We brought news to you in early November of last year that Alpinestars was set to release a revolutionary new motorcycle airbag system, the Alpinestars Tech-Air Street. It’s revolutionary because it’s a completely self contained unit – no computer onboard your motorcycle like Dainese’s system and no physical tether between you and the bike like other airbag jackets on the market. Now Alpinestars have announced the price for both the Tech-Air unit and the jackets that it can go into – you might want to sit down.
The Alpinestars Tech-Air Street unit will cost €1,200 when it’s released in Europe this Spring, which at current exchange rates works to be around $1,450. The touring Valparaiso Dry Star jacket will cost €650 ($775) and the Viper textile jacket will be €350 ($420). At a minimum investment of nearly $2,000, it’s approaching nearly 50 per cent of the cost of some entry level bikes but it’s to be expected given how new the technology is.
The system is able to fully deploy within 25 milliseconds – fast enough, says Alpinestars, to provide protection to a rider in an accident with another motor vehicle. The bag remains fully inflated for a full five seconds after initializing and covers virtually the entire torso – shoulders, back, kidneys, and chest – far more than traditional motorcycle armor. The system is designed to best operate from speeds ranging from 15 mph to 54 mph (24 kph to 90 kph).
The Alpinestars Tech-Air Street is not cheap, but as far as rider safety goes, airbag jackets are the only real advance we’ve seen on the street in the last few years. Obviously over time the prices will fall and we’ll hopefully see systems similar to this from other manufacturers. There’s no word yet on when the Tech-Air will make it to the rest of the world but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.