Tag Archives: Airbag

Honda plans airbags for smaller motorcycles

After the problems Honda had with the massive global recall of dangerous Takata airbags in their Goldwing, the company is now filing for a patent on a smaller airbag suitable for smaller bikes.

Instead of deploying in front of the rider like a big bean bag, it goes straight up to stop the rider being flung over the bars.

While the rider in this video says his airbag suit was a lifesaver, we wonder what effect a vertical motorcycle airbag would have had, preventing him being flung clear of the vehicle.

Airbags trend

Airbags seem to be the flavour of the times for the safety “experts”.

A host of airbag leather race suits is now available, airbags are mandatory in most motorcycle racing and some companies such as DaineseAlpinestars and Furygan, are now releasing aftermarket airbag vests that go over or under a normal jacket.

And Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike even has a patent pending for a motorcycle seat that ejects a rider in a crash and then cocoons them in a full-length airbag suit to protect them from injury.

Smaller airbags

As for motorcycles airbags, we can see they may be a safety device in crashes where the rider hits something head-on or is hit from behind, but not glancing blows or being hit from the side.

The Goldwing airbag in the “tank” area is bulky and would only fit big tourers.

Honda Goldwing GL1800 airbag radical Goldwings incentive smaller airbagsHowever, Honda’s new patent is for a much smaller airbag.

It would be suitable on smaller motorcycles as shown in this patent drawing of a scooter published by Visor Down.Airbag Honda

We imagine this will also be a cheaper airbag than the one in the Goldwing.

It’s not the first time Honda has considered adding airbags to smaller bikes.

In 2017, the company exhibited an airbag designed for scooters at the Honda Meeting in Tokyo. (See image at the top of this page.)

The danger of this type of cheaper technology is that safety experts will one day deem it as a mandatory fitment on all bikes just as they have with ABS!

Honda patent blitz

Honda has been having something of a blitz on patents in the past couple of years.

While this idea seems quite reasonable and may make it into some future motorcycles, a lot of the others are less likely.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Airbag suit a lifesaver in head-on crash

A 35-year-old British rider who survived a horrifying head-on collision has credited his airbag-equipped full leather suit as a lifesaver.

This confronting video showing in-car footage, a rear angle and a following car’s video has been released overnight by Yorkshire Police to highlight the value of riders wearing the full gear — or as we call “ATGATT” (All The Gear, All The Time).

The 41-year-old Subaru driver, Florian Pratt, who was travelling at 70mph (112km/h), was banned from driving for three years and jailed for 16 months yesterday (10 January 2020) at Sheffield Crown Court.

Judge David Dixon said: “Anyone in control of a high-powered sports type car needs to be aware of the vehicle’s capability and their own capability.

“You failed to take any account of the bend that led to this incident. The message must go out loud and clear. If you drive any vehicle you must drive with care.”

Airbag lifesaverAirbag Lifesaver

While the Suzuki rider chose to remain anonymous, he has credited the protective gear he was wearing at the time, including a full-leather air bag suit which activated and inflated on impact, as a lifesaver. 

He suffered a broken back, broken sternum and broken wrist in the devastating smash last April near Sheffield.

Apart from the suit, the other lifesaver was the fact that the experienced rider braked so hard, he did a high front-wheel stoppie that would have flung him largely clear of the car.Airbag Lifesaver

Roads policing constable, PC Phil Carson, says that without the airbag suit, “he would most likely have died”.

We often see motorcycle riders wearing shorts and trainers, and they think it’s OK because they have a helmet on – it’s not,” he says.

“You might be travelling in a safe manner, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.

“Please make sure that you’re wearing the right kit, it might be expensive but without it, your life could be at risk.”

A host of airbag leather race suits is now available, airbags are mandatory in most motorcycle racing and some companies such as Dainese, Alpinestars and Furygan, are now releasing aftermarket airbag vests that go over or under a normal jacket.

And Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike even has a patent pending for a motorcycle seat that ejects a rider in a crash and then cocoons them in a full-length airbag suit to protect them from injury.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Alpinestars airbag vest fits any jacket

Alpinestars has joined Dainese and Furygan in making an airbag vest that fits underneath any jacket.

Airbags were first included with a leather jacket or suit usually for racing where it is now mandatory in some categories.

They were followed by airbag vests that could be worn over the top of a jacket, or vests that were only suitable with a particular jacket.

Now this new age of airbag vests can be worn under any jacket, making them suitable for everyday riding protection.

