Alpinestars has finally released an airbag suit for public roadways, called the Tech-Air Street.
Airbag suits have been common in roadracing for some time, and they’ve certainly proven their worth in series like MotoGP. But the technology has been slow to trickle down to street level, for various reasons. Early prototypes were undoubtedly best-suited for the heavily controlled environment of racing, but as the suits became more and more practical, buyers began to wonder why the technology wasn’t available on the street.
Some jaded prospective buyers even suggested there was a conspiracy afoot, that manufacturers were keeping the technology off the street because of their fear of lawsuits – supposedly, if it worked well, then the manufacturers would all get sued because they didn’t include the technology on every suit they sold.
Well, that conspiracy theory can be put to bed, cuddled next to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, because Alpinestars says they will sell their new Tech-Air Street airbag unit in Europe next spring.
The Tech-Air system is available for Alpinestars’ Valparaiso and Viper jackets. There’s airbag protection for the back, shoulders, chest and kidneys; the electronic circuitry that manages deployment is housed inside the back protection.
The Tech-Air system is also able to be used on multiple bikes. It’s entirely self-contained, and will activate if you are riding a scooter or a touring bike or anything in between. As such, it’s much more practical for street riders.
Want more details? Check out Alpinestar’s website or watch the video below. For some data on how well the track version of this system worked for Marc Marquez, check out this story on the data from his Mugello crash in 2013.
For riders wanting the best protection they can buy for the street, this is fantastic news. Alpinestars is a big company, meaning they can likely offer airbag suits at a price nobody else can match, and offer in countries around the globe (although it’s only announced for Europe now). There’s no word yet on whether this system will come to Canada, or what it would cost. It’ll be released in Europe next spring, so if all else fails, you can swallow the exchange rate and purchase one then via the wonder of the Internet.
They’ve been available for awhile from other companies and the price is good. http://www.safermoto.com/products/hit-air-vests.html
What happens after it deploys? Do you buy a new jacket or replace the canisters and back pad?