We've been hearing about Dainese's airbag suit for years (and watched MotoGP riders like Jorge Lorenzo crash test them at the world's race circuits.) But here's where the rubber finally meets U.S. roads: after a decade of development, American consumers can now get their hands on a D-air system.
D-air uses a GPS sensor, three gyroscopes, three accelerometers and a gas charger to detonate the collar-mounted airbag seen here (somewhat) discreetly beneath a full leather racing suit, unlike earlier versions which used an external airbag. D-air responds in 15 milliseconds, and the bag fills with air in 30 milliseconds-- literally quicker than the blink of an eye, offering protection to the shoulder and collarbones, as well as shock absorption to the neck and upper chest region. The D-air full leather suit is priced at $3,999, or $4,999 for a custom fit.
The D-air's only real competitor is the Alpinestars Tech Air system, which is currently available in Europe with a €6,000 price tag-- roughly $7,800 at today's currency rates. Tech Air uses a dual charge system which deploys two airbags in 45 milliseconds and offers 5 seconds of protection; roughly a minute after the bag deflates, a second dose of airbag protection is offered again to crash happy riders*. Alpinestars hopes to bring Tech Air to the U.S. by summer, 2012, though that timeframe is still tentative.
Sure as eggs is eggs, skeptics will criticize bike-related airbag systems. But riders who've been slapped with hefty medical and rehabilitation bills following a wreck might take a different attitude towards gear that could help avoid painful injuries and keep them riding.
- Alpinestars Reveals Tech Air Motorcycle Airbag
- Dainese D-air Airbag Promises Crash Protection for Spill-Happy Racers
- Is Safety the New Horsepower?
- Airbag-Equipped Jacket Saves Motorcyclist From Serious Injury
* Both Dainese's and Alpinestars' systems require servicing after deployment-- Dainese offers one airbag protection "event," Alpinestars offers two.
Diagram © Dainese; click to enlarge