Studies indicate that by 2021, the annual global production of two-wheelers should surpass 160 million – roughly one-third more than today. Almost 90% of these will be built in China, India, and Southeast Asia.
They will predominantly be mopeds with up to 250 cc displacement – the most common form of transport across much of Asia. “In emerging markets, motorized two-wheelers are often the least expensive way to get around,” says Klaus Landhaeusser, Bosch Malaysia General Manager of Automotive OE Sales Southeast Asia.
In Asia, many two-wheelers with internal-combustion engines are still equipped with outdated carburetor technology. In contrast, Bosch offers its electronically controlled fuel-injection system, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 16% depending on the situation. This is just one of many ways Bosch is contributing towards lowering emissions in countries such as India.
Along with a requirement for more efficiency, demand for increased motorcycle safety is growing in emerging markets. In Thailand and Indonesia, for example, some 21,000 people die in motorcycle accidents each year.
“Malaysia has one of the highest road traffic fatalities in ASEAN and more than 60% of road accidents affect motorcyclists. Add that to the 18 fatalities per day that was recorded in 2015 as a result of road accidents, it is evident that immediate action is necessary to tackle this problem. Bosch has the technology to help reduce the number of road accidents not just in Malaysia, but globally as well,” Landhaeusser says.
ABS can prevent one-quarter of all motorcycle accidents that result in casualties. The antilock braking system stops the wheels from locking up, which means the rider remains in control of the motorcycle while braking. This enables riders to react more quickly and without fear in a dangerous situation.
Since 1995, Bosch has manufactured more than two million motorcycle ABS units. This year the company is releasing ABS 10, a variant that is designed specifically to meet the requirements of emerging markets. With its compact dimensions and weighing just 450 grams, this system is easier for manufacturers to integrate into mopeds for price-sensitive customers.
“As we cannot put a cost on safety and because one life lost is one too many, we are bringing our ABS technology to all classes and markets,” Landhaeusser says.
For high-performance motorbikes, Bosch developed MSC motorcycle stability control – a kind of ESP for motorcycles – in 2013. By monitoring two-wheeler parameters such as lean angle, the system can instantaneously adjust its electronic braking and acceleration interventions to suit the riding status. This prevents the bike from lowsiding or righting itself when braking in bends.
However, development does not stop there: with side view assist, Bosch has launched the world’s first assistance system for motorized two-wheelers. When changing lanes, the assistant uses ultrasonic sensors to check for danger in the areas on either side of the bike – areas that are hard for the rider to see.
The future of the motorcycle is not only safe and clean but also connected. Bosch has two motorcycle connectivity solutions in its portfolio. First, the ICC integrated connectivity cluster is a rider information system that connects motorcycles and smartphones and can be used to operate apps.
Second, Bosch uses its CCU connectivity control unit to connect motorcycles with the cloud. This makes it possible to implement functions such as eCall, the automatic emergency call service. If the motorcycle is involved in an accident, eCall automatically places an emergency call, ensuring help arrives more quickly. eCall is not yet mandatory for motorcycles in the EU, but from April 2018 it will be mandatory for all new type approvals for cars and light trucks up to 3.5 metric tons. The CCU can also provide riders with useful information on issues such as potential danger spots on the roads and can help track down a stolen motorbike.
With these new motorcycle technologies, Bosch aims to achieve sales of RM4.4 billion in motorcycle technology in 2020. Thanks to the growing number of riders in the Asian region, “In the future, Bosch will generate more than half these sales in Asia,” said Bosch management board member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel.