While the NeuV system may have been the star of Honda’s CES 2017 demonstrations, the car company also had another prototype on-hand that shouldn’t be overlooked. Say hello to Honda’s Riding Assist Motorcycle, a concept bike that keeps itself upright when its at rest. We’ve seen motorcycles capable of such a feat before, but there’s one important difference in the Honda Riding Assist (which is currently its fitting – if not a little boring – name).
Honda says that instead of using gyroscopes to keep the motorcycle upright, the Riding Assist motorcycle uses technology similar to what’s used in its UNI-CUB personal mobility device. In the UNI-CUB, seated riders can adjust the speed and direction of the device simply by shifting their weight.
This gives the Riding Assist motorcycle an important advantage in that it doesn’t need to deal with the increased weight that comes along with gyroscopes. Gyroscopes are the tool used by competing self-balancing motorcycles, and even previous Honda models have used them as well. Assuming Honda develops this technology to a point where it can implement it on a large scale, then it may not need to rely on gyroscopes in the future.
By getting rid of that extra weight, Honda can produce self-balancing motorcycles that give a riding experience closer to what many will be used to, offering riders the best of both worlds. Motorcycles that use Riding Assist technology could make for a better learning experience for novices, while making motorcycles safer in general for riders of all skill levels.
For now, this is only a prototype, but don’t be surprised to see Honda roll it out on a larger scale after more time. With the benefits Riding Assist brings, you can bet that Honda will want to move it out of the prototype stage at to a point where it can be applied to real-world, retail motorcycles. We’re left waiting to see how that pans out, but for now, be sure to check out our CES hub for more from the show!