– Ben Martens


My bike is full of geeky engineering and technology. It’s going to take me a while to discover and understand a lot of it, but one immediately apparent gadget is the KIPASS (Kawasaki Intelligent Proximity Activation Start System.) It’s similar to the Prius key if you’ve seen that.

The basic idea is that the key always remains in the bike. There is a key fob that must be within 5 feet of the bike to turn the key or even take it out. I keep the fob in my coat. As soon as I walk up to the bike, I can start it without fumbling around for my keys. If the bike is turned on and leaves the radius of the key fob, the engine will shut off after about 10 seconds.

The system doesn’t really protect against theft because most motorcycle theft involves four guys picking up a bike and throwing it in the back of a truck. I’m also a bit concerned about locking myself out of the house since there is nothing stopping me from leaving with my house keys. Maybe I can get my house to unlock when I’m within five feet of the door!