ride by wire

What is ride by wire technology in bikes? How it works?

Ride By Wire

The term ride by wire is analogous to 'drive by wire' which is used in case of four wheelers. In simple terms, it refers to the absence of mechanical linkage between accelerator and throttle. Instead, various sensors and actuators (connected by wires) control the fuel-air supply going to the engine. Yamaha pioneered the use of ride by wire technology in 2006 on YZF-R6.

Why ride by wire?

Earlier, manufacturers used this technology only on large capacity motorcycle engines which were designed for race track use. However, now it finds application even in small capacity engines. This technology adds value in riding quality and efficiency in the age of stringent emission standards.



As emission standards are getting stricter, it is becoming very difficult for motorcycle manufacturers to employ higher capacity engines while maintaining emission limit. This is because emissions from an engine generally increase with capacity and power. To pass stringent emission norms without compromising on performance, ride by wire technology plays a key role.

How ride by wire works?

electronic throttle body for two wheelers
Electronic Throttle Body (Courtesy: Bosch)

In earlier bikes having carburettor, accelerator had a direct cable connection with the butterfly valve in the carburretor body. Thus, in such engines, a twist of the accelerator would directly control the supply of fuel-air mixture to the engine. However, this is not the case with ride by wire system as there is no cable connection between accelerator and throttle. In this system, when rider twists the accelerator, actuators in the electronic throttle body sense this movement and change the throttle opening accordingly. The movement of throttle alters air supply to the engine.

throttle position sensor
Throttle position sensor (Courtesy: Bosch)

Afterwords, Throttle position sensor recognizes this change and sends a signal to ECM. Based on this signal, ECM calculates the exact amount of fuel required and orders fuel injection system to supply it. Hence, engine receives correct amount of air-fuel mixture in every situation.

Advantages of ride by wire technology:

This technology offers several advantages. Firstly, it ensures precise control of the fuel air mixture going in the engine which enhances engine efficiency. This ultimately results in emission reduction. In addition, ride by wire technology allows setting up of various riding modes like cruise mode or sport mode; due to predictable throttle response.

Alongwith other systems such as ABS and traction control, ride by wire enhances capability to control the motorcycle in various riding modes and terrains.

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