We’re not sure exactly what happens when you wear one of these new vests underneath a tight motorcycle jacket. When it explodes, does it rip your jacket open like the Incredible Hulk?

The manufacturers say they work just fine if you zip out a thermal liner. They also say these vests provide thermal protection.

So in an Aussie summer, they could be awfully hot and uncomfortable, even with a flow-through ventilated jacket!

Alpinestars Tech-Air 5Alpinestars airbag vest

Alpinestars will unveil their Tech-Air 5 airbag at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on 7 January 2020. 

It works via accelerometers that detect a crash.

The vest connects via Bluetooth to the Alpinestars Tech-Air smartphone app which shows whether the vest is armed, unarmed or triggered. Not sure why you need that because surely you will know when it’s been triggered!

There are no more details such as price or how much it costs to have the airbag re-armed after it’s been triggered.

The most important detail is whether you can re-arm it yourself like the Furygan or you have to send it back to the manufacturer like the Dainese vest.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Furygan airbag vest zips inside jacket

Furygan is the latest company to add an airbag vest that goes inside your jacket and can be easily reset at home after being triggered.

Most airbag suits and jackets include the airbag and some airbag vests go over the top, while others go inside.

We weren’t sure how an airbag exploding under your jacket in a crash would work if the jacket is tight!

However, the French motorcycle clothing brand says the vest will work just fine if you zip out the thermal layer.

It is compatible with most jackets as well as the 2019 and 2020 Furygan jackets with the airbag connect logo.

Their jackets feature an additional inner zip allowing users to zip the Fury Airbag into position in less than 15 seconds.

Furygan says the advantage is that the vest is comfortable, fits all sizes and is invisible from the outside.

It also uses 3D breathable mesh technology to create a “thermal bridge” between the outside temperature and the body.

The breathable material also stretches to provide extra comfort.

How it worksFurygan airbag vest

The vest includes an In&Motion “brain” that measures the position of the user 1000 times per second and works with an algorithm that improves as it receives more data.

If the algorithm believes you are in an accident, it deploys and the bag is inflated immediately in just 60 milliseconds.

Designed to protect the neck, back, chest and abdomen areas, the Fury Airbag protects areas often left vulnerable in the event of a crash or impact.

The airbag stays inflated to prevent any resulting injury and to protect the user from any further injuries after the accident.Furygan airbag vest

The system – which takes three hours to fully charge – offers up to 25 hours of active riding and 15 days on auto-standby mode.

Once connected with Wifi or mobile data it will automatically look for software updates.

Furygan spokesman David Robert says it has different modes for road and track.

“Putting it into perspective, braking on a MotoGP bike from the long straight at Mugello causes the same force and level of deceleration as a scooter hitting a car at 50km/h, so it’s important to tell the computer what it should expect as ‘normal’,” he says.

The inflation module is housed above the vest’s CE-approved back protector for extra protection and to ensure the inflator doesn’t cause injury. Furygan airbag vest

Furygan cost

The Fury Airbag vest with the In&Motion ‘brain’ is available online and is not cheap at about $A715, while the airbag inflator costs an extra $A170.

That compares with the Dainese airbag vest at $A699 and the Helite airbag outer vest at $825.

It can be reset by removing the discharged inflator unit in the back protector and replacing it with a new one.

The free In&Motion App has a handy video guide and there is no need to send off the vest to be reset by Furygan.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoGP airbag vest for everyday riders

Last year MotoGP made airbag race suits mandatory and now Dainese has produced an airbag vest for everyday riders that goes under a normal jacket.

Versatile vest

Many riders have different jackets for summer and winter.

It would be expensive to buy an airbag jacket for each season, so this idea of an airbag vest underneath seems handy for those who want extra protection.Dainese airbag vest

However, we wonder just how baggy your jacket would need to be to accommodate the vest.

Not only do you have to fit the vest under you jacket, but also allow enough room for if/when it inflates!

The extra layer could defeat the purpose of a ventilated summer jacket, but it is ventilated.

We wonder how it might limit movement, but Dainese says it is light and flexible.

It’s not cheap at $US699 and replacement components after it has deployed will add to the cost.

Although what price do you put on safety?Dainese airbag vest

Dainese says the airbag vest is seven times more protective than the usual back protector.

The vest is also waterproof and abrasion resistant.

How it worksDainese airbag vest

The vest uses seven sensors including GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect a crash such as low and high-sides, collisions and even being hit from behind when stopped at the lights.

All that tech depletes the batteries which need t be recharged after 26 hours of use.

