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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I would like your opinion about airbag jackets for 2 wheeler drivers.

In Europe the jackets are more and more popular. Big brands have launched their own airbag jacket: Peugeot, Brembo... They are used by many administrations, police, emergency doctors, guardians....

I was wondering what's the market and interest for it in United States; it doesn't seem to be well accepted yet?
 

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we are waiting for a good-quality airbag jacket - at a reasonable price.
i think there is one company planning to release one soon ... maybe in the next year. it might be dainese - but i can't remember. to be successful, the jacket needs to be priced in the hundreds of dollars. if it is over $1,000 then it will only be bought by racers - not by street riders.

there is a jacket available now that works by a ripcord that attaches the rider to the bike. if the rider is thrown off, the jacket inflates. but that idea is not popular - people do not want to be tied to their bikes. I am in agreement with that.

so the situation is just that the right product has not reached the market yet. but it will come eventually.

dT
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi distantThunder,
thank you for your feedback. I have spoken with a few German friends (always security oriented) and they all had the same comment about your statement: "They are waiting for a better airbag so they know they will not have any accidents before this better airbag comes out?"

If you had the choice between an old fashion seatbelt when driving your car or not wearing any seatbelt, because one day a better seatbelt will come out... do you prefer waiting for the better seatbelt?

In France the mechanical system is popular...because one company tried an electrical system and it failed. So people prefer being attached to the motorcycle than having an electrical system inflating the airbag in unproper situations.

I do hope there will soon be more security campaigns in America. It was already the case with seat belts in cars, they were compulsory much later in the U.S than in Europe.
 

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helite

I understand what your German friends are saying.
Perhaps there is just an different attitude about risk in America.
That is all.
The riders here would probably tell you that they try to control risk through their own actions - by improving their skills, paying more attention to traffic patterns, taking extra riding courses and so on.

The constraints of the market are just what is practical.
For the USA - the challenge to the makers of the MC airbags is to provide a better product at a reasonable cost. It is a difficult challenge ... but there will be a big payoff when they accomplish the design goal. The potential market in America is a big one - once these motorcycle airbags catch on.
So there is a significant incentive for the motorcycle companies to really develop these ideas. In the mean time - it sounds as though Europe is ahead of us with the development of airbags for motorcycles. Hence the European countries will probably have a big impact on how this technology evolves.

dT
 

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I agree with what DT stated about being constrained to the bike. I considered an airbag jacket, but decided that the risk of setting it off accidentally was too great. I know I would forget to un-tether at some point. What good is the jacket if I'm frequently having to pay $50 to re-set the system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@ distantThunder: thanks for your feedback

@ goalie: Airbag jacket manufacturers have been researching and developing products for more than a decade, their products are very appreciated by the European crowd. The "setting off" accidentally was never a problem because you need to pull at least 20 pounds before the airbag activates... which is possible only if there is an acceleration or if you pull very hard voluntarily on the jacket. Forgetting to clip off before dismounting the motorcycle does not activate your airbag.
If you do fall and don't break your back...you'll be happy to pay the $30 gas cartridge.
 

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I agree with what DT stated about being constrained to the bike. I considered an airbag jacket, but decided that the risk of setting it off accidentally was too great. I know I would forget to un-tether at some point. What good is the jacket if I'm frequently having to pay $50 to re-set the system?

I have owned an airbag vest for almost 2 years now and have never accidently set it off. It takes a considerable amount of force to activate the system. I forget to untether all the time. The tether also separates in an accident so you're not dragged with your bike.
 

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I'll give them more consideration in the future -- although I admit that I'm still not thrilled with the idea of being tethered to the bike. Maybe a mental block to get over.
 

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I'm thinking through the airbag jacket scenario and it raises a lot of concerns. Maybe these are my own worries, but they are there.
First: $500
Second: Do you replace CO2 cartridges often? If so, how do you know you've done everything correctly? There is no mulligan.
Third: This may seem petty, but the jackets do not look very attractive.
Fourth: Do the tethers wear out? If so, can you replace them?

That's just after thinking about it for a few minutes. I guess a lot of concerns are due to ignorace, but many are due to the perceived cost of the jackets also.
 

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I bought my airbag vest for less than $200. I think they're only around $150 now. The jackets are a bit more but you can find some for around $300. Yea, most airbag jackets look a bit funky. I just use the vest over the jacket I already had.

