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Bosch builds motorcycle thrusters for slide recovery [Video]

by Justin King

Using airbag propellant, the lateral thrusters can prevent the bike from losing control on slippery surfaces.

Bosch has demonstrated an innovative motorcycle technology that employs thrusters to help recover from a potentially deadly slide.

Many motorcycles already benefit from antilock brakes, but two-wheel driving poses unique challenges if the bike encounters a slick surface or loose gravel while executing a turn.

The German supplier is now attempting to bring lateral stability control from four-wheel vehicles to motorcycles. Without the ability to independently brake four different wheels as in cars, bikes pose a unique challenge.

Bosh's approach to motorcycle slide mitigation repurposes airbag propellant technology to work like a reverse-thrust retrorocket, ejecting a blast of gas from a port on the side of the bike to counter the lateral slide and keep the bike from dropping to the ground and completely losing control.

The company already offers a simpler motorcycle stability control (MSC) system that manages electronic braking and acceleration interventions to prevent the bike from lowsiding or righting itself suddenly and dangerously when braking in bends.

Unsurprisingly, many of the technologies currently used for semi-autonomous operation in cars will also make their way to motorcycles. Bosch is refining several radar-based assistance systems for adaptive cruise control, collision warning and blind-spot recognition.