Honda with radar
The Honda Goldwing isn’t for everyone, but its impact extends to most “townspeople” – that is, those who drive on asphalt. This is the top model of one of the top firms, and it is on it that new technologies are demonstrated (and tested), which will soon be inherited by less luxurious Honda models, and then, if the innovations are successful, other manufacturers often catch up.
Alas, the Honda Goldwing sets trends on its own, but does not always keep up with them. In the 2021 version, it fell behind in one very important area related to active cruise control, collision warning, blind spot detector – in a word, in radars. These options have already been offered by manufacturers for the Ducati Multistrada V4 and BMW R 1250 RT, and Honda, for one reason or another, has not offered anything of the kind for its flagship.
True, they caught on in time, judging by the recent patent application for a cruise control system using radar. And we can be sure that Honda is not just “staked out” reserves the right to this technology without planning to use it. On the contrary, the engineers were very specific, since not just any radar is being patented, but methods of solving the problems that arise when it is installed on the Goldwing.
Cruise control based on collision detection using radar (or sonar, if you will) is already a familiar technology in cars, and Honda, for that matter, was one of the pioneers in the field. In 2021, the technology appeared on production motorcycles, initially on new products from BMW and Ducati, but competitors, in particular KTM and Kawasaki, should be expected to follow – the fact is that these manufacturers equip their motorcycles with the same active safety components from Bosch – in particular, ABS, inertia measuring devices and assistants based on them (while the algorithms for the operation of these systems are developed by the motorcycle manufacturer’s engineers). And now, since Bosch has introduced radars on some of its partners’ motorcycles, there is no reason to doubt that similar technology will soon appear on other motorcycles. Honda is also working with Bosch on car radars, so getting existing and even run-in components on the Goldwing is a matter of technology.
Then what is the patent about? In particular, how Honda plans to deal with one of the main problems of motorcycle radars: where to hide its sensor.
On cars they are installed under flat grilles or bumpers, but on motorcycles they are still installed openly – which means that neither BMW nor Ducati have found a solution yet. In general, the radar is capable of working from under a layer of some materials, including plastic, but the surface must be relatively smooth and flat so as not to deflect the radar waves. Fortunately, the area between Goldwing’s headlights is flat and empty, and they plan to put a radar sensor underneath that panel, attaching it to additional mounts attached to the standard front fairing and dash pillars.
The Honda patent also illustrates the fact that the gap between the radar sensor and the front plastic will be filled with a spongy material to prevent vibration from the plastic being transmitted to the radar sensor.
How soon will Goldwing come with radar? If Honda decides to catch up with rivals and use the existing system from Bosch, it is unlikely that it will take long, so 2022 can be called a very realistic date. If we are not talking about an already released system, but about a special development for Goldwing, then this may take longer.