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Honda Riding Assist: Honda Invents Something Almost as Disturbing as Self-Driving Cars (with video)

If the prospect of self-driving cars in our daily lives isn’t horrific enough, maybe the motorcycle displayed by Honda at the CES Show in Las Vegas earlier today does the trick. Featuring “Riding Assist”, the motorcycle refuses to fall over even if you have no sense of balance on two wheels. The motorcycle can even follow you around like a pet.

Apparently, Honda is not using gyros in this motorcycle (which can also automatically extend its wheelbase and fork rake), rather balancing technology originally developed by Honda for the “UNI-CUB”, which appears to be nothing more than a seat that looks a bit like a penguin (see picture).

In any event, we won’t be testing the Honda Riding Assist motorcycle, nor will we lure it home with a bowl of pet food.


See more of MD’s great photography:

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190 Comments

  1. kpinvt says:

    Honda says this technology can be added to any bike. If Honda makes this available on the Gold Wing I can see a lot of older riders sticking with Honda instead of moving to something like the Can-Am Spyder.

  2. Barry says:

    If you can’t park a car without electronic assistance, learn to, or don’t drive.
    If you can’t back up a trailer without electronic assistance, learn to, or don’t pull a trailer.
    If you can’t balance a motorcycle by yourself, why do you think you should have the privilege to ride. Learn!!!! all this kind of technology is only making our roads more dangerous. It is helping put people behind the wheels and bars that probably should be on the bus.

    • Mr.Mike says:

      If you can’t write code or design circuit, don’t use a computer to post comments on a motorcycle blog.
      If you can’t generate enough body heat to cook a turkey don’t try to make Thanksgiving dinner.

      • mickey says:

        LOL that could be a whole Bill Engvall series …”If you can’t…..”

      • todd says:

        If you can’t figure out how to map a brain or build one from scratch, stop thinking. Mr.Mike, Barry’s point was that people need to learn to use something properly, not that they had to be a master motorcycle builder to ride.

        • Mr.Mike says:

          If one accepts the premise that machines can perform some tasks better than humans it follows that using machines to fill in the gaps in our ability should make things safer.

          Therefore I don’t buy @Barry’s statement that “all this kind of technology is only making our roads more dangerous”.

          If you read between the lines @Barry is actually expressing frustration that machines are enabling some people to participate in activities without “paying their dues” by learning the necessary skills. Unfortunately for @Barry humanity set sail on that ship long ago.

  3. scott k. says:

    if you dont like the bike dont buy it, and quit crying.

  4. Gregory P Whetsel says:

    I own a Honda CTX700 N DCT ABS and I love it. I was not a lifetime rider. I got into it when I was older. Not really looking for a wild ride, I just like to ride safe and enjoy the outdoors. I tend to prefer curvy country roads with nice scenery, but I also use it for general transportation in the warm weather. Gets great gas mileage. Last year I had health issues and lost some strength in my legs. I was worried about dropping the bike so I left it in the garage. Something like this low speed balance assist would have helped me continue to enjoy my bike. Those of us who are not daredevils deserve to ride as well.

    • mickey says:

      Older? Not a lifetime rider? DCT? ABS? Health issues? Sorry Gregory, you should definitely not be riding a motorcycle on the highway. Probably the best thing for you to do is just roll it out in the front yard and put a For Sale sign on the Honda.
      I kid of course. You have every right to be out riding enjoying two wheeled life, if that’s what you chose to do, and if this bit of technology will help you ride a little longer, or with less worry, I for one, am all for it.
      I have always wondered why these guys with their claimed superior riding skills, aren’t putting those skills to use on the race track, sponsored by a major manufacturer, earning fame, endorsements , big money and moto groupies. I guessed it was just easier to claim to have superior skills on the internet than it is to go out and actually prove you have them. Then I read Aussie M’s response to Joe B and was informed it’s because “A MotoGP track is the safest, softest and easiest conditions in which anybody has ever ridden a motorcycle. “ Wow, now I realize why… it’s too easy and they wouldn’t be able to use their considerable skills there. All makes sense now.

