One of the creature comforts and safety features many car drivers have gotten used to in recent years is active cruise control, or the ability of a vehicle to not only travel at a set speed, but to also automatically maintain a set distance from the car in front. Enter an expressway, switch ACC on and then relax as the car takes all the hard work out of cruising along in flowing traffic. Until now, only car drivers could enjoy this feature. But BMW has now unveiled the first version of it for motorcycles. Called BMW Motorrad Active Cruise Control, it promises to make riding your Bavarian motorbike safer and more comfortable.
Just like in a four-wheeled vehicle, the bike version of ACC lets you set a speed and distance from the vehicle in front. The system will then maintain both as safely as it can. There are two modes—Comfortable and Dynamic—and the distance the bike keeps between itself and other vehicles can be varied in three stages. All of this is controlled via a button on the handlebar, and the settings are displayed on the bike’s TFT instrument cluster.
One of the key differences between cars and motorbikes is the fact that the latter can lean quite a bit while going through corners, and so the ACC system has been designed to take this into account. Speed is automatically reduced while cornering, and the more the bike leans while going around a bend, the more the system is dialed down to prevent the rider from becoming unsettled by sudden braking or acceleration. There’s also one other difference from cars: The Motorrad ACC does not work if the vehicle in front is stationary (like when you approach a traffic jam), so the rider has to brake. Even with this limitation, having active cruise control on a motorcycle could be a real benefit on long road trips.
Expect the system on new BMW motorbikes soon.