I almost bit the 'big one' back in 81 and spent about nine months recovering. I'll take any advantage available to still enjoy the sport while giving me the ability to survive a close encounter with a cage.
My (blue... the fastest color) 07 airbag is on order.
How many times does a “T-bone” occur with a stationary vehicle on the top of the “T”? The airbag will be very affective in a straight on impact, but put the van in motion and the front end of the bike will be deflected off to the side. The rider will not be deflected and impact the car beside the bag. Why else would Honda cut the demo video short in the one occasion where both vehicles were in motion (not that video). I watched the full demo video at last years Cycle World Bike Show several times. The one and only time their demo accident had both vehicles moving for a “T-bone” and they cut it after the bag deployed but before the dummy even touched the air bag. Could it be that the dummy missed? Yes, it did miss or it would have been part of the video. Want more evidence? One of the scary police chases is of a sport bike being chased taking an exit and “T-bones” a bus. The rider hits the bus beside the bike as the bike was kicked to the side from the movement of the bus. The bus did not appear to be moving that fast, maybe 20-35. A car has the seat belt to keep you lined up with the air bag. You would have to do the same on the bike. Anyone that has had a crash would know that a seatbelt on a bike could be more fatal than not wearing a helmet.
You can keep the air bag. I want the radio in an accessible location and I want the storage on the left side of the faring. Also, I do not want the added complication for air filter and other maintenance. You have to deal with the air bag to remove the top shelter.
I will take the airbag cause in most of your Tbones the vehicle being hit isn't going that fast in my opinion to make much of a difference, might be wrong, but I will still take it and I like the radio controls on the side. I have had no problem with adjusting the controls as most of them are controled on the handle bars anyway plus I like the cleaner look. But that is just my opinion and that with 75 cents might buy ya a cup of coffee.
I bought the 06' airbag model. I don't have any more conclusive evidence as to the effectiveness of my airbag other than this same video and other research Honda has provided. I figure if it has even a 10-20% chance of improving the outcome of an accident I will take it.
I heavily considered the BMW K1200LT - wish the Goldwing had the cool automatic center stand - but honestly the final decision was heavily weighted towards the Wing because of the airbag/ABS combo. Also, reliability of Honda, etc...
In addition to the airbag, I count myself as probably only one of a handful of riders in the country riding a motorcycle with an airbag and also wearing an airbag jacket... May sound crazy to others, but I honestly could care less! 8)
Airbag jacket? Here is the link - it is a very serious, high quality product currently being used by motorcycle police in Japan, Australia, Spain and other Western European countries... Also, this jacket is now being used by the Georgia Highway Patrol and in testing with other motorcycle law enforcement agencies in the US:
Resistng the urge to comment on how the non-airbag rider got to kiss the girl in the cage, has anyone had or heard of an airbag being used yet? I am really curious about their real world effectiveness.
Nope - there was a rumor of an airbag model in an accident in California, but nobody has been able to verify this and there has been absolutely no press at all about it...
My thought is most motorcyclists that would spend the extra money for the airbag model are typically safety conscious riders - more likely to have taken MSF instruction, more likely to drive defensively, etc...