      • Aussie M says:

        Yes Mickey, you are correct. I would not be able to use my considerable skills in MotoGP, because the conditions there are very limited and only a limited range of skills is required. Winning the MotoGP championship did not prove that Marquez is the best rider in the world, as some people think. It just proved that he is the best in the world at riding MotoGP bikes around MotoGP tracks. Nobody said it was easy. Just because something works there doesn’t mean it is good in the real world. The electronic systems they use cost more than we pay for a whole bike. Until recently they used a different traction control setting for each corner. The systems fitted to road bikes are basic and crude compared to what those guys use. That alone makes a big difference to the usefulness of electronics on the road.

        Basically it comes down to this. I like using my own skills because I am very good at it. Devices that take over some of the control of the bike also take away some of the fun. They also restrict my ability to use my skills to save myself in some emergency situations. My skills are infinitely variable. Electronic systems operate on one setting and if that setting is not ideal for the situation they don’t give you the best protection against crashing.

        • mickey says:

          to quote you, “Basically it comes down to this. I like using my own skills because I am very good at it.”

          Aussie M, How do you gauge being very good at something, because you believe it to be so? What constitutes very good? Is very good better than great? How much better is very good than average?

          If someone survives 50 years riding on the street, having ridden about 800,000 miles and survived does that prove superior skills, or do you just have to faster than another person on one particular set of roads that you ride all the time and are very familiar with?

          Guys that brag about how good they are on the internet have no way of proving if they are indeed very good, do they? Are your skills better than the dozen or so other guys on here that claim to have superior skills? Seems everyone posting here can “embarrass their buddies who are riding superior equipment”, because of their “skills”, but then their buddies are probably online someplace saying the exact same thing.

          Something my dad taught me a long time ago ” There is always somebody smarter than you are, faster than you are,and tougher than you are, so be careful where and to whom you boast, because you might find out you are not as smart, fast or tough as you thought you were.” Of course with the internet, that is not a problem.

          • Fred M. says:

            You asked “Guys that brag about how good they are on the internet have no way of proving if they are indeed very good, do they?”

            More importantly, there’s no way to prove them wrong so long as they do their bragging under pseudonyms. And that’s what they rely on.

          • Aussie M says:

            I know what I am capable of, and that’s all that matters to me. Regardless of what you say, I will always prefer riding without electronic interference, and will always consider you to be a rider with inferior skills if you need electronics to help you.

          • mickey says:

            I can live with that.

    • MGNorge says:

      Some 7 years ago I had a Triple Arthrodesis of my left foot. It’s a fusing of the foot to the ankle in 3 places to correct stability and pain issues. I had lost enough cartilage that it was bone on bone in a few spots! Ouch! Anyway, it left me with a flat foot, no arch and very limited movement fore and aft, none, side to side. I can only tell you that shifting is no longer a process I take for granted. The pain at first and the weakening of my total left leg left me worried I’d never ride again. I don’t have to say how I felt about that! I persevered and while I still have limited movement I can at least enjoy the ride. This technology would have been a great help but not really needed at this point for me.
      I’m just saying, the love for riding and the thought that one day you’ll have to hang it up is a very powerful one.

      • mickey says:

        MG I have a nephew that has that issue. Rides a Suzuki 650. Wear a hard boot with very little movement. Lifts the foot to shift. Has a tough time walking. Terrible affliction.

  5. Aussie M says:

    It is very likely that the different opinions expressed here are based on different levels of riding skill. People who have a high level of skill at something generally enjoy making use of those skills. People who are less competent or less confident are more likely to choose to have electronic devices control the bike.

    I am very disappointed that motorcycling is becoming more and more dumbed down. It is obvious they are trying to eliminate any need for skill to ride a motorcycle. In my opinion, no skill = no thrill.

