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Airbag motorcycle jackets

Discussion in 'Jackets' at netrider.net.au started by dragon2, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Does anyone have experience of the new safety airbag jackets (Rivet or HIT AIR - see Directory links: Retailers>Clothing)?

    How effective are they / or would they be in an accident?

  2. I would be worried some ***** would tug the cord on your chest when you get off your bike - It is bright red!!
  3. It asnwered my question lol
  4. very interesting :-k
  5. Hi guys,

    I had a friend who had one of these jackets, he said that on occassions he had hopped off his bike whilst his jacket cord was still attached but it obviously didnt pull it hard enough. He was also telling me that the jacket inflates to the point that you can't move(I guess thats the idea!) :) and a section behind the neck also inflates...

  6. Haha.. I see prank potential here.
  7. This looks like smart technology, can't wait until it gets more testing and becomes more mainstream / affordable.
  8. yep still very expensive..... very heavy too.
  9. Yeah its $700-$1000 for a jacket
    With a bit of luck you will never need it lol
  10. What do they all say?... $2 head...deserves a $2 helmet?
  11. airbag review

    Hit Air Air-Bag Jacket Test by Terry Stevenson

    Motorcycle riders now enjoy more choices over the traditional leather jacket for injury and weather protection. Some years ago DuPont developed a durable new cloth product designed for bike jackets, named Cordura. However their patents have expired and companies such as Air Guard have introduced material with the same quality and properties as Cordura.

    Today, technology has evolved into good quality cloth-based jackets that include many built-in safety features as standard. In a top-of-the-line jacket you expect to get great styling and colours, complete waterproofing, back, shoulder and elbow padding, removable lining for warm weather outings, pockets that don't leak, a warm collar, reflective sections for night riding, and good length at the back. The new Japanese Hit-Air EU jacket, manufactured by Mugen Denko Co. Ltd , has all of these, plus it turns into a protective air bag if you come off your motorcycle. From the original manufacturers of the air bag jacket, this could be the biggest revolution to rider safety in years.

    The air-bag safety process occurs within a split second if the rider parts company with the bike, and the thin bladder inside the jacket becomes fully inflated from a special gas bottle mounted high on the right chest. In moments the jacket is transformed into something that can offer you more protection when you hit the ground. Like everything, it won't keep you safe from all crashes, but in most cases it should reduce the chances of abrasions and bruising of the kind generally suffered while sliding along the road. Looking back over the two dozen road and race falls I've taken part in, an air-bag jacket would have helped reduce my injuries in nearly all of them. Not that I'd wear one while racing, but you get the picture.

    Wearing it during inflation static tests, it feels like someone with a huge vice is crushing you, such is the air pressure inside the jacket you can feel its going to work for you. This feeling alone gives me great confidence in saying that it will help reduce injuries in most crashes. The head is supported at the back and sides under the helmet, by the now large air-bag. At the back, the jacket bulges out probably 100mm just below the shoulder blades, tapering to about 75mm thick down towards the bum protector, which unbuttons and flips down automatically upon inflation. The front gets a blast of protective air too, with the chest area well protected with around 75mm of air, including under the arms for extra rib protection. The jacket begins to slowly deflate about 30 seconds after activation.

    A coiled wire is easily attached to the bike in a suitable place, fitting into a female clip that is attached to the jacket. You need to give a good, deliberate pull before the jacket inflates. It takes approx. 30kg of force from the clip to activate the gas cylinder, so if you try to walk off forgetting to press the large disconnect button, you will feel a reminder tug because the jacket has some “give” in it and the coiled wire straightens out. If you have a small bike, you could tip it over if you get off on the wrong side and you're not careful, but it's no problem on a say 250cc sized bike or bigger. To give you an idea, my nine year old son weighs 28kg, so he could swing on it, nearing the point of activation. Comprehensive literature with step by step photos are provided for fitting the coiled wire and cylinder replacement.

    About the only downside to the air-bag safety feature is where to put the small gas cylinder. Hit-Air mounted it vertically on the right side of the chest. Based solely from experience, I think this is the least likely position to cause bodily damage in a crash. In a sliding crash on your front, the air-bag should keep a cushion between the chest and the cylinder that already has a large support backing anyway. But again, every crash is different and there are no guarantees in this world. In a heavy crash you are likely to break something anyway, but most bike crashes involve the back and sides.

    Pillion or rider, if you are wearing the Hit Air jacket during an off, the point of impact with the ground or an object may not be your body, it will be the jacket. During impact the air pressure is evenly distributed around the whole bladder, which cushions the impact by distributing the load throughout the jacket. Pillions usually don't see a crash coming and are often under-protected, again the Hit Air would offer added protection to your loved one.

    There has already been one accident in which the Hit Air deployed with the rider only sustaining injuries to his leg and knee. He commented that he wasn't even aware the jacket had inflated for his protection!

