And now for something completely different – the Chak Motors Molot, a heavily modified 2013 Honda CBR 1000RR built in St Petersburg with a wild appearance and supposedly, some pretty incredible safety features. In fact, Chak Motors describes it as the safest motorcycle in the world.
But who are Chak Motors? Well, according to their website, Chak Motors is a Russian motorcycle company based in St. Petersburg, specializing in designing, producing custom, handmade motorcycles. The company was founded by Igor Chak, a Russian born American designer. Other than that little blurb on the company’s website, there’s not a lot else that I can find on the company. Igor Chak’s personal website describes how he lived in the US from the age of 13 and ended up working for Nokia as a prototyping specialist, before eventually moving back to Russia in 2012.
So how is this the safest motorcycle in the world? Well, it features what is a first for motorcycles – Predictive Emergency Braking System (PEBS). According to Chak Motors, it works in three types of common situations. Firstly, if a car in front of you is coming to a stop, and for some reason you’re not paying attention, PEBS will send you out a warning via a flashing light on the dash and a light vibration in the handlebars. If you fail to react, PEBS will send a maximum vibration and apply a small amount of pressure to the brakes and if that still doesn’t work, PEBS will take control of your brakes and apply full pressure to stop the vehicle to avoid a collision.
The system will also work in a situation where you do not have any time to react (like if you’re too close to a car in front of you and it brakes suddenly and quickly), PEBS will apply full pressure to avoid a collision. PEBS works with two radars up front, one short range and one long range and an HD camera that is mounted in the headlight.
It’s certainly a potentially great feature, however I’m always circumspect of these types of things on single track vehicles – it works fine on cars but motorcycles are inherently unstable. I’d be worried about such a feature activating in corners where most ABS systems won’t do anything to keep you from lowsiding. And despite claiming this as the world’s safest motorcycle, it doesn’t feature any traction control or other electronic devices save for ABS.
In does however offer blind blind spot monitoring, probably an unnecessary item for a motorcycle but some may find it welcome. There are two sensors located in the rear cowl of the bike, one on each side, once you are ready to make a turn, a blind spot sensor will detect that there is an object and will send you a warning which is a light on a side mirror and a vibrating pulse in the handle bars.
Then there is a lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). If you become distracted from the road ahead and your bike stars to swerve to the left, LDWS will detect that you are departing from your lane by giving you a pulse vibration to the handle bars. The system is disabled when you turn on your turn signal.
But whatever you may think of it’s claims about safety, you have to admit it does look unique. It’s extremely angular and aggressive and looks more like what you’d see as a prototype at a motorcycle show rather than something going into production. And currently Chak Motors is only taking preorders for the Molot before it enters production.