Voge patents retractable training wheels for motorbikes

Voge has revealed patents that should mean shorter riders can handle bigger ADV bikes with a little more confidence

Voge patents retractable training wheels for motorbikes

Motorbikes, by their nature, are unstable beasts at low (and ‘no’) speeds especially. With only two wheels on the wagon, if you go too slowly or come to a stop unexpectedly, there is a risk the bike could topple over.

It’s a problem that could be more of an issue for shorter bikers, or those with less strength or mobility in their lower body, and it’s an issue that the brand Voge is looking to fix.

It has published details of a patent that features two stabilising wheels that can lower and retract at a designated speed, helping to shoulder some of the bike’s weight and prevent it from falling over. Here’s how it works.

The stabilisers are small arms mounted on the rear swing arm, with a pivot point just in front of the rear spindle of the bike. At the end of the arm, there is a small wheel to allow the bike to move, we assume at low speeds only. Attached to the arms are two electronically controlled rams that look to be hydraulically actuated. The simple premise seems to be that the arms can lower when the bike reaches a certain speed and help to take some or all of the bike’s weight at a time when the risk of a low-speed fall is at its highest. A simple premise that may be, but it is slightly more complicated than that, and to enable the arms to work effectively in all conditions they’ll need to take into account several factors. 

The first and most obvious of those factors is the road the bike has stopped on. In theory, the system should work fine on billiard smooth and perfectly level ground, but the real world doesn’t always provide this, and to prevent the stabilisers from causing a fall, they’ll need to take into account any change in the angle of the surface. The supporting arms will also need to take into account things like variances in the bike’s suspension, and should the rider have tweaked the suspension settings one way or the other, there’s a chance that the bike’s ride height could be affected and the supports will need to somehow take that change into account.

The Yamaha MotoBot concept

The system of keeping a bike upright isn’t a new idea, Honda, Yamaha, and even Harley-Davidson have all toyed with the idea in recent years, although in almost all of the circumstances, the bigger brands’  solutions have always been much more complicated and expensive to develop and manufacturer. The Voge system isn’t either of those things, in fact, it’s a refreshingly simple idea. But is it an answer to a question that nobody is asking, or could it be a real-world solution that could help thousands of bikers?

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