How The Modern Airbag Suits Work For Motorcyclists


Whether you’re riding casually on the street or professionally on the race track, you should be prepared to know that crashing is an unfortunate reality as a part of the whole motorcycling experience. This is why so many companies have slowly invested in developing increasingly effective safety gear such as helmets and body suits.

Image from:  RideApart

Image from: RideApart

However, one of best advancements is the airbag system for riders, primarily manufactured by the two biggest names in motorcycle racing gear; Dainese and Alpinestars. While airbag systems for motorcycles aren’t exactly new technology, the way these two giants have combined advanced software algorithms with the hardware to match have come up with a fully functional safety system that is both precise and effective. Unlike in the olden days, these airbag suits are not required to be tethered to the actual bike itself, but can be used independently and have a significantly faster deployability than conventional tethered airbag suits.

Image from:  TopSpeed

Image from: TopSpeed

But how does it work exactly? Well, despite the fact that both Dainese and Alpinestar’s systems are different in terms of their technologies used, the main feature is quite similar. The airbag suit requires riders to wear an airbag vest under their riding jacket or suit specially designed to accommodate the airbag system. When there is a crash, the system deploys in a fraction of a second, inflating around the rider’s collarbone, ribs, and torso. The suits itself is able to detect crashes prior to impact with its built-in accelerometers and a set of gyroscopes.

Image from:  Sierra Online

Image from: Sierra Online

To prevent false deployment, the systems use multiple sensors to work as a safeguard. For example, if one accelerometer senses a crash and the others don’t, the system won’t deploy. Because of the technological advancements made to the systems, there are currently no recorded instances of either systems deploying falsely or failing to deploy when needed.

Image from:  techeblog

Image from: techeblog

However, due to the fact that these systems were originally developed for the MotoGP elite riders, these airbag suits can cost a lot. For example, both the street and race versions of Alpinestars’ Tech-Air system cost about US$1,149.95 (about RM4,710), while its compatible suit goes for around US$1,000 (about RM4,095). There’s also maintenance of your suit, which is basically recharging the argon canisters after it’s been used, and costing about US$299 (about RM1226). It’s easy to say that if you're even considering buying one of these suits, you should probably not be super economical.


So what do you think? If you’re a rider, would you like to give one of these a go? Leave a comment below!

SuperbikeJoel Wongacs