Motorcycle racers have had access to high-tech airbag-equipped safety suits for years, and more and more of them are becoming available for everyday riders. Systems like the Dainese D-air and Spidi Neck DPS making the transition to the street.
Alpinestars will soon join the fray with its Tech-Air Street system. It’s comprised of a vest fitted with airbags on the chest, back and shoulders and electronic sensors to determine if a rider has crashed that zips into compatible jackets for additional protection.
Unlike the very specific systems designed track riders, the Tech-Air Street was developed to work in just about any environment, from the urban commute to dirt roads, which required an even more complex computer algorithm to know exactly when it should deploy. It’s only not recommended for off-roading that requires knobby tires, motocross or track riding styles.
The vest tucks into one of the jackets, and has a battery life of 25 hours, rechargeable via USB. An LED strip on the sleeve tells you how much charge is left. Activating it is as simple as zipping it up, it works on any type of bike, and requires no programming to operate correctly.
The system can detect a crash within 60 milliseconds and fully inflate in 25 milliseconds. One drawback is that after a deployment it needs to be sent back to the company to be inspected and reset.
Two jackets are currently available, the all-weather Valparaiso and Viper warm-weather street style, both featuring pouches that can accommodate additional armor plates. The airbags are focused on protecting the shoulders, chest, back and kidneys.
The Tech-Air Street system goes on sale in Europe next spring at approximately $1,500 for the vest and a couple of hundred more for either jacket. The start of U.S. sales has not yet been announced.