Along with the introduction of the new 2016 C650GT maxi-scooter, BMW Motorrad announced a new world’s first in motorcycle technology. Side View Assist (SVA) increases safety by monitoring a rider’s blind spot on the road. While this technology has been on automobiles for some time, this is the first time it’s available from a motorcycle manufacturer — in this case, as on option for the C650GT.
It works by adding four small ultrasonic sensors, two in the front trim and two in the rear license plate trim, to monitor vehicles on either side of the scooter. A yellow warning triangle at the base of the left or right rear view mirror is illuminated when the following conditions are met: the scooter is traveling at 15 to 50 mph (25 to 80 km/h), the other vehicle is within 16 feet (5 m), and there’s a maximum speed differential between them of 6 mph (10 km/h). And if the rider activates his turn signal in the direction of the other vehicle, the warning triangle blinks to draw further attention to itself.
BMW Motorrad sees this as an additional safety device which will be useful in congested city traffic. Which explains why it’s available first on the C650GT maxi scooter (although its absence on the new C650 Sport is odd) and why it doesn’t work at higher, highway speeds. And as additional assistance, they point out “it is not a substitute for looking in the rear mirror or looking over one’s shoulder and under no circumstances releases the rider from their responsibility and obligations.”
In any case, it’s a helpful device we hope to see incorporated into other models, and allowed to work at higher speeds, in the future.