Video: Watch the Bosch jet-thruster system prevent a motorcycle crash
A lowside is possibly one of the most common ways a motorcycle accident occurs. Say you are leaned into a corner and all of a sudden you encounter a slippery surface, caused by gravel, oil, wet patch or what have you. Lowsides also occur when a rider is carrying too much corner speed or closes the throttle abruptly, mid-corner whilst leaned over at a certain angle.
To prevent this type of an accident, Bosch is currently developing a technology that will keep your bike from sliding away from under you in the above-mentioned situations. The company calls it the skid mitigation research program.
The system consists of a canister that holds compressed air and a set of sensors that detect sideways wheel slip. In the event of a lowside, the system fires a jet of compressed air through a port located on the side of the motorcycle. The thrust of air counteracts the skid and keeps the bike upright.
Bosch says that the air jet is powered by the same type of gas chargers that inflate a car's airbag. These chargers inflate airbags faster than the blink of an eye so in terms of reaction time, the air jet is activated the moment the front wheel folds under the rider, as seen in the video below.
The drawback of this technology is that, just like an airbag, the system can only be used once. It will also add some weight to the motorcycle and if launched, will be available only on expensive motorcycles. Bosch says that it plans to introduce this technology in bikes such as the Ducati Multistrada and the KTM 1290 Super Duke. Big adventure tourers have an advantage since they have enough room to accommodate the hardware for the technology. Also, these bikes are designed to handle the additional weight so the addition of jet thruster system should not have a significant penalty on performance or handling.
Image source: Bosch.com