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Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations

Crosshelmet X-1

Crosshelmet X-1. #2 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations

Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovation’s

Let’s dive into what we consider to be the Top 5 most important motorcycle safety innovations. As we all know by now, no amount of technology exists to completely overcome the downfall of being human.  Some variables we are currently capable of overcoming, some we are not. For variables we are not able to overcome, it’s necessary that we have a very effective solution in the untimely event of a motorcycle accident. This brings us to the #1 and #2 of The Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations.


#1 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovation’s- Air Bag Protective Gear

Airbag motorcycle riding gear made its first mainstream public appearance in 2007. Worn by many professional MotoGP motorcycle racers as adapted technologies. It was not made mandatory until 2018 when MotoGP unanimously decided all racers needed to wear level 2 airbag-equipped racing suits.

Airbag riding gear was introduced in 2009 in horseback racing. The rider’s vest had a tether mounted to the saddle of the horse which would initiate the co2 cartridge resulting in the airbag vest deploying in roughly 100-250 milliseconds. Initial studies showed a 69% reduction of injuries in dismounted riders. Solidifying the technology’s place in open-cockpit sports.

Airbag systems are available in tethered and sensor-activated versions as well as vests and built-in airbag systems. With different options and variations available from all of the major motorcycle safety gear manufacturers. This in part is the reason airbag systems are a Top 5 Safety Innovation.


Airbag Vest

A motorcycle airbag vest, worn over top of any motorcycle jacket. #1 of TOP 5 Motorcycle Innovations


#2 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovation’s – Smart Helmet Technologies

Motorcycle helmets are a well-rounded technology by now, no pun intended. But what if we told you that the innovations have never stopped despite the simplicity of the idea not varying very much.  Sometimes the devil is in the details, in helmet cases, the details are not so devilish.

Smart helmets are becoming available more regularly now. Giving way to hope that we see the day AI and augmented reality are integrated. These technologies have stirred many industries, and caused a lot of chatter as to whether or not implementing them is beneficial to humanity. I would argue that in the case of motorcycle helmets it will prove to be the most beneficial safety measure since the helmet itself, placing smart helmets #2 of the Top 5 Safety Innovations.

Another technology motorcycle helmets will stand to benefit from in the future is the implementation of emergency response system’s similar to OnStar. These systems would allow the helmet to notify emergency services without the consent of the rider in the case of a serious accident. Equipped with sensors capable of measuring the impact, better determining whether or not emergency services are necessary. In the case of loss of consciousness this technology will prove to be vital.


Crosshelmet X-1

Crosshelmet X-1. #2 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations


#3 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovation’s – ABS and Stability Management

ABS and Stability management are not the new kids on the Motorcycle block for safety technologies. However, we consider them to still be in the top 5 with constant advancements resulting from endless refinements. Introduced in mass-produced motorcycles, BMW first made its appearance in 1988 on their K100 model motorcycle followed by Honda in 1992 on their ST1100.

ABS and traction control had been developed to help aid in low traction situations and emergency braking situations. From weather-related scenarios to performance-oriented goals. The longer the case study continues the better these technologies can be refined and implemented into today’s motorcycles. Benefiting more and more riders by way of less and less unforeseen circumstances resulting in untimely accidents.

As these technologies have progressed Traction control would later be referred to as stability management, but not limited to. Implemented as a traction control system and a performance control device. Modern motorcycles now have systems with varying levels of effectiveness. The rider can choose the amount of “interference” the system is allowed to apply in the decision-making process. These systems have proven to be well worth their weight in gold over time helping prevent accidents from happening in a wide range of scenarios.



BMW ABS. #3 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations



#4 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovation’s – Vehicle to Vehicle Communication

Bosch, a leading manufacturer in electronic vehicle interface technologies, has begun producing a technology referred to as Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications. This system between vehicles and motorcycles alike can exchange information with each other via direct communications. It works on a 5.9 GHz frequency band with a special configuration of wireless LAN standard. This information includes the type of vehicle, speed, position, and direction of travel. A vehicle can transmit this data up to ten times per second to the nearby environment. When the system detects a hazard from surrounding vehicles, it alerts the operator and in real-time either on the display or audible alerts. This helps to reduce the risk of potential accidents.

Stationary vehicles on the sides of the road will continue to emit their data. The other moving vehicles from both sides of the road exchange their data with a stationary vehicle. Acting as triggers only when the system detects the possibility of collision. Stationary and nonstationary vehicles are aware well in advance so that they have sufficient time to react accordingly.

These communications between vehicles and motorcycles stand to make driving on roads substantially safer. These technologies stand to make some major waves in our industry by way of increased accident reduction standards, Along with simple forms of integration into current management programming. Soon we will see motorcycles with features like this built right into the dash similar to the stability management systems we see today.


v2v communications

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications. #4 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations


#5 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations – Adaptive Headlights

Many companies have tried their hand at solutions for this pesky disappearing headlight issue. But none have done it better than BMW, trying their hand at this issue as early as 1980. BMW would later implement their first full production model in 2010 on the k1600gt. Early on BMW was toying with mirrors to no avail and would later try their hand at selectable led lighting.

Fast forward to 2020 and BMW has taken another stab at the issue with their latest rendition of Adaptive lighting. This time around BMW has designed the light to simultaneously use selectable led patterns as well as a motorized headlight assembly. This allows the computer to control the angle of the light beam based on the angle of lean the motorcycle is at.

BMW is not the only manufacturer producing adaptive lighting. There are manufacturers producing retrofit lights available aftermarket for a wide variety of motorcycles. These adapted technologies lack in comparison to BMW’s current headlight technology. All current aftermarket adaptive lighting only utilizes selectable led’s to help aid in the direction of the beam rather than having the ability to move the entire headlight assembly and adjust LED beam.


BMW headlight

BMW adjustable headlight. #5 of Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Innovations

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