Indian Motorcycle patent speed sensitive cornering lights

Indian Motorcycle has filed for a patent that shows a new kind of adaptive cornering lights that adjust to the speed of the bike

Motorcycle cornering headlights

CORNEING lights on vehicles have been around for quite a while now, and while it is still deemed a very useful piece of tech – especially on bikes – it’s not exactly ground-breaking. Indian Motorcycle could be about to change all that, as it has filed a patent for complex cornering lights that also adapt to the speed of the bike.

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The patent shows the heavyweight Indian Roadmaster with the kit fitted to it, although pretty much any bike in the Indian range could adopt the tech. The main feature of the cornering headlight system is a complex, multi-element LED headlight.

This works in much the same way as any other cornering headlight works; lean the bike into a turn and different LEDs will illuminate to shine in the direction of the corner. This allows the rider to effectively see around the turn, enabling them to see obstructions and dangers earlier letting them take avoiding action sooner. That’s all pretty stock and standard stuff, but the really clever tech comes in the form of the Indian’s speed adaptive technology.

This considers the speed of the bike, adjusting the width of the beam accordingly. For slower riding, around town, for instance, the bean will be focused over a great proportion of the road, concentrated on the area just in front of the bike. It’s best described as a flood of light, illuminating almost the entire width of the road, but not extending too far from the front of the machine.

As the speed of the bike rises, so does the rider's need to be able to make decisions faster and in good time. To help facilitate this, the Indian’s speed-sensitive lights will turn on or off certain LED elements within the headlight to adapt the beam. As the speed rises, the beam becomes narrower and more concentrated, illuminating much further down the road than before.

The patent shows that at 90kph, the beam of light from the headlight will extend three times further down the road than it does at 30kph. With the beam at 30kph being twice as wide as it is at 90kph. Whether or not the distances described in the patent are accurate or not remains to be seen, although it’s hard to imagine this not being very handy in a real-world scenario.