• Mar 24th 2008 at 11:28AM
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Motorcycles always have that ever-present danger of turning their operators into hamburger should the rider take a spill. Racing crashes are especially nasty, and while leathers do offer protection from road rash, cushioning impacts to the upper torso is key to increasing survivability. Dainese, a manufacturer of cycling equipment, has been working on an airbag system to help riders avoid injury called the D-Air suit. The system relies on accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors embedded in the suit, and when a computer determines there's a need, an upper-body airbag is deployed in less than a half a second. It looks like a similar, although much more complicated design, than the Airbag Jacket by Impact Jackets, which has already saved at least one life that we know about. Of course, this would all be avoidable if people didn't insist on climbing onto a powerful engine supported by the minimum of wheels and zooming around at the highest possible velocity, but what fun is that? Check out video of the Dainese D-Air suit after the jump.

[Source: Winding Road]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It seems like its a more complex, more expensive and less protective version of the airbag jacket.

      Is this a once-and-done item or can it be reused? On the airbag jacket you can insert a new CO2 bottle and stuff the airbags back inside the jacket to use again. (Of course you would need to check to make sure the aigbags were still safe).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Looking at the video, it appears to be a modular piece on the upper shoulders, and incorporating the aero hump on the upper back that most racing suits already have. You can see the guy pull a strap after he gets up and the whole thing falls away.

        I'm guessing they aren't reusable, for the same reason the airbags in your car aren't; you can't replace the inflation charge and it takes a machine to re-pack the airbag.

        It's a great idea.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks like the Michelin Man had motorcycle accident!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Soooo old... seriously, Motorcycle USA had this last year.

      That being said. It's a one time use jacket and if I ever had that kind of cash I'd probably get one if anything for track days.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Um... am I the only one to notice that the airbag barely touched the ground? He seemed to absorb most of the impact with his back and hips.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would be concerned with what exactly triggers the air bags. It's obvious in a car, but on a motorcycle, you can still get hurt at low speeds. And, what is the reaction time, for instance, if you are traveling at high speeds on the Interstate.

      I can't really speak as a rider, but I'm not against motorcycles either. Having a family member that did accident fatality investigations, I keep hearing in my head "the one with the most bolts usually wins."

      • 7 Years Ago
      Evel Knievel would have loved these.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's cool. Of course you look like a fool after the accident with the airbag out but I guess you don't care if you walk away.

      As for reusing, I'd guess the type of product you want depends on your riding: if you only PLAN on falling only ounce or if you KNOW you're gona take quite a few tumbles.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This or just ride around with your football shoulder pads on.
        • 7 Years Ago
        When it comes to motorcycle safety, there is no "looking like a fool". Any device that can aid in saving your life in an accident is a major plus. As for re-using, I don't think anyone plans on using it in the first place, but it's good to have. And in my opinion, it's a lot safer than these morons you see riding with shorts and a tank top.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, now I can actually consider a motorcyle without picturing myself totally mutilated.
      • 7 Years Ago
      fm- If I walked away from a motorcycle accident, I don't think anyone would take me as a fool for having airbags hanging from my shoulders, lol!

      I don't know why these weren't out on the market when airbags started getting popular in cars. Could really save many lives and massively reduce motorcycle injuries. Pretty sweet. When I get a bike someday, I'll get one of these jackets.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Nucbuddy : Anyone that is willing to learn to ride properly can ride a motorcycle. Should we ban cars for personal use since there's public transportation available ?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Could really save many lives and massively reduce motorcycle injuries."

        So could cars. No one needs to ride a motorcycle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Uhm no. Race crashes are far less dangerous than road accidents. On the road you can get killed regardless of your skill, what protective gear you wear or at what speed you ride, even when you're not moving at all. On racetracks the speeds may be higher, but there's no oncoming traffic, no people distracted by cellphones, kids or radio.

      It's not the motorcycles that kill their riders.

      Airbag jackets are a cool invention, and will certainly help a lot of people survive accidents that would have been fatal...
      but they won't ever protect you from being mauled beyond identification by an 18-wheeler, being forced to use a wheelchair for the rest of your life because someone turned left without looking and "the bike came out of nowhere, officer!" or being sliced to shreds by those those fancy new wire rope barriers I keep hearing about.
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