Motorcycle air bags: The faster, the safer

The ADAC tested two chest airbags that are integrated in vests

(dmd). They belong to the few items motorbike riders may wear to protect themselves during a crash: air bags integrated into vests. However, how well they protect the wearer depends on how quickly and dependably they open up during a collision. The ADAC recently tested two of the motorbike vests with integrated air bags that are currently available on the market.

The air bag vest D-air Street by Dainese received a better test rating. Photo: dmd/ADACBest in the test and receiving the rating “very good” was the air bag vest Dainese D-air Street. This protective system is sold with the electronic steering unit M-Kit which must be permanently installed on the bike. In the event of a hard collision, the unit sends a radio signal to gas generator in the vest. The ADAC reports that the system reacts very quickly, generating an effective air bag during the test only 45 milliseconds after the crash. The Dainese protective vest can be combined with existing protective clothing. The only disadvantage is that the system is only effective when worn on a bike that is quipped with an M-