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Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 Details: $699 and Protection Equivalent to 18 Back Protectors

Alpinestars has now released the details on its Tech-Air 5 vest. Priced at $699, it should be available this March for purchase. The technology is really quite remarkable … with Alpinestars claiming “The Tech-Air 5 airbag system offers the same protection as that provided by 18 back protectors.”

The vest contains three gyroscopes and three accelerometers, and a Bluetooth connection to your smart phone that shows the operational status of the vest, which is claimed to have a rechargeable battery with 30 hours of life. Alpinestars has sizing information on its web site. More details are found in the latest press release below from Alpinestars:

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, LAS VEGAS – Alpinestars has been redefining protection for motorcyclists ever since the company was established in 1963, and today sees the brand launching Tech-Air® 5, the all-new, autonomous motorcycling airbag system.

Tech-Air® 5 is the latest addition to the Alpinestars Tech-Air® family, which includes the Tech-Air® Race and Tech-Air® Street systems. Alpinestars continues to lead the way in active air-bag technology for riders and their passengers and Tech-Air® 5 is a powerful demonstration of Alpinestars commitment to making the technology more freely available as the best possible choice of ‘active’ airbag protection in the market.

Tech-Air® 5 is a slim, self-contained wearable airbag vest that can be worn under any proper fitting textile jacket1 or Tech-Air compatible jacket, or any leather jacket with 4 cm of space around the circumference of the rider’s chest. Tech-Air® 5 offers unrivaled upper body protection keeping motorcycle riders safe by uniquely covering the rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs and full back. Shoulder protection is critical in a road impact, and riders’ shoulders are uniquely protected by Tech-Air®, effectively and efficiently minimizing the risk of the rider sustaining shoulder and collarbone injuries. Alpinestars Tech- Air® 5 provides the most comprehensive coverage of any airbag currently available.

The state-of-the-art, wearable Tech-Air® 5 vest comes with an active electronic system that features six integrated sensors (3 gyroscopes and 3 accelerometers) and a crash algorithm that leverages AI to accurately monitor when to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash. Developed from years of research with over 50% of the world’s top MotoGP riders, and Alpinestars customers, riding data from millions of kilometers and thousands of crashes have been analyzed to continuously improve the intelligent crash detection algorithm. Upon the identification of a crash situation, a protective airbag is deployed, providing unrivaled protection to the rider with a maximum inflation time of 20 to 40ms based on the volume of the airbag size. The impact absorption while wearing the airbag results in a decrease of the impact force by up to 95% compared to a passive protector. The Tech-Air® 5 airbag system offers the same protection as that provided by 18 back protectors(2).

The system is also extremely easy to use, just zip up the vest and close the magnetic flap and you’re ready to ride. An LED display indicates the airbag’s operational status and the integrated, certified lithium ion battery has a battery life of 30 hours of riding time. The system comes equipped with a magnetic micro USB charger that allows quick, easy and convenient recharging.

Tech-Air® 5 has Bluetooth connectivity and an accompanying Tech-Air® App, which uses the rider’s phone to display the system’s operational status, battery status and a detailed analysis of a ride; the system’s firmware can also be updated directly via the app.

Nearly 20 years ago, Alpinestars began development on the original Tech-Air® system. When launched in the market in 2014, the Tech-Air® system was recognized as the world’s first airbag providing full upper body protection with a completely independent electronic management system, in addition to having the versatility of the vest which could be easily zipped into a variety of Tech-Air® compatible jackets. In December 2019, Tech-Air® 5 has already been recognized by CES as one of the must-see innovative products in the Wearables Technology Marketplace.

A history of Alpinestars Tech-Air®:2001: Tech-Air® Airbag system project begins.
2004: Alpinestars performs its first electronic airbag test; at this time with outer airbag balloons of 2 x 60 liters. Alpinestars decides to use electronic triggering for the airbag as the company analyzed and studied all solutions and discovered that with a mechanical system the activation is not fast enough to guarantee first impact protection.
2004: Alpinestars also starts collecting riding data from professional riders in e.g. MotoGP.
2009: Alpinestars introduces Tech-Air® Race in MotoGP.
2011: Tech-Air® Race is integrated into Alpinestars top leather suit and becomes become available to final customers.
2014: The Tech-Air® Street airbag system is launched to the market at the EICMA show in Milan as a modular self-contained electronic airbag system that provides first impact protection for the full upper torso. Tech-Air® Street is the first system in the market to provide this level of protection. Additionally, the system allows the rider to easily switch between Tech-Air® compatible garments and to adapt these garments to his/her riding requirements and the weather conditions.
2016: Tech-Air® Race is introduced as a modular system that allows riders to not only choose between a wide variety of compatible suits and garments, but to choose between algorithms; riders can switch between race track use and public road use. Tech-Air® Race is the first system in the market to allow this option.
2020: The Tech-Air®5 system is launched, joining the Tech-Air® Race and Tech-Air® Street vests, in the Alpinestars Tech-Air® line-up.

Notes:

(1) The Tech-Air® 5 wearable vest is designed to be worn under any proper fitting textile jacket, keeping in mind that the jacket must be large enough to accommodate the expansion of the airbag in the event of a crash. For textile jackets this requires an additional 4 cm of space around the circumference of the body. For those riders who want to wear a sports leather jacket, Tech-Air® 5 may also be worn with Tech-Air® compatible leather jackets which have built in leather expansion panels to accommodate the inflation of the airbag. Riders who wish to wear a leather jacket that is not Tech-Air® compatible must be sure that the leather jacket has an additional 4 cm of space around the circumference of the entire chest.

