Jul 052010

Adaptive Headlight

You can’t accuse BMW motorcycles of lacking gadgets – with the latest and greatest Beemers packing quickshifters, traction control, integrated ABS and all sorts of other goodies, they’re right at the pointy end of the pack. But as great as those features are, this one’s so forehead-slappingly obvious and excellent that frankly it’s a disgrace that nobody else has beaten the Bavarians to it. The (optional) Adaptive Headlight technology on the upcoming K1600GT finally solves one of the most annoying problems on pretty much every motorcycle – by tilting the headlight according to your lean angle, to light your way around a corner as you turn it, instead of having to ride into blackness. Bravo!

The problem is simple enough – to run a road-legal headlight, you have to cut off the top half of the beam using a suitable reflector so you don’t blind oncoming drivers, giving you a flat lighting horizon when you’re vertical. But when you dip into a corner and lean the bike over, that lit-up area tilts with you, and if you’re turning left, the left side tilts downward until you’re basically unable to see through the corner, like so:

Read more . . .

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