Stability control reaches motorbikes

September 25, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the Motorbike Stability Control (MSC), electronics supplier Bosch has developed a brake control unit that for the first time provides maximum stability in all driving situations for bikers. It supports the driver when decelerating and accelerating, in curves and when driving straight ahead. Despite its advanced safety functions, the control unit does not negatively affect the handling of the motorbike.

The MSC has been developed from the ABS for motorbikes as the technology platform. However, new functions are added that require additional sensors and sophisticated algorithms. The system offers multiple safety functions with regards to the driving dynamics. For example,

  • the lean and pitch angle-dependent ABS control improves riding stability in all riding situations as well as braking effectiveness.
  • The traction control regulates the maximum engine torque so that even on chaging or slippery road surfaces, the driving force is efficiently transferred to the road and the drive wheel does not lose its grip.
  • when braking heavily in curves, the MSC reduces the motorcycle's tendency to return to an upright position. This involuntary righting of the machine leads to a larger cornering radius, which often results in the motorcycle leaving its lane. In these situations, the eCBS electronic combined brake system creates the best possible distribution of brake force between the wheels, and thus stabilizes the bike during cornering.
  • The MSC also reduces the risk of “lowsiders.” These are accidents in which the motorcycle capsizes during cornering and the wheels slide out toward the outside of the bend. They occur when too much brake force is applied during cornering and the wheels are not able to transfer sufficient side force onto the road. MSC counteracts this by detecting the risk of a lowsider and limiting the maximum brake force. The eCBS function distributes this maximum available brake force between the wheels, ensuring the best possible brake performance
  • The wheelie-mitigation controls the engine torque, preventing the front wheel from lifting uncontrollably and at the same time ensuring maximum acceleration.
  • The rear-wheel lift-up mitigation function keeps the rear wheel on the road by reducing the maximum brake force on the front wheel when riding on surfaces with high friction coefficients. Riding stability is maintained, taking pitch rate and longitudinal acceleration into account.

The motorcycle stability control uses an extensive array of sensors