New airbag protection

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Italian motorcycle clothing experts Alpinestars launched their latest item of protective clothing. 


The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is the latest product in almost 20 years of Research and Development by Alpinestars that began on the race track and is filtering through to road riders. Their latest product is a standalone airbag vest that the company claim can be worn under any ‘proper fitting’ textile or leather motorcycle jacket (*they add that the jacket must be large enough to accommodate the expansion of the airbag in the event of a crash. For textile jackets this requires an additional 4cm of space around the circumference of the body. For those riders who want to wear a sports leather jacket, Tech-Air® 5 may also be worn with Tech-Air® compatible leather jackets which have built-in leather expansion panels to accommodate the inflation of the airbag).


The new Tech-Air 5 vest comes with “an active electronic system that features six integrated sensors (three gyroscopes and three accelerometers) and a crash algorithm that uses AI to accurately monitor when to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash.”

Alpinestars claim that after years of research involving 50% of the world’s top MotoGP riders, as well as Alpinestars customers, “riding data from millions of kilometres and thousands of crashes have been analysed to continuously improve the intelligent crash detection algorithm.” Upon the identification of a crash situation, a protective airbag is deployed, with a maximum inflation time of 20 to 40ms based on the volume of the airbag size. They also claim that as a result of wearing the protective airbag there is a “decrease of the impact force by up to 95% compared to a passive protector.” 


The Tech-Air 5 is apparently easy to use as well,  just zip up the vest and close the magnetic flap – which completes and arms the circuit – and you’re ready to ride.  An LED display indicates the airbag’s operational status and the integrated, certified lithium-ion battery has a claimed battery life of 30 hours of riding time. The system comes equipped with a micro USB charger for recharging and the Tech-Air 5 also has Bluetooth connectivity and an accompanying Tech-Air App, which uses the rider’s phone to display the system’s operational status, battery status and a detailed analysis of a ride.


The Tech-Air 5 vest will be available in March 2020 and pricing seen so far suggests it will retail at $699.95 or around £550. For more information visit the Alpinestars website and check out the video below.

** ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine published bi-monthly. Edition 17 covers Jan/Feb 2020.
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