    • joe b says:

      … so your saying Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo, are less competent’, because they have electronic controls on their bike? Ri-ight. You are clueless.

      • Aussie M says:

        joe b, obviously you are upset by my comment because you are one of the less competent riders who want to rely on electronics to raise you riding ability to a reasonable level. I have far more respect for Rainey, Doohan and Schwantz than I do for the current MotoGP riders, because they controlled wild beasts of bikes without assistance.

        A MotoGP track is the safest, softest and easiest conditions in which anybody has ever ridden a motorcycle. To win races requires a high degree of mastery of a limited range of skills. The only thing important to MotoGP riders is winning races. If a computer can do it better than a rider in the very limited conditions in which they ride, that is what they will use. In the real world, riding is more fun if you have full control of the bike without electronics. In many situations it is safer too. But that only applies if you have a high level of riding skill, which obviously you don’t. Sorry joe b, you are the one who is clueless, and poorly skilled.

        • Dave says:

          Road riders who takes technologies like this seriously aren’t looking to them to help them run their favorite set of turns 20 seconds faster. We are aware of the shortcomings of our skills and reflexes, and the reality of the environment we share with larger, more dangerous (to us) vehicles. When an 8,000lb SUB careens into a potholed, gravelly intersection that you expected to be clear of traffic a second or two ago, or you round a turn with a car straddling the double-yellow, “skill” isn’t always adequate to save your bacon.

          I never plan to crash, but I always wear my helmet.

        • Fred M. says:

          Aussie, Joe probably has far more riding skill than you do, because, unlike you, he doesn’t feel the need to constantly brag about his supposed “high level of skill.”

          You’re like the virgin in high school trying to convince the other guys that he’s constantly getting laid.

    • J Wilson says:

      I would agree that this ‘dumbing down’ (subtly offered as making riding and motorcycles more ‘user friendly’) dims any thought of needing real skills to ride successfully and safely. I’d go farther and say no (or wrong) skills are an invitation to disaster, regardless of the electronic nanny living in the software. I’d really like an NC700, but to get ABS I’d have to take the DCT, and I don’t want to give up my ‘left hand traction control’. Geez . . . . .

      I think, though, that a large part of this is that motorcycling in most of the Far East doesn’t involve large displacement bikes travelling in any fashion that resembles the Interstates in the US or the Autobahns, Autostradas, etc. of Western Europe. These sorts of things viewed in the context of small bikes in the furiously crowded large Asian cities begins to make more sense, and once more re-enforces that a lot of marketing choices are being more and more centered in the boom markets like China or India or Indonesia.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I have to disagree with you, Aussie M. I’ve ridden motorcycles in all manner of situations from the street, racetrack, mountain single track, trials and even ice racing. While I do not claim to be some brilliant rider, I’d wager that my skills are probably better than the average experienced motorcyclist and my skill set probably much broader as well.

      Rider aids are not meant to replace skill. They just step in when skill runs out or when the unexpected – things that by definition we cannot train ourselves for – presents itself. A SWAT team wears body armor not so they can dumb down their job with less skill and training, but because sh*t happens even to the most sharply trained individuals.

      The skills involved with piloting an “aided” motorcycle are the exact same skills one employs to pilot an analog motorcycle. Having recently had the opportunity to ride a modern “aided” machine very fast, I can assure you that the only time rider aids step in is when you exceed either your own skill level or the laws of physics. It is the best teaching tool I’ve ever experienced helping me to hone throttle and brake inputs to levels I had never achieved before. I’ve tried both methods now, and aids definitely provide a better way to learn than crashing. Rider aids are much more likely to humble a skilled rider than encumber him/her. Those who keep feeling the electronics kicking in and “getting in the way” of their riding are simply being presented with digital evidence that they are not as skilled as they think they are.

      • mickey says:

        great post Jeremy

      • Aussie M says:

        “Those who keep feeling the electronics kicking in and “getting in the way” of their riding are simply being presented with digital evidence that they are not as skilled as they think they are.”

