Honda is developing a new airbag technology for motorcycles that is designed to provide even better protection for the rider. While the spread of airbags in motorcycle clothing is already well advanced, motorcycle-mounted airbags have so far found only limited acceptance. Honda could now ensure a change with their innovative idea.
Back in 2006, they launched the first production version of a motorcycle airbag in the Gold Wing. Since then, airbag equipment technology has caught on, while motorcycle-mounted airbags have largely fallen by the wayside.
Traditional airbags on Gold Wing motorcycles have limited effectiveness
Traditional, car-like airbags like those on the Gold Wing only work in very limited situations. The rider must be seated in a predictable position for the airbag to be as effective as possible. A frontal impact is required for the airbag to work optimally. Thus, the idea has not spread to other motorcycles because the airbag does not work there due to a different seating position or, in some cases, there is simply not enough space for the system.
The use of airbag-equipped protective clothing has now proven itself on many occasions, but wearing it significantly limits clothing choices, is not entirely inexpensive, and the airbags are limited in size.
Honda’s solution: motorcycle-mounted airbags that act like clothing airbags
Honda has developed a novel concept to overcome the drawbacks of traditional motorcycle airbags and protective airbag clothing. The idea is to create a motorcycle-mounted airbag that wraps around the rider in the event of a crash and then detaches from the motorcycle so the airbag stays with the rider to protect him or her.
Honda has filed several patent applications for related systems, showing a variety of different designs. The airbags are placed in either the front or rear of the motorcycle seat and are shaped to wrap around the rider from the front or rear. There are different designs for the shape of the airbag, which “hug” the rider and then detach from the motorcycle to protect the rider even if he or she is thrown from the motorcycle.
The system allows the airbag to detach from the inflator and motorcycle once inflated. Heat seals the airbag so it remains inflated throughout the accident. A pressure relief valve in the airbag allows it to release the air in a controlled manner within a set period of time after deployment.
When will the motorcycle airbag arrive?
Although there is no guarantee that a patent application will lead to production, Honda has shown with a number of filings that this is a project with a big investment. Honda has set a goal of no fatal traffic accidents on their motorcycles by 2050. Although this will be achieved through prevention measures and sensor technologies, Honda’s new airbag technology could also contribute to this goal.
Honda is working on a new technology for motorcycle-mounted airbags that makes it possible for them to behave like airbag protective coverings. The system consists of different designs for the placement of the airbag and its shape, allowing it to protect the rider even if he or she is thrown from the motorcycle. Although there is no guarantee that a patent application will lead to production, Honda’s involvement in this area shows that it is a promising project that could further improve motorcyclist safety and be implemented in the future.
- Maßstab 1:12
- Gesamtlänge 173 mm
- Breite 67 mm
- Gesamthöhe 93 mm
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