Bosch bring scaled-back versions of lean-sensitive electronics to smaller and cheaper bikes

Bosch lean-sensitive electronics render
Bosch lean-sensitive electronics render

We’ve become used to sophisticated electronic safety aids, with lean-sensitive cornering ABS, traction control, and even radar-guided cruise control now becoming part of everyday biking lingo.

But now the field’s leading innovators, German giants Bosch, have begun to introduce stripped-back versions of the latest flashy, lean-sensitive tech onto more affordable, sub-400cc bikes with the aim of making life safer for everyone.

India’s TVS Motor Company (which also owns Norton) recently launched their Apache RTR 310 naked, fitted with a new version of Bosch’s MSC (Motorcycle Stability Control) so becoming the first sub-400cc motorcycle fitted with a 6D IMU-backed motorcycle stability control system.

TVS Apache RTR 310

In addition, the upgraded 2024 KTM 390 Duke uses a Bosch 3D inertial measurement unit (IMU), which integrates various functions via the firm’s MSC.

Now, the boss of Bosch’s Two-Wheeler and Powersports unit, Geoff Liersch, has said he’s committed to supplying electronic safety aids to all motorcycles globally, to help prevent unnecessary deaths.

“It’s pretty simple for me. I would like to see 100% MSC systems on every single motorcycle that exists in the world. Why? Because we can save 30% of the accidents,” he told MCN during a recent interview.

What an IMU can measure

Bosch’s MSC system works by combining a bike’s ABS with a 3D or more sophisticated 6D inertial measurement unit (IMU) to moderate braking through bends. 

The key development with the new TVS is that it utilises Bosch’s ABS 10 base unit, which is smaller and lighter (and cheaper) and thus better suited to motorcycles in emerging markets.

By comparison, the upgraded KTM RC 390 uses Bosch’s more basic 3D inertial measurement unit (IMU), but a more performance-orientated ABS system which includes an additional pressure sensor for more accurate control. 

Bosch IMU ABS unit

The company’s overall message is that Bosch now have a range of modular MSC solutions that offer different combinations of ABS and IMU depending on the application.

So, as another example, an even more basic and affordable MSC solution could be the combination of the ABS 10 base unit with the 3D IMU, which would still offer cornering braking and traction control but be available on smaller capacity machines.

How the stripped-back Bosch system works

  • All about stability: Bosch’s motorcycle stability control (MSC) system moderates braking via ABS and acceleration by continuously monitoring the current dynamic state of the vehicle with sensors known as IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units)
  • Smaller, lighter: Bosch’s ABS 10 unit was introduced in 2017 is its smallest and lightest unit yet, being 45% smaller and 30% lighter than the preceding ABS 9 design. This enabled it to be used on smaller motorcycles such as Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300. Now, for the first time it’s been combined with a 6D IMU on a sub-400cc bike.
  • Info gathering: Inertial Measurement Units are the sensors the MSC system. Basic systems operate over three dimensions (3D) or axes; more sophisticated versions operate over six axes and are known as 6D.
  • TVS Apache RTR 310: The new RTR 310, as well as being the first sub-400cc motorcycle to feature a 6D IMU-backed motorcycle stability control system, is also TVS’ top-of-the-range flagship machine, hence its choice for the MSC.