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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!!

    • tla says:

      WoRd!

    • 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.

  29. Tom R says:

    Actually, I don’t think that the concept of self-driving cars is horrific at all. Compared to the flawed, distracted, and moody humans now operating vehicles, I think they would make it much safer to be a motorcyclist.

  30. slipjoint says:

    Drink and ride all you want, no penalty for forgetting to put your feet down at stoplights. Considering most of Honda’s offerings it’s not bad looking either.

  31. steveinsandiego says:

    well, isn’t this such light-hearted reading? LOL. hey, i kinda like the technology, mainly cuz i’m 68 years old/young, and needing a lighter mc. i don’t envision robot takeover or goobermint mandates, at least in my relatively short time remaining on this here terra firma. yep, i could likely use such an outfitted scoot right now.

  32. gpokluda says:

    This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Way cooler than the fake retros the manufacturers are tossing out by the handful. Too bad MD is missing the boat on this.

  33. Shmitty says:

    I think it’s important that Honda debuted this at the CES show and not in a motorcycle show. This, like the UNI-CUB or Asimo robots, is a proof of concept machine that is unlikely to make it to the real world anytime soon. Like many of the commenters below, I find it disturbing to look at the end of motorcycling as we know it. Face it, with AI coming to the physical world we operate in, starting with cargo transportation (tractor trailers), motorcycling has no choice but to adapt or disappear. Technological evolution is at work and is unlikely to stop barring a worldwide calamity. But just like a person who has had a near-death experience, I intend to make the most of the time I have left to enjoy my lifelong love of riding. I hope that all of you do the same.

  34. Jeremy in TX says:

    Lots of negative comments on this one. I actually think it is a pretty cool piece of technology. Short guys could ride KTM Enduros without dreading stoplights. Amputees could get back on two wheels. Those with fragile joints or diminished musculature wouldn’t have to worry about holding up a Goldwing in stop and go traffic. It is no option I would pay for at my age and condition, but really… If all this technology takes away from the riding experience is putting a foot down at a stop, what is so disturbing about this?

    • joe b says:

      Taking this to the next level, instead of self driving cars… I open my phone app, call for a Uber pickup, and a driverless motorcycle appears and stops in front of me. I hop on, turn off the auto function, and drive it home. Then, after arriving home, I pay for the ride, close my app, and watch it turn the auto function back on, and drive off by itself, to go and pick up someone else. Fantasy? The world is changing more than we think.

      • todd says:

        Or, if I’m stuck at home or work, I can send my bike out to ride some tasty roads and stop at all the great views. I can experience it all through the wonder of my VR headset via my smart phone and high bandwidth internet connection. Sharing “my” experience on Instagram will also be a plus.

  35. jcott says:

    Long term this could be really big. It opens the possibility of fully enclosed commuter motorcycles, without outriggers. Think about that. Electric, enclosed, usable year-round. Less footprint on the road than a full size electric car, so in addition to mpg efficiency, it reduces congestion on the roadways, while also making it more practical – less need for gear, you can wear your suit to the office. Easier to transport items (laptop, etc) in an enclosed vehicle, and easier to grab some groceries on the way home.

  36. Stuki Moi says:

    I doubt Honda will step up to that particular plate anytime soon, but it would be more impressive to see a version of this outride Marquez around Motegi, on equal hardware…..

    Or heck, per Norm’s comment below, perhaps it already is!

  37. Speed90 says:

    Skynet has just become “self aware”.

  38. Stuki Moi says:

    It’s a big deal in Japan, where the riding population, like Metusalem before them, is on the cusp of crossing the divide, from positively ancient to flat out dead. 20 years from now, Japanese highways will be full of dead guys still riding and driving around from H2 station to H2 station on/in Hydrogen powered autonomous bikes and cars.

  39. Neil says:

    I just would find it strange if a motorcycle were trying to do something against what I myself was doing, unless it is only at 5 mph or slower. Would I ease up on the bars as I come to a stop or what? There’s no point in my riding no hands. So?

  40. notarollingroadblock says:

    I’m wondering if there are 2 modes: conventional steering in steep rake mode, then assisted balance and steer-by-wire in flat rake mode.

  41. TexTrain says:

    Wow. Pretty cool technology. A lot of engineering went into figuring out how to save the weight of a kickstand.

