Motorcycle Airbag System

About the Motorcycle Airbag System

  • Introduction
  • Development Objective
  • Development History
  • Research and Development Methodology
  • System Composition and Functionality
  • System Operational Flow

Research and Development Methodology

Crash Tests

Due to the complexity of the dynamics in a motorcycle accident, the interaction between the airbag and the rider can be affected by different types of crash motion, including yawing, pitching, and rolling. In evaluating the effectiveness of its motorcycle airbag system, Honda analyzed a series of crash tests and computer simulations devised to simulate real world accident configurations.

In addition to tests designed in accordance with ISO 13232-mandated configurations, Honda devised a series of crash tests based on its own analysis of motorcycle accident data to simulate an array of accident configurations, taking into account such factors as the type of the other vehicle, rider mass and riding position. The tests, including those in which both vehicles were in motion, were conducted at Honda's advanced indoor omni-directional Real World Crash Test Facility.

Honda's commitment to motorcycle safety is also demonstrated by its early introduction of ISO 13232-certified crash-test dummies specifically designed for motorcycle testing. Unlike automobile crash test dummies, motorcycle crash test dummies contain embedded sensors that record crash text data without the need for external wires, which can interfere with dummy movement. Sensors embedded in the head, neck, chest, stomach, and limbs make is possible to measure the extent of injuries over virtually the entire body.

ISO 13232 Crash Test Configurations

ISO 13232 Crash Test Configurations

ISO 13232 Motorcycle Crash Test Dummy

ISO 13232 Motorcycle Crash Test Dummy


Note: ISO 13232 contains standards for testing and analyzing the effectiveness of rider protection devices in motorcycle accidents.

Computer Simulation Technology

ISO 13232 includes standards for assessing the effectiveness of rider protection devices using computer simulations. These standards cover what happens during the approximately 0.5-seconds between the beginning of impact and the moment the rider collides with the other vehicle. Going beyond these parameters, Honda devised original simulations to extend the analysis to cover what happens after the rider collides with the other vehicle and comes in contact with the road surface. This allowed for a more thorough analysis of the dynamics of vehicle behavior and rider injury. The computer simulations developed by Honda allow for a highly precise analysis of the impact on the airbag-equipped motorcycle, the automobile involved in the accident, and the dummy for the relatively long period of one second, from the beginning of impact to the moment the rider falls to the ground.

Airbag Model

Airbag Model

Automobile Model

Automobile Model


Dummy Model

Dummy Model

Motorcycle Model

Motorcycle Model


Example Computer Simulatio

Example Computer Simulatio

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