“There is a delicate ridge one must ride between fear and reason on a motorcycle—lean too far in either direction and there will be consequences.”
― Lily Brooks-Dalton, Motorcycles I’ve Loved: A Memoir
Honda Two Wheelers’ exhibit at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show might just remove the element of ‘fear’, leaving motorcycling to be an exercise in ‘reason’. The Honda Riding Assist Motorcycle happens to be a self-balancing two-wheeler, so you never have to worry about falling off it. The demo video shows the bike moving spookily through the corridors of the testing facility, without a rider – turning and stopping all by itself.
The Riding Assist Motorcycle, surprisingly, does not balance itself by employing large, cumbersome gyroscopes. Honda Two Wheelers ditched the gyros for the sake of weight-saving. The technology that’s used in its stead is borrowed from the Uni-Cub.
Now, the Uni-Cub is this penguin-like wheeled concept that’s capable of being manoeuvred in any direction – as long as it’s in the same plane. So, no, it doesn’t travel vertically. It comes with a saddle that’s supposed to be comfortable for the occupant. Although, we’re not quite sure about that.
The Honda Riding Assist Motorcycle is thus a much better application of the technology. This is despite the fact that its motions seem to be actuated by some Ghost Rider, especially when it stops briefly and steers its handlebars to both the sides – to check for incoming traffic. It’s only slightly unsettling.
This isn’t the first self-balancing motorcycle concept we’ve seen so far. The BMW Vision Next 100 is another futuristic motorcycle that’s claimed to make safety gear redundant because of how impossible it is to crash.
Also read: Seven ways in which the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept blows our minds