Airbags for the Street! | VIDEO DEMO

Alpinestars introduces its Tech-Air Street Airbag System – with a live demonstration.

Alpinestars' Tech-Air airbag system has been in development for over a decade, and is currently used on racetracks around the world by MotoGP riders Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. Now, Alpinestars has introduced an airbag system for the street, dubbed Tech-Air Street.

Alspinestars says that the system—which is incorporated into a vest that zips into compatible jackets—is completely autonomous and requires no separate sensors or connection to the bike. Since the system travels with you it can be worn on any bike, and Alpinestars says Tech-Air Street is recommended for street riding as well as off-road adventure riding. The vest offers protection in direct impacts as well as highside and lowside crashes by way of inflatable airbags that pad the rider’s chest, shoulders, back, and kidneys.

Tech-Air vest unfilled (left) and filled.

To prove the efficacy of its system, Alpinestars recently held a live demonstration at a crash-test research facility in Milan, Italy. In front of a crowd of wary spectators and journalists, Alpinestars sent a dummy wearing Tech-Air Street into the side of a parked sedan. The dummy was aboard a BMW R1200GS and slammed into the car at 30 mph. Data retrieved from the system showed that Tech-Air detected the impact and deployed the airbags within 59 milliseconds, well before the “rider” contacted the car. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Alpinestars Viper for Tech-Air summer jacket
Alpinestars Valparaiso for Tech-Air all-weather jacket

Tech-Air Street monitors the movement of the rider’s body via sensors at the shoulders. When an impact is predicted—based on algorithms developed over the past ten years and fine-tuned for the street—the system inflates via a canister of compressed argon gas in the integrated back protector. The ACU (Airbag Control Unit) is also contained within the back protector. An internal lithium-ion battery offers a 25-hour operation time and can be fully charged in six hours. Two cables connect the Tech-Air Street vest to compatible jackets—the Valparaiso touring jacket and the Viper mesh summer jacket. The system is activated when the wearer closes the zipper, and system status is conveyed via LEDs on the left forearm (as on the Tech Air race suit). Unlike the Tech-Air system used in racing applications, Tech-Air Street only offers one deployment, after which the garment must be returned to Alpinestars for inspection and refurbishment.

The cost of the Tech-Air Vest is approximately $1,500, and it must be worn with either the Valparaiso jacket ($810) or Viper jacket ($435).