        Not true Jeremy. If electronics never get in your way it is because you only have basic skills and are not using advanced skills. But it takes too much space to explain that here.

        • todd says:

          Electronic aides are there to make up for your mistakes. ABS forgives a newbie for mashing the brakes in the rain or while leaned over in a curve. This is something a skilled rider already knows not to do.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          What you say is also true. There is a fine line in between. The electronics can help you ride faster or slower you down. Skilled riders use them to achieve the former.

          Understand that I am not criticizing your riding ability or personal preferences. I just disagree or your presumption that electronics are for twats.

          • mickey says:

            Ever notice there is an unfortunate human tendency to believe in ideas that are, in reality, incorrect — and then to leverage that conviction into a feeling of superiority over other people?

          • Aussie M says:

            Jeremy, I didn’t call anybody a twat. I made a polite and rational comment, and then joe b insulted me. If anybody insults me they give me permission to insult them.

            Traction control works well in limited circumstances such as the safe, smooth and predictable conditions of a race track. But how and where I ride it is more danger than benefit. Why would anybody want wheelie control and stoppie control when doing those things is fun? For me ABS just gets in the way. I don’t understand why they ever put ABS on the rear brake when rear wheel skids are so easy to control and very useful.

            The important thing is safety and that is where a rider with advanced skills can make a bike do things that can’t be done if there is electronic interference. The electronic devices all work well in ideal conditions. But on rough, loose or slippery surfaces they fall short of what a highly skilled rider can do. They are useful because the majority of riders are not highly skilled.

            This discussion went off track (it is joe b’s fault). The article is not about electronic systems that are already in common use. It is about electronic systems that are being developed for the future. Do you want to just sit on a fully automated bike while a computer does everything for you? I don’t because I enjoy using my skills and I’m very good at it.

            Mickey, I simply pointed out that riding ability varies greatly and different people have different preferences. You will just have to learn to accept reality. Some people can ride better than you.

          • mickey says:

            Not true Jeremy. If electronics never get in your way it is because you only have basic skills

            Sorry joe b, you are the one who is clueless, and poorly skilled.

            mickey… I will always prefer riding without electronic interference, and will always consider you to be a rider with inferior skills if you need electronics to help you.

            AussieM….First off I’d say there are a lot of people that can ride better than me. . . I’d bet there are a lot of people that can ride better than you as well. Or are you the very best? I’m not the one claiming to have the “superior skills”. I’m more skilled than some, less skilled than others. I don’t make it a habit to talk down to those that I feel are less skilled than I.
            I’d venture to guess you don’t personally know a single person that responded to you in this thread. Have never ridden with any of them. You have no idea of the skills they possess or do not possess. Only that they do not agree with you, therefor you feel they automatically possess lesser skills than you have. What an arrogant attitude.

            Like I said…there is an unfortunate human tendency to believe in ideas that are, in reality, incorrect — and then to leverage that conviction into a feeling of superiority over other people? Look in a mirror pal, that’s you!

          • Aussie M says:

            Mickey, you will say any foolish thing you can think of to make yourself feel better. I’m finished with this discussion now so I will leave you in your fantasy land.

            There are two things you need to learn; 1) How to ride a motorcycle properly. 2) If you behave like a cranky abusive old fool, other people will treat you the same.

          • mickey says:

            LOL yea, I’m the one who lost touch with reality. Nice try.

    • Kent says:

      There are plenty of classic bikes that fit that bill and they are also fun to work on and you learn a lot. It won’t be long and everything will be electric and we will wonder how we ever considered running anything as inefficient as an internal combustion engine. It’s all good, or mostly good.

  6. JT says:

    Just what we need, people who can not naturally balance a motorcycle to be able to ride.

    • Dave says:

      If the system does it better than any human ever could, why not?

      This is a technology demonstration, not a product. Try to think of the other possibilities. Tied in with the other technologies we already have this could mean bikes that don’t low-side when you hit unanticipated road sand mid-turn, or a sport bike that was completely impossible to high-side.

