There's an old adage that what's happening or is developed across the Atlantic in the US will eventually reach our shores. It's generally true, but there are some things we've managed to keep at bay such as a rampant gun culture, baseball, and Donald Trump. I'm sure people can think of others.

Here's an invention that fans of electronic safety will be enthusiastic about, developed by electronics enthusiast John Henry, who learned his craft as a US army radio operator. Back in 1997, he witnessed a serious motorcycle crash which was the result of a lead rider slowing without touching the brakes. It was dark and in the collision that followed a rider became detached from his bike and was hit by a car that couldn't see them.

A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Henry and his wife Julie have invested $1.3 million - and a good slice of their time - developing a helmet they have called the 'Heads-Up Braking System'. It works by using an electronic sensor, which recognises when a bike is decelerating without touching the brakes, a series of LED lights on the helmets warning following vehicles; important in the US where big vee twins predominate and engine braking is effective before wheel brakes are applied.

John Henry
It also acts as an additional light on dark days and at night, so if a rider falls and dark clothing is being worn, they can be spotted. Apparently it works in water too, and as it's being marketed at ATV and snowmobile users as well as bikers, this could be a life-saving feature.

While the electronics in the helmet are the result of sophisticated technology, the attachment to the bike is a straight forward fitment. It runs on two AA batteries, and there's a warning signal when they need replacing.

Having developed the helmet, Henry now has to convince riders to part with $295 and find a distribution niche in the market. As he says, 'I think I'm on the front edge of new safety technology. Now we've got to get this product rolling'.

Share your thoughts about this helmet at

25/04/16         anything that helps towards us being seen can't be a bad thing .

          25/04/16          You mean like "polite" vests

26/04/16         Most bikers seem to think it's a good idea to make their lights smaller and more difficult to see, indicators and rear lights with tail tidies. Yes, they look cool, but don't they need to be seen??

26/04/16        How much?

          26/04/16          Looks like they're on offer with an introductory price of $249.99 + shipping & tax -

27/04/16          Great idea

28/04/16        No!!! Other road users paying attention would reduce the chances of them hitting anyone from behind. You already have a brakelight if they dont see that then hiviz/extra lights or any other merriad of stuff won't make them see you. They either do or don't see you. It is as useless as joggers wearing hiviz to go jogging on the footpath or in the park. If a car hits you when you are on the path then it was unavoidable (accidental or deliberate). Brighter dosen't help. And the price wtf!!!!!!!! For a twenty quid light fiver worth of wireing and a jack plug. Come on wayyyyyy tooooo dear!

28/04/16        Good idea, but poor execution. Would have been better to incorporate the gadget into the existing brake light system.

28/04/16         Next they'll have a rear end on are helmet

29/04/16          Indicators & number plates next lol? Although my mates often say how good the engine breaking is on my RT

Posted by John Newman
for Wemoto News on 25 April 2016 in Technology

Edited By: Daisy Cordell



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