Honda revealed the new motorcycle at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday
Firm says technology could be put on large bikes, and smaller commuter bikes
Self-balancing device is the size of a lamp and can be rigged above front wheel
October 26, 2017: Honda on Wednesday showcased a new motorcycle that can stand unaided with or without a rider, using technology the firm learned from developing a walking humanoid.
Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda’s Riding Assist-e is an all-electric concept motorbike that constantly assesses its position and moves the steering bar to ensure the heavy machine stays upright.
For years, international bike manufacturers have experimented with various forms of gyroscopes to stop motorcycles falling over, said Hiroyuki Nakata, the engineer behind the idea.
‘But if you wanted to keep something as heavy as a motorcycle standing, you need a large and heavy gyroscopic device and you need to keep turning it,’ he told.
Honda’s device, however, is only the size of a lamp and can be rigged above the front wheel.
With the system turned off, the motorcycle topples over when the rider takes his hands from it.
But when it is flipped on, the bike stays stock still as if in a magic show, even when the rider walks away from it.
‘Our vision is to put this on large motorcycles as well as small ones used for the daily commute,’ Nakata said.
The technology was derived from Honda’s ASIMO robot, a two-legged, self-standing humanoid that can jog, dance and converse with people.
Japan is proud of the robot and has shown it off to world leaders, including Canadian leader Justin Trudeau and then-President Barack Obama.
Honda previously showed off its self-balancing technology this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In January, the firm revealed a self balancing bike that can even ride itself.
According to Honda, this could make riding far safer.
Called Honda Riding Assist, the concept motorcycle that applies Honda’s robotics technology to maintain balance while the machine is at rest.
The firm also released a video showing off the bike following its owner around a building to park.
Rather than relying on gyroscopes, which add a great deal of weight and alter the riding experience as announced by other companies, the Honda Riding Assist motorcycle incorporates technology originally developed for the company’s UNI-CUB personal mobility device.
During the demo at the CES show in Las Vegas, Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle sat stationary next to a Uni-Cub, its front wheel twitching back and forth to keep it upright.
However, the firm has not said when the bike will enter production.