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Old 07-02-2021, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle Airbag Vests

I'm in the market for a motorcycle airbag vest. What are y'alls thoughts on them?

So far I'm considering:

Klim Ai-1

Alpinestar Tech-Air 5

Dainese Smart Jacket

Alpinestars Tech Air Street


Pros and cons between them?

I intend to mostly wear these under a leather motorcycle jacket, but occasionally I might wear it alone.

I believe @JSH had mentioned he had one.

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Old 07-02-2021, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like the concept, had 2 pretty serious motorcycle crashes (not at fault) before and gotten lucky.
Once a rider crashed into me, once a car didn't see me, came out of a side road after stopping and I crashed into it at ~50 km/h.
According to witnesses I flew over it, I don't remember.
Somehow didn't break a single bone in that crash.
Wouldn't want to gamble with my live in the future again.
But I don't think it's a good idea to wear them on their own.
They likely don't protect against sliding that well, they only protect against impacts and only on your torso.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It doesn't protect the skin so well, but then skin grows back and my wife is good at sutures.

In my youth a couple of times when I had little time to change, I just hopped on the motorcycle in flip flops, shorts, and a helmet.

The only time I'd ride without a jacket and gloves is when it's extremely hot and I'm not going far, but I'd still probably wear one of these vests.

I've wrecked twice on the track and really just once on the street, with a couple very low speed spinouts making a turn. I would hope the airbag wouldn't deploy on the slow spinouts where oil on my tire caused the bike to go down.

My thinking is that if I'm going to be a parent and ride a motorcycle, I should upgrade my protective gear.
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A lot of the damage when launching over the hood comes from contacting stuff along the way, including your bike. Most of the damage when doing the freeway shuffle comes from abrasion and sudden stops from stationary objects. My son the ambulance driver calls that road hamburger. If the jacket is a kevlar like material, I can see an assist with the abrasion, the inflation could help with body core impacts. Still going to get torn up. I guess it depends on your history of going down. I wouldnt, proper leathers worked well for me.

I prefer large heavy solid front and rear crashbars, but most people consider those un-hip.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pardon my french, but **** Klim for even introducing this idea:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sla...-06671765/amp/

Buy from ANYONE else imo.
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Old 07-04-2021, 12:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
Pardon my french, but **** Klim for even introducing this idea:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sla...-06671765/amp/

Buy from ANYONE else imo.
Yeah Iím not big on subscriptions. Iíd just purchase the lifetime service outright if I went that route. Thereís a Tech Air5 on EBay Iím watching. Itís a medium which might be small on me, but Iím slender so it might work.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'm in the market for a motorcycle airbag vest. What are y'alls thoughts on them?

So far I'm considering:

Pros and cons between them?

I intend to mostly wear these under a leather motorcycle jacket, but occasionally I might wear it alone.

I believe @JSH had mentioned he had one.

I looked at all those options along with Hit-Air and Helite. I ended up with a Hit-Air Advantage H vest purchased from Riding-Safe.com Their recommended sizing was spot on and shipping was very fast. (The Advantage H is the equestrian version of the motorcycle VHR vest which is identical except for color and reflective accents)

The big things for me were coverage, ventilation, and repacking.

Repacking: I wanted a vest that I can repack myself just like my inflatable life vests. That eliminated the Dainese and Alphinestar vests that need to be sent back to the manufacturer if they deploy at a cost of about $200. The Klim has a replaceable CO2 cartridge and says you can deploy it 3 times before sending it back. That is good but the bad news in the cartridge is $100.

Coverage: I also didn't like the limited coverage. If you look at the electronic vests deployed on a person they basically cover from the bottom of the ribcage up.

So now we are down tethered airbag vests from Hit-Air and Helite.

Ventilation: An airbag you don't wear is worthless. Lots of reviews on forums says the Helite Turtle is HOT to wear in the summer. That make sense as it covers a lot of air on the front and has a huge backprotector on the back that blocks any back vents. Hit-Air's new ST vest is very similar. It takes the VHR and adds an integrated SPIDI back protector. (The ST is the same vest as the SPIDI Air DPS vest. Hit Air makes it for SPIDI and they mark it up $150 for the SPIDI name)

That left the Hit-Air VHR. Good coverage that extends from the neck down past the hips. Repacks with a cheap CO2 canister. The center is open in the back to allow for better airflow. It is also the cheapest of the options. I recently did a 1000 mile trip down 101 to Redwoods, over to Crater Lake, and then back up to Portland. It is warmer than without the vest but still OK at the 98F temperatures we saw in Medford. I left it a little loose so my jacket could still puff up a bit from air going through.

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Part of this I'm sure is colored by experience. I've had 4 crashes on the street and 3 on a track. I walked away from all of them except for the last street crash where my wife and I left the road at about 45 mph and both ended up hitting trees. I shattered by femur near the head and my wife broke her pelvis and back. None of the electronic vests come down far enough to have prevented or minimized or injuries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
Pardon my french, but **** Klim for even introducing this idea:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sla...-06671765/amp/

Buy from ANYONE else imo.
What is wrong with giving buyers the OPTION to lease the tech instead of buying it upfront? Leasing is an option. If you do chose to lease the company gives you a 30 day grace period after payment is due to get current before deactivating the vest. Once deactivated the vest will strobe a red LED when you turn it on to be very clear that the vest is no longer active.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I won the Ebay auction for the Alpinestar Tech-Air 5 in size medium ($437). It fits in the chest, but according to the manual I'm 1" taller than ideal. Seems to fit fine. The guy who said he only wore it twice (I don't believe that) already registered the vest, so I've got to call tech support to get ownership transferred to me.

I pulled out the flimsy foam back protector from my leather jacket and removed the pit panels for ventilation. I'm thinking this should work well with my other gear.

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