According to ABB, the Torductor is capable of measuring changes in torque from individual combustions in the engine and can be used to smooth gearshifts or even smooth power over a bumpy section of pavement. With a torque sensor providing actual torque feedback to the EMS, it would be possible to modulate the engine’s output to an exact torque value based on the rider’s input, for perfectly linear throttle response in addition to better traction and wheelie control. The Torductor used on the Honda MotoGP bikes works using magnetoelastic materials, which generate a magnetic flux around a rotating shaft — the transmission output shaft in this case. The magnetic flux changes depending on the actual torque in the shaft, and can be converted to an electronic signal proportional to the torque. As a slight digression, it’s notable that the Torductor (or any other torque sensor) also measures back-torque under deceleration, and could be used to help modulate engine braking entering a turn.
A mid-season rule change last year in World Superbike allowed the addition of ride-by-wire throttle to bikes not equipped as such from the factory, effectively allowing the use of torque-by-wire. Jonathan Rea immediately won his first outing on a CBR1000RR equipped as such, showing the system’s effectiveness. No doubt Yamaha, Honda and other manufacturers producing bikes with ride-by-wire throttles have incorporated at least some torque-by-wire into the bikes’ ECUs already. My only question now is, with the twistgrip even more disconnected from the actual butterflies, can we even call it a throttle? sr
With throttle butterflies controlled by electronics becoming more common, it’s possible to change things so that torque output…is more directly related to throttle position.