Bringing together the areas of information and entertainment, the term ‘infotainment’ made its appearance some years ago primarily aimed at describing a lighter version of news reporting. However, its been adopted by car and motorcycle manufacturers to describe the all-in-one systems that offer everything from vehicle diagnostics to navigation as well as bringing all important music to time spent on the road.
As technology has improved, so have the systems manufacturers throw into their vehicles. Where a rider’s smartphone may’ve have been the most robust media device on board, new ‘infotainment’ systems are quickly ‘outsmarting’ our cellphones.
Bikers looking for a new motorcycle may be surprised at just how much manufacturers are emphasizing this latest technology. Recently, Indian put their infotainment system among the top bullet points of features tempting riders to buy their touring model, the Roadmaster. Taking the lead in this race of motorcycle technology, Yamaha partnered with the familiar name of Harman to equip their Star Venture with cutting-edge technologies featuring some clever ideas and eye-catching ideas. According to Harman, the goal of the partnership was to create a true grand-touring motorcycle exclusively for North American consumers.
Harman’s part in this grand two-wheeled scheme was a seamless user experience for riders interested in longer trans-continental routes, with a focus on functions, industrial design and the all-important User Interface, or UI. The tech company delivered an infotainment system which features a high resolution seven-inch touch screen display mounted in the cockpit.
The system can be operated by switches on the motorcycle’s handles, as well as by voice command when using headphones. One of the more remarkable features is its two-zone audio system, which allows the driver and passenger to listen to different Pandora radio stations or streams through separate audio speakers via wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
“Working with Yamaha to create an unmatched riding experience for motorcycle enthusiasts that also keeps consumers safe with leading navigation technologies has allowed us to provide an ideal infotainment system for trans-continental exploration,” said Phil Eyler, executive vice president and president, Connected Car, HARMAN.
In what is becoming the standard for such systems, riders can access data such as trip computer functions and tire pressure onto the cockpit display. While somewhat expected now, it’s a long way from riders making sure they had enough quarters for a payphone in the case of an emergency.
The ‘Star Venture’ will ride into showrooms exclusively in North America as of August 2017 with a MSRP of $24,999 for base models, and $26,999 for models equipped with the Transcontinental Option Package.
Clutch and Chrome takes a closer look at the new model here with plenty of pictures and even a video!