2012 Motorcycle of the Year | Best New Technology

Airbag Suits
AirFence For Your Body

Bike parts can be replaced, but human body parts are much harder to come by, so we heartily applaud anything that makes riding—and crashing—safer. The advent of AirFence dramatically improved the safety of racing circuits, and now race-suit manufacturers are putting air-cushion technology right where it matters most: on the rider. Alpinestars’ Tech Air and Dainese’s D-Air suits have both been in development for more than a decade, and are finally available to the public. Unlike tethered airbag vests that only inflate after you’ve become separated from your bike, Dainese’s and Alpinestars’ systems use electronic sensors to monitor myriad parameters in real time, constantly looking for the telltale signs of a get-off. Both suits were designed to protect the rider’s shoulders and upper chest by shielding those areas with an energy-absorbing air pillow that inflates via a gas cartridge within the back hump. Yes, these suits are expensive. So is a broken collarbone.Guess which hurts more…

Alternative Take

TFT Dash Displays
We’ve been wowed! Tin Film Transistor (TFT) dashes like those on the Ducati Diavel and Panigale and the BMW K1600GT and GTL convey more information, more effectively, and look outstanding. This crisp, colorful display technology has an uncanny way of enhancing your riding experience while making everything else seem antiquated.

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