Honda’s flagship touring bike, the Goldwing, is the world’s first bike that comes fitted with an airbag as an optional extra. It was developed to reduce the forward momentum of the rider in the event of a front-end collision with another vehicle, thereby reducing the chances of the rider suffering fatal injuries.
The Motorcycle Airbag System comprises of the airbag module, which includes the airbag and the inflator; crash sensors, which monitor acceleration changes, and an ECU, which determines an impeding collision by processing the inputs. When a severe frontal collision occurs, the four crash sensors mounted on the front fork measure the change in acceleration caused by the impact and convey this data to the airbag ECU whether or not it is necessary to inflate the airbag. If ECU determines that airbag deployment is necessary, it sends an electronic signal to the airbag inflator, which instantaneously responds by inflating the airbag. Inflating rapidly after the impact, the airbag absorbs some of the forward energy of the rider, reducing the velocity at which the rider may be thrown from the motorcycle and helping lessen the severity of injuries to the rider caused by the collision.
For animations depicting the working of this system, visit http://world.honda.com/motorcycle-picturebook/Airbag/