Table of contents
- Market overview 2018 – Airbag clothing for motorcyclists Protection for bikers
- Motorcycle airbags for the street / everyday life
- Alpinestars (street / everyday)
- BMW Motorrad (street / everyday)
- Dainese (street / everyday life)
- Hero (street / everyday life)
- Helite (street / everyday)
- Motorcycle airbags for the racetrack
- Alne (racetrack)
- Alpinestars (race track)
- Dainese (racetrack)
- Gimoto (racetrack)
- Hero (racetrack)
- Helite (racetrack)
- Swabian leather
- Universal airbags for motorcyclists
- Bering (universal airbag)
- Hero (universal airbag)
- Helite (universal airbag)
- Hit Air (universal airbag)
- Spidi (universal airbag)
- Technology – this is how the airbags work
- Airbags in the crash test
- Airbag plus motorcycle?
- MOTORCYCLE conclusion
Alpinestars Viper Tech-Air prices: 399.95 euros plus Street Air vest 1199.95 euros.
Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Tech-Air prices: 949.95 euros plus Street Air vest 1199.95 euros.
Alpinestars Valparaiso Tech-Air prices: 649.95 euros plus Street Air vest 1199.95 euros.
BMW Street Air Dry. Prices: 400 euros plus Street Air vest 1200 euros.
BMW Street Guard Air. Prices: from 830 euros plus Street Air vest 1200 euros.
Dainese Continental D-air. Price: 1499.95 euros.
Dainese Cyclone D-air. Price: 1799.95 euros.
Dainese Misano D-air. Price: 1599.95 euros.
Hero Carese APS Gore-Tex. Price: 1199 euros.
Helite Roadster. Price: 849 euros.
Helite touring. Price: 749 euros.
Helite Xena. Price: 849 euros.
Alne burnout. Price: 2999 euros.
Alpinestars GP Tech V2 Tech-Air. Prices: 799.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1199.95 euros.
Alpinestars Missile Tech-Air. Prices: 899.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1199.95 euros.
Alpinestars Oscar Charlie Tech-Air. Prices: 599.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1199.95 euros.
Dainese Racing Misano D-air. Price: 2199.95 euros.
Dainese Mugello D-air. Price: 3999.95 euros.
Gimoto V-Race 2.0. Price: from 2079 euros.
Hero full-speed APS. Price: 2599 euros.
Helite GP Air. Price: 690 euros.
Schwabenleder G.P.1 Air-Tec. Price: 3960 euros.
Bering C-Protect Air. Price: 399.90 euros.
Hero Clip-in Air Vest. Price: 499.95 euros.
Hero Air Vest. Price: from 549.95 euros.
Held Air Vest II. Price: 399.90 euros.
Helite Turtle Hi-Vis yellow. Price: from 549 euros.
Hit Air MCplus. Price: 420 euros.
Spidi Full DPS Vest. Price: 549.95 euros.
Many people now want that: extensive protection for the entire upper body.
But the question: what is the most effective? Purely mechanical ripcord systems…
…or completely self-sufficient electronic airbags with pyrotechnics?
ADAC / Ralph Wagner
Hard number. Crash test at the ADAC…
… and test series from Alpinestars.
There’s only one … Motorcycle with an integrated airbag: Honda Gold Wing.
technology & future
Market overview 2018 – Airbag clothing for motorcyclists
Market overview 2018 – Airbag clothing for motorcyclists
Protection for bikers
The airbag: a life-saving matter of course in the car, but motorcyclists continue to look into the tube … Wait, it’s not that bad anymore: 29 airbag variations from 400 to 4,000 euros.
May 14, 2018
The old wisdom of the renowned accident researcher and biomechanic Florian Schueler has not lost its relevance and explosiveness today: “Tell me which accident you are planning and I will tell you what to wear for it.” Of course, there is no such thing in life standardized standard accident, and therefore it is purely speculative at this point to advise you to purchase an airbag (correctly one had to speak of a “motorcycle clothing airbag”). Can work, but doesn’t have to. Especially since the next question is: Can it be a cheap, purely mechanically operated solution or can it only be the crazy fast one, like in a car with pyrotechnics and completely electronically controlled airbags? Which is also incredibly expensive.
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Market overview 2018 – Airbag clothing for motorcyclists
Protection for bikers
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Now, a look at the “Crash test” section (later in this article) might anticipate the answer. But as I said: there are also accidents that run completely differently and where a ripcord does a good job. Let’s do it like this: After reading this market overview, you invest in motorcycle airbags “al gusto” like in life insurance, continue to sharpen your senses and the airbag, which is activated by ripcord or pyrotechnically, stays where it belongs: in the bag!
Motorcycle airbags for the street / everyday life
Airbags for everyday use on the road differ in many ways from airbags that were developed for use on the racetrack. Motorcycle airbags for everyday use should be able to be put on with little effort. In addition, they differ enormously in price from their racetrack counterparts.
Alpinestars (street / everyday)
The Italian brand has done pioneering work. There has been a self-sufficient system for road use since 2015. The completely electronically controlled unit with gas cartridges sits in the back protector of an extra vest and is connected to the airbag chambers sewn into the jackets via a hose. If an accident is detected, the airbag is inflated within 25 milliseconds and is primarily intended to protect the shoulders, chest, kidneys and back.
Alpinestars: Viper Tech-Air (l.), Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Tech Air (m.), Valparaiso Tech-Air (r.)
- Alpinestars Viper Tech-Air – Prices: 399.95 euros plus Alpinestars Street Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: Summer textile jacket made of mesh fabric with shoulder and elbow protectors, chest can be retrofitted
- Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Tech Air – Prices: 949.95 euros plus Alpinestars Street Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: Waterproof, breathable enduro textile jacket with shoulder and elbow protectors, chest can be retrofitted
- Alpinestars Valparaiso Tech-Air – Prices: 649.95 euros plus Alpinestars Street Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: Waterproof all-year-round touring textile jacket with thermal lining, shoulder and elbow protectors, chest can be retrofitted
BMW Motorrad (street / everyday)
Interestingly, the motorcycle manufacturer does not use its own system for its rider equipment, but buys the technology. The electronic Alpinestars system is hidden under the outer skin of these two BMW textile jackets. The vest with the central control unit is connected to the jacket’s air chambers via hoses.
BMW: Street Air Dry (l.), Street Guard Air (r.).
- BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry – Prices: 400 euros plus Street Air vest 1,200 euros; Design: Waterproof enduro textile jacket in women’s and men’s sizes, shoulder / elbow protectors, back optional
- BMW Motorrad Street Guard Air – Prices: from 830 euros plus Street Air vest 1,200 euros; Design: Waterproof touring textile jacket in women’s and men’s sizes, shoulder / elbow protectors, back optional
Dainese (street / everyday life)
The traditional Italian brand has the greatest wealth of experience in airbag development. Prototypes of this completely electronically controlled system appeared 18 years ago. After intensive preparatory work in racing, these self-sufficient street airbags were developed.
Dainese: Continental D-air (l.), Cyclone D-air (m.), Misano D-air (r.).
- Dainese Continental D-air – Price: 1,499.95 euros; Design: Waterproof city / scooter textile jacket with thermal lining, electronic airbag system, shoulder / elbow protectors, back optional
- Dainese Cyclone D-air – Price: 1,799.95 euros; Design: Waterproof all-year-round touring textile jacket with thermal lining, electronic airbag system, shoulder / elbow protectors, back optional
- Dainese Misano D-air – Price: 1,599.95 euros; Design: Sports leather jacket with ventilation inlets, electronic airbag system, shoulder / elbow protectors, back optional
Hero (street / everyday life)
Hero Carese APS Gore-Tex.
The glove specialist has meanwhile blossomed into a high-quality full-range supplier. So it is consistent that the Allgau family company continues to invest in security technology.
Under the Held label, the rip cord systems from Helite are used.
- Hero Carese APS Gore-Tex – Price: 1,199 euros Design: Waterproof touring textile jacket, integrated airbag system with rip cord, shoulder, elbow and back protectors
Helite (street / everyday)
The French are now the all-round specialists in the airbag scene. In addition to the universally applicable vests, the airbag system triggered by a pull cord is now also available as a ready-made product in various jacket models made of leather and textile – not only for men, but also in a special women’s look.
Helite: Roadster (l.), Touring (m.), Xena (r.).
- Helite Roadster – Price: 849 euros Design: Classic touring leather jacket in brown or black, integrated airbag with rip cord, shoulder, elbow and back protectors
- Helite touring – Price: 749 euros Design: Waterproof touring textile jacket, integrated airbag with rip cord, shoulder, elbow and back protectors
- Helite Xena – Price: 849 euros Design: Touring leather jacket in a special women’s cut, integrated airbag with rip cord, shoulder, elbow and back protectors
|Airbag clothing||Purchase opportunity|
|Alpinestars Tech-Air vest||Buy now at Louis.de|
|Alpinestars Viper Tech-Air||Buy now on eBay|
|Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Tech Air||Buy now on eBay|
|Alpinestars Valparaiso Tech-Air||Buy now from Amazon|
|BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry||Buy now from Amazon|
|BMW Motorrad Street Guard Air||Buy now on eBay|
|Dainese Continental D-air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Dainese Cyclone D-air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Dainese Misano D-air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Hero Carese APS Gore-Tex||Buy now from Amazon|
|Helite Roadster||Buy now on eBay|
|Helite touring||Buy now from Amazon|
|Helite Xena||Buy now on eBay|
Motorcycle airbags for the racetrack
The airbag clothing presented below is primarily suitable for use on the racetrack. It is characterized by its ability to protect against falls at high speed. However, the good pieces are correspondingly expensive. The clothing is not so suitable for everyday life.
The small family company near Frankfurt has built a reputation for many years as a provider of tailor-made one-pieces made of kangaroo leather, especially for use on the racetrack.
Together with the ripcord airbag from Helite, the grandchildren want to significantly improve on the already very good protective function of the Alne suits thanks to extensive protectors.
- Alne burnout – Price: € 2,999 Design: Tailor-made, one-piece racing suit made of kangaroo leather, integrated airbag with rip cord, shoulder / elbow / hip / knee and back protectors
Alpinestars (race track)
In the premier class of motorcycle racing, the battle between two giants rages on when it comes to equipment. World champion Marc Márquez has his bones protected by Alpinestars airbag suits, audience hero Valentino Rossi attacks with the Dainese airbag. Thanks to the immense flood of data that is collected and evaluated in professional racing, Alpinestars can offer its airbag suits not only for semi-professional hobby racers, but also for oldie fans modern protection for vintage races. The vest with electronic airbag, which can be combined with the respective race outfit, works completely independently.
Alpinestars: GP Tech V2 Tech-Air (l.), Missile Tech-Air (m.), Oscar Charlie Tech-Air (r.).
- Alpinestars GP Tech V2 Tech-Air – Prices: 1,799.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: One-piece racing suit made of cowhide, shoulder / elbow / knee protectors, chest, back and hips can be retrofitted
- Alpinestars Missile Tech-Air – Prices: 899.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: One-piece racing suit made of cowhide, shoulder / elbow / knee protectors, chest, back and hips can be retrofitted
- Alpinestars Oscar Charlie Tech-Air – Prices: 599.95 euros plus Race Air vest 1,199.95 euros; Design: Sports jacket made of cowhide, shoulder and elbow protectors, chest and back can be retrofitted
The sectional view on the right illustrates the state of the art particularly well, which the Italian manufacturer, as a pioneer in airbag development, has been refining for almost two decades.
Dainese: Racing Misano D-air (l.), Mugello D-air (r.).
What was originally a bulky full-size airbag has now become a thin, barely bulky air chamber system that specifically protects important parts of the body in a typical crash on the racetrack. Not only with professionals like Vale, but also with amateurs.
- Dainese Racing Misano D-air – Price: 2,199.95 euros; Execution: One-piece racing suit made of cowhide, electronic airbag, aluminum plates on shoulders and knees, joint and back protectors
- Dainese Mugello D-air – Price: 3,999.95 euros; Design: One-piece racing suit made of kangaroo leather, electronic airbag, LED emergency lighting, titanium plates on shoulders, elbows and knees
The Italian leather tailors are not as well known as the top dogs Alpinestars and Dainese.
Gimoto V-Race 2.0.
But they also cultivated the race track business for a long time. On request, your one-piece suits can now be equipped with the rip cord system from the supplier Motoairbag (Italy).
- Gimoto V-Race 2.0 – Price: from 2,079 euros; Execution: One-piece racing suit made of cowhide (kangaroo for an extra charge), integrated airbag with rip cord, joint and back protectors
The name has been around for many years hero can only read on gloves – but with many top drivers from Germany.
Hero full-speed APS.
The Bavarians have gradually expanded this racing competence – meanwhile Held has also made a name for itself with sporty one-piece suits. In order to stay on the ball, there is now a version with an integrated tear-cord airbag from Helite.
- Hero full-speed APS – Price: 2,599 euros; Execution: One-piece racing suit made of kangaroo leather, integrated airbag with rip cord, titanium grinder, joint and back protectors
While the French ripcord specialists have already launched their own range of jackets for everyday use under their own label, they have so far limited themselves to a vest as an extra feature for the racetrack group.
Helite GP Air.
The GP Air model is specially prepared for use over racing suits: large cutout for the back hump, abrasion-resistant outer skin, extra protectors for chest and back.
- Helite GP Air – Price: 690 euros; Design: vest made of cowhide leather with stretch inserts, integrated airbag with rip cord, chest and back protectors
With the death of the charismatic company founder Claus Hammer, a difficult legacy came into the house. But the children Julia and Denis, together with the employees of this original Swabian brand, mastered it with flying colors. When it comes to innovation, one has never really stood still.
Schwabenleder G.P.1 Air-Tec.
Then as now you have in the house Swabian leather meticulously to ensure the best possible level of security at all times. For example, kangaroo leather was only used when it was available in the expected quality. Schwabenleder has now moved into airbag technology just as consistently: the fully electronically controlled system comes from Alpinestars.
- Schwabenleder G.P.1 Air-Tec: Price: 3,960 euros; Execution: Custom-made, one-piece racing suit made of kangaroo leather, electronic airbag, joint and back protectors
|Airbag clothing||Purchase opportunity|
|Alne burnout||In specialist shops|
|Alpinestars GP Tech V2 Tech-Air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Alpinestars Missile Tech-Air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Alpinestars Oscar Charlie Tech-Air||Buy now on eBay|
|Dainese Racing Misano D-air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Dainese Mugello D-air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Gimoto V-Race 2.0||In specialist shops|
|Hero full-speed APS||Buy now from Amazon|
|Helite GP Air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Schwabenleder G.P.1 Air-Tec||In specialist shops|
Universal airbags for motorcyclists
Universal airbags are a good compromise. They are mostly offered in vest form. They are cheaper than the previously presented airbags and are mostly triggered by a ripcord system.
Bering (universal airbag)
The French manufacturer has housed its ripcord-controlled airbag system in this universally applicable softshell vest, which can easily be worn over normal motorcycle clothing.
Bering C-Protect Air.
If necessary, the airbag can be reactivated after it has been triggered with a manageable effort and at low cost.
- Bering C-Protect Air – Price: 399.90 euros; Design: Softshell vest in two sizes with back protector, integrated airbag with pull cord, two breast pockets, reflective piping
Hero (universal airbag)
Looking at the catalog, one could almost see Held’s airbag range as a major offensive. There are complete solutions for the street and the racetrack and on top of that these differently designed vests, with which the old Harro racing vest or the “bone bag” can be pimped in a safety-relevant way. The idea of offering vests not just to slip over, but also to “underneath”, was particularly clever.
Held: Clip-in Air Vest (l.), Air Vest (m.), Air Vest II (r.).
- Hero Clip-in Air Vest – Price: 499.95 euros; Design: Breathable vest made of mesh fabric in four sizes, integrated airbag with pull cord, rib protection optional
- Hero Air Vest: Price – from 549.95 euros; Design: textile vest in four sizes, integrated airbag with rip cord, back protector with tailbone protection, chest optional
- Hero Air Vest II – Price: 399.90 euros; Design: textile vest in four sizes, integrated airbag with rip cord, back protector with tailbone protection, chest / ribs optional
Helite (universal airbag)
All in all, Helite is also ideally positioned for the universally applicable vests. Not only do they appear as suppliers (e.g. for the hero airbags pictured above), the French also have a solution under their own logo.
