Motorcycles

Bosch is testing space thrusters that will make your motorcycle safer

The German technology firm is attempting to use high-pressure gas that's forced out of a nozzle to help right a sliding motorcycle.

Bosch

Motorcycle safety technology has come a long way in the last decade or so. Now, most new bikes -- even beginner bikes -- have antilock brakes as an option and an increasing number of motorcycles offer multistage traction control. Hell, you can even buy motorcycle gear with built-in airbags to help soften your crash if the ABS and TC can't save you. Now Bosch wants to take things further by introducing anti-slide technology.

Sounds cool, right? You're motoring along, leaned over in a turn and oh no, someone left a bunch of sand at the apex of the corner. Now your wheels are starting to wash out and you know you're in for a low side crash but all of a sudden, you hear a loud hiss as your bike vents pressurized gas to counteract the slide and help right your bike. You ride off feeling like an idiot and looking like a pro.

Yeah, pressurized gas. Think of the way a spaceship maneuvers in orbit. It uses high-pressure gas emitting from a nozzle to provide motive force. The Bosch slide mitigation system works the same way. The system uses a device similar to the airbag inflator in your car to provide an external lateral force when your tires have no more grip to give. The downside to this is that it's a one-shot deal with what will (likely) be an expensive consumable part.

The most exciting part of this technology is the effect it can have on the public's perception of motorcycle safety. If bikes have more active safety equipment like this slide mitigation system, then it's likely that more people would give motorcycles more serious consideration as transportation. More people thinking about motorcycles and riding motorcycles has the knock-on effect of making riding safer for everyone.

Now we need to start beating down Bosch's door to convince them to let us have a go on a bike equipped with this technology.