      Regular, able-bodied people don’t ride because the possibility of falling off of their bike in a car’s environment is unacceptable. Many more would ride if that were less of a concern.

      • Tank says:

        This system only works when bike is going less than 3 mph. I don’t think people (including me) fully understand what this is.

      • Tom K. says:

        Dave, no matter how sophisticated the electronics, they cannot revoke the laws of physics. Sure, riding aids will be able to help those that cannot help themselves when they hit a patch of gravel in a curve, but there are limitations with respect to available traction, road space, turn radius, speed, ground clearance, etc., many crashes will still be unavoidable – if a rider is dumb (unfortunate) enough to head into a tight 90° turn at too great a speed, all the electronics in the world won’t keep him out of the woods. Unless, of course, the electronics know about the turn and read the road surface beforehand, and limit his speed going in. But then, you wouldn’t be “riding”, you’d be “taken for a ride”, right?

        I’m not a fan of electronics, right up to the point where I sense the inevitably of crashing, then I’m regretting not having them, I guess. “There are no atheists in foxholes”. This thing sure would make the licensing process simpler, wouldn’t it? “Can you climb on? You pass.”

  7. J Wilson says:

    Honda at its’ heart has always been an engineering company: The range of products they offer is stunning in its breadth. They’ve always discovered or engineered things that while they don’t have a current application, you never know what synergy in the future might draw on this or that seeming blind alley to be just the thing that was needed. To watch that video just seems like magic, but then that’s just how good their engineering can be. I agree that this sort of thing on a GW or any other really heavy, large capacity motorcycle would be a great application.

    On the other hand, till they figure out their own use for it, license it to Harley: Imagine if one of those cat-bowl helmet guys could have his Electra Glide follow him into a biker bar, or down the sidewalk at Sturgess !

  8. Tank says:

    Honda says adding it to production bikes does not require a huge amount of effort. It’s just the front wheel making tiny adjustments to keep the bike balanced. This may be closer to production than we think.

  9. Fred M. says:

    There are so many great motorcycle racers, and regular riders, living with devastating spinal injuries after accidents. Instead of making nasty comments about this bike, show some compassion for them by expressing enthusiasm and admiration for a technology that could let them ride again. I don’t think Wayne Rainey, David Bailey, Tony DiStefano, Shawn McDonald, or Bruce Hammer would look down on a bike that gave them a chance to get back on two wheels.

    • Kyle says:

      Doug Henry too.

    • Grover says:

      Nearly every competitive sport has some level of risk involved, including the possibility of death. To erase all risk is to make the sport dull and uninteresting to people. All athletes know the risks involved in the sport of their choice. Ask any pugilist, footballer, bicycle racer, motocrosser, drag racer etc., if they would compete in the sport if there was no risk involved and see what their answer is. I guess if you want to make motorcycling as safe as shuffleboard (you never will regardless of what electronic wizardry) go ahead and give it your best shot. At the same time try to make cars safer because we still kill 40,000 people a years with no balancing skills whatsoever involved. All those bike racers you mentioned would have raced regardless of what the sophistication of the equipment was in their day. If they wouldn’t race someone else would GLADLY step up and take their seat. I’m not trying trying to say I rejoice in their injuries, but that is what is at stake every time you mount a motorcycle, even if it’s just out for a Sunday afternoon and not on a racetrack.

      • Fred M. says:

        It doesn’t appear that you read past my first sentence, since you’re arguing against something that I never said. I wasn’t advocating this technology to make motorcycle racing safer.

        What I said regarding former racers (and regular riders) with spinal injuries is that this is a “a technology that could let them ride again and “[give] them a chance to get back on two wheels.”

