Leaning a powerful motorcycle in critical road situations and on slippery surfaces just got safer: Bosch motorcycle stability control supports riders when braking and accelerating while riding along straight sections or around bends. Riding is still dynamic and thrilling – the only thing that’s new is the greater peace of mind that comes with additional safety.
Braking and accelerating through a bend are critically important for motorcyclists. Standard ABS algorithms do not take the lean into account and cannot adjust the antilock function while the bike is cornering.
In 2008, we decided to change that. Our accident research identified the need for ABS to include a stability control mechanism. In less than five years, the advanced research project went from launch to series production of MSC – motorcycle stability control.
Concept to reality
Our researchers began by studying the physical principles of braking in a bend to focus their research and develop a practical solution. They tested various concepts for lean-angle measurement that could recognize cornering situations. A simulation environment and test vehicle were built to conduct realistic tests.
The next step was to create an algorithm that could accurately determine the lean angle for cornering. The research findings led to prototypes of cornering ABS and corner traction controls. All relevant data in the two-wheeler was recorded: wheel speeds, lean angle, pitch angle, acceleration, brake pressure and more. This enabled it to intervene in critical situations.
The result was a system that would prevent the wheels from locking up during braking, the drive wheel from spinning, skidding in curves, and lift in the front wheel during acceleration. On top of that, the system ensures the optimum distribution of brake force between both wheels – even if only one brake is being applied.
Safer technology on the market
In 2012, the Chassis Systems Control division was given support in making MSC motorcycle stability control, an active safety function, ready for series production. At the end of 2013, this system – the first of its kind in the world – went into series production in two KTM-brand models. More and more MSC is becoming standard equipment in new motorcycles.”
Rewards beyond recognition
In recognition of their research, the MSC project team received the coveted internal “Robert Bosch Innovation Award” in 2013 and the international “CLEPA Safety Innovation Award” in 2014.
More importantly for the motorcyclist, it can mean the difference between life and death. The laws of physics remain the same, but the system supports riders in borderline situations and makes riding a motorcycle a more safe and enjoyable experience.
Bosch put an indelible mark on motorcycling with the introduction of motorcycle stability control, or MSC in 2013. It improves riding stability and braking performance while riding straight or cornering, making riding safer and more fun than ever before.