My father in law refused to wear seat belts. He always said that, in an
accident, he would rather be thrown clear than stay with the car. He was
fortunate to have never had to test his theory.
Being ejected AWAY from the bike was MUCH safer than being
I'll unequivocally stated that being OFF a motorcycle that goes down is
far better than being ON one. That doesn't include high-siding, of
course, but if you were belted to a bike and went down at road
speeds--say 75 or 80 mph on some Interstates--the bike would slap you
to death quickly, ro slide along and do a friction amputation of your
leg and anything else caught underneath. Get off it, let it go (hell,
hang on if you want: I did a couple times off-road), hope the guy
behind you sees you and can stop in time.
Or don't think that hitting the bag or the bag hitting them is the same as
any other obstacle unless the bag were already soft and deflating on impact.
The technology of an air bag is complex. Fast enough to catch, soft enough
to cushion, but slow enough in deflation to protect the average
I've laid bikes down, usually with nothing more than bruises. The one
crash I did have was in the woods, where a kid was doing donuts in the
middle of the trail, after a drop off (blind) jump. He hit me head on.
I rose up under the crossbar braced handlebars, and whanged my thighs
hard enough to tear the ligaments on both sides of my groin.
That's it for my experience with a motorcycle head-on, for which I'm
grateful (I had the torn ligaments, the kid had a broken leg). I cannot
see how an airbag will work properly in a great many conditions,
though, as there must be some protection (force?) downward to maintain
a seat on the bike, which, after impact will be toppling to one side or
another, at whatever speed remains.
That leaves the rider, and any passenger, open to the joys of having a
700-900 pound motorcycle topple on him, which I guess is a possiblity
anyway. In a couple of instances, I laid the bike down on the pavement,
and let it slide away from me--but I never rode a Hardly Ableson or any
of those half ton monsters where not getting out from under means
It should be interesting. I would bet it comes out as an option, which
means it is almost certain to die the same death that seatbelts did in
they showed crash pictures of this on the news last night.
it's not an option. will be on all goldwings next year. inflated, it appears
to be shaped in such a way that you aren't launched over it, but held sort
of under an edge of it. it's only good in up to 31 mph crash. it will only
be useful in a head-on collision where you're still vertical (ie left
turners in front of you) which are the majority of highway accidents the
last time i looked. if you're struck anywhere else besides the front wheel
or you hit something not head on, or the bike is on it's side before you
hit, it would appear to be pretty useless.
cave creek, az
I was the first car in line at a red light as some clown (coming from my
right attempting to turn into my street) turned in front of a minivan
which promptly t-boned the idiot. Right in front of me, I saw the van's
passenger-side bag explode in the old lady's face and it was gone again
that same fraction of a second. The driver's bag..I guess same deal,
because I never saw it at all, but did see the slack bit of cloth
hanging from her steering wheel... Broken collar bone, thassall.
The car which turned in front of the van was full of teen-age school
7 of them in a K-car. No bags. Lots of bruises, 5 were wearing belts,
the other two used the other 5 as bags, I guess. Remarkable little
What the rider needs is "airbag leathers" When they depart the bike
at speed, their leathers inflate, like the inflatable airbags used
to bounce pathfinder across mars during landing. A few bounces and
the rider comes to a stop and punctures the airbag. Of course, even
an airbag might not help if there is a brick wall coming at the
rider at 60MPH.
Might be a pretty hefty set of leathers, however.
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