  42. Denny says:

    I like the change of rake angle since it adds to stability when needed, rest of it I do not care about. I want to have the feel of lean in my hand/ butt.

    • MGNorge says:

      I’m sure you’d be able to lean into turns as with all motorcycles (2-wheels). It’s at crawling speeds and when stopped.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I like the change of rake angle since it adds to stability when needed”

      correct, that’s what the kit’s doing when it changes it’s rake and trail. engaging my aging engineer’s brain, i think i can safely go out on a limb and declare the system does NOT work “autonomously” until it’s first put by the user into this configuration to add more longitudinal stability.

      pay attention guys, even though they don’t verbalize it…? the answer to all the identical questions of “OMG, why variable rake and trail?” is essentially right there in the video. “steep trim” rake and trail is only available in “manual mode” or “normal ride height”.

      need further proof…? also observe the aspect ratio of that crazy front tire. last time i saw a profile that FLAT and wide was on a vintage 750 Paso circa 1988, Ducatisti know what i’m talking ’bout (Willis)…

      http://tinyurl.com/j3umxtx

      modern bikes turn by camber thrust and the act of PURPOSELY having a certain amount of “differential diameter” between the front and rear tyres. thus that tyre is flat not by accident…? not to mimic some “pseudo bobber style” created by Hipsters…? but for a calculated REASON. remember, these are Japanese dudes, they don’t do things for “appearances” they do things for “purposes”.

      it’s flat to have it turn more like a dual track vehicle (read a car) without leaning. i suspect that’s also why they lockout the bars (though they certainly could’ve made them swing) and have them NOT follow the movement of the wheel. ie. it REMOVES the need for system to deal with the extra inertia up high. leave the bars fixed and you then can remove it from the system equation. balance is then achieved by simple keeping the wheels under the center of mass.

      if everyone recalls, the gold standard dimension for an OEM front is the now ubiquitous (and relatively narrow) 120/70-17. this wasn’t always the case. that’s the chassis engineer’s datum or “reference dimension” off which he works backwards (front to rear) creating the overall handling characteristic of the motorcycle.

      this process is the same for one of Willie G’s designers modelling the latest FATBOY chopper at HD, for an Ohlins guru in the paddock at Misano, or Furusawa himself optimizing the mass moment of the first ever Crossplane M1 to suit VR46. the front tyre of a racing motorbike (or any bike) has an analogy in aeronautics. it’s the equivalent to what the “leading edge” is to an airfoil in wing design. it’s the first element to “see the air” so to speak. or in this case, the first element to SEE the vehicle into a turn, or the first to see a bump in the road and transmit it into the suspension and onto the bike/rider combo (see entry for YOU).

      • jimmihaffa says:

        re: “thus that tyre is flat not by accident…? not to mimic some “pseudo bobber style” created by Hipsters…? but for a calculated REASON.”

        Kawasaki engineers must have missed this edict when they stuck a 150 cross-section width front tire on my Vulcan 2000 but dang I feel soooo pseudo cool

  43. TexinOhio says:

    I do like it for the prospect of extending a riders time in the saddle. Seen too many times and met too many older folks that have had to give up riding because of loss of strength due to age.

    There are many people out there, that to them riding is everything. Extending their time to do so would go a long way to giving them more time to enjoy their passion and extend their quality of life.

    Trike conversions are a good but very costly option, then again we have no idea what this kind of tech would cost either.

  44. RichBinAZ says:

    Did you notice that every time the front wheel turns the handlebars don’t move. It goes lock to lock without turning the bars.
    If the bars are just arm rests, how does it know where you want to go?
    Imagine this… you want to go left, it says NO!

  45. ducdug says:

    After watching the video, I see that the means of self-balance looks like the same method a rider would use to keep the bike upright at very slow speeds – sawing the front wheel back and forth. While this is useful when accomplished by the rider, how will it fare when the bike is doing it as the rider is holding on to the grips? The video only showed people on the bike not holding the grips. Just like some tankslappers are exacerbated by the rider fighting it, won’t the bike’s attempt to keep the bike vertical be prone to failure by the rider’s resistance to the grips moving on their own? I guess you could learn to let the bike finish braking and let go of the controls so it stays up on its own! It might take an entirely new breed of rider to mesh with this thing.

