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Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

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Camping in the Mexican desert

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Old 29 Jan 2014
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ADV riding & The Future...

In thirty years will you still be hitting Africa on your Africa Twin or South America on a KLR650? Anyone think electric/solar bikes are the future for RTW riding? I was looking at this before and it looks pretty cool! But range is quite limited (70 miles) despite relatively quick re-charge times. But with battery cell technology is improving every year, who knows in thirty years could 50x that amount? Any other predictions? Here are some of mine

Smart Helmets - a bit like Google Glass, imagine having speed, pedometer, temperature, fuel economy, tank gauge, GPS map and bearing, and even projected flashing arrows or highlighted road signs on the inside of your visor. This technology is already available... I'm surprised I've not already heard about it for helmets.

Drones - imagine having a small, personal drone that could fly 30ft above you and warn you of approaching obstacles, tailgating drivers, drunk idiots flashing reds at junctions, or warn you of trucks overtaking wide on blind corners!!! You could even have a live feed of what the drone is seeing linked up to your smart helmet. Very cool

3-D printing - this technology is already being used by the military to 'print' spare / replacement parts for their aircraft. No doubt at some point you will be able to carry one in your pannier and print your own tools and spare parts as needed, but until then perhaps we will see dealerships around the world adopt this technology and so cut wait times for exotic parts dramatically.

Any other ideas to share?
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Old 29 Jan 2014
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Either it will all be paved and a toll road, or human society will collapse , and you will need a gun. Ride now.
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Old 30 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by johnnail View Post
Either it will all be paved and a toll road, or human society will collapse , and you will need a gun. Ride now.

Strangely enough that's what I thought 40+ yrs ago when I first started travelling. We were all survivalists then, sitting round the camp fire singing "they paved paradise, put up a parking lot" (Joni Mitchell if you're not familiar with the song).

Battery range had better improve if electric bikes are to have any sort of future because at the moment 70 miles and leave it overnight is horse and cart level technology - you're just substituting a wall socket for a bale of hay.

Most of the other things mentioned are interesting and no doubt will have their part to play in how things pan out but one thing life has taught me is that it's very rarely a straight line between here and there.

Legislation, commercial advantage, booms, busts and loads of other unpredictable swerves all impact on what technologies get developed and what we buy and use. In the early 70's I'd have put money (if I had any) on video phones becoming commonplace fairly quickly as companies seemed to be hell bent on developing them. Now we have the infrastructure but nobody's that bothered. More recently, GM crops - a workable technology but mired in political and social issues.

Wait and see whether drones (for example) get banned, we can't see the point and get bored with them or they become massively popular for a few years and you can buy a plastic "My first drone" in Mothercare for £3.99. There's always the early adopters who take these things up but you can only really regard them as entering the mainstream when codgers like me start buying them. I currently have no plans to buy an electric bike.
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Old 30 Jan 2014
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Technology never quite comes in the predicted form. Star Trek communicator/ sensor thing became the smart phone. Video phones are Skype. I have seen a helmet with head up display, but if the road is smart and cars driverless you'll be watching the. Ewan and Charlie reunion show not having a speedo display.

There will be less of a shortage of liquid fuel if western cities go electric. My bet is that in places where the local head man has a land cruiser he'll still have one and you'll either want the last AT ever made or a Chinese agri bike. The border from 4x4 to 4x2 country might move and go electric or hybrid or fuel cell but out of the way something like a diesel will still be there. We might all be buying fuel cell conversions for the E800gs.


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