10th May 2020
I am always seeking the best protection for when I am riding my motorcycle. There is no doubt, that for me, as I am over 70 years old, that an airbag system would offer me the ultimate tech in protection. I tend to be out on country roads and enjoying a blast on my sports motorcycle but there is also some street use and some touring.
I have spent a great deal of time researching air bag systems and up until now I have never really settled on one I liked. I dislike the idea of wearing an airbag over my jacket, or one tied to the motorbike and especially the ones that don't quite cover all the bits of my body that I would like protected. The real deal breaker is an independent airbag that relies on GPS signals to work.
A few years ago, Alpinestars came out with their Race and Street Tech Airbag systems which were ideal, as the airbags covered all the essential organs of the body, were independent of the bike and were worn under a jacket. The downside was that they required a special Alpinestars Tech Air Jacket and the airbag connected (inside) via a plug to the jacket which displayed an electronic LED traffic light system on the sleeve of the jacket to notify the wearer of the battery condition and whether the airbag was on or off. The expense was a bummer as I already had invested in several types of jackets and their associated armour, and back protection. Perhaps the worse downside was that I disliked the back protector of the Race and Street Tech Airbag systems where the electronics were stored, as they were quite cumbersome and made the Tech Air Jacket and Tech Airbag heavy to wear.
Now in 2020, Alpinestars have released their Tech Air 5 airbag system which is totally independent of any jacket and has a lighter and more flexible back protector where the electronics are kept. Remember this back protector also has the airbag back inflation section underneath it, so in reality, it is two back protectors. Although the Tech Air 5 can be worn with the existing Alpinestars Tech Air Jackets, it cannot be connected to the external sleeve traffic LED system on the jacket - it has its own independent LED system on the bottom right of the actual airbag.
At first there was great joy at the thought of saving on a new jacket to
use with the Tech Air 5 and then disappointment as my existing jackets
were not large enough to accommodate the airbag and yet have enough room
for it to inflate should an accident occur. It meant, I would have to
purchase a size larger jacket or go with an Alpinestars Tech Air Jacket
that has expandable sections that stretch in the event of an accident.
I still think the Alpinestars Tech Air 5 airbag system is the best route because I can purchase any jacket to go with it, as long as it has the appropriate gap for the bag to expand.
With the Tech Air 5, and because I would have to also purchase a new jacket, I would probably go for an Alpinestars Tech Air Jacket as it does not have to be oversize, thanks to its stretch panels. It would have to be a jacket for sports and touring as well waterproof so I could use it on both my motorcycles. Something like the Alpinestars Andes Pro Drystar Touring Jacket, shown in the image below.
Check out the Alpinestars Website