Alpinestars releases new Tech-Air suit


Alpinestars has released its latest Tech-Air suit for MotoGP racers, with one-piece inflatable protection for shoulders, back, torso side and hips.

The suit is entirely self-contained; there’s a battery that powers a microprocessor which is the suit’s brains, telling it to inflate when a rider crashes. It monitors a rider’s data every two milliseconds, and only needs 50 milliseconds to calculate whether it needs to inflate. Even in a low-side crash, the suit can inflate before impact – the airbag fully inflates within 45 milliseconds of trigger time.

The battery also powers the suit’s inflation system; the suit’s airbag is a single-piece unit with no stitched seams, thanks to its 3D weave construction. It’s entirely made by a machine, with no human hands needed, thanks to computer-controlled laser cutting. The inflation pack is designed to ergonomically fit the rider’s body contours. It provides a high volume of protection over the torso sides and shoulders, and a medium volume of protection over the hips and back.

There’s a master on/off switch on the suit; once a rider starts rolling at slow speed, the suit senses their movement and arms itself, in preparation for a crash.

Of course, no racer wants to wear a heavy or bulky suit, and this whole outfit was also designed to be super-light. Marc Marquez, who’s one of the customers wearing the suit, says “The new airbag is comfortable and no different in feeling to the last one, even though it is bigger. It is also good that the weight feels the same and there’s more protection so I’m happy with the development.” And hey, he’s a guy who’s probably going to get a chance to test it out this year …

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