Motorbikes are awesome, but by riding one, you have to accept they’re inherently less safe than cars. After all, you’re sitting outside on something which isn’t capable of standing up of its own accord.
That’s not to say there’s nothing that can be done in terms of safety, aside from wearing the best protective clothing you can afford. ABS, traction control and even airbags - both on bikes and in leathers - have been interesting areas of development for bike safety in recent years, and now, Bosch has come along with a particularly unusual solution to make riding less dangerous: jet thrusters.
Picture this: you’re banked over and riding at speed around a corner, when you hit a low-grip surface. Perhaps there’s dirt on the road, or fuel. The bike will start to slide, and potentially hit the floor in what’s known as a ‘low-side’ crash. What Bosch is proposing stands a good chance of stopping such an accident.
Sensors detect wheel slip, and when the system reckons the slide is unrecoverable, it fires a jet of gas from the ‘high side’ of the bike. And just like that, the tyres are pushed back into the tarmac and regain grip. Crisis - hopefully - averted.
There are a few issues with the idea, however. It’s currently just a single-use device, and you can’t help but worry about what might happen if the system fires by accident.
But it’s very early days for the concept: Bosch hasn’t even confirmed if it’ll bring the idea to market, and if it did, we can expect it to take some time to arrive on production bikes.