Riding a motorcycle has many advantages. For starters, you spend less on fuel. Motorcycles can also be cheaper to operate and maintain than a car, and of course, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.
These unique benefits have made motorcycling an attractive option for many. The result is that more tech innovations are coming up to meet the growing needs of motorcycling customers.
One area that has seen a lot of advancements in terms of technology is motorcycle safety.
And for a good reason! According to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are overrepresented in traffic fatalities. Compared to car occupants, motorcyclists are unprotected and more vulnerable to fatal injuries in road crashes.
Ultimately, nothing beats quality safety gear and proper training when it comes to keeping you safe on the road while riding. But technology can also go a long way to prevent motorcycle accidents or protect you from catastrophic injuries just in case something goes wrong.
Here we’ll look at notable motorcycle tech trends playing a significant role in keeping riders safe on the roads.
Unlike a car, your motorcycle doesn’t have a seatbelt or a crumple zone to keep you safe during an accident. And for the longest time, motorcycles didn’t have airbag systems commonly found in cars. However, today two types of airbag systems are being used in the motorcycling world – an airbag system that can be mounted on your bike and one that can be worn as a vest, bodysuit, or a jacket.
Honda was the first company to introduce the bike mounted airbag system on their Goldwing model lineup. This type of airbag system protects the rider’s head in case of a frontal collision.
The more commonly used airbag system is worn as a vest, a jacket, or a full-length suit. This airbag system has been incorporated in motorcycles by famous manufacturers such as Ducati and BMW. The system is inflated using a CO2 cartridge. The jacket or suit also has a cord that is tethered to the motorcycle. In case of a crash, the tether is activated, and the vest inflates, cushioning the rider from body injuries.
2. AR helmet technology
The helmet is an essential safety gear for any motorcyclist. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a helmet reduces the risk of a head injury in a crash by 69%.
Helmet manufacturers have embraced technology to make this safety gear more effective in keeping you safe. For instance, some helmets have app powered audio and Bluetooth capabilities such that they can connect to your phone. This allows you to listen to navigation instructions and communicate with other riders.
Other manufacturers are working on manufacturing helmets with built-in Augmented Reality (AR). Such helmets will help minimize distracted driving as they will have GPS maps and a speedometer. One manufacturer has come up with a helmet with a rearview mirror and a wide-view visor that gives you a 360-degree road view. This allows you to see all the blind spots on the road.
3. Anti-lock braking system
Bikes with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) are safer. ABS increases your bike’s stability and also prevents wheels from locking.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Lawyers, when you brake too hard to avoid a crash or due to a slippery road, you destabilize your bike, which causes the rear or front wheel to lock. Unfortunately, wheel locking can cause your bike to slide or overturn.
ABS prevents your motorcycle wheels from locking. This technology uses speed sensors to determine when the wheels are about to lock and adjusts the braking pressure such that the wheels do not lock. The result is that your bike becomes more stable and is less likely to be involved in a crash.
4. Smart tire pressure and temperature monitors
Smart tire pressure and temperature monitoring system ensure that you don’t have to keep getting off your bike or bending down to check your motorcycle tire pressure. This system enables you to see the tire pressure and temperature while riding. Some TPMSs have Bluetooth tire gauges, while others will send alerts in case a problem is detected.
Installing a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in your motorcycle is cost-effective and convenient. This critical safety technology ensures your tire pressure routine checks are made easier and more frequent.
5. Smart windshield
In 2016, Samsung announced they had developed a smart windscreen for motorcycles. The technology is made up of a smartphone-connected display found on a motorcycle’s windshield.
The smart, transparent screen connects to your smartphone via WiFi. The screen is installed on the shield’s lower side to ensure it doesn’t obscure the rider’s vision.
To get alerts and GPS navigation directions on the screen, one has to download an app on their smartphone. The app can also notify you of any incoming messages and calls. To ensure you don’t get distracted by the incoming calls, the app can send a message to the caller telling them you’re on the road.
6. Vehicle to vehicle communication
Vehicle-to-vehicle technology (V2V) allows vehicles to communicate amongst themselves. By using wireless communication, drivers can alert other drivers in case of an issue on the road to help them avoid accidents.
Similarly, motorcycles outfitted with V2V or bike-to-vehicle technology (B2V) can talk to each other while on the road. The on-board sensors found on the bike collect information such as speed, position, braking, and location. With the help of an on-board computer, the B2V or V2V system sends alerts to other motorcyclists or vehicles on the road.
There has never been a more exciting time for motorcyclists than now. It’s now safer to ride your bike thanks to the many safety innovations fitted in motorcycles. The above six discussed motorcycle safety tech trends are just the tip of the iceberg as there are many more upcoming motorcycle innovations we expect to see on our roads soon.