Once upon a time, airbag suits were finicky, complicated things that were only used on-track. Those days are long-gone now, as Dainese is the latest to prove. The Italian gearmaker has just announced its new Stelvio touring jacket, which comes complete with its latest airbag technology.
This is no race jacket; Dainese says it’s “Built for the everyday rider, as a daily commuter or for countryside rides.” As the photo shows, it’s not quite a 3/4-length jacket; it should be versatile, especially when you consider it comes with Dainese’s D-Dry XT membrane (with waterproof breathability and four-way stretch), along with air vents, waterproof zippers, and conventional Pro-Armor 2.0 protection in shoulders and elbows (EN 1621.1-certified level 2 protection). The jacket shell is adjustable for fit with Velcro, elastic, snaps and other features that allow you to tighten or loosen as you see fit.
But you’re not buying this jacket for that; you’re buying it for the airbag, which protects both your chest and your spine in a crash. Instead of the clunky old systems that required a tether to your bike, the Dainese jacket is powered by onboard AI, with an algorithm that detects whether you low-side, high-side, hit an object or vehicle, or you’re rear-ended. Even if you’re at a stop light, the algo detects collisions.
Obviously, the onboard electronics require a battery; Dainese says the vest will last for 26 hours between recharges.
As for the airbag itself, here’s Dainese’s list of its protective specs:
- Chest protection meets or exceeds CE Level 2 for airbags, transmitted force is <2.5kN
- Standard armor CE level 2 transmits <9kN so the airbag disperses over 3x more energy than its rigid counterpart. (EN 1621-4 Lev. 2)
- Back protection meets or exceeds CE Level 1 for airbags, transmitted force is <4.5kN
- Standard armor CE level 1 transmits <18kN so the airbag disperses over 4x more energy than its rigid counterpart. (EN 1621-4 CB Lev. 1).
The airbag will activate in milliseconds, and Dainese says it provides protection equivalent to eight chest protectors, or seven back protectors.
Obviously, none of us want to be involved in a crash, but it’s worth noting that over recent years, there’s been a noticeable decline in the severity of MotoGP crashes, with riders walking away from wrecks that could have sidelined them for weeks, or forever, before the airbag era.
At this point, we haven’t seen Canadian pricing for the Stelvio airbag jacket yet, but in the EU, it’s priced at €1,499,95. More details and photos here.