The anatomy of a motorcycle crash

Our promise is that we will make sure emergency services arrive if you have an accident and are not able to call them yourself. But how can we do this?

This is an example of a real crash, measured by our prototype during testing.



Co-founder & CEO
Aware Moto

We continuously collect data from our accelerometer and gyroscope, and combine that with GPS and other data. That allows us to see what’s going on, and then act on that. The below data is actual data from a crash at the Circuit de Chimay on the 23rd of July 2023. Chimay is part of the IRRC series, using regular roads as race tracks. This means that the margin of error is smaller, the risk is higher, and the surface is less perfect than in regular racing. In other words, it is the perfect testing environment for Aware Moto. Our prototype Aware Core was mounted on the bike of Erik Kjuus, Norway's only active Isle of Man pilot, when he had the incident described below.


Erik was having a great race advancing quickly from a bad starting position. He was closing in on some riders in front of him, and was channeling his inner Marc Marquez trying to pass them on the brakes into a turn. Unfortunately there was a lot of water spray, and visibility was so low that he didn't realise that there wasn’t enough room. (Perhaps the wrong year to channel Marquez?) One of the other riders escaped the collision unscathed, another had an off but was able to pick up his bike and continue. For Erik, it was the end of this particular race.

All the data presented below were measured by Aware Core. Let's have a look at the most important data points!


Before the crash, the speed is quite high, and the lean (blue line) indicates that Erik is making small adjustments all the time. We see him brake heavily into the turn (green line is acceleration). Then, the crash happens. In the data we see a sideways shock (orange line) of around 1g, and a significant vertical shock (red line). The total G-forces at that point is well above 1 g, which is rarely good, even in racing. We see Erik’s bike suddenly flip over to the left, with a lean of more than 100 degrees, before ending up resting on its side. At the same time, we see the speed dropping (brown line). The lean angle ends up stable at almost 90 degrees to the left for a minute, meaning the bike is not moved.


We can also use the GPS coordinates to look at where he was braking:

2023-07-23 10:14:31.922000,"{""a_x"": 0.14453125, ""a_y"": -0.5078125, ""a_z"": 0.0859375}"
2023-07-23 10:14:32.288000,"{""lat"": 50.053928299999995, ""lon"": 4.2990298}"

And where the impact took place:


2023-07-23 10:14:36.739000,"{""a_x"": -0.97265625, ""a_y"": 0.2578125, ""a_z"": -0.62109375}"
2023-07-23 10:14:36.740000,"{""lat"": 50.05369939999997, ""lon"": 4.2981208999999865}"


Erik can use this data to evaluate if he was braking too late, or if something else was the problem. Here he is just after the incident, probably having just those thoughts.

At a race, there is always help available, but if we had seen the same data on regular roads we would alert emergency services, and feed them with live data on what was going on. The bike was picked up after a minute, on a regular road this would indicate that there was someone on the site, which is important information for emergency services. Here is Erik and Nabil, his mechanic, working on the bike.


Erik walked away from this one, and he was back on the grid for the next race. Next month we’re heading to Isle of Man for the Manx GP. We’re extremely happy that Erik lets us ride with him on these events, allowing us to test and learn in the most extreme environments for road bikes.

And hopefully, we won’t have another crash to analyse for a while. 

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