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I own a 2018 Gold Wing Tour Air Bag model. I bought it for the added safety it COULD afford. With all the inattentive drivers on the road today (cell phones, texting), I thought it would be prudent to purchase a motorcycle with an air bag. I also ride with a Helite Air Bag Vest. Just take a look at the frontal crash demo on YouTube with and without an airbag and that should answer quite a bit of your questions. And thank God I haven't needed it yet, but its there if I ever do.
 

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This is the way I remember it. I don’t know if this is still on the internet somewhere, I found it back around 2008 or 2009. I think the first airbag model Goldwing was 2007.
There was a Goldwing rider, riding down a 2 lane road, one lane in each direction.
There was a long line of cars ahead of the Goldwing rider so when traffic was clear, he pulled into the left side of the road and started passing cars.
At one point, a car in the line decided to pass the cars also and pulled into the lane as the Goldwing was passing. The vehicle hit the Goldwing and this caused the Goldwing to steer to the left and off the road and into a tree.
I don’t know how big the tree was or how fast the bike was going when it hit the tree, but you can tell by the pictures the bike hit the tree pretty hard.
The rider ended up with only a broken leg.
I think it is a great feature, however for me, riding over 40 years, I was always taught that you want to avoid the object you are going to hit. But for the airbag system to function to protect the rider the best, is for the rider to steer directly into the object. That might be hard to do in some situations.
Anyway, these pictures sure tell a story don’t they?
 

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I bought the Airbag model also because of a previous experience with my 2006 1800 in 2007. I had a collission in a German town with a car and I ware wearing an open helmet and hit the edge of the windscreen with my face. The edge took almost of my nose, and the nose bone was fragmented and had to be recontructed. With an airbag this would have been avoided.

I hope however like others already said, I will never need the airbag.

Better to spent some extra $ for a safety item like an airbag then on farkles for the bike.
 

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I read a while back that Honda recorded 300+ (can’t remember the exact number) bag deployments, with no fatalities in frond-end collisions. I assume those numbers track back to the first Wings to have air bags.
I read that as well. It was my deciding factor!
 

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IronMan
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THERE WAS A VIDEO OUT (THINK BARTMAN POSTED) ?? AND SHOWED IT DEPLOYING . PROBLEM WAS AFTER IT DEPLOYED THE RIDER CAME DOWN IN FORWARD MOTION AND HIS "NECK " CAME DOWN ON EDGE OF WINDSHIELD !!:surprise: COULDN'T HAVE BEEN GOOD OUTCOME . EVEN A SEAT BELT CAN HURT YA IN A CRASH . THINK ANYTHING THEY CAN DO TO PROTECT US IS GREAT ! THERE WAS A VIDEO ON " AIR SUIT" AND MY FIRST IMPRESSION WAS "WONDER HOW FAR DOWN THE ROAD YA BOUNCE " ! LOL LOOK LIKE THE MICHELIN TIRE MAN WHEN INFLATED ! DONT KNOW IF REAL OF "FAKE" !
 
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When they put started putting airbags in cars I thought they were a silly, expensive luxury. Then someone left turned right in front of my 1998 Monte Carlo while I was traveling 60 MPH. I walked away without any injuries. After only one experience using an airbag I liked them a lot more.

I was lucky to find a 2007 airbag model for sale. I can tell you I was willing to pay more because it had that feature. I did not intend to use the airbag in my car back in 2008, but I was sure glad it was there when I needed it.
 
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