Modern motorcycles have gained safety features like antilock brakes and even (experimental) self-balancing, but riders still highly exposed in crashes. Bosch is trying to stop accidents in the first place in a crazy new way: using jet thrusters. Let’s say you’ve leaned into a steep curve, hit a patch of gravel or sand and started to slide in an unrecoverable way. A sensor will detect the wheel slip and fire gas from an airbag-type accumulator out of a tank side nozzle, creating a reverse thrust that miraculously rights your motorcycle.
The tech is not unlike the thrusters used to maneuver spacecraft and looks, as you’d expect, pretty cool when it engages (see below). The downside is that it’s for one-time use (like an airbag), increases complexity and is likely to come only to expensive motorcycles, if it ever arrives at all. It would have to work flawlessly, because if it engaged by accident, it could possibly knock you right over.
Bosch also showed off new motorcycle tech including adaptive cruise control, blind spot warnings and more. It plans to introduce those features in the Ducati Multistrada and KTM 1290 Super Duke, but didn’t say when, or if, the anti-sliding thruster tech would come to market.