Whether it is simply to get around or to travel along country roads, riding a two or three- wheeler is always synonymous with driving pleasure.. Thanks to their compact size, motorcycles and scooters are also an excellent solution to urban traffic and parking problems. On the other hand, security has always been their weak point. All too often, the slightest fall or collision with another vehicle still has tragic consequences.


The Torga research project aims to improve the safety  of  motorcyclists, two or three-wheels scooters riders and mopeds users through a new approach in this field: programmed restraint.



280,000 deaths per year is the sad toll of road safety for motorized two-wheelers worldwide in 2018, according to WHO*. The risk of death in an accident is on average 20 times higher for a user of this type of vehicle than for a motorist.

In 2021, in France alone, there were nearly 600 deaths among motorcyclists, 96 among moped riders and thousands of injuries **. Motorized two-wheelers account for 21% of road deaths, while motorcyclists account for only 1.5% of traffic.

However, although they represent only a small part of the vehicle fleet in France, this is not the case everywhere. In Colombia, for example, they represent 45% of all motor vehicles in circulation, 60% in China and 80% in India. In these countries where road deaths are on the rise, two-wheeler users are paying a heavy price: 3,500 deaths in Colombia, about 70,000 in China and India. Not to mention the often seriously injured, for whom it is difficult to obtain precise data, but who probably represent 10 times these figures. Road safety is a real public health problem at the global level.

*Source :



The weak points of two-wheelers:


For primary safety :

-       Difficulty braking the vehicle in an emergency, even with ABS;

-       Sensitivity on low grip roads;

-       Difficulty in rapidly changing path in an emergency situation.


For secondary safety :

-       Low level of users's equipment: gloves, boots, jacket with or without airbag, and sometimes still helmet;

-        Exceptional presence of airbags on the vehicle.



One thing is certain: the primary (active) and secondary (passive) safety systems of the motorized two wheelers have not reached the level of maturity of those of the automobile. In order to maintain the advantages inherent in two and three-wheel motorcycles while reducing the risks associated with their use, as well as the physical damage resulting from an impact or a fall, the Torga research project is experimenting with different ways of improving safety to complete the range of devices currently available: driver and passenger equipment, airbag on vehicle or integrated in the jacket. It also aims to improve comfort, in order to achieve a sustainable mobility and pleasure formula for two and three-wheelers.


In a frontal impact, i.e. in 80% of accidents, the ejection speed of the driver of a two-wheeled vehicle is the same as the initial speed of his vehicle. Torga proposes to partially couple driver and passenger to the vehicle, in order to dissipate part of the kinetic energy and reduce the violence of the impact suffered by the driver. Explanations :


Current situation: without coupling to the chassis


In a frontal impact between a two-wheeler and an automobile at 50 km/h, the driver of the two-wheeler is ejected at 50 km/h while his vehicle undergoes a very high deceleration, resulting in most cases in the ejection of the pilot over a distance of 10 to 15 metres, with fractures and burns, or other significant injuries, the most serious of which affect the vertebrae, ribs and pelvis if he meets an obstacle on his road.

Video on the right





Option 1: coupling to the chassis


By coupling the driver to his vehicle, for example by a seat belt, the latter benefits from the energy absorption provided by the deformation of the front part of the chassis. His speed is therefore significantly reduced when the rear wheel takes off from the ground.

Calculations show that, at that precise moment, it is 30 km/h for a small scooter and less than 10 km/h for a heavy motorcycle (excluding bio-mechanical constraints). This means a reduction of 20 and more than 40 km/h respectively compared to the initial speed of 50 km/h. The interest of coupling was demonstrated by Raphael Murri of the Dynamic Test Center in Vauffelin, Switzerland.



Limit of the solution: risk of the driver being crushed by his vehicle if the rear wheel takes off too abruptly, as illustrated on the figure and in the video opposite.



Option 2: the programmed restraint proposed by Torga


To avoid any risk of the driver being crushed by his own vehicle, he must be disconnected from it at some point. That's why Torga offers a programmed restraint system that can disconnect the seat belt, or any other coupling device used, when necessary.

This is particularly the case when the impact is severe enough for the rear wheel to lift off the ground. The driver is then ejected at reduced speed, after having benefited from the energy absorption resulting from the deformation of the front part of the vehicle, thus mitigating the consequences of the fall.

In a dual situation, the passenger, held by the driver's back, benefits from energy dissipation and is also ejected at reduced speed.

Video on the right



The coupling means proposed here according to our programmed restraint concept takes the form of a tank luggage holder.  It is connected to the chassis by a safety belt at the rear and a joint at the front, thus ensuring partial coupling of the driver to the vehicle in the event of a frontal impact. Compared to a conventional seat belt, this device is more user-friendly and does not require any manipulation by the driver while sitting on the vehicle.

During the first phase of the impact, the driver's chest is projected forward and quickly comes into contact with the reception area, in blue on the picture opposite. The front part of the vehicle deforms and absorbs part of the kinetic energy, which varies according to the initial speed and strength of the chassis. This absorption results in a reduction in the speed of the driver and passenger.

Une image contenant moto, assis, garé

Description générée avec un niveau de confiance élevé




If the impact is weak enough that the rear of the vehicle does not lift, the driver's coupling is maintained and therefore the driver is not released.

Otherwise, decoupling is necessary to avoid the risk of the rider being crushed by his motorcycle. The luggage holder is uncoupled from the side of its rear attachment to the frame by releasing the safety belt. Under the effect of inertial forces, the support rotates around the articulation axis located at its front part, thus releasing the driver, who is then "ejected", with a much lower speed than would have been his without this device.

The uncoupling of the support is ensured by a disconnectable fixing managed electronically, acting on the belt buckle. The technologies used are similar to those used to activate airbag vests.

Manual action on the belt peduncle located in the front part of the saddle allows the assembly to tilt forward to give access to the fuel hatch.

For obvious reasons, the driver is not coupled to the vehicle in other crash configurations or in the event of a fall.


The coupling means can take other forms, depending on the type of vehicle targeted.

Une image contenant motocyclette, sac, accessoire, plein air

Description générée automatiquement

Une image contenant personne, moto, extérieur, habits

Description générée avec un niveau de confiance très élevé



As mentioned above, the moment when the rear wheel lifts off during the collision depends on several factors, including the vehicle's wheelbase and the position of its center of gravity. A long vehicle with a low center of gravity close to the rear axle (e.g. a GT motorcycle with a passenger) is better positioned for this issue than a short vehicle with a high center of gravity close to the front axle (e.g. a small scooter).

The graph opposite shows, on the ordinate, the ejection speeds of the driver (in km/h) as a function of the speed of his vehicle at the time of the impact, and the type of two-wheeler used.

Une image contenant texte, capture d’écran

Description générée automatiquement

Improving motorcyclists' safety is an objective of the Torga project. Reducing the number of accidents involving scooter and other moped users is another, much more important given the tens of millions of such vehicles on the planet's roads.


The Torga project proposes to provide technical answers to this problem while improving comfort. After an initial modeling phase to explore the ergonomics of the proposed solutions, scientific work will have to confirm their potential to reduce the consequences of accidents before proceeding to validation.



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