Honda began research and development on the motorcycle airbag in 1990. For the first few years the focus was on basic issues such as the appropriate size and shape for the airbag, and the means of securing it to the motorcycle. In 1996, an airbag system including sensors was installed on the Gold Wing touring bike (1500cc) and a program of crash tests designed to assess the efficacy of motorcycle airbags was initiated. Further testing was performed on a large scooter with a view to refining airbag technology. A motorcycle rider crash test dummy was introduced to help in the evaluation of the airbag, and Honda engineers reproduced a broad range of real world accidents, generating highly precise assessments of injury levels using Honda developed computer simulation technology.
Seeking to share information with researchers worldwide, Honda began at an early stage to present the results of its work on motorcycle airbags at international symposia and in other forums.
Thanks to this program of research and development, Honda is now ready to introduce a motorcycle airbag system for production vehicles.