Motorcycle airbags are a vital safety element.

Essential in MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 since 2018, everything suggests that, in the near future, airbags recommended for off-track motorcycle riding will also be available. (Motorcycle airbags are a vital safety element)

More motorcyclists adopt airbag-equipped gear, with an expanding roster of brands dedicated to advancing this promising safety system. The variety of airbag systems on the market is growing, whether incorporated into a suit, jacket, or leather vest. Initially developed exclusively for use in electric circuits, their prices were very high. However, they have gradually evolved to become simpler, allowing for everyday use without the need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on them.

For these reasons, there have been a lot of talks lately about motorcycle airbags, and although there is still a long way to go for the use of this technology to become widespread, several organizations are working on it to promote its use.In fact, several motorcyclists’ associations around the world have reported that, although it is not mandatory, it is worth promoting the use of airbags among motorcyclists. Also in Spain, the platform VIVE LA MOTO started a few months ago the campaign #PonteUnAirbag with a video in which some MotoGP riders recommended the use of airbags outside the circuits. (Motorcycle airbags are a vital safety element)

Motorcycle airbags are a vital safety element.

How do airbags work?

Although one version of the Honda GL1800 Gold has been equipped with an airbag system as standard equipment and some helmets also have a small airbag to protect the wearer’s neck area, when The term “airbag” for motorcyclists refers to a “bag” in the form of a jacket that inflates in the event of a fall or crash and primarily protects the neck, shoulders, chest, and back. MotoGP-honed technology, refined over decades, now essential for riders across all three categories of motorcycle racing.

This airbag type isn’t definitive. Its protection varies by fall type and speed. However, impact energy can decrease by 90%. This reduction could prevent injuries and save lives. During the #PonteUnAirbag campaign presentation, data revealed motorcycle accident deaths. Thoracic trauma causes 35% of fatalities. The protection level from an airbag resembles that of a helmet.


As a rule, such a device includes an activation system with GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, along with the necessary battery and inflation mechanism, which can be equipped with one or even two compressed air cylinders in addition to the “bag” that inflates. The activation system can be mechanical or electronic. The former attaches to the motorcycle by means of a belt and activates when detached from it. The second is independent and has a series of sensors that detect sudden changes in the rider’s position.

Both activate a striker that pierces the compressed air bottle, which is capable of inflating the entire “bag” in about 25 milliseconds (0.025 seconds).
In the event of an impact, the vest distributes the generated energy throughout, reducing the possibility of trauma. Dainese, a pioneer with 25+ years in this field, notes Smart Jacket’s back protection equals seven back protectors combined. Once inflated, the airbag loses pressure after a few seconds.
The manufacturer requires servicing for “bag” replacement, air bottle replacement, and repair of any other damages incurred.

How much does an airbag cost?

About the prices of motorcycle airbags, it depends a lot on the type and brand. In general, vests – which can be worn over or under the jacket – range from 400 to 600 euros.For a jacket or leather suit with an airbag, the mentioned amount must be added to their usual cost. A leather or Cordura jacket (with an airbag) can cost between 1,500 and 2,000 euros. Opting for a motorcycle suit with an airbag may exceed 1,000 euros due to its sophisticated technology. Hence, the price of a good suit with an airbag can be close to 3,000 euros.   Text Credits: Box Repsol

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