the new Apple Watch is a piece of overpriced, over-hyped technology of absolutely no use when it comes to motorcycling. Frankly, I am fine with that, especially because I know that some fellows would simply buy stuff without analyzing whether they really need it. In a way, it’s like getting a Jaguar for the B&W audio system in it or something like this, but I am in no position to tell people how to spend their money.
Earlier this month, I published an article on the potential uses the Apple Watch might receive in the future. Basically, it could become the next generation of keyless ride systems to be equipped on motorcycles. And that’s completely fine if you don’t ask yourself basic questions as to whether you really need such a thing or whether the benefits outnumber the troubles you might run into… and all sorts of things like these.

If you still haven’t bothered to check the aforementioned article, here’s a short recap. The Apple Watch could be integrated with the motorcycle security systems using Bluetooth technology, allowing riders to “lock or unlock” their bikes using the wrist gadget. Similar technologies are already in production in other fields, and adapting things to the motorcycle world is definitely neither expensive nor rocket science.

We already have locks that can be opened using smartphones, so similar immobilization systems for motorcycles are a stone’s throw away. However, while this could represent an extra level of security, why make things even more complicated by introducing another intermediate element that could fail?

Let me explain some of the weak points in all this. Obviously, what I have just mentioned is the first question: why make things more complicated when everybody knows that simplicity is the key element to success? Even when we are talking about technologically advanced systems such as computers or whatever, scientists ALWAYS TAKE THE SHORTEST ROAD.

What is the point of having a completely unnecessary element in the whole deal? Just because it might look cool? Well, this might be true, but for posers and hipsters, feel free to be offended and cry.

Keyless ignition does not guarantee that your bike is safe. As I have said on so many occasions, there are only few ways to secure your motorcycle with a completely thief-proof system. We’ve seen bikes, such as the new BMW R1200GS and many others equipped with what manufacturers claim is the ultimate immobilization system, stolen in broad daylight.

That is because, in most cases, thieves WON’T actually start the bikes they disappear with. And if the bikes are torn apart, believe me that these immobilizers aren’t worth a dime. If someone plans to steal your bike, you’re in trouble, no matter whether you have a fancy watch shutting off the ignition of your machine or you‘re riding an old-school bike with virtually zero security systems on board.

In case the watch runs out of power, gets damaged, malfunctions or gets stolen, you will still have to use other traditional methods to unlock your bike. And yes, all the above DO happen sooner or later. The Apple Watch has an 18-hour lifetime on a full charge, and there WILL be people who will forget to recharge it. Usefulness in the described scenarios? Perfect zero.

On most motorcycles, if the rider wants to lock the steering, they must use the bike’s ignition key. Even worse and more obnoxious, certain models have a different key for the fork lock. Adding the Watch to the key is like fitting a high-tech military scope to a prehistoric club, seriously. And by the way, even if locking the steering does not fully protect you bike, it has been proven to be one of the security systems that may cause a thief to look for unlocked bikes…

The Watch only works when linked wirelessly to the iPhone. That is, the only reason one would dream of using the Apple Watch to unlock the bike is that they are too friggin’ lazy to take out their iPhone from the pocket. And with so many iPhone cradles and holders and power sockets and navigation apps and all, just don’t tell me you’re stashing it at the bottom of your side case. Even though iPhone screens suck big time in bright sunlight and make using them as navigators, there are many people who will plant them on the bars.

Finally, having access to information during the ride sounds like a terribly mindless reason for using the Apple Watch. I have been given this reason by a fellow, but since he is neither riding nor driving, it’s rather easy to understand. Using the phone inside a car (without a handsfree system) is a punishable offence and was deemed so because it is a major source of distraction that causes a huge number of accidents and deaths each year.

How is taking your eyes off the road to read some notification on the small screen of the Apple Watch any different? Well, it isn’t and I’d even say it is, in fact, much worse. Roads are already a dangerous place, so why add an extra distractive factor?

In the end, this technology will definitely be incorporated in certain bikes, most likely bikes made exactly for the kind of people, who would fork out money on various things they are misled into believing they need. Fact is that only GPS locators, loud alarms and most likely the SMART Datatag system can deter bike thieves or lead to catching them and retrieving the stolen goods.

Gadgets such as the Apple Watch are so far nice fancy-pants additions for people who believe that going high-tech and showing off such technologies will make them better riders. In the end, I know that there is a huge number of fellows who would enjoy a rainy ride to Daytona or Sturgis more than trailing their bike to the rally and showing off how cool they are when they use the Watch to bring their clean, immaculate (and unridden) bike to life.

Here's a nice guite on how to prevent motorcycle theft.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories