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If you already make the best-selling, virtually undisputed "king of the luxury tourers," that has dominated the market for over 30 years, how do you get people to sit up and take notice when the new model year comes out?

Well, if you're Honda, you put an accessory on it that no one has ever seen on a motorcycle before. In this case, an airbag.

Yeah, I know...almost any motorcyclist's first impression is one of extreme skepticism, if not downright, sneering disdain. "Just what we needed, another high-tech 'safety device' to weigh down the bike, take responsibility and control out of our hands, and very possibly create more safety hazards than it removes."

Well, maybe. Certainly Honda has invested the R&D money to make this system as foolproof as possible. But then again, how many billions went into the space shuttle? And haven't we watched a couple of those turn themselves into roman candles? Maybe the GL's airbag system will end up saving hundreds of lives, and maybe it will eventually get chalked up as a bad idea and abandoned. For now, the jury is still out, and no amount of speculating on our part at this stage of the game is really going to mean much. The airbag system won't even be available until sometime this coming spring, and even then, will strictly be an option, which the customer must request and be willing to pay a premium price for.

More: 2006 Honda Goldwing on Motorcycle.com
 

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What's amazing is how well the airbags work. A rider in the Keys
t-boned a Nissan a few years back at about 40 mph (no helmet, just slacks, shirt and shoes:eek:) and all he got was some minor bruises where his shins hit the engine guards. Bike was totaled.
 

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What's amazing is how well the airbags work. A rider in the Keys
t-boned a Nissan a few years back at about 40 mph (no helmet, just slacks, shirt and shoes:eek:) and all he got was some minor bruises where his shins hit the engine guards. Bike was totaled.
Wow, that is impressive. Wonder what would typically have happened.

skull fracture
ribs
neck injury (whiplash)
collarbone
multiple cuts

Wonder if I could cram an inflatable life raft in my tourmaster jacket.
 
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