  10. kpinvt says:

    Here is a different video. Notice the NC700 rear wheel re-purposed as a front wheel so it can contain an electric motor. There is an ABS ring on the back wheel but not on the front wheel as it is not needed.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3155441/car-tech/hondas-amazing-riding-assist-motorcycle-wont-fall-over.html

  11. Foster says:

    Honda spends untold millions on developing something like this, but they won’t develop a replacement for the seemingly defunct ST series?

  12. Doc says:

    Is this the answer to a question no one asked? If its going to take fluffy rider aids like this to get newbies into the wonderful world of motorcycling, lacking any kind of skill or natural ability, maybe they should take up another sport like competitive adult coloring books. We are turning people into useless lumps of flesh.

    • mickey says:

      Well you can either try some new things to try and attract new riders who obviously don’t have a natural inclination to take up two wheels ( with a motor) OR you can do nothing, insist they learn the skills like we did, essentially turning your back on them, and then watch as the motorcycle industy dies on the vine.

    • MGNorge says:

      Yes but, you do get a participation trophy!

      • mickey says:

        Lol, yea. Heck MSF safety classes are a bad idea as well. THey should do like we did, buy the bike, get a this is the clutch, this is the brake, this is the shifter, good luck speech from the salesman, and learn as we cross the curb entering traffic when leaving the lot.

        Once a rookie manages the skills, then they can become the next macho men telling the next group the manly way to become a motorcyclist.

        • MGNorge says:

          I feel fortunate growing up in an era and location that allowed kids to go off-road riding and learn the FUNdamentals of riding. Not so for many today with urban sprawl and all. Traffic on roads was a fraction of what it today and even though there were some crazies on the roads they were fewer and farther apart.
          We all have stories, I remember a length of freeway where back in the 80’s I could come into a cloverleaf at um, legal speeds on my Interceptor, kick it down a couple gears, heel it over to the edge of my comfort level and then wick it up leading onto the adjoining freeway. Great fun, no one around typically and I could ride a sporty bike in a manner that made my pulse quicken. Not so today. That same intersection comes to a crawl all throughout the day. Things change.

          • mickey says:

            I hope you know I was kidding about the msf course being a bad idea.

            Yea I grew up in one of the German neighborhoods in the city in the 50s and 60s. There was no such thing as a dirt bike and no where to ride it if there had been. It was literally like I said, heres the clutch, heres the gas, etc. It was trial by fire. A tough way to learn imo. When my son came of age, even though he had had a Z50 Honda to ride around the back yard since he was 5, I insisted he take the MSF riding course. He said it was a very good course and that he learned a lot. He is a very good rider.

          • Doc says:

            I didn’t have anyone or any company coddling me when I learned to ride. Not whining, just the way it was. First bicycle ride was on the neighbors bike without training wheels. Didn’t fall over. Just put it straight into another neighbors bush on the first try. But I got back on it and rode it like a demon after that. First time on a motorcycle was on my brand new 1974 CT70K4. What happened? Put it into the neighbors fence(different neighborhood). Pride was damaged but the bike thankfully was not. After that I learned buy making mistakes. Had an automatic clutch but still had a brake lever for the rear brake where the clutch lever would be if so equipped but practiced with it like it was a clutch until I got my ’75 XL125. Problem today is everyone wants zero effort and maximum results. If a person can ride a bicycle, they can ride a motorcycle. But if they can’t ride a bicycle, do I want them riding a motorcycle? Do people ride up to a stop and keep their feet on the pegs till they come to a complete stop? Are we making a mountain out of a mole hill with something that really is a non issue? If a person doesn’t even have enough balance to hold up a bike while stopped, I don’t want them riding. Got to have little natural ability to do anything in life and this is one of them. I can think of a lot of things I would like to do but don’t have what it takes to do it. And that’s fine. I focus on what I can do. There isn’t a P51D in my garage.

          • TexinOhio says:

            I’m more concerned that as time goes on and autonomous vehicles become the norm, those of us who choose to still ride “free” will be relegated to smaller and smaller stretches of road and general space.

            There will be that point where human input is considered the most faulty component of transportation.

