The bike is fitted out with rider assist, a prototype technology from Honda that keeps the bike balanced.
It does this by making small adjustments to the front wheel as it senses changes in the bike’s center of gravity.
In this demonstration, the auto balancing system kept the bike from falling over both without and with a rider. Watch as the rider lifts his feet off the floor and the bike barely moves.
The technology could make the biggest difference in slow moving traffic, when a motorbike has less momentum and the rider needs to keep balanced by constantly moving his or her body. Honda says it will also make riding more fun for beginners.
Honda first started researching self-balancing technology as part of its Asimo humanoid robot project. That featured the ability to walk up and down stairs and along inclines without tipping over — something that robots often find difficult.
The technology is still under development. The prototype at CES was a production bike from the handlebars back, so adding it to an existing bike didn’t require a major redesign. Even so, there’s no word on when it might make it to a commerical bike.