Airbags: the latest in motorcycle safety - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Airbags: the latest in motorcycle safety

Airbags: the latest in motorcycle safety
By: Erica Byfield

Paducah, KY - Motorcycles are popular!  But along with the freedom of the open road comes consequences that can be serious even deadly. 

Recent data shows the number of bikes bought in the US compared to number of deaths and the graphs look shockingly similar since both figures tend to be skyrocketing. 

For that reason leader are trying to do something about it.

Riding a motorcycle comes with options: color, state of the art sound system, navigation tools and believe it or not airbags.

"I was surprised when I first heard of it was coming out," said avid rider Don Massey, "but it seemed like a good idea to me."

And to the leaders at Honda Motor Corporation, they introduced this latest feature in the 2006 Gold Wing model.

They're using crash test this video on the Internet as proof of the airbags success.

The first clip shows a dummy in a front impact collision without and airbag thrown from the bike.

The second, also in slow motion, demonstrates the vertical motion of the nylon and silicon bag to keep the rider from experiencing the full impact of the accident. 

"The airbag keeps the driver from being projected through the windshield so that should eliminate a lot of head, back and shoulder injuries," said FDR Honda bike shop owner Mark Holmes. 

Honda started working on an air bag system in 1990 after learning more than half of front impact accidents ended in death.

Holmes calls this latest advancement good news, "I'm very excited about it.  I hope I never have to use one.  I currently ride an oh-four model and I'm thinking about upgrading to the one with an airbag."

He won't be able to get his hands on the Sliver Gold Wing in the showroom, his shop got it in three weeks ago and it's already adorned with a "sold" sign. 

Holmes calls riding a motorcycle both addictive and dangerous and he said this a lifesaving option all riders should consider.

Adding an airbag to a bike will cost you an extra couple of thousand dollars.  Honda's not the only company trying to improve motorcycle safety; Yamaha Motor Corporation is researching the option of outfitting its bikes as well.   

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