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Basem Wasef

Dainese D-air Airbag Suit Comes to Market— Pricey, But Cheaper Than a Hospital Bill

By January 24, 2012

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Motorcycle Airbag

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.

Related:

* Both Dainese's and Alpinestars' systems require servicing after deployment-- Dainese offers one airbag protection "event," Alpinestars offers two.
Diagram © Dainese; click to enlarge

Comments
January 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm
(1) Pete says:

Hi Basem…no doubt you’re right, and some people who haven’t thought it through will criticize them. Gold Wings have had air bags for a few years now and they have saved lives. This may be the next logical step.
They’re very new thus still crazy expensive…the odds of seeing them on the street are essentially zero – but I bet we start seeing them in national level races…AMA SBK, Daytona SPTBK.
There was an old (NASCAR?) saying that may not hold as much truth as it used to…”Win on Sunday – Sell on Monday”. These might do just that. “Walk away unscathed on Sunday…sell on Monday”

January 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm
(2) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:

Pete,

You’re right, they’ll only get cheaper.

And you’re right on the money re: racing: AMA Superbike racer Blake Young just got his first D-Air suit, and he’ll be the first U.S. rider to wear it in competition.

Basem

January 25, 2012 at 11:29 am
(3) Dave says:

Yeah, I don’t know about this. Certainly for dedicated racing it’s a good idea, but for regular street and casual track use, I’d be far happier with a more affordable and similarly effective Hit-Air system, I can put up with the tether to save *thousands* of dollars.

January 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(4) Kevin says:

Great idea but the suit costs more than my bike did! Maybe I can make my own with some lawn & leaf bags and a few CO2 cartridges from my pellet gun.

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