Airbags for cars have been around for a long time, but Delhi-based Grandpitstop has designed airbags for bikes, and also a range of unique, easy-to-use accessories.
When Arjun drove his KTM 390 Duke motorcycle from Delhi to Ladakh this summer, little did he know that his bike would skid in the middle of nowhere and he would wake up with a dislocated elbow, a broken leg, and bruises.
There are many riding enthusiasts like Arjun who face challenges on long rides as two-wheelers do not have safety features like four-wheelers do.
British road-safety organisation RoSPA, as part of a research, reveals that the chances of two-wheeler accidents are 38 times higher than four-wheeler accidents.
With safety for two-wheelers as its focus, Delhi-based Grandpitstop has found its business path. The auto tech startup is building its own motorcycle accessories brand to make riding safer and comfortable.
Founded by IIT-Delhi graduate Nitin GR in September 2016, Grandpitstop has seven patents registered in the US for its easy-to-use motorcycle accessories.
The award of a patent early this year for airbags has generated excitement among the team. The founder says it is a utility patent, and any company installing airbags in motorcycles will have to take a licence from the company, which will also be a major revenue stream for the startup.
Is this the first ever for bikes? Automobile giant Honda had launched an airbag-mounted bike in foreign markets like the US, Canada, Australia, but recalled the product in 2016 due to potential dangers.
“It was mounted on just one side. The Grandpitstop’s airbag is mounted in four sides and inflates from wherever the bike gets the hit,” says Nitin, CEO and founder of Grandpitstop. “When a bike skids, it can be on any side,” he added.
These airbags can be installed on any bike. However, the product will take a year or so before it hits the market.
From a bike lover to another
Nitin is an avid motorcyclist and owns a Harley-Davidson Sportster. He once traversed a long 800 km stretch on a motorcycle from Hampi to Mumbai in a single day. He started riding during his various travels while working with oilfield services company Schlumberger after completing his Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 2007.