BMW is no stranger to adapting automotive technology into its motorcycles, having already done so numerous times in the past. The latest technology to make this kind of transition is Side View Assist, something most BMW cars already have at their disposal. The technology itself isn’t new nor is it all that complicated. But it is a useful safety tool that will increase rider awareness, especially in his blind spots, which admittedly are far bigger in motorcycles than in cars.
The Side View Assist technology is set to become available as optional equipment in the updated versions of BMW’s two maxi-scooters, the C650 Sport and the C650 GT.] Both maxi-scooters will be fitted with four sensors, two each in the front and rear fenders. These sensors function the same way as parking sensor systems in cars in that they detect objects that get too close to the scooters. In this case, vehicles approaching from just behind the scooter’s blind spot at speeds lower than 6.2 mph will trigger the warning lights on the rearview mirror arms, alerting the driver of the presence of these vehicles. That tells the rider that the flanking lanes are not safe to turn into until the cars have passed or he switches his turn signals to indicate to the car driver his intentions to switch lanes.
The sensors have a range of about 16.4 feet so any vehicle that comes within that distance to the scooter will trigger the warning lights. It also works at speeds ranging between 15 to 50 mph. Riders won’t have to worry about controlling the system though because it activates automatically.
Why it matters
I’m actually surprised that BMW doesn’t adapt its car technologies into its motorcycles more often considering that it has the resources to do it. But that’s neither here nor there at this point. I’m just happy that owners of the C650 Sport and the C650 GT can now avail of this option, especially since it improves the scooter’s overall safety. I’ll never get tired of touting the importance of safety on motorcycles because of the obvious and inherent dangers that come with riding it.
With the Side View Assist, a rider can at least be aware of what’s going on in his blind spots and more importantly, he can react accordingly in the event that the warning lights are triggered. Whatever he does from there is up to him, but at least, no one can blame BMW Motorrad for falling short of its responsibilities in providing its customers with the safety features that can be useful at any given point in time.
My only issue is that it’s still an optional equipment at this point in time. Hopefully, BMW offers it as a standard option in the near future. That would really be a huge addition to the existing safety features already found in both the C650 Sport and the C650 GT.