One of the most inventive devices seen at this week’s AIMExpo is the Skidbike, a novel creation that helps teach riders the skills to balance and to master threshold braking.
It’s a Swedish/American invention originally designed to educate riders how to sufficiently apply brakes to avoid an accident without the danger of tipping over and causing injuries. It uses an electrically operated hydraulic ram built on a hinged dolly to reduce front-tire grip, which drastically reduces speeds when traction is lost so riders can learn how to use the brakes effectively.
The Skidbike uses a pair of “wings” to create a new ground floor, with five small caster wheels providing balance. Hydraulic struts on each side slow the tipping of a bike and can be adjusted to limit the angle of a tip-over to varying degrees.
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“It’s the crash without the rash,” says Dane Pitarresi, President of Skidcar System. The Skidcar has been operational for more than two decades, using four hydraulic rams to lessen the amount of tire grip so that skids can be initiated at very low speeds, and it’s been a successful training tool for automobile drivers.
The Skidbike’s creators have found during development of nine prototypes that it can also be used as a device to teach new riders how to operate a motorcycle without fear of tipping over. “It’s difficult for riders to find limits of motorcycles and are too timid to approach them,” says Pitarresi.
The Skidbike system will be available for Honda’s CRF250L by the end of 2013, with prospective customers being riding schools and dealers. Its price, including training, delivery and bike set-up is $18,000. The company is working on fitment for different models in the future.
“We want to give riders the confidence to make mistakes,” says Pitarresi. “We want it to be a tool, not a toy.”
Visit Skidbike.com for more information.