Showa Corporation has applied for a patent for a very unique ATV seat that changes angle based on input from the vehicle.
According to the patent application, the seat has an “angle adjustment mechanism which adjusts an angle of the saddle-type seat main body with respect to the vehicle body in accordance with a signal from a detection unit that detects a traveling state of the straddle-type vehicle when the straddle-type vehicle is turning.”
Basically, when you enter a turn, the seat will angle into the turn to help you lean better. If you are turning left, the seat will angle to the left. If you are turning right, the seat will angle to the right.
ATV riders have been manually shifting their weight like this since day 1 to help keep all four wheels on the ground when cornering hard. We obviously don’t know how well a seat like this will work in practice, but it would appear on paper to at least make shifting your weight simpler and keep more of your body on the seat rather than hanging off the side of the ATV.
Should this seat ever make it to production, the most logical landing place would be Honda. Showa and Honda have a long history together, dating back to just after World War II. We’d imagine this technology would be more likely to show up on the FourTrax family of Utility ATVs, rather than the Sport ATV line. This technology would add complexity and weight to Sport ATVs, which like to run lean and mean. Plus, the market for Utility ATVs is much larger and a unique technological innovation could result in many more units sold and money made.