OT: Motorcycle AIRBAGS???? Believe it or not!

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Charlie Self wrote:

Probably. And probably also the resulting trajectory, more often than not, will be more survivable than the original.
There is no safe or unsafe, there is only more safe or less safe.
--

FF


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wrote in message

It's likely that the air bag will help in slow moving accidents. Air bags in cars keep you from hitting something else that will stop you, the steering wheel or dash. On a bike a higher speed crash will still likely throw you up as you deflect off of the air bag. The bikes rear wheel raise pretty high off the ground when the front end stops instantly.
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I remember reading an ariticle (back in the mid eighties I think) about a motorcycle airbag SUIT. That's right, a rubber suit with inflatable airbags that would deploy if the rider left the bike. It was attached to the bike with a tether and activated if the tether broke or was disconnected from the motorcycle. When it inflated the rider looked like the Michelin tire man. Testing showed that it would be very effective but for some reason :) it never caught on as an alternative to leather.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net (Lawrence Wasserman) wrote:

I tried, and tried.. but can't get the image out of my mind. They abandoned the tests when a test-rider triggered the device bounced over the median into the path of an on-coming truck, bouncing him into a subdivision where he hit a flag-pole whipping him back into the path of a...... anyway...he was never found. . . . . . . . . ...whaddaya think? Too much Wiley???
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On 9/8/2005 6:57 PM Upscale mumbled something about the following:

An airbag won't stop you from catapulting when hitting a solid object. When I went head on with a car in 1988 on my motorcycle, the rear tire lifted off the ground ejecting me up at about a 70 degree angle. No amount of airbag could have stopped that unless it was on top of me instead of in front of me.
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Odinn
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I would think they would design it to do just that, maybe sort of envelop you front and top.
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On 9/17/2005 11:49 PM Edwin Pawlowski mumbled something about the following:

No thanks. I'll take my changes with a get-off instead of an airbag holding me down onto a bike.
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Odinn
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Good luck. Cushioning of a well designed airbag would be far more effective than flying 75 mph into a solid mass. Just curious, do you wear seatbelts in a car or would you rather take your chances getting tossed out the door?
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On 9/18/2005 1:12 AM Edwin Pawlowski mumbled something about the following:

And what do you think would happen at 75MPH with the airbag? It's only good for approx 30 MPH according to Honda. I've already gone head on with a car at 30+ MPH on a bike, and if I had been held down onto the bike, I would have been part of the car, instead of laying several feet away from the wreck.
And what do you think would happen if that airbag deployed when hitting a bad dip or bump? How much force is needed to deploy it, and where must the bike hit the object to deploy it? The front wheel is the leading most edge on a motorcycle, and can get a fair amount of force applied to it without ever hitting another object.
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Odinn
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Or with a properly sized and deployed bag, you may have been slowed down considerably for less impact. Neither one of us knows that though.

Wow, the guys at Honda probably never thought about that. We should tell them.
What I don't understand is how you can condem a piece of equipment when you've never seen one, do not know how it works, do not know what circumstances deploy it, have no idea of its capabilities. Last year I had a discussion with a neighbor about seat belts. He still insisted he is safer without them because he does not want to get trapped in the car. Just a couple of days after this, there was an accident on the highway near us. The driver was thrown from the car, slid on the road and then the car spun around over top of her killing her. He wears his belt now.
I still see a lot of riders with no helmets because they are safer also. Just like the kid down the street that has been in a nursing home for the past 12 years.
Your bike, your body, do as you please.
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On 9/18/2005 9:22 AM Edwin Pawlowski mumbled something about the following:

Slowed down? The bike was buried into the car. Had I been held to the bike, I would have been buried in the car along with the bike. That I DO KNOW for sure.

Go back and read what I wrote. I asked a question about what would happen if it discharged when it shouldn't. This isn't as much of an issue in a car, as you have a seat back that you would get pushed back onto. On a motorcycle, you may or may not have a seat back. Also having your hands ripped from the handlebars, especially if one is knocked loose while another is still grasping, can cause an accident on it's own. This isn't near as much a problem in a car if an airbag should go off while driving down the road.
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Odinn
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You suffer from a serious lack of knowledge. The chain of posts provides ample evidence that you neither understand the concept or operation of an airbag, the concept of pushing away (laying down) from a heavy piece of metal nor do you care to learn.
Circumstances may protect you, regardless. You will, of course be ungrateful.
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On 9/18/2005 10:03 AM George mumbled something about the following:

The chain of posts suggests that the airbag would hold me onto the bike, It also suggests it would slow me down. I'm not the one making those claims, I'm challenging them. You, OTOH are being ignorant of what is actually transpiring.
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Odinn
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I read what you wrote. You have legitimate questions, but I'm sure the engineers have considered this. You aren't making assumptions based on nothing are you? As I stated, neither of us knows how this works yet so we should not condemn what we don't know. The air bag is to cushion your body as you travel forward after impact of the bike to another object. By limiting the size of it the bag would not push far enough to push you back and away from the handlebars. The bag is a barrier, not a projectile aimed at the back of the bike.
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On 9/18/2005 11:56 AM Edwin Pawlowski mumbled something about the following:

Have you ever been hit by an airbag? Do you ride a motorcycle? Getting hit by an airbag will knock your hands away from the steering wheel in a car. Doing the same thing unexpectedly on a motorcycle when not involved in a crash can be deadly. Don't think it can't happen? It's happened plenty of times in cars with just hitting a bad bump causing the sensors to trigger. I'm not willing to take a chance of losing control of a vehicle because some sensor wrongly thinks it should deploy an airbag.
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Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

No and no, respectively.

Only because the airbag is wider than the steering wheel.

Only if the airbag is wider than the spacing of the handgrips. In the picture I saw, this did not appear to be the case though it appears to be a mannikin and a permanantly inflated bag. It looks to be designed stop the rider from doing a faceplant on the inside of the windsheild and hold him down on the seat, without knocking him back or knocking his hands off the grips.
Even if the Goldwing bag IS too wide, it is clearly possible to make one smaller, so the problem you anticipate is not unavoidable.

I _expected_ to hear of many such cases, but have not.
I've hear of one (1) case of an airbag deploying upon hitting a bump (railroad tracks). Given that some railroad tracks are on a hump ten feet above grade it is not clear if THAT bump was severe enough to cause a normal driver to lose control of the car regardless.
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FF


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On 9/18/2005 3:02 PM snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net mumbled something about the following:

Yes to both for me. Getting hit by an airbag is not fun, although it was definitely better than hitting the dash would have been if the seatbelt didn't restrain me. I'm not sure which hurt more, the bruise from the seatbelt or the airbag. I do know the seatbelt bruise did last longer.

It doesn't have to be wider, it just has to deploy a little to one side to knock an hand off the handlebars. It only has to deploy unexpectedly in a non-accident to possibly cause an accident that would be considerably more dangerous on a bike than in a car.
Once again, I'll state that if the airbag is designed to hold a person down in their seat like you suggest, then it is a VERY dangerous move.

All it has to happen is one time, and Honda will have a serious lawsuit on their hands as well as recalls, and more than likely a serious decline in sales of the GW.
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Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

....
Understood. I doubt that it is desiged to deploy to one side, or that it CAN deply to one side.

I don't see how holding the rider in the seat is in general more dangerous than flying forward over the handlebars. It won't stop the rider from laying the bike down or exiting from the side or rear prior to a head-on collision
...

Agreed, which leads me to suspect that Honda hs an exceptionally high level of confidence in it.
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FF


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On 9/18/2005 7:55 PM snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net mumbled something about the following:

Designed or not, it is a bag that is expanded by a small explosion. There is no way to guarantee it will not expand in one direction or another.

You've obviously never seen a motorcycle crash into a car. Holding a rider on the bike in such an event is probably more dangerous to the rider than being catapulted over it. Any rider who thinks that laying a bike down prior to a collision is stupid, since a motorcycle can slow down much faster while still on its wheels than when sliding metal against asphalt, and you have a better chance of avoiding the accident if you have full control of the bike instead of having no control while it is sliding.

Honda had an exceptionally high level of confidence in their GW 1800 series when it debuted with their new swingarm. Unfortunately, those swingarms failed and there is a huge recall.
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Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

I disagree. Moreover I would be surprised if it is anything but trivial to guarantee the geometry of the expansion of the airbag.

You're assuming the rider will be catapulted over the top of what the motorcycle hits. How about being catapulted _into it_? Better to do a faceplant into an SUV, van, truck, bus, trailer, jersey wall telephone pole or bridge abutment without an airbag inbetween or not?
You're right, I've never seen a motorcycle collide with a car. I have only heard one description of an accident like that from one witness. The rider was catapulted over the car and suffered a traumatic amputation of one leg by a stop sign.

The airbag would not interfere with that either.
Have you ever heard of an airbag deploying other than in a collision? Please be specific.
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FF


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