You only have to replace the CO2 if you activate the system. So far I've never had to do it. It's been maintenence free for me.

The tethers are made of a steel cable so they shouldn't ever wear out.

This is the company I bought mine from. They're out of Singapore but it only took a few days to get my order.
http://www.airbagjacket.com.sg/
 

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"although I admit that I'm still not thrilled with the idea of being tethered to the bike. Maybe a mental block to get over."

same goes for me.
And a LOT of other riders as well.
They need to re-design the item to get rid of the tether line.
That's why they are not selling.

dT
 

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Come on people...the tether is not stong enough to drag you down the road. Truth be known, most times it is better to stay with the bike anyway.
 

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Come on people...the tether is not stong enough to drag you down the road. Truth be known, most times it is better to stay with the bike anyway.
Who is worried about being dragged down the road????? I do not recall reading that.
What does it mean that it is "better to stay with the bike????"
 

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Who is worried about being dragged down the road????? I do not recall reading that.
What does it mean that it is "better to stay with the bike????"
A recurring theme here...refer to posts 2, 7, 8 and 11. What else do you think they are alluding to?

Staying with the bike means when sliding many times the bike will protect you and a passenger from greater damage, especially if equipped with crash bars. Greater injuries are incurred from trying to break a fall...a natural instinct. Tell your passenger to cross thier arms and keep thier legs tucked to the bike.
 

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A recurring theme here...refer to posts 2, 7, 8 and 11. What else do you think they are alluding to?

I was simply talking about not be tethered to the bike in terms of always forgetting I'm attached when I want to get off.

Staying with the bike means when sliding many times the bike will protect you and a passenger from greater damage, especially if equipped with crash bars. Greater injuries are incurred from trying to break a fall...a natural instinct. Tell your passenger to cross thier arms and keep thier legs tucked to the bike.
If you are going to slide, chances are you are doing it intentionally. If hit broadside or head on, I do not think "staying with the bike" is worth much.
 

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If you are going to slide, chances are you are doing it intentionally. If hit broadside or head on, I do not think "staying with the bike" is worth much.
Very seldom will one slide intentionally. If hit otherwise it is a no-brainer that you will probably be thrown from the bike. Having a tether on is no different than using a kill switch which is mandatory in racing sanctions...I hear none of them grumbling about it. Fact is a tether is a cost effective method of deployment...electronic or impact detection would only drive the prices up for little gain.

The step to take to remove the tether is simple and easily learned. Are we not "tethered" to some extent when we get into a cage and put seatbelts on? How often does one forget to remove a seatbelt when exiting a vehicle? It is a learned response like any other and worth the effort if you place any value on your well being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Helite Airbag

"They need to re-design the item to get rid of the tether line.
That's why they are not selling."

Car drivers were not enthusiast about seatbelts at first either.
@Distant Thunder: When you drive your motorcycle, do you stand up on it and do tricks that make the tether line uncomfortable? As you said it is a mental block, because it doesn´t obstruct your driving.

Unfortunatly there are many misconceptions and ignorances, as well as fake airbag jacket manufacturers... How can you sell a good quality motorcycle jacket with an effective airbag system inside for $150? Megocode you should make sure your jacket is really effective...

@goalie: I agree it is very confusing and hard to obtain the good information and make sure you buy a product that is effective in case of an accident. The high price is justified: you are buying a high quality motocycle jacket with all the usual armors and back protector, in addition you a have a sophisticated airbag system and finally the production quantities are not big enough yet to offer lower prices.
 

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helite - Actually I'm wondering why manufacturers are selling these jackets for the ridiculous price they're charging now. The vest I have now is by MotoAir. The vest when I bought it was around $200 and the jackets were quite a bit more. They have since come down in price. There's nothing complex at all about these jackets and vests. They shouldn't be $500+.

As for its effectiveness? I haven't had an accident while wearing the vest so I can't give my personal opinion but MotoAir has been reviewed extensively and there are plenty of videos on YouTube showing them in action. Just search MotoAir on YouTube.

Here's a video of the MotoAir jacket in action and shows how hard an accidental activation is.
http://youtu.be/06FPzdcDI90
 

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They make decent enough armor for much cheaper that I don't see the need for airbags until they come down in price.

I hope down the road they become inexpensive and commonplace, and include the legs too.
 
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