THE HONDA GL1800 GOLDWING is the first production motorcycle in Australia to be offered with an airbag as a safety feature, but since its launch in September last year, little has been heard.
This week, in the first 'real world' evidence of its worth, the technology saved a rider's life in Germany.
"I crashed into one of the trees lining the street behind a small ditch," the rider, 57 year-old engineer Willi Hansel, told the German press.
Hansel said that the force of the impact destroyed the front panel of his Goldwing, snapping the left fork leg and smashing the engine.
The German motorcycle enthusiast said that although he did incur serious injuries in the accident, he believes the airbag saved his life.
"Although it is never a good thing when a motorcyclist gets injured, this is a fantastic story in many respects," Honda Australia General Manager for Motorcycles,Tony Hinton, said.
"We have always been confident that the airbag would do its job and save lives. Of course, it is difficult to test every scenario, however Honda engineers were very particular about this invention because of its incredible significance as far as safety."
"If the airbag saves even one life, as it already has in Mr Hansel's case, it is well worth the investment."