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Prevalence/Utility of Airbag Systems?

Discussion in 'Information For New Racers' started by Squidoh, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Squidoh

    Squidoh Member

    I was looking through potential options for dedicated one-piece suits, and I became interested in the airbag systems that are available nowadays. Wondering how many of you run one, be it an A* Tech-Air or Dainese D-Air, or any other external airbag system during races (I saw Gimoto makes one)?

    Do you find the extra bulk in your suit limits mobility or becomes uncomfortable during laps? Is the protective potential worth the hefty initial investment, considering these airbags alone cost the same as a halfway decent race suit?

    Any input from guys with more track time would be appreciated.
  2. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    no extra bulk in the ones Ive tried on. Alpinestars had a demo booth at Austin where they deployed the system.
    Say its $2300 for an airbag suit... right in line with mid/entry level suit with all the proper armor like back, hip, & rib/chest protection.

    Only downside is repack/repair.
  3. Squidoh

    Squidoh Member

    I was trying on the D-Air Misano today; felt great, but the back/shoulder section was heavy as hell. I suppose it wouldn't matter in a tuck either way.
  4. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    put it this way... if I had taken the 2hrs to install my lever guard I probably wouldnt have had a T1 incident which also claimed my suit, gloves, helmet, and bodywork plus 8 months of the season off. Hindsight is always 20/20.
    The takeaway eye opening:
    -Never trust emergency room docs
    -Always put your safety items on even if you have to miss a round.
    -Buy the very best protection you can afford and then some
  5. maslov

    maslov Well-Known Member

    I run D-air... yea it’s heavy, but you don’t feel it what so ever... even after it deployed in a crash I only realized it deployed when I stood up... yea 2 week repair turn around and cost of about $200 is not the greatest, but well worth it whe you factor in the fact that I didn’t break anything.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. gt#179

    gt#179 Dirt Dork

    there is also some new technology coming out in the air bag suits in the near future. As with any other technology based product, the changes will be rapid and you'll see more changes to the systems as they learn what works and what doesn't.

    The better systems rely upon a lot of electronics and inputs from different sources, for instance the dainese system uses a GPS system as well as 3 accelerometers and 3 gyros to decide when to trigger the system. Most of it is built into the back protector, but as it gets better, I"m sure the parts will get lighter, easier to replace and less expensive.
  7. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    Something I took note of this weekend with respect to airbag systems. My buddy uses the Hit-Air vest. It's one of those you strap on to the outside of your leathers and it attaches to the bike via a lanyard. When you separate from the bike the lanyard gets yanked and deploys the CO2 tank to inflate it.

    In his case when he got back to the pits after a fairly minor low side we were looking at the vest and noted that the part on the lower rear that deploys over your tail obvious skimmed the track a bit as he slid an in doing so tore the outer cloth and inner bladder open...essentially rendering the protection useless for the remainder of the crash.

    In his case he was lucky as he basically just slowed to a stop. In a crash where he could have tumbled around after leaving the track the airbag wouldn't have been of much continued protection since the bladder tore open. Just some of the initial impact would have been protected and thats it. Obviously these setups are much cheaper in price, but having the protection exposed on the outside and prone to ripping like this as opposed to something that is inside of the suit and protected by the outer layer of layer to keep it from being punctured is of notable importance I feel....i.e. the D-Air and Tech-Air systems.
  8. gt#179

    gt#179 Dirt Dork

    in the instance above, in a traditional low side with no tumbling, the dainese suit is not supposed to deploy. BUT if you start to tumble (common after you leave the racing surface) then the bag deploys. Its the rotational forces that start the deployment as that's typically what causes the injury in a low side crash on the track. As always there are many different ways to crash, and there's no way to protect the rider in all situations but from years of data at all levels of racing, the companies have developed algorithms that trigger the suits when they feel it is warranted. A lot of the patents from Alpinestar and Dainese are based around their algorithms and electronics. Knowing when not to deploy is almost as critical as knowing when it should.
    badmoon692008 likes this.
  9. michael_chicago

    michael_chicago Well-Known Member

    I have a Hit Air vest. It deployed in a low-speed lowside at CMP last year. I was amazed at how much pressure the bladder had; I felt like it really protected me. I can't know how I would have felt without it (it really was a slow crash), but I felt fine.

    Check out this video of Dovi inflating his suit. His setup looks a LOT more protective than the system the female reporter samples. It looks like it protects his legs too.

    badmoon692008 likes this.
  10. badmoon692008

    badmoon692008 Well-Known Member

    At least for me, the reason for running a Hit-Air vest is to protect from the initial impact.. If/When I get sent to the moon, landing on air sounds much nicer... :crackup:... I definitely agree that the suits have more likelihood of continued protection throughout the crash, but at a much higher cost and inconvenience. I've low sided in my vest 5 times now, and it's still going strong, even had two crashes in one day, and repacked/recharged it in between, which is something that's not gonna happen with the suits.
  11. Brian_J

    Brian_J Active Member

    fwiw- the alpinestars system has 2 gas charges so you can have 2 airbag deployments before needed to return it for service.

    also, Mithos will make you a custom fitted suit using the Tech Air system if you want custom.
  12. DutchWorksMoto

    DutchWorksMoto Well-Known Member

    Helite GP-Air vest. Had a collision on track this weekend, as I summersaulted through the air and face planted on track it deployed prior to impact. Pretty sure both sides of my collarbone would be broken right now and I'd have a severe neck injury. The amount this inflates behind and on both sides of the neck makes it one of the most protective out there I'm sure. Won't ever ride without it again.

    $25 cartridge replacement and it's good to go again.
  13. badmoon692008

    badmoon692008 Well-Known Member

    I'm a big dude and the large A-Stars system only does one deployment. I do think that's a great benefit of the A-Stars system for normal sized folks though.
    Brian_J likes this.
  14. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    I thought that was only in "Street" mode?? Track mode you get 2 deployments... at least according to the folks at the Alpinestars Tech Air booth at COTA.
    stk0308 likes this.
  15. badmoon692008

    badmoon692008 Well-Known Member

    This is still listed on their site for the Race airbag system so I don't know I guess.. I've never heard otherwise though.
    single charge.jpg
  16. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    good point... both myself & my buddy tried & tested a 46/56 jacket so we didnt get into the larger size limitation. ;)
  17. Senna

    Senna Well-Known Member

    I have the Helite GP Air vest. I have only had one deployment with it in a minor lowside, but it did a great job of immobilizing my neck when I tumbled in the grass.

    If I could do it all again, however, I would have just saved for a TechAir unit. With chest/back protector on underneath my suit AND the GP Air vest on top of everything, it is VERY bulky. I also found myself not hanging off the bike as much with the vest on. I took it off last track day and was way more comfortable on track.

    I also found the vest to restrict my head movement a bit too much for my liking. I have a Bell Race Star, and the vest interferes when I try to look directly down or behind myself.

    I will probably ride with it again next track day because I like the extra protection, but it does have its downsides.
  18. JJJerry

    JJJerry Well-Known Member

    I have an RS Taichi suit with a A-stars vest. Getting it in the suit, and getting the suit on certainly takes some getting used to. Putting the suit on takes a bit more work work because there's more things to line up and get right. The airvest feels heavy when you're carrying the suit around, and you can't really walk around with the upper body off.

    All that said; once the suit is on, it feels fantastic. There's no difference in feel compared to a non-airbag suit.
    Squidoh likes this.
  19. Tristan

    Tristan Well-Known Member

    As to the prevalence of them, I'm curious too- I usually see a couple guys with vests at the track, but it's not real obvious who has the suits unless you spot the led's. Maybe add a poll?

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