  46. Norm G. says:

    re: “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”

    liars… (i knew it!!!)

    this technology was not originally developed by Honda for no damn UNI-CUB (UNI-CUB my ass) that name’s just a “ruse” they’re throwing out to see if you’ll bite. this technology (same as that seamless transmission) was developed for a little known bike referred to as…

    (wait for it)

    THE RC213. dunno, maybe you’ve heard of this contraption sporting an HRC label…?

    • MGNorge says:

      Norm, you promised you’d be good! Remember what the doctor told you!

    • Denny says:

      Who does not lie, does not survive. 🙂

      Seriously, it is the outcome which counts. Maybe, as MG says it will add some new quality.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Who does not lie, does not survive…”

        …or mysteriously win 10 straight in a public (but covert) 2014 test of the system under racing conditions.

        a feat (which given human frailty and weakness) they know will psychologically go on to be credited to the “scary talent” of human beings. talent that is really neither here nor there when one takes into account the $TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars being spent on hardware and personnel to “prop up” that ONE individual.

  47. Tim says:

    I already planned to ride into my 80’s. This could extend my riding habit well into my 90’s.

  48. tuskerdu says:

    evil.

  49. wjf says:

    this could help in the trials courses

  50. mickey says:

    I’m surprised MCD wouldn’t test this, I mean you’ve tested DCT’s and electric bikes, this is just another motorcycle innovation.

    I didn’t see anything in there that said you didn’t have to pilot it like any other motorcycle. Only that it wouldn’t fall over at a stand still. I don’t understand the adjustable rake feature, but whatever.

    a lightweight bike that wouldn’t fall over would be handy for beginners, smaller adults (women) and elderly riders alike. The reason so many now buy trikes is because of fear of falling over. No longer an issue. Can still lean thru the curves but won’t fall over at a light.Good plan.

    Novel.

    • MGNorge says:

      I guess Dirck is drawing the line! Maybe he’ll have a change of heart..or not? 🙂

      • Dirck Edge says:

        I might. Is there a line we draw before machines do everything for us and human skill becomes irrelevant? It’s rewarding to develop skill and employ our wits, and overcome challenges. Is this a slippery slope we are on?

        • mickey says:

          This seems benign compared to ABS, ride modes, traction control, and the other myriad of electronics available on motorcycles you have already tested to me.

          Like my younger brother says about his new T120 Bonneville.. ” I don’t need a computer to tell me to slow down in the rain”.

          Again the video didn’t demonstrate or say that the motorcycle would pilot itself, only that it wouldn’t fall over at a stop light or in your driveway, unless there is more to it than what we are reading and seeing in the vid.

          • todd says:

            None of my current motorcycles fall over at a stop light or in my driveway and they don’t have this technology.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Sure, but will they follow you around the grocery store like an obedient puppy?

        • mickey says:

          Todd, I’m impressed. I don’t know many very experienced motorcyclists, that haven’t dropped a bike or two in their garage, driveway, backing one up, in a parking lot etc…I know when I worked in the industry, we sold a ton of levers, mirrors, turn signals, shift levers, engine covers, handlebars, headlight rims, instrument covers, footpeg ribbers etc to people who did.

          • todd says:

            One time, long ago, I hopped on my GB500, hit the starter, dabbed it into first and let out the clutch. I came to an abrupt halt as soon as my bright yellow brake lock smacked the caliper. Lucky for me, the bike is light enough that I was able to catch it before it (and I) hit the ground. Don’t think I would have been able to do that on a Gold Wing…

  51. Jon H says:

    At 85 my uncle traded his 900 Vulcan in on a Goldwing Trike. This last summer. He had both legs amputated just below the kneee. He really still wants to ride.
    Be cool for disabled people.

  52. MonsterJ says:

    I can’t wait for the trials bike version to come out!

  53. PatrickD says:

    Hmm, maybe it could kick in if an in-helmet breathalyser says so? So there’s your ride home from the bar, rather than a taxi and having to recover your bike the next day.

    Cue Homer Simpson….

  54. Bill says:

    Hey! This is great! I won”t have to push a grocery cart anymore-it can just follow me.

  55. mcmotohistory says:

    I want to whistle and have my bike come to me!! Good Boy

  56. Ellis Tomago says:

    This is not the progress I asked for.

