Dainese Announces Stand-Alone Air-Bag Jacket – the Misano 1000

Not long after Alpinestars went to market with their air-bag jacket system that works as a self-contained unit, Dainese has now introduced their version titled the D-air Misano 1000. Like Alpinestars Tech-Air system, the new Misano 1000 leather jacket operates without need of sensor kit fitted to the motorcycle.

The sensors, electronics and the GPS are housed in the back protector. The Dainese patented 3D airbag has an inner micro-filament structure which provides uniform inflation of 5cm over all surfaces to provide maximum protection and comfort. The  construction of the air-bag is unique and differs from all other air-bags used in the automotive industry.

The triggering algorithm utilizes six sensors hosted in the back-protector to monitor the dynamics of the rider’s body 800 times a second and determines when to deploy the system in the event of impacts, high-sides and low-slides with tumbling.

The Misano 1000 air-bag system works together with the back and chest-protectors, safeguarding the riders collar bone, chest and back as well as limiting excessive strain to the neck. The integration of the ON/OFF switch in the jacket closing flap provides an additional safety factor. An LED on the right arm shows the status of the system.

Unlike the Alpinestars system however, it seems that Dainese’s offering isn’t modular whereby the system can be swapped with other compatible jackets that the Tech-Air system can. The jacket will be available in two color schemes from November at the price of €1499. No word yet on availability outside of Europe.

Bosch and Honda Working on new Motorcycle Airbag Systems

We’ve seen recently that both Dainese and Alpinestars are getting serious about promoting airbag jackets for riders. But they no doubt have their limitations. They have to be charged and in the case of Dainese’s offering needs to be integrated with the bike itself. Hence why its good to see that two recent patents point the way to the potential for more motorcycles with built in airbags.

Such devices wouldn’t be the first – Honda released their Gold Wing almost a decade ago with an optional airbag and still sells it with that option today. It’s no surprise then that Honda is looking to further the technology with a system that may have potential in other styles of bikes

The new airbag is designed to extend vertically from its compartment which sits roughly at the front where the fuel tank normally is. It’s positioning is helped given that the patent uses Honda’s NC750S as the basis for the airbag which is a motorcycle whose fuel tank sits beneath the riders seat instead of in front of the rider as normal.
Bosch and Honda Working on new Motorcycle Airbag Systems

Upon deploying, the airbag is designed to extend up high enough to ensure the riders’ head is protected, even if he or she is thrown forward up the tank – something that can obviously happen in an accident where massive deceleration occurs. The airbag also extends towards the riders stomach and lower chest, providing more cushioning to internal organs in those locations.

The second patent that has recently been filed comes from Bosch, technological leaders in much of the cutting edge technology we see on bikes today, including cornering ABS and high end traction control systems. Bosch’s system is designed to be more universal in nature meaning it can be adopted and utilised on a variety of motorcycle types, including sportsbikes and even scooters.

Bosch’s system even includes the possibility of two airbags – one at the front of the bike near the headlights to act as a cushion to slow the bikes impact, and a second airbag extending from near the handlebars or top of the triple tree to protect the riders chest and head.

Neither solution is obviously perfect and airbags built into motorcycles will only work in certain types of crashes. They won’t for example provide any protection when a rider is hit from the side or when they come off the bike. But these new inventions from Honda and Bosch, alongside airbag clothing from Alpinestars and Dainese are ways to cover different risks and hopefully minimise rider injuries and fatalities.

Bosch and Honda Working on new Motorcycle Airbag Systems

BMW And Alpinestars Team Up On New Airbag Clothing

BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars have today announced that they are starting an exclusive cooperation in motorcycle safety clothing systems. The first product to be launched under this cooperation will be a BMW Motorrad jacket jointly developed by BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars, combined with an airbag waistcoat developed using Alpinestars technology. The new BMW Motorrad jacket, being branded by both makers, will be available in both male and female versions and the public presentation of this newly developed airbag jacket will be held later this year.

The airbag waistcoat is based on Alpinestars’ Tech-Air airbag system, the world’s first self-contained street airbag system that independently functions without the need for sensors to be installed on the bike and the subsequent need to link a specific motorcycle to the airbag system used by the rider.

