By John Burns
Every time it comes time to write one of those “Great Motorcycle Developments of the Future” deals, some form of cooling tech always makes it to the top of the list. Usually it’s an air-conditioned helmet. Indian decided to attack the heat problem from the other direction with its ClimaCommand Classic Seat, retro-fittable onto all Thunderstroke models back to 2016.
Heretofore, air-conditioning tech involved Freon, pumps and compressors and things – stuff that’s too bulky and complicated to package in a motorcycle. Now thanks to the new wonder material graphene, none of that’s necessary. For one of many things, graphene is an excellent heat conductor. Indian says it’s “a highly conductive and flexible material that optimizes the distribution of heating or cooling while maintaining superior comfort.” Here are a few more potential uses for the stuff according to Wikipedia.
For another thing, graphene can be formed into a very strong and flexible thin sheet, and that’s what Indian have placed inside their new seat. According to Indian’s Product Development Supervisor for On-Road Accessories, Sam Dando, Indian is working with an outside company to produce the seat. The key to making it work is the solid-state thermodynamic controller in the base of the seat, which controls two different elements, one each in the rider’s seat and one in the passenger section – each with its own little ducted cooling fan.
The graphene layer doesn’t just cool; it can heat as well, and therefore replaces the wiring of the typical heated seat. All you need to do, then, is decide if you’re hot or cold, reach down with your left hand to the side of the seat, and flip the toggle switch up for heat (three settings) or down to cool (three more).
Indian says it works like this: To …read more