(2) The Tech-Air® 5 airbag system offers the same protection as that provided by 18 CE Level 1 back protectors, as verified by SGS, an Official CE Certification company, that provides independent testing of product conformity with European Personal Protection Regulations.


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24 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wear it but after 81 degrees I just get hot. We really need better lighter tech. Also I wish they made some much lighter protection for easy riding. Seems everything is made for a 200 mph Hyabusa.

  2. John F. says:

    Klim is also coming out with their own version of air vest which will apparently retail for $399. Klim’s vest, like Aplinestar’s, almost doesn’t require any physical connection (such as a tether) with the motorcycle.

    The Alpinestar vest seems to have slightly more protection for the upper arms but the $300 price differential might make me go for the cheaper (but still high quality) Klim version.

    • CK says:

      The KLIM product will require a monthly/yearly membership that after a couple years will require more money than the alpine stars vest… or a one time fee of 400 GBP

  3. Bubba Blue says:

    Now all you have to do is crash.

  4. an engineer says:

    …cuz yer autoMObile airbags deploy on any pothole you hit, see

  5. Jabe says:

    Maybe I missed it, but is this a one time use?

    • George says:

      I sure hope not. Their other Tech Air products have replaceable argon cylinders, so I would assume it’s the same case here. I guess the full specs are going to be announced in March?

  6. mickey says:

    How do you measure to see if your textile jacket has enough room for this vest plus leaves 4 cm of space around the circumference your body for expansion?

    • Dave says:

      You could estimate by measuring your chest circumference, then opening your jacket on a table and measuring across, zipper to zipper. Chances are, unless your jacket is pretty tight, there’s going to be enough room.

      • George says:

        Or put on a thick sweater or parka, and see if you can squeeze into your riding jacket. It will be a snug fit for sure, but if you can manage to zip the thing up without splitting seams, I bet the airbag would work inside it.

  7. Bruce R says:

    It’s been well proven in MotoGP and many of the riders in Dakar right now are using them. I had a demo of the TechAir 4 on the weekend and the guy demonstrating the jacket could still move his arms quite well immediately after firing it.
    I’ll be buying this for both my wife and myself as soon as I can.

  8. If you do a bit of looking around you will realize that most air bag systems immobilize your head and neck by filling the space under your helmet and help protect your collar bones as well.
    This is a big deal due to its reasonable price. Their system before was like $1100 for a vest so this makes it more affordable for the masses.
    At the track, I see folks with air suites have a get off and have minimal injuries. My last get off was what I would consider minimal ( I walked away). My wife drove me to ER, two broken ribs and a couple of stitches, $50,000…..If I had had a air vest it might have been $0.00….
    Looks like cheap insurance (never mind the pain and recoup time needed) to me.
    DT

  9. Dan says:

    Any way you slice it, however – $ 700 doesn’t go very far AT ALL in terms of medical expenses

  10. Grover says:

    So if I wear my leathers, this new spine protector, inflatable airbag, racing boots, carbon knuckled gloves and Shubert helmet I’m good to go for a nice Sunday afternoon ride?

    • Bigdog says:

      You makes your choices and you takes your chances. At least have the freedom to choose

      • Grover says:

        Yes, freedom to choose is great, though sometimes I feel more like an Apollo 11 astronaut than a motorcyclist when I’m all wrapped up and ready for a ride. The gear is more comfortable when sitting on the bike (except when it’s 100 degrees out!) and that’s where it’s important.

        • CrazyJoe says:

          It’s been 80ish in Houston the last couple days. Wonder if summer will as ridiculously hot. Too hot for me. How ever, Isn’t there an a/c unit available for bikes. Honda Gold Wing still coming with an optional airbag?

          That’s the thing about owning a bike. Helmet, padded jacket pants, boots, gloves and hearing protection are pretty much required equipment. You could go under 1000 if you tried but an addition of an airbag vest or jacket ain’t gonna be cheap.

          So what about a package incorporating all the above? One of the retailers could give you a deal. Or a manufacturer could put together a, wait for it, a space suit.

    • George says:

      Well, you’re good to go for a crash.

      Only you can determine what you consider good for a ride. I guess if you can guarantee you’ll never crash, you probably won’t need any of this stuff. Of course, you might want at least some of it if you don’t enjoy sunburn, bugs in your face, tears streaming out of your eyes, hearing loss from wind, etc.

  11. Gary in NJ says:

    I honestly don’t know what to make of this technology. Obviously protecting the spine is of paramount importance, but the neck is still able to snap/whip with deadly force. I’ve seen several dramatic videos on YouTube, and while I can see that the vest has expanded, I can’t help but notice that the head and hands have taken the brunt of the force. God bless those human test dummies.

  12. Stuki Moi says:

    If this actually works as advertised, it seems like a real step forward. I still don’t want to be the guy rolling down the highway, hitting a bump only to have his jacket blow up. But once those more adventurous than me have accumulated enough trouble free miles to alleviate that concern, I’ll seriously look into getting one.

    • Wendy says:

      This reads a bit like the “helmets will snap your neck” propaganda. I think the technology is sufficiently advanced to avoid the scenario Stuki imagines. The vest will reset and keep you from permanently look like the Michelin man.