This means that the airbag waistcoat offers the freedom to ride any bike on any surface at any time and can be used with any type of BMW Motorrad motorcycle or scooter, allowing the rider to easily switch between bikes without reconfiguring or reinitializing the bike-to-rider set-up.

Therefore, the system is immediately ready for use and no time is wasted in setting up electronic pairing between rider and/or passenger and motorcycle. The first Alpinestars branded only Tech-Air gear will go on sale within the next few months in Europe. The Tech-Air Street unit will cost €1,200 which can be used with the either the touring Valparaiso Dry Star jacket (€650) or the Viper textile jacket will (€350).

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).

 

Alpinestars Tech-Air Street Availability and Pricing Announced

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).

Ease of use and operation has also been well thought out. The Alpinestars Tech-Air system is activated when the jacket’s zipper is closed – no buttons or dials to turn on on while using bulky motorcycle gloves. The system has a battery life of 25 hours which should mean most riders would only need to plug the system in every one to two weeks. LED lights appear on the left sleeve of the jacket indicating the system is working and also remaining batter life.

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.

 

Alpinestars Tech-Air Jacket – An Airbag Jacket You’ll Actually Want to Wear

Alpinestars has released details of their brand new airbag system under the Tech-Air name and it works in a way no other motorcycle jacket airbag system has worked before. Everything is integrated into the jacket – you put in on and away you go.

Up until now, there have been two different systems used for motorcycle jacket airbags available for street use. The first and cheapest was by way of a tether attached between the jacket and the motorcycle. When the rider comes off the bike, the tether is pulled out of its clamp and the airbag inflates. It’s a cumbersome system that requires the rider to attach/reattach every time they get on and off the bike, and it would’t inflate if you lowsided and remained within a short distance of the bike.

The second system was offered by Dainese which involved sensors in the jacket wirelessly communicating with a second system installed on the motorcycle.  This system had to be installed by an authorized technician and is currently only available in continental Europe (though there is one dealer in the United Kingdom). Dainese has more recently teamed up with Ducati which has the D-Air system built into some of their bikes.

But the Alpinestars solution is by far the most elegant. First of all, it can be used on any bike. There’s no requirement to tether the system to your motorcycle or have a seperate computer installed on the bike. This allows you to easily switch between bikes without re-configuring or re-initializing the the setup. The system is completely housed within the jacket and is self-contained, requiring no pre-configuration and is immediately ready for use. As a result, no sensors or equipment needs to be installed on the motorcycle and no time is needed in setting up electronic pairing between rider and/or passenger and motorcycle.

 

So, how does it work? Obviously Alpinestars are keeping things close to their chest because this is a big leap forward in the technology. But they state that they have formulated some very sophisticated software algorithms to predict the impact, ensuring the airbag is deployed before the rider hits an obstacle. Amazingly, the jacket will work both on the street and off-road and there’s no need to deactivate the system if leaving the road for off-road trails or to stop in between to change settings. Changing surfaces while adventure riding therefore presents no problem

It gets even better. The actual unit will be interchangeable with other compatible Alpinestars jackets, so theoretically you can have a jacket for winter, one for summer and even I suppose one for the track, and switch the airbag and control unit between each.  At launch they’re offering two jackets, the Valparaiso touring jacket and the Viper street jacket with more to come. The electronic unit is protected by a durable and water-resistant casing which, when worn under a compatible outer jacket, means the airbag system is fully weatherproof.

There’s a few downsides though. Like the Dainese offering, you will need to charge the control unit. It offers 25 hours battery life and one hour of charging equates to about four hours of operation. Also, if you are in a crash, you’ll need to send the jacket to Alpinestars (or a licensed dealer) to have the airbag and inflators replaced. That’s not something you’ll obviously (hopefully) need to do often, but it is a hassle. Regardless of a crash or not, the system needs to be serviced once very two years.

But given the benefits of this, that extra hassle and cost is worth the added protection. The new Tech-Air will be available in Spring 2015 with pricing yet to be disclosed and will potentially offer the first leap forward in rider protection in decades.