Published on August 14th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


4 reasons why most scooters and kapchais do not have airbags

Loss of life is increasing and scooter and kapchai riders need to be extra attentive on the road.

There are already a few scooter manufacturers that have installed airbags in their 2-wheelers. In 2006 Yamaha developed an airbag system for their ASV-3 research vehicle, a scooter based on the Maxam 250. (ASV – Advanced Safety Vehicle). The same year, Honda installed an airbag in their Goldwing bike.

A few years later this airbag system became a feature on their large scooters. For many Malaysians who worry about the rising cost of automobile ownership, rising maintenance, insurance and fuel costs, a scooter/kapchai is an appealing option.

So why are manufacturers of small scooters and kapchais not including airbags in their products.

Here are the possible 4 reasons that we have researched on.

  1. It is not yet a mandatory required feature by the road transport department in all countries.
  2. It adds cost to the price of the scooter/kapchai by as much as RM5,000. When a kapchai can be bought for less than RM4,000 it makes no economic sense for the lower income group.
  3. The deployment of an airbag in an unwanted situation could throw the rider of the scooter/kapchai as riders do not use a seatbelt.
  4. There is no place for the airbag system to be installed as scooters/kapchais have limited space. That is why you see motorcycle airbag system installed in large touring bikes and cruisers only.

For scooter/kapchai riders there are other accident-avoidance items you can look at. It starts with good brakes, good handling, good feedback from the controls, a good rider-position layout and good tires.

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