Tag Archives: Takata

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 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