            Like the confinement of off road bikes,ATV,UTV, and 2 stroke vehicles to separate space, we too will be forced off the roads because we are imperfect and could be at fault for accidents.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Just put it straight into another neighbors bush on the first try.”

            THAT’S MY BOY…!!!

            but seriously, how angry was her husband when he found out…?

          • Doc says:

            Lol good one Norm G. No comment.😉

        • MGNorge says:

          No, I know Mickey. I think safety courses are great!

  13. LordBeal says:

    “If the prospect of self-driving cars in our daily lives isn’t horrific enough…” Dirk, you of all people – don’t you want a world full of cars that CANNOT turn left in front of you? Or rear-end you like happened to me last year? I DO!!

    • ilikefood says:

      Fewer cars that turn left in front of you would be nice, but the problem with self driving cars is that they work best when all the other vehicles are self driving as well. So we’all have a brief period when self driving cars are on roadsmixed with regular vehicles, then we’ll see self driving only lanes, self driving only roads, and then a ban on non-self-driving cars, with the same arguments being used against people who want to drive – or ride – on their own, as are now being used against gun ownership. “You’re a horrible person for wanting to enjoy driving when clearly driving yourself kills more people”. In other words, this whole self driving car thing will end very badly for motorcycles.

  14. MGNorge says:

    Think of it, could this technology be thought of as simply training wheels for the neophyte and/or an aid to people who do not have full use of their legs, etc.?

    Would seem to appeal to a sub-sector of motorcycling at best. Then there’s cost and I assume the engine must be running for this to go to work? In that regard there would need to be a stand of some sort it would seem.

    Interesting tech in that it can be done, considering Honda’s research into robotics, but I’m not sure we’ll actually see this come to life anytime soon or at all on the showroom floor.

  15. Mr.Mike says:

    This raises the question about whether the barrier to entry to riding should be the skill and physical ability to ride or the desire.

    I have the skill and physical ability to ride under what would be considered normal circumstances but the desire to ride like Marquez – which will never, ever happen because I lack the skill and definitely the talent.

    Sitting on a self driving bike that could take me safely around a track at MotoGP speeds would be a thrill beyond comparison, even if I wasn’t the one in control.

    I’m sure someone who had never ridden would experience something similar just going out on a self driving bike in traffic for the first time.

    • Aussie M says:

      Mr.Mike, It would be like riding a roller coaster at a theme park. I have ridden some of the wildest theme park rides in Australia. They were very enjoyable but also a little disappointing compared to riding a motorcycle for two reasons. 1)I had now control over what happened and so there was no sense of achievement. 2)There was no danger. Part of the thrill of riding a motorcycle is facing and overcoming danger using my own skills. Yes it would be fun, but a very second rate experience compared to really riding a motorcycle using your own skills.

      • Mr.Mike says:

        1) Maybe the experience of riding under control of the bike would be inspiration enough to get a person to learn to ride under their own control.
        2) No amount of the fun and inspiration that I would get riding a bike travelling at MotoGP speeds would be enough to enable me to actually ever ride like that under my own control.
        3) I’m old enough now to avoid seeking out danger for its own sake.

        • Aussie M says:

          Mr.Mike, you are just demonstrating that you have little understanding about how to ride a motorcycle. To get a motorcycle to lap a MotoGP circuit at the speed they do requires a lot of ‘body English’. You can’t just sit there and hang on. If they made a fully automated MotoGP bike to give joy rides on it would be very tamed down.

  16. ABQ says:

    I am a disabled geezer. This bike looks promising. But I already have something that won’t fall over: an H-D Free Wheeler trike. It even has reverse and cruise control. I don’t have to put my feet down, or power walk it in a traffic jam. I can take all of my stuff in the trunk, and a passenger on the back seat. When self driving bikes catch up to that level of capability I will take a look.
    BTW, why doesn’t Honda make a trike.?