Helite Turtle Hi-Vis yellow.
The showpiece is the turtle vest, which is equipped with a conventional back protector in addition to the airbag. There is also the “Airnest” model in children’s sizes.
- Helite Turtle Hi-Vis yellow – Price: from 549 euros; Design: Textile vest in six sizes, integrated airbag with rip cord, integrated back protector, mesh fabric
Hit Air (universal airbag)
The Japanese brand is one of the oldest suppliers of airbag vests – hit-air vests with ripcord release were already available around the turn of the millennium.
Hit Air MCplus.
In the meantime, the original model has been revised and this universal vest is intended to protect not only the back, but also the lumbar vertebrae and ribs. An upgrade through the use of conventional protectors, as is now common practice with other manufacturers, is not possible.
- Hit Air MCplus – Price: 420 euros; Execution: textile vest in eight sizes, integrated airbag with pull cord, side stretch inserts
Spidi (universal airbag)
Even Spidi entered the airbag business at an early stage. Already in 1999 they worked on a ripcord system together with a Japanese partner.
Spidi Full DPS Vest.
This release technology has not been abandoned to this day. The universally applicable vest is optionally available with or without a conventional back protector – which is currently the widespread standard. What is interesting, however, is the design of the airbag with a very lush air cushion around the collar.
- Spidi Full DPS Vest – Price: 549.95 euros; Design: textile vest in three sizes, integrated airbag with rip cord, integrated back protector, chest optional
|Airbag clothing||Purchase opportunity|
|Bering C-Protect Air||Buy now from Amazon|
|Hero Clip-in Air Vest||Buy now from Amazon|
|Hero Air Vest||Buy now at Louis.de|
|Hero Air Vest II||In specialist shops|
|Helite Turtle Hi-Vis yellow||Buy now from Amazon|
|Hit Air MCplus||Buy now from Amazon|
|Spidi Full DPS Vest||Buy now from Amazon|
Technology – this is how the airbags work
Pull cord, sensors, pyrotechnics … compared to the car airbag, the optimal solution for the motorcycle still seems to have a little experimental character. After all, progress is now taking shape in two ways. On the one hand, the completely mechanical airbags, which are triggered by means of a rip cord attached to the motorcycle. However, it can take up to 0.2 seconds for pressure to build up effectively using a CO2 cartridge – far too long for some accident scenarios. Sensor-supported airbags with pyrotechnics work much more effectively – like in a car. If the calculation algorithm detects an accident situation (race track or street), the system is armed and triggered for well under 100 milliseconds.
Airbags in the crash test
Regardless of whether the airbags are certified on the basis of the European standard EN 1621-4 (similar to standard protectors), various crash tests have shown the millisecond range in which an airbag should have triggered.
ADAC / Ralph Wagner
Crash test at the ADAC.
The measured values in classic intersection accidents, where an airbag could alleviate the impact against the roof edge of a car, are particularly impressive.
To do this, however, it would have to have been triggered in well under 50 milliseconds, for example a series of tests by the ADAC technology center, and it would have to have already unfolded. A value that electronically controlled airbags can barely achieve, but tear-cord systems never achieve.
Airbag plus motorcycle?
The bottom line is that it is astonishing that vehicle manufacturers have so far held back a lot. Above all, where the technology transfer from a strongly positioned automotive sector could have taken place a long time ago. After all, Honda is and remains a little active, even if it is nothing more than a fig leaf that the current Gold Wing can still be ordered as a variant with a vehicle airbag (35,990 euros). Before questions come up: The first Gold Wing with airbag appeared in 2006!
With Helite and Alpinestars, two manufacturers have literally given the market a boost: They make it possible for other suppliers to also use this airbag technology. Smart in that the immense development costs, especially in the case of electronic systems, are brought in more quickly and there is again cash for further innovations. In terms of effectiveness, the e-airbags are far ahead, but that also applies to the price. The development of a cheap but fast hybrid of ripcord and electric control could be interesting in the future.
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