Alpinestars Tech-Air System: The Future of Impact Protection

Nov 24, 2014 View Comments by

Alpinestars Tech-Air System: The Future of Impact ProtectionWith the proliferation and advancement of armored riding gear as well as electronic aids like ABS and traction control and the increased popularity of advanced rider training, motorcycling is perhaps safer than it’s ever been. However, it looks like the next great advancement in rider safety may be arriving in stores this spring. It’s called the Tech-Air System from Alpinestars. For the past few years we’ve been watching a variety of airbag products filtering into the market each with their various apparent pros and cons, though, due to the nature of the product, testing their effectiveness is a bit difficult.

What makes the Tech-Air system different is that it’s a stand-alone device that’s activated by its own set of sensors with an algorithm that’s taken Alpinestars a decade to perfect. Most other motorcycle air bags fall into two categories: mechanically activated and electronically activated. Mechanical air bags generally attach the rider to their bike via a tether that activates the airbag when it’s yanked (as in when the rider is thrown off in a crash). Electronically activated systems tend to be much more complex. In these devices a series of sensors, usually located on the motorcycle, detect a crash in the first few milliseconds and deploy the airbag. Both systems require that the rider be connected to the bike in order to function requiring the rider to connect and disconnect whenever they got on or off the bike, a pain to be sure.

Alpinestars’ Tech-Air system, however, is completely self-contained. It is electronically activated, but all the sensors and electronics are inside the unit itself, no connection to the motorcycle is needed. The sensors detect a crash within 30-60 milliseconds, and the airbag inflates in 25. Alpinestars has extensively tested the Tech-Air, and the system is a development of race-bred air bags worn by MotoGP racers like Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa.

Initially, the Tech-Air system will be mated to two different Alpinestars riding jackets, the Valparaiso, which is an all-season touring jacket, and the Viper, a summer jacket. Both jackets and the Tech-Air will be available in spring 2015.

Check out the video below showing some Tech-Air testing.





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