When I first saw the picture, I assumed it was a joke, but it’s real.

Along with deadly features like satellite navigation, 80-watt per channel premium audio with six-element speaker system, a cold-weather comfort package which includes foot-warming system channelizing engine-heated air over the rider’s feet and is controlled by a fairing-mounted lever, the new Honda Gold Wing comes with first protection airbag system.

My paranoid theory is that this is Honda’s plan to eliminate all US competition, i.e., drive Harley out of business. Once all Honda bikes come standard with airbags, the lawsuits against Harley for NOT providing them will kill the company.

  1. Tallwookie says:

    I’ve never been able to fit on a motorcycle (my legs, they are too long) so perhaps this is just some hot air, but i would think that in a situation where you would *need* an airbag, the force of the airbag deploying would knock you off of the vehicle… wouldnt it?

  2. Mike says:

    well, if the collision doesn’t throw you off the bike, the force of the airbag deploying will.

    this is stupid.

  3. Mike Voice says:


    I rode Goldwings for years [I owned three different ones] and had a friend injured in an accident – when his Wing was rear-ended in an intersection.

    He was thrown up & forward by the impact, and he landed chest-first on the windshield & handbars – messed-up his ribs & back.

    An airbag wouldn’t help people who lay the bike down at freeway speeds, but would have saved my friend a lot of pain.

  4. mike derosa says:

    John – In the late1970’s I thought the 1st Gold Wing was a joke too, with it’s on-board air compressor to adjust the air-assisted shocks (or fill up a tire, if needed). A few years later I bartered 4 days labor for the use of a 1978 Gold Wing to travel around California. What an amazing machine!
    Like a magic carpet. You don’t feel or hear the motor. You hear the tires and a little wind around the fairing. It’s so smooth you have to keep checking the speedometer to stay under 90mph. Despite its size, a skinny 6 footer can easily maneuver around town.
    Having said all that, an airbag on a bike strikes me as a joke too.
    Reminds me of the attempt to legislate seat belts for motorcycles a couple of decades back.
    I doubt that many, if any, other Honda models will have airbags, so Harley should be safe on this front. Gold Wings are a different breed of bike, made for all days rides and old bones.
    (all above opinions are based on old info – I ride very little the last 20 years – but I often drool on the window of the local Honda shop)

  5. Woodcubed says:

    They should go one step further and provide side side airbags, an impact resistant frame, a shatter-proof windshield, and two extra wheels for stability. They could call it a “car.” Seriously, if you expect to be safe, don’t drive a motorcycle. This is indeed stupid and pointless.

  6. Gwendle says:

    I ride a motorcycle and the most common accident is laying the bike down on it’s side. Last thing you WANT to do is keep on the bike, just skip along on the pavement (assuming you are wearing the proper leathers). Yes this airbag would get you off the bike. In a fork-on collision with anything you sure as heck don’t want to come to a dead stop. This is just foolish.

  7. SignOfZeta says:

    I’m pretty sure BMW, or somebody else did this like…15-20 years ago. Maybe that was just a prototype, I can’t remember. I can see it being useful in low speed events to keep the rider from wahcking his head on the speedometer, and falling off the bike, but yeah, obviously not the same sort of high speed life saver that car airbags are.

    Anyway, the Harley theory…doesn’t make any sense. Have you every ridden a modern day Honda? They are so totally superior to a Harley in every way that there is no competition, at all. Harley’s can’t even, like, turn…or stop, or anything. They are uncormfortable, and have a redline like that of a diesel truck from 1975. They are expensive too.

    And you know what? Nobody cares. People want the history, the brass bits to polish, etc. I read someplace that Harley actually makes more than half of it’s money from merchandise like jackets, and cupholders. Clearly, its a cult, and no amount of competition can compete with that. Just as a top end Audi nowdays is faster than a medium range Porsche for the same price…but in the end they want the Porshce.

  8. 0x1d3 says:

    Um…..Did I miss the link to the full story, or is it not there. But yeah I agree I think it would throw you off the bike.

  9. Miguel says:

    Probably it’s Honda who will get sued for having these airbags! Just wait until someone gets hurt after being ejeted from their bike…

    A few years ago I read that someone was developing a sort of protection for motorcycle riders, but that was an inflatable suit!!! Really! It looked like a Michelin doll, but seemed to me like a much better idea than this. At least you could bump a tree or a car and come out relatively well. At least that was the theory. Never heard of it again, though…

    Happy New Year! Keep up the great worl!

  10. James says:

    Honda has been making better bikes for years and Harley hasn’t gone out of business yet, so why would this air bag make a difference? As long as Harley has the “bad boy” image, their market share is safe. It’s too bad the same thing can’t be said for the US auto industry.

  11. Mike Borginis says:

    It’s an ejection system. Hey if they had a way to detect an imminent collision and deploy the airbag a split second before, it could dethrone the rider at the exact velocity but in the opposite direction, leaving him standing a short distance behind the crash, a little bewildered but completely unscathed.

  12. Pat says:

    Though I don’t ride any more, I always believed that above a certain speed it all hurts the same. Air bag or no air bag.

  13. Teyecoon says:

    Modern day helmets are about all you need or can expect to protect you from a motorcycle crash and those people who don’t wear them have a useless airbag to land on anyway so this motorcycle attached airbag is unnecessary and likely only to be blamed for additional injuries rather than praised for preventing them.

  14. corb says:

    I slow down every time I go by an old lady yacking on a cell phone not looking at me on my bike, drifting ever closer to the intersection.
    I personally would like the secure feeling of knowing if one of these thoughtless drivers pulled out in front of me and I had no time to lay the bike down, I would have the option of a nice cushie airbag to land into other than a side window glass or door panel.
    I have had many close calls with autos pulling in front of me and stopping or just pulling into the intersection with out looking.
    Falling from seat level to the ground even at highway speeds usually isn’t lethal. Plowing into the side or back of a truck will hurt you a very slow speeds. Air bag or not you are still going to pile it up.
    I’m buying it!

  15. greg says:

    I think the topic is airbags? Harley vs Honda. Not sure what’s going on here. Both have been guilty of making crappy bikes and good bikes. The goldwing, well, it’s never really done anything for me. I’d probably have to ride one with a paper bag on my head so no one could recognize me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my 750 shadow, the feel of the wind and the road. To me, that’s what riding is about. Not a big fan of the plastic chroming that Honda has a hard-on to do.
    Airbags in cars, as with ABS brakes, are more a scam than anything. They are money making ploys by the auto makers and government. They cost consumers tons of extra dollars more in the purchase price of te vehicles, and raise the insurance rates of those vehicles equipped with the airbags. Each bag runs in the hundreds and thousand to replace when they deploy. Saving lives, that’s a farce. Reducing injury, — that’s debatable. I have to ride a bike because I refuse to let the auto makers shove the airbags and ABS brakes up my ass.
    If Honda decides to put airbags on all there bikes, I’ll have to eventually trade in my Shadow for a Harley.


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