The future is scary.
There’s something to be said about the pace at which technology evolves and develops. You barely get a chance to grasp the latest innovations that you’re already two generations behind. When it comes to motorcycles, however, evolution of dedicated technologies has been controlled, and gradual. Only now are some of the systems available in cars for years now popping in the motorcycling industry. Autonomous motorcycles are actually a thing, though not conceived to do the riding for us but rather to safely test safety technologies. So what’s the next step in the evolution of motorcycles? Is flying really what we want to see the future of motorcycles become? I don’t think so.
FLY LIKE A... BIKE?
I get that autonomous cars can be a thing: a lot of people drive out of necessity and being able to do work or use commuting time differently can make a difference for some. Riding, however, never really is a necessity—not in North America. Granted, for some, a scooter or electric bike to get from point A to point B in the city is convenient, but public transportation usually is a viable option for these people as well. So autonomous bikes are a bit of a stretch and probably a far less appealing technology than autonomous cars.
So… flying bikes? That’s what some companies like Lazareth seem to believe. I think that’s dumb. Seriously, think about it: managing a 2D reality of lengths and widths metrics is already challenging enough and one that rarely favors motorcyclists. Think of all the riders that make poor decisions or that suffer from other drivers’ lack of attention. Do we really need to add a third dimension to the equation?
Police in Dubai have even started training on hoverbikes to be ready to sprint into action in 2020. Yes, seriously. I guess Lambos and Ferraris weren’t enough anymore to catch the bad guys. Or they just needed another publicity stunt and cars weren’t impressive enough at this point.
I get it, there’s a certain Star Wars pod racing appeal to the concept. Maybe I’m just being that old man yelling at kids and their technologies to get off his lawn waving his fist. I’m willing to admit that. Maybe as long as we don’t get flying cars, the skies are the safest place for motorcycles to be. Then, just as the idea starts making a blip of sense, you hear of idiots flying drones near airports and grounding hundreds of flights. Imagine what kind of nuisance hovering and flying bikes could become.
I think there’s so much more that can still be accomplished with two wheels on the ground. I don’t understand how teasing a flying motorcycle—with the promise to launch in January 2019, by the way—is a viable model for a company that doesn't have any other background than creating ridiculous Frankenstein vehicles with ludicrous bodies and engines pairings.
I guess as long as I’m allowed to get a standard license for a standard bike to go for a standard ride, I shouldn’t mind too much. Call me old fashioned. Now get off my lawn.