    • ABQ says:

      Now that I think of it, making a Goldwing so that it will not fall over would be a great idea. It’s the heavy bikes that I worry about having to pick up. Not the small light weight bikes.

  17. Tom K. says:

    I see a television show pilot here:
    (Scuffed up, flat-tired Honda rolls into ranch’s kitchen, where the “Mom” synthetic is making dinner).
    She says, “What’s the matter, Scooter, is everything all right?”
    (The bike, maintaining its balance, shakes its head from side to side)
    “Oh my God, Scooter!”, she cries. “Is it Timmy? Is Timmy in the well? Or the bottom of the canyon? Show me where.”
    (And they ride off into the distance).
    “Honda Come Home”.

    Maybe Ducati will get into the act and build a bike that can adjust its own valvetrain.

  18. downgoesfraser says:

    Surprised by positive comments out-numbering negative, big changes are coming, the curve is sloping upward.

  19. Mike Simmons says:

    I rather like the idea! It will allow us olde fartz to continue riding for a few more years.

  20. Jeffr R says:

    The first robot motorcycle. It will be a new “robo moto” trend for geeks who can keep playing with their apps while they ride.

  21. George Krpan says:

    Self driving cars will make the roads safer for motorcycles.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      That is IF they are allowed on the same roads at the same time…

      IMHO, cars should initially be allowed to self-drive only on certain allowed interstate highways.

  22. KenLee says:

    After ABS, TCS, DCT, ride-by-wire and gyro-prototype from BMW it’s another step to take skils away from motorcycling. Is it safer? Yes, it is! More exciting? Hmmm… In rich western countries bikes are used mainly as toys. If we cut off emotions and “elite” feeling, the toys will be boring and thrown away soon.

    • joe b says:

      There were similar comments when fish-finding radar came out, but every fisherman with a boat in a tournament has one, and most every serious fisherman in the industrialized nations. This wont be like that, but it will find its place, watch.

  23. DCE says:

    I want to see what it does on ice. If nothing else, it might be a technology that could extend the riding season in colder climates without switching to sidecars or 3-wheeled vehicles.

  24. Aussie M says:

    Can it cope with a strong cross wind?

  25. Russell T says:

    BMW is working on similar technology with their “Concept 100” bike. Their PR video even goes so far to infer the rider won’t need a helmet. That’s a bit much, just like this Honda looking both ways before crossing the doorway, but I think this kind of thinking from Honda, BMW, and anyone else venturing to look ahead is terrific.

  26. Grover says:

    People on this site are always complaining about not enough new riders coming into the fold. Well, here’s the opportunity for anyone without skills to ride a motorcycle without the learning curve. Like it?

    • Lynchenstein says:

      Yup – either it’s elitism, or a bunch of old guys whining about the newfangled gizmos and how it’s not like back in their day. Are these folks still using rotary phones too? Bring on the innovation and let’s see where it takes us. For the rest, there’s still Harley Davidson.

    • Kris Wuenstel says:

      The learning curve is the point…one develops their confidence thru practice and repetition, balance, hand/eye coordination, etc. You may be able to remove the danger with these new technologies but the experience becomes soulless and sterile. If ultimate safety is the goal, will you forego the actual ride altogether in favor of piloting a 2-wheeled drone from the safety of your laptop? If that’s fun for you, have at it. Maybe I’ll join the fold after my body ages to the point that I can no longer actually ride…until then, no thanks.

      • Jabe says:

        Well put.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “You may be able to remove the danger with these new technologies but the experience becomes soulless and sterile.”

        The absence of fear of crashing doesn’t “sterilize” anything. It frees the rider from some amount of worry, allowing them to devote more attention to enjoying the experience.

        Are you anti ABS? Quality suspension and tires?

  27. joe b says:

    If Honda’s DCT made you puke, rewind. That’s it, I’m taking out my typewriter, and sending it carrier pigeon.

  28. slipjoint says:

    Housebroken too, not a spot on the floor, must be a low emmision motor as well.