German firm Bosch is working on a new motorcycle safety system that uses gas thrusters to prevent slides while cornering. A video has emerged, showing a motorcycle negotiating a turn and coming across a patch of gravel. As any motorcyclist will tell you, this is a sure-shot recipe for an accident. But Bosch is attempting to change that.
The first part of the video shows a standard motorcycle crossing a gravel patch, when the front tyre completely loses grip and causes the bike to slide wide. The only reason that the motorcycle doesn’t crash is due to the large outrigger that keeps it rubber-side down.
In the video’s second part, the motorcycle encounters the same gravel patch while leaning into a turn, but this time it is also equipped with thrusters on either side. As the front tyre enters the gravel patch and begins to lose grip, a thruster on the outside of the bike (with respect to the direction of the turn) is fired almost instantaneously. The reaction force from the thruster appears to assist the motorcycle in negotiating the corner, pushing it inwards. Despite the reduced grip from the front tyre, the assistance of the blast of gas helps the motorcycle to hold its line through the turn.
Bosch says that the gas accumulator for the thrusters is of the same kind as those used in airbags for passenger cars, and it is forced through a nozzle. The thrusters seem to be very well packaged, with no apparent protrusions on the side of the motorcycle.
This is the first public appearance of this technology, and there is no official word from Bosch yet on when, or if, it will make it to a production motorcycle. Bosch is a pioneer of motorcycle safety systems, introducing products like Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) that features IMU-based ABS and Traction Control.