After it’s exploded, you then have to take it back to the shop to get a new airbag system. Apparently fitting is a quick operation.

It arrives soon in six sizes for men and women.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Full-length airbag leather suit patented

Professional racers and amateurs alike could soon be wearing patented airbag leathers that fully cocoon the rider and automatically call emergency services if they crash.

British company Resolve Group plans to launch the one-piece leather suit at the London Bike Show in September along with “the most advanced augmented reality helmet available” and a “secret” third product.

Company spokesman Adam Wilson contacted us with information about two of their products after we published an article about a patent pending on a full-length airbag suit.

Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike has so far only posted this digital animation of the patent-pending device. Attempts to contact them have yielded no results.

Patented airbag suit

Adam said the Resolve Group was already making that airbag and had patented the idea “a few years ago”. 

“Our suit offers a complete cocoon-like protection for the rider,” he says.

“The one-piece suit has ambient lighting to enhance visibility as well as having capabilities of summoning emergency services in the event of an accident.

“The red accents are LED lights with our company logo in LED on the aerodynamic hump on the back.

“We have many features which I am not able to disclose as yet.

“But safe to say it is the most advanced available in the world right now.

“We are in talks with FIM with the aim of supplying helmets and suits to the MotoGP for the 2020/21 season.”

MotoGP made airbag suits mandatory last year.

Suit pricing

Resolve Group airbag leather suit patented smartest
Resolve Group airbag leather suit

Adam says their suit will cost about £2,500 (about $A4700, $US3300, €2940).

“This is substantially cheaper than other suits on the market offering a fraction of the protection our suit offers,” Adam says.

“Further, we will not have any lease agreements with customers as many manufacturers force customers into signing.

“Failure of customers to sign such agreements results in the suits being rendered useless as the manufacturer will not lease the propellant to inflate the suits to the customers.

“Other manufacturers charge a yearly fee irrespective of whether or not the protection system is deployed. We will supply the propellant within the purchase price of the suit and not charge a yearly fee either.

“Prices are subject to change given supplier prices and other component part price increases.”

Adam says they are not looking for crowd funding for their projects as they have invested their own funds.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Airbag suit to ‘save millions’ of riders

A patent is pending for a motorcycle seat that ejects a rider in a crash and then cocoons them in a full-length airbag suit to protect them from injury.

Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike has posted a digital animation of the patent-pending device, claiming it could save “millions from serious accidents and death”.

They also say it would allow “millions of new riders previously hesitant to sit on a motorcycle because of safety, to enjoy motorcycling”.

However, we’re not even sure a working prototype has been made or even tested. So far there is only this animated video for a patent drawing that is yet to be approved!

How the airbag suit works

Unlike the Honda Goldwing airbag that inflates a bean-bag-sized pillow in front of the rider, this airbag suit system is in the seat which the rider straps themselves into with a special seatbelt.

Click here for details on the mandatory recall on the Goldwing over its Takata airbag.

The idea is that the seat ejects with the rider and then deploys several full-length airbags around the rider. 

We reckon this photo of the airbag as it starts to inflate is simply rude!

Airbag suitAnd we’re not so sure we would like the explosive device that deploys the airbag this close to the family jewels!

We thought it would be hilarious if the airbags went off when you parked and got off your bike, but the patent says the airbag deploys only if the motorcycle is traveling at a certain speed.

It has various motion sensors and gyroscopes that detect a sudden deceleration or acceleration if hit from behind, or “a loss of balance that would not be correctable by a human”.

Also, the belt system “automatically unfastens in a crash that is not severe enough to warrant a system deployment (to allow the rider to jump off the bike) or if the rider tries to stand up from the bike while it is stopped”.

So it wouldn’t be of any use in racing like the airbag race suits by Dainese and Alpinestars as the belt would come undone on the first corner when the rider slipped out of the seat to get their knee down!

airbag suit
Alpinestars airbag vest

The belt would also unfasten if you stood up when riding across rough or loose surfaces.

Airbag for Bike

We contacted Airbag for Bike for more details about the inventor and whether they have made a prototype yet and intend to produce the airbags or just sell the idea.

No reply yet, but stay tuned for updates.

The problem with these sorts of inventions is that some road safety expert will agree it will reduce deaths and injuries.

Then politicians will make it mandatory!

Experts like UNSW Sydney Professor Raphael Grzebieta who won an international award for advocating wire rope barriers, lower speed limits and mandatory hi-vis vests for riders, and alcohol interlocks and electronic rider aids on bikes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com