06 Wing gets airbag

Published: 02 September 2005

This is the new 2006 Honda Goldwing. What’s new? Well there’s a range of minor changes. But the biggest difference is that from 2006 it comes with an airbag.

There's more on that world first - in Honda's own words - available on page 2 of this story.

It also gets a new low emissions system, which micro-manages emissions, and viscously damped ACG damper to replace the previous spring damper system. The upshot is a reduction in mechanical noise - and it saves half a kilo. The new ACG also offers a higher electrical output to help run all the gadgets and extras Wing owners hanker for.

There's also a new cruise control cancellation mechanism for 2006.

Honda is also offering a new 'Comfort Package' which is the bike world's equivalent of climate control. The package includes adjustable grip heaters, a new seat heater system for both rider and pillion and new foot ventilation and heater systems.

Finally, we couldn't close without sharing Honda's descriptions of the new colours for the Wing. And we quote...

"Colour variations for 2006 include a new solid black that exudes a worldly cosmopolitan charm, a rich metallic silver that highlights the Gold Wing's inherent technological excellence, and a deep new metallic red that glistens with deep reflections of its pride of ownership."

Makes you wonder why they haven't offered a black, silver and red one, doesn't it?

Expect more on this bike and a range of other new bikes in MCN’s next issue – out on September 14, 2005.

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Honda's press release on its airbag system:

The Motorcycle Airbag System is comprised of the airbag module, which includes the airbag and the inflator; crash sensors, which monitor acceleration changes; and an ECU, which performs calculations to instantly determine when a collision is occurring. When a severe frontal collision occurs, the four crash sensors mounted on the front fork measure the change in acceleration caused by the impact and convey this data to the airbag ECU, which determines that a collision is occurring and whether or not it is necessary to inflate the airbag. If the calculations performed by the ECU indicate that airbag deployment is necessary, the ECU sends an electronic signal to the airbag inflator, which instantaneously responds by inflating the airbag. Inflating rapidly after the impact, the airbag can absorb some of the forward energy of the rider, reducing the velocity at which the rider may be thrown from the motorcycle and helping lessen the severity of injuries caused by the rider colliding with another vehicle or with the road.

By conducting extensive crash tests at its indoor omni-directional Real World Crash Test Facility, applying advanced computer simulation technology, and leading the way with the introduction of motorcycle rider test dummies, Honda has gathered and analyzed a wide array of data on the behavior of motorcycles during collisions. Honda has also taken full advantage of the experience of its automobile operations in the development of airbags, applying its expertise in the development of the Motorcycle Airbag System.

Motorcycle Airbag System: Principal Components

The airbag module, containing the airbag and inflator, is positioned in front of the rider.

The airbag ECU, positioned to the right of the module , analyzes signals from the crash sensors to determine whether or not to inflate the airbag.

Four crash sensors attached on both sides of the front fork detect changes in acceleration caused by frontal impacts.

Functions of the Principal Components

Airbag Module

· The airbag module contains the airbag and airbag inflator.

· The airbag inflator receives an electronic signal transmitted by the airbag ECU instructing it to release nitrogen gas to inflate the airbag.

· The airbag starts to inflate, exerting pressure on the cover of the airbag module, forcing it to open.

· The size and shape of the airbag, the manner in which is secured to the motorcycle with tethers, and the function of the deflation vents all help to maximize the effectiveness with which the system absorbs the kinetic energy of the rider, helping control the velocity at which the rider may tend to be thrown forward from the motorcycle, and thus lessening the severity of any injuries resulting from impact with another vehicle or with the road.

· From the moment an impact is recognised as a collision to the moment of airbag inflation, only 0.060*1seconds elapses.

< Airbag ECU >

· The airbag ECU continuously monitors the data received from the crash sensors, and by comparing this data to standard vehicle behavior, determines whether or not it is necessary to deploy the airbag. The data from each sensor is evaluated independently, and if it is determined to deviate from programmed standards of safe vehicle behavior by a certain predetermined degree, an electronic signal is sent to the airbag inflator, which causes the airbag to inflate.

< Crash sensors >

· The crash sensors which monitor acceleration changes are attached to the front fork legs to optimize the quickness and accuracy of their detection of frontal impacts. No alteration of the structure of the motorcycle is needed. To optimize the accuracy of collision detection, a set of 4 sensors are arranged—two on each side of the front fork.

*1 Side collision with a stationary vehicle(Honda Accord) at 50km/h