The Honda Riding Assist-e Self-Balancing Electric Learner Bike!
The ultimate learner bike? The Honda Riding Assist-e!
Updated August 24, 2018
Whoa, there are a lot of words in that title – but the Honda Riding Assist-e is an electric bike with self-balancing technology aimed squarely at learner riders, and all of that is important information. If you remember back to the CES show from earlier on this year, you might remember that Honda unveiled a rather interesting motorcycle that could balance all by itself and even follow the demonstrator around like a dog (check out that gem of a video here). Now, Honda have decided to put that technology to the ultimate test by marketing it as a genuine production model aimed at building confidence for learner riders.
Introducing The Self-Balancing Honda Riding Assist-e
The project, known as the Honda Riding Assist-e, will be formally unveiled at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October. In essence, it’s a small motorcycle with a low saddle height that’s powered by an electric motor. A small electric motorcycle from Honda should be interesting enough, but add in self-balancing technology, and the whole package becomes even more remarkable. Now, Honda has noted that the self-balancing technology only works at very low speeds, but that’s exactly what’s required.
What the world doesn’t need are motorcycles that you can ride at ferocious lean angles and dangerously high speeds without any classic training. These self-balancing motorcycles are more for absolute beginners who need a shot of confidence while they’re practicing their clutch-control and slow speed maneuvers. It’s not technology that’s aimed at turning every idiot into a Valentino Rossi-wannabe but minus the talent. Whether that was Honda’s intention or purely the limitation of the technology remains to be seen.
As for the other on-board technology, we have no other information. We can see that the gyroscopic technology that keeps the bike upright sits between the rider’s thighs, and that the bike’s power is delivered through an electric hub motor. There’s may even be two motors to control both wheels independently, and that may be one of the secrets of the bike’s self-balancing abilities. But who knows for sure? On top of that, we can also see that the instrument cluster displays at least four different riding modes, with a lean indicator too. Would it allow variable lean angles and full user configuration? We’d like to hope so because that sounds exciting. But we’ll have to wait until October 25th to find out exactly what the Honda Riding Assist-e can do.
Will a self-balancing motorcycle help tempt more people onto two wheels? Or is slow speed balance not a major factor in converting potential riders? Do you think rider aids might be going too far? We’re interested to hear your feedback on this one.