There’s no way to say this without saying weird, so here it is: Honda appears to be working on a motorcycle control system that interfaces with the rider’s mind.
We haven’t been able to find the original patent behind these stories. It seems to have been filed in the US, and Ben Purvis dug it up for publication on Cycle World. We haven’t found it on the USPTO website, but if you can figure out how to navigate its inner chicaneries, it should be there somewhere.
In the drawings we see a motorcycle with a wireless connection to the rider’s helmet. In turn, the helmet has a wireless interface with the rider’s brain, via neural sensors. The alleged patent drawings indicate that this is intended to allow fairly aggressive control of the motorcycles, with wheelies galore.
Now, this all sounds a bit far-fetched, even silly. But, other manufacturers are working on the same ideas, and similar tech is under development outside the moto world.
Need proof? Check out this piece from 2019, detailing a project at Carnegie Mellon University. Here, researchers developed a mind-controlled robotic arm that operated without invasive brain implants. Similar systems that use brain implants have been around even longer, allowing for disabled patients to control prosthetics, or even regain basic eyesight capabilities.
The motorcycle manufacturers are taking notice, and researching how to apply this to their own world. Most notable, Kawasaki’s been working on developing a motorcycle AI that can sense the rider’s mood, and adjust the bike’s performance accordingly. It’s not just a flash-in-the-pan idea either; Kawasaki’s Rideology patents are unveiled on a regular basis.
It’s pretty far outside the box, but Honda seems to be taking these ideas seriously. In the not-too-distant future, you might be able to pull a wheelie simply by envisioning it.