I was watching the Isle of Mann TT practice runs and happened to catch an interview with a guy developing an airbag system for motorcyclists.
At first thought, the idea of an airbag on a motorcycle seem ludicrous. OK, so technically the airbag isn’t on the motorcycle, it’s on the rider. It’s still a concept sure to raise some eyebrows. But watching the demonstration at the TT practice, it started to seem a little more practical. Unlike the video above, the demonstrator at the the TT had the bag deploy under a stretchable outer jacket. As a result, it stayed around the rider much better.
Arms and legs were still flailing around and prone to be broken, but usually those will heal. The bag appeared to give significant additional protection to the upper torso, neck, and even the head. It looks like, when deployed correctly, a rider is much less likely to suffer fatal trauma to those areas. This system is not going to make a crash fun, but it make some of them survivable.
They were collecting data for the electronic controller at the TT practice to refine the deployment algorithms. You want to be sure it goes off in a wreck, but not before then. The developer said he hoped to go to market in about 2 years.
If it’s not hopelessly expensive, I just might get one.
— Guy Wheatley