Motorcycle Industry / Motorcycles / Powersports / Scooters

Honda Previews New Airbag for Scooters

Honda Airbag for Scooters

Honda Airbag for Scooters

Honda has been developing a revolutionary new airbag system that works to protect a motorcyclist’s head and torso during certain types of collisions. The system has been shown, before, on Honda’s biggest touring bike- the GL1800 Goldwing and Valkyrie– but most of the world’s motorcyclists don’t ride massive ‘Wings. Most of the world’s motorcyclists ride small, 50-125cc scooters, and Honda is bringing its new safety tech to them.

Working in collaboration with Autoliv- a supplier that is, perhaps, more well-known for its work on autonomous Volvos than it is with airbags– the system is designed to protect riders in the event of an impact into the side of a car. As Paul Tan expertly puts it, “Cars pulling out in front of two-wheelers is an all too common occurrence, as is the resulting, “Sorry, mate. I didn’t see you,” excuse.”

Honda’s airbag system works in much the same way that automotive airbag systems are supposed to, using an acceleration sensor at the front of the bike to detect an impact. If the system, using factors like severity and location of impact, decides it’s appropriate to do, the full-body airbag shown, above, will deploy in about one twentieth of a second (0.05). In tests up to 30 MPH, the Honda scooter airbag was found to substantially reduce injuries suffered by the rider. And, before you dismiss that result, consider that most crash testing is done at speeds of 35-40 MPH and that motorcycles typically have superior straight-line braking performance than, say, a crossover SUV packed with kiddos and groceries.

Honda showed off its scooter airbags for the first time at last month’s Honda Meeting 2017 in Tokyo, although they haven’t announced a production date.


Honda Motorcycle Airbag on GL1800 Goldwing

Source | Images: Honda, via Paul Tan.

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Jo Borrás
Jo Borras has been in the auto industry since 1997, and has been a contributor to various automotive and technology blogs for more than a decade. You can find him #resisting on Twitter, talking Swedish metal at his Volvo fansite, out cruising on two wheels, or chasing his kids around Oak Park, IL.