Smart phones are adding functionality to riding, replacing GPS units and even motorcycle instruments with their own accurate accelerometers and other useful apps.
Now BMW Motorrad has designed a handlebar cradle suitable for phones up to 15cm that swivels for horizontal or upright format. It will arrive in the second quarter of 2016, but price has not yet been announced.
The BMW Motorrad smartphone cradle uses their Navigator V holder and is made of hard plastic for dust and water proofing with a shock-proof gel pad. It also has an antireflection flex foil see-through vision panel.
You can charge on the run via a micro-USB to an optional onboard 12V socket. Or you can wirelessly charge by electromagnetic induction with a light-emitting diode informing the rider of the charging state.
There have been other phone cradles before for motorcycles, but this is the first time a motorcycle company has designed their own and it could lead to a new trend where phones or tablets replace bike instruments.
It would not only provide a more customisable experience, but also save the company and rider money.
If you think a phone or tablet screen on your bike would be a distraction, there is a new generation of head-up display (HUD) helmets coming that will display relevant information on your visor or a small screen just inside the helmet.
In fact, Aprilia has announced a collaboration with American HUD helmet company Skully and has developed Aprilia Multimedia Platform (aMP) which connects the bike to your iPhone or Android phone.
The partnership with Skully will help develop new forms of rider-vehicle interaction for V4-MP, Piaggio Group’s multimedia platform found on the Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono 1100. This will provide bike information to the Skully helmet visor screen so riders won’t have to take their eyes off the road.
That’s in the future, but right now you can add aMP to your Aprilia Caponord with a $341 retrofit.
The aMP app is available through iTunes and talks to the aMP platform fitted to your bike.
It transforms the rider’s phone into a virtual, real time, multifunction on-board computer allowing the rider to choose between speedometer, tachometer, engine power and torque, instant and average fuel consumption, suggested gear selection, longitudinal acceleration along with an extended trip computer.
With the help of gyroscopes and vehicle telemetry, the application is also able to calculate the rider’s lean angles.
The aMP application will flash to indicate the intervention of Aprilia Traction Control (aTC) and the rider can also set a shift light at their favourite revs. The aMP application will also store the journey data so that the rider can analyse their trip and their riding form.
However, riders should be careful as the information may incriminate them should the police or your insurance company gain access.
The app also notifies the rider of low fuel and the GPS function identifies the nearest fuel stations and even the nearest Aprilia dealer.
For security, it records the position of the motorcycle when the engine is turned off in case you forget where you parked it.