Honda working on motorcycle seatbelts

First it was airbags, now seatbelts...

Yep, you read it right. Honda is working on a system of seatbelts for motorcycles.

Seems crazy, but it looks like a serious project from the patents Honda has filed for the system. Designed for bikes like the Goldwing, where the rider won't be hanging off or moving around much in the seat, the belt arrangement is designed to make sure an airbag can work more and to reduce the chances of injuries, particularly in the sort of accident where the bike comes to a sudden halt.

However, the firm has recognised that in a lot of accidents it's better to be away from the bike rather than attached to it, so it's new seatbelt system also has elements of ejector seat in the mix. When the computer senses that the bike is irretrievably tipping over it releases the entire seat, with the rider still attached, and inflates an airbag backrest. The idea is that having ejected you slide down the road in a sitting position, with the seat betwixt your hide and the asphalt. Sort of extreme tobogganing.

And no, it's not April 1 just yet.

To be fair, when bike airbags were first mooted the idea seemed mad, and they've worked out pretty well on the Goldwing even if the idea hasn't spread elsewhere yet. Perhaps with enough development this could turn out to be a real safety boon. But we don't suggest you throw out your leathers just yet.