So what about this S-KTRAC traction-control? How does the Kawasaki System work? Unlike the systems that have recently appeared on other bikes (Aprilia, BMW, Ducati), the Kawasaki doesn't use gyroscope or accelerometer data to help calculate when the rear [tire] is losing grip. Rather, Kawasaki insists that its experience in MotoGP and WSB means its engineers can write clever algorithms which can 'predict' and handle slides without the need for gyro or accelerometer data. As for the claim that the ECU and the S-KTRAC system is so clever it can "stop slides before they happen", let's resolve that it relies on an over-stretched distinction between a slipping tire and a sliding tire.
SuperBike, Feb 2011, Superbike.co.uk (emphasis in original)Wow. Now I understand that they're kind of fudging the detail there, about a "slipping" vs a "sliding" tire – either way, the rubber is moving in a decidedly not "rotating normally" kind of manner. What bugs me, though, is they have algorithms that are able to predict when the bike is going to pitch into a slide without an accelerometer or a gyroscope... I'd really like to ride one of these to see it in action.
Basically what they are doing is they are predicting, given a certain rpm and speed, what torque is being applied to the wheel, and deriving the amount of adhesion available to the wheel/tire combination at that given revolution. But what they cannot take into account is road condition including temperature, debris, precipitation, and of course tire condition or composition. It strikes me that the only way to make this system work is to make it the most overwhelmingly worrisome nanny that it takes the fun out of the bike. Yet the editors at SuperBike liked it. A lot. Hmmm.