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Honda Self-Balancing Concept Is Meant for Disabled Racers and Moto GP Lovers

By General Posts

by Cristian Curmei from

You love motorcycles, and you love racing them. But life sometimes throws things at us that take away some of our most treasured abilities. This is the story of how a concept could bring a second chance to disabled amputees.

So you’re a Moto GP racer. Last season, while trying to overtake the soon to be second place racer, your rear tire was clipped from the outside and you were thrown over the bike. Not too big a deal, as you’ve been through it before. But this time you somehow end up underneath the bike and are dragged till you pass out.

You wake up in the hospital, with doctors telling you that the only other choice they had was to let you pass on. You try to move but you can seem to prop yourself on your left arm. Looking to your left, you see that there is no left arm to hold you up any longer. You break down in tears knowing you’ll never again experience the track or life as before.

That’s most likely the kind of story that gave way to this concept by Tom Hylton. This two-week project was designed to offer a second chance to amputee riders. It is a two-part unit, and since we’ve recently introduced the arm into the stories, it’s now time for the bike.

The entire design includes the modular Honda robotic arm, which is specifically tuned for motorcycle use, but also this wonderous beast upon which a rider is placed.

What we are looking at is a self-balancing design that can stay upright without any sort of assistance. Behind its self-balancing trick is similar technology to the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100. But this isn’t about BMW. It’s about how Honda could meet a need for a very niche market.

The design behind it is quite simple. As it never made it past the conceptual stages, there really isn’t much to go on. We know that the design is made for the track, so features that offer aerodynamics, strength and speed are surely in the mix.

A large and low front end leads to a lifted rear and rider position much like on a GP bike. While a low and wide bottom offers a low center of gravity to help keep the bike stable during turns.

At the front of the bike you’ll see that it feels a bit off as one of the handlebars is missing. It’s all in the works. Remember that the arm and motorcycle are designed for one another, so the area that’s missing the handlebar is designated for the arm function. One of the cool ideas behind this setup is that once the rider connects to the bike through that arm port, the bike and arm open a communications channel where an exchange of information will also affect the rider.

Based on the needed speed or angle of the rider, the arm should position itself in such a way as to optimize riders body position.

As we look at the bike we also see a long ride outline. This outline highlights the riding position. It starts up on the seat and drops down along the body to where we find grooves cut into the frame so that your knees are protected, and the body streamlined. At the rear, the feet rest on part of the frame rather that pedals.

We’re also told that the bike is designed as an EV and the rear motor is powered by a large battery hidden within the frame.

Now the design shows us that it’s meant for much more than just the track. We are shown a future where she can be ridden through snow covered hills with ice spikes.

This Robotic Prosthesis Promises a New Life for Motorcycle Riders

By General Posts

by Cristian Curmei from

If you’ve ever had an accident that caused you to lose functions of a certain body part, you might be able to imagine what it may be like for an amputee. A new design is looking to change all that and offers a second chance to a once lost love.

Every once in a while, a human comes along and changes the rules of the game. Out of struggle and hardship amazing designs to meet unconventional needs are born. This time, the story is about how we can continue our favorite past-time of riding motorcycles even after accidents would leave us incapable of naturally doing so.

A designer by the name of Tom Hylton, an intern at Jaguar, has designed an innovative solution for amputees who would still like to take that Sunday ride. A bionic arm bearing the Honda sigil. More so, it’s even capable of being taken out to the racetrack, on paper anyway.

This design is still a concept so I’m not sure how soon we would be seeing it on actual riders, but that doesn’t mean that it deserves any less respect. Taking into consideration that it offers the ability to continue being a rider even after a limb-losing accident, this device is one of the more promising designs around.

As you can see, the design revolves around your basic human arm, but with a few less functions. For example, the arm includes only a bicep, triceps, elbow and forearm. No palm component, that we normally use for throttling or picking things up, exists. Instead, the arm has a pincer like end that should allow it to connect to any throttle stick. So, it’s specifically made for motorcycling and nothing else.

That being said, the arm does include a few components that allow is to add to riding value. One of the downsides of non-bionic riders, for lack of a better description, is that we have flesh. And if you’ve ever experienced road rash at 50 miles per hour, imagine what it’s like at 100 or even 150 mph speeds experienced by professional riders. This is why we use and see protective gear on motorcycle equipment, to help us from losing our own fleshy components.

Because the arm is robotic, it means that the materials used in its composition and build can be designed with specific purposes. And that’s what happens here as well. Due to the possible use of materials such as carbon fiber and even titanium, the forearm and elbow design was created in such a way as to act as a protective component. Meaning if you need to take a turn a bit sharper than usual, just lean into it and use the arm as a skid plate.

Another trick this robotic arm has up its inexistent sleeve is that it’s modular. The arm itself can be used separately. The first piece, the forearm, can be used as a standalone prosthetic for amputees that have had a trans-radial accident.

The second and third piece, the elbow and bicep prosthetic, is to be used by trans-humeral amputees. This modular ability allows for the prosthetic to be suitable for other forearms that may be needed to perform different functions other than riding a motorcycle. This further extends it’s applicability and suitability to meet market needs.

Let’s be real here, if Honda ever puts anything like this into production, it won’t just be given away for free. It is a product, and products need a market, or in this case, to meet a market need.