    What I wanted was the thorium nuclear motorcycle that didn’t pollute and never had to be gassed up.

    Instead they give us an NC700 that does the riding for you and will follow you around while you walk.

  57. Steve Bradshaw says:

    Love the wasp butt with room for about 10 inches of travel, paired with what looks like 2 inches of front travel. Guess they want it to look like a race bike. What a farce.

  58. todd says:

    I don’t see how this would improve riding at all. I think Honda can do anything that they put their minds to but I just don’t see the need on motorcycles.

    • Montana says:

      We need a computerized automaton with a self-cancelling learning curve, or we can just get the video game.

    • Dave says:

      It’s a concept demonstrator. Future application could be coupled with functionality like ABS and collision avoidance sensors to create a nearly crash-proof motorcycle.

  59. jimmihaffa says:

    Like it or not, self-driving and collision avoidance systems are the wave of the future across all sectors of transportation. This is amazing technology with obvious practical application.

  60. MGNorge says:

    But will it prevent a high side? I’m into tech in a big way but motorcycling to me is, for the most part, a kind of escape to a simpler state of mind. Being one with the machine and all. Fascinating tech but nothing that would draw me in to take up riding. But, who knows, maybe there are people out there, prospective riders, to which this would be a plus?

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: But will it prevent a high side?

      A: damn skippy, high side, low side, tank slapper, whatever attitude you want maintained, it can be programmed INTO the system.

      in aviation world it’s known as an advanced form of AUTO-PILOT (remember that term?) now available at the consumer level called “Envelope Protection” and it can be found as low as the Garmin G1000 Avionic Suites fitted to many new Diamond and Cirrus aircraft.

      oh yeah, and the HondaJet.

  61. John says:

    And of course it has drooping boob headlight technology.

    • Geoffrey Hill says:

      You’ve named the next styling trend. We have The Transformer (Puke) look-a-like, The Beak (Retch), now Drooping Boob. I find this the least objectionable. Of course I live in a retirement community so I’ve gotten used to the look.

  62. BIG BELLY says:

    This is huge!
    As a Baby Boomer, I could ride into my 90’s.
    I’m looking forward to it.

  63. Hot Dog says:

    My old girlfriend could swing her big bottom and create a gravity field, she’d be a double negative on this thing and crash immediately .

  64. Jeremy in TX says:

    Great! Now we won’t have to hear any more complaints about the ever increasing seat height trend.

  65. CrazyJoe says:

    Supercars manage to sell with all their electronics. All the car companies probably by the end of the decade will have self driving models. And have you seen the prices of cars and trucks going up to unaffordable hieghts. And the jump in traffic fatalities. It might be in the near future all I could afford is a Renault Twiz or a toyota three wheeler. Since I’m sleep deprived and my abilities vary day to day I would like something that would keep me from colliding with a dump truck especially since there aint much to a Twiz. Sooner or later they will decide bikes are to unsafe and this technology might be the only thing keeping them from being phased out. Crashing might be a major reason why people don’t buy the things in the first place but when it becomes widely available who knows.

    • Neil says:

      It is extremely expensive to put crashed motorcyclists together again. We could use some rider aids. We make HUGE horsepower to weight ratio motorcycles and we crash them, a lot. Motorcycles SHOULD have a breathalyzer to start them after sunset. A friend was killed weeks before retiring with TWO pensions, after he drank too much and crashed his cruiser. ABS DOES help lower accident numbers. It’s nice to be able to shut it off if I want or choose a bike without it.

      • todd says:

        So, it’s the bike’s fault your friend died while riding it drunk? I hear lawsuit potential…

  66. Gort says:

    Hold my Beer and watch this!

  67. xLaYN says:

    I see the anti fall feature positive, there is always the possibility of a low speed drop and this could help.

  68. dt 175 says:

    Oh for goodness sake! On the other hand, Wayne Rainey can ride thru the pits again…

    • Scott says:

      But would he really want to?

      • Dave says:

        Have you seen Doug Henry ride his frame/harness MX bike?

        • Scott says:

          Yes, I have, and he operates it all by himself, just like Rainey operates his own race kart. Why would these guys need or want a motorcycle that drives them around?

