Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Dropping your bike at a stop sign or during a low-speed maneuver is the fear of any new motorcyclist. It's easy enough to keep your bike upright at speed, but sneaking through a parking lot, all that mass is dying to tumble. Honda seems to have the perfect solution, with a new concept bike that can balance itself either during a low-speed crawl or when stopped completely.
Honda Riding Assist was first demonstrated today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The system is brilliantly simple: When engaged, the system increases the fork angle, lengthening the bike's wheelbase and, apparently, disconnecting the front forks from the handlebars. The system then uses minute steering inputs to keep the bike perfectly balanced, without the use of heavy gyroscopes or other mass-shifting devices.
The concept bike Honda built to demonstrate the tech can even silently propel itself along, following its owner through a hallway like an obedient puppy. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Honda says the technology was developed as an offshoot of the Uni-Cub, the automaker's nifty self-balancing mobility unicycle concept. At the company's presentation at CES, Honda demonstrated Riding Assist by having a motorcycle slowly wheel itself onstage, following a Uni-Cub.
While Honda hasn't announced any plans to put Riding Assist into production, we wouldn't be surprised to see the technology included in a future Honda motorcycle of some sort. It's not exactly an autonomous, self-driving motorcycle, but it's a step in that direction—and one that, while slightly eerie to watch, would be a huge help to newbie bikers, or anyone who's struggled to squeeze a 900-lb.
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Don't Miss Stories on Motorcycle.com Share this Article Print Email a Friend Honda will present its second self-balancing motorcycle concept at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, this time applying the technology to a new electric motorcycle. The Honda Riding Assist-e uses the same robotics technology that allowed the original Riding Assist concept to keep itself balanced at low speeds without rider input.
The original Riding Assist concept used a Honda NC700 as its base, with the self-balancing technology housed in the front end. Instead of using gyroscopes, the technology uses robotics developed from Honda’s UNI-CUB personal mobility device to stay upright at low speeds or at a standstill, making micro adjustments to maintain balance. The NC700’s frame returns once again, but instead of the forward-tilted parallel-Twin engine, the chassis holds an electric motor, mounted high, just under the seat.
Power is delivered to the rear wheel via a drive shaft housed in the single-sided swingarm. The battery is likely housed low in chassis to keep a low center of gravity. There are gaps in the side panels which suggest they may open up to access the battery. The charging port is located on the left side of the bike, beside the electric motor. Behind the motor, Honda has mounted a rear-facing radiator.
What’s particularly interesting is that the electric power train and self-balancing systems are completely separate, so we’ll see how Honda further develops both technologies going forward. We’ll have to wait until the Tokyo Motor Show on Oct. 25 for more details about the Riding Assist-e. The Tokyo Show will also feature a new Super Cub C125 concept, a Monkey 125 concept, and a Super Cub 110 commemorating the 100 millionth Cub to be produced.