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Airbags, who uses them?

java230

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Anyone run an airbag? I ride street mostly, and think it might be a good piece of gear....
 

ZoomerP

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I've been looking. I like the Helite options best so far, but the e-Turtle still isn't available in the U.S., and that's the one that interests me most. Even the mechanical Turtle 2 vest is difficult to find.
 

java230

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I've been looking. I like the Helite options best so far, but the e-Turtle still isn't available in the U.S., and that's the one that interests me most. Even the mechanical Turtle 2 vest is difficult to find.
I'm looking at the alpine stars. More coverage on the shoulders than the others it seems
 

Punkinhead

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I bought an Alpinestar Tech-Air 5 last summer. It's surprisingly heavy but not really noticeable when riding. I also didn't think it was unbearable in high temperatures under a mesh jacket. I know it will be obsolete soon as the market progresses, but I pulled the trigger after seeing the cost of a friend's life flight and hospital bills.
 

java230

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I bought an Alpinestar Tech-Air 5 last summer. It's surprisingly heavy but not really noticeable when riding. I also didn't think it was unbearable in high temperatures under a mesh jacket. I know it will be obsolete soon as the market progresses, but I pulled the trigger after seeing the cost of a friend's life flight and hospital bills.
Agreed, it's at the tip of the market, but a small price to pay for what I am hoping is good safety gear.

Just need to see if I need to up size my jacket.
 

LuciferMutt

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Have been eyeballing the Helite vests. I didn't know they weren't available in the US.

I don't care for the idea of the A* Tech 5 -- I've read at least two independent reports of the bag blowing for no reason while riding normally -- and a recharge requires sending it to the factory and costs hundreds of dollars. Additionally, it's another battery to keep charged and software/electronics to fail. In the Helite's case, it's a $25 for a new gas cartridge and you install it yourself. The tether would seem to be no more annoying than a seatbelt in a car.
 

ZoomerP

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The mechanically triggered Helite Turtle & Turtle 2 are available in the U.S., but can be hard to find. The e-Turtle isn't available in the U.S., but I believe it's possible to order from a European retailer and have it shipped to the U.S. I don't know if that impacts warranty and repair service.

A tethered bag is slower to activate than a (properly functioning) electronic bag. The longer the tether, the greater the delay, so the delay increases if you want to stand. Some of the high speed test videos show that slow activation can be a problem. Also, the e-bags may inflate in a low side, while a tethered bag may not if you stay with the bike.

I'll be riding much more this year, so I may not put off a purchase much longer. I'd really like to see how the Helite and in&Motion controllers compare.
 

java230

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I'll probably strap the airbag to my rack or stuff it in a backpack once off pavement. All of them look like they block more air than I'd like when riding slower.
Definitely block air. But a good trade off in traffic? Perhaps.
 

phreakingeek

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I've been wearing a Hit-Air vest since 2015. While the company says it's good for 5 activations, I had at least 20 on my first vest. The majority of those activations were low speed or stationary bike drops where I forgot to unhook my tether. A couple were while riding, and the final drop was at about 45mph on a muddy road. I ended up doing a superman slide on the road and it tore the fabric under one arm. The internal bladder held up and was still inflated, but the vest was no longer usable. I replaced it with a new one and it's been on 20k miles of riding without any issues. I like to switch between a couple different riding jackets depending on the weather so the vest works out better for me.
 

lucky13

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I wear the A* Tech Air-Race setup at the track. This is the model that is integrated into leathers, and it works very well. Great coverage, motogp derived algorithms, and while it does add some weight and bulk to your kit, once suited up/riding, it is unobtrusive.

It is a little pricey to have it recharged but really a drop in the bucket compared to any injury it can help prevent. (@ $300 to clean, inspect, repack, and recharge. whether one or two charges, tis the same price so as the A* tech once told me, wait to send it in until you've used both charges.)
 

Dirtmerchant

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I've got buddies who use the Klim and A* and like them both. The reason for me considering the A* over my existing Helite is the A* has a track mode where Klim is street mode only. I contacted the track day organizer and he said my Helite would be okay but it does not fit right over top of the suit speed hump.

Otherwise, I really like the Helite Turtle. I'm in SWFLA and while the vest itself doesn't vent, there is enough room with it on that I still get airflow through my vented jackets. If going the tether route, be sure to buy extra bike side tether straps for however many bikes you normally ride as they are a PITA to swap from bike to bike; oh and get a spare air canister too.
 

ZoomerP

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I contacted the track day organizer and he said my Helite would be okay but it does not fit right over top of the suit speed hump.
Unless the track requires doubling up on back protection, I'd remove an insert from the jacket or the airbag.

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Friz Freleng

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I wear an Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 and give it thumbs up. It has a fast deployment time, isn't dependent on a GPS link, and doesn't require a tether. About the only drawback for me is that I'm sensitive to heat, probably as a consequence of suffering from heat exhaustion years ago. Because the Tech 5 is basically a rubber bladder, I begin to get uncomfortable in it when temps reach 80, despite the fact that I wear a mesh jacket. I have an evaporative vest but I haven't yet tried it under the Tech 5, and I'm not optimistic that it'll work because the evaporative vest depends on air movement. Covering it with the Tech 5 will probably smother the evaporation. But I'll see.
 

Mr Pou

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I have the Hit-air (MLV?), I like it because of the open back allowing more air to blow through, and use it over several jackets. With a mesh jacket underneath I’m good to the lower 90s, after that it goes into the saddlebag. Too hot!
 

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