          • Dave says:

            I don’t think that’s the point. This is a concept to demonstrate that Honda has computerized low to zero speed balance with an otherwise conventional motorcycle.

            For guys like Rainey and Henry, it could mean being able to manage a motorcycle without help. For the rest of us, it could mean another level of autonomous safety technology, a more crash-proof motorcycle.

  69. Trpldog says:

    I can’t tell you how revolting that is to me. But, I’ve only got 40+ years of riding under my belt – what do I know.

  70. Rennie says:

    I’m thinking my DR650 feels like a motorcycle and I enjoy thinking while riding.

  71. Scott says:

    Someone here once took issue with me over my aversion to Honda’s DCT automatic transmission, which I stated I had no use for, and would never buy.

    Okay… Am I allowed to hate THIS???

    • Neil says:

      Rode a CTX700 with the automatic and it was really good. It worked better than manually shifting that particular low powered motor. My own manual shift points were not as good as the computer. It calculated the proper torque/HP crossover points and did it beautifully. In city traffic, one does not always want to be using a clutch all the time, especially for commuting. It’s really nice to just ride and let the tranny do its thing. That is NOT to say that we all have to want one, nor that it is a bad idea. I have friends who just don’t have the coordination for the clutch.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        “I have friends who just don’t have the coordination for the clutch.”

        Is it really safe for those guys to be mixing it up with aggressive 4 wheeled traffic? I’m not being facetious. I have bicycle riding friends who keep falling off their bikes almost weekly, even after decades of riding. I’m kind of happy for them, that they are not given any encouragement to take up bike commuting through SF and LA rush hour….

    • joe b says:

      Probably me, your thinking about. I commented I had one, liked it, and humbly tried to point out some of the advantages to those that immediately hated it, not knowing anything about it, or ever trying it out, and got lambasted for not being in the Kool-Aid line. Can you hate this, well yeah, why not. I bet your bike has a starter button. (humor)

  72. Dino says:

    It is all fun and games, until software locks up, and the system crashes into the side of an SUV.

    No thanks. Leave that for the novices that want to take the next step beyond virtual reality.

    • Neil says:

      People crash all the time because their brain makes a mistake. Guy came over a mild hill with a van on the street to the right. He didn’t slow enough and the van pulled out. Right into the side of the van, the driver of which could have had sun in his eyes, or someone talking behind him and so on. If someone is waiting at a stop sign, they WILL pull out. You cannot just race past them. Yet, people do every day of every year and they crash.

  73. bad Chad says:

    If old man Honda were still around, we wouldn’t be seeing crap like this!

  74. rapier says:

    The main thing is that this motorcycle doesn’t need people. More generally and more importantly the machines need people less and less. Most generally of all, we now serve the machines. Usually this idea is expressed, half seriously, in terms of humans being slaves to robots but the word robot carries with it some image but in fact all ‘smart’ machines are robots. You probably don’t accept that they rule already. Fair enough, but I disagree.

    I will allow that we love motorcycles because we control them. It is in the most general way that I say we now serve the machines. Think of your job for instance.

    • MGNorge says:

      Deep!

    • Randy D. says:

      “we love motorcycles because we control them”. I never thought of them like that, but you are right. Whatever they do we are responsible for it and relish in it. At least I do. The exact opposite of what a robot is about. This must be why I don’t want ABS or any other safety addons to make my bike riding easier. I want to have to do it all myself and marvel at my accomplishments. If I’m not capable to master my MC demands then I will stop riding or trade down to a less challenging bike. A man gots ta know his limitations.

      As a former amateur road racer in my youth I already learned skills needed to safely ride my MCs up to now but also know when my skills aren’t what they once were.

    • GoodlyRun says:

      I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

      • Neil says:

        Exactly. You are working or home enjoying yourself. You send your google car and Honda robot with get you some dinner. Meanwhile you have time to write another 100 dollars worth of software code, shovel your driveway or spend some much needed time with your wife.

  75. Al Banta says:

    No thanks!

  76. VFR Marc says:

    Brilliant. Lots of possibilities. The future is here, man. Adapt or perish.

  77. North of Missoula says:

    Hopefully I will be dead before this technology is mandated by the Government.

  78. Bob says:

    I don’t like where this is going. On the other hand, it could revolutionize trials riding.