    When I first put the jacket on, it felt comfortable right away, out on the bike I found the EU could not be faulted, at any speed. Even without the air-bag system, this jacket is well designed and in the top quality bracket. I know people who have bought Cordura style jackets, only to find they are not very waterproof, or blow up into a parachute as the wind gets inside the jacket while they're riding. Features I really like are the long back, keeping the lower back warm, the long arms that end up just the right length in the riding position (with adjustable Velcro wrists), and the outside pockets that don't have any leaking zips in them. While it's not littered with pockets, there are enough to go around. The usual chequebook sized inside pocket has a Velcro fastener, while inside the over-zip flap is a wallet sized, easy access pocket. Outside is a pair of large general purpose pockets, again, with Velcro fastening. Although handy on a hot day, I'm not a fan of outside zip breathers or pockets. When it rains, after a period of time even the best zips will leak water and I've had enough of coming home soaked through after a long ride.

    As we've heard about Cordura cloth melting away in road crashes, the arm and shoulder areas have a special high-strength cloth designed for greater abrasion resistance. Positioned in front and back of the arms are small but highly reflective triangles, spaced far apart on the shoulders so that people can gauge your distance better. Hit-Air has also sewn in lower-reflective panels around the jacket, which make it look real cool in the streetlight. The high-neck air-bag is fully enclosed and folds inside a button-down flap to cover three-quarters of the neck, providing greater weather protection.

    With the removable lining fitted, I found the Hit-Air jacket perfectly warm for winter riding and not an issue. The lining goes right along the arms and clips up inside the wrist, it is easy to remove and almost as easy to put back in.

    Like most Cordura jackets these days you will find armour in the shoulders and elbows. Unlike some jackets, the elbow armour stretches most of the way along to the wrist; also standard is large 10mm thick foam padding that covers much of your back.

    Six styles of jacket are available at Hit Air Australia , based at Grays Point , NSW. Ph/Fax (02) 9540-1500, or Email; hit-air@justinternet.com.au . The EU retails for $964, the UK $920 while the JP sells for $907. Spare gas cylinders are $20 (but you'll be glad to pay that if you end up crashing and the air-bag saves some skin).

    Colours available vary depending on the jacket type, but the styling sets the striking EU jacket above the rest. I guess most Australians would opt for the touring and general-use EU type, which is the high-day-visibility red/black/silver test jacket I used.

    Other jacket styles, colours and accessories are available, and can be viewed at www.hit-air.com and www.hitairaustralia.com , who also supplies air bladders to other jacket manufacturers. Overall, the quality of the product cannot be faulted; the Hit-Air EU jacket looks great, functions well and offers the additional air-bag safety feature to the motorcyclist.

    Terry Stevenson is a Freelance journalist and photographer from Hamilton, New Zealand
  12. Rivet Air Bag

    I brought a Rivet, they are on special at $299.
    I have only been riding since 25 Jan and its the first jacket I have so I cant compare comfort, weight, waterproof etc with anything else.
    I brought it over other jackets because it seemed like a good idea
    BUT,,, its comfortable, Ive been rained on and stayed dry inside. The wind doesnt get it, with the liner in its lovely and warm , liner out it gets a bit warm on a hot day.
    Two things,,,the clip is a bit small to hook up and unhook to bike with gloves on,,,may be just me and may get better with practice.
    And it does inflate if you forget to unhook, I just hopped of bike and it inflated,,,very embarrassing, fortunately the service station was empty.
    Its really quick inflation, instantaneous, firm grip around chest and the ring around the back of neck supports head well
  13. There was also an airbag type system at last years motogp in the underclass events.
    One rider fell off his 125 and the thing inflated in a split second, all around his neck area.
    So I wouldn't be surprised if these types of airbag systems become part of the racing circuit soon as they are better tested.
  14. Motoair is another alternative. Cant find much info on it apart from their site

    they seem to have more sporty models available than hitair
    anyone had any experiance with them?
  15. Just wondering on its ability to be reused. If you accidently inflate it getting off the bike, can you deflate it and it is ready to be reinflated?
    How many charges are in the canister?
    How much does it cost to buy a replacement canister?
  16. I've emailed them with a few questions and the jackets are reusable. Most parts are replaceable, such as the protector pads, air-bag, canister and deployment mechanism. The canister needs to be replaced after each time it's used and it's listed on their online store for $35 at www dot motoair dot com dot au/shoppingcart.htm

    They have a $100 discount and free shipping in April and May at the moment too.
  17. #18 Paulstar, Jul 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015

    Nice video showing the dainese jacket deploying, looks good and i would have one even at $1000 if it worked as well as this one did. I think it saved him hitting his head more than 5 times!
  18. I think it's a great idea, but I've watched a few different video's on youtube of them deploying and they are mostly showing 'gentle' lowsides, (Yeah I know, they're not that gentle when you're the one going down, but you know what I mean.) which makes it hard to tell just how much good they really do.

    I realise that no-one (me included) is going to volunteer to highside or t-bone a car in the name of testing the jacket, but I'd need to see more before I shelled out $1,000.
  19. Just thinking here, but if u come off ur bike etc, and your swinging down the road on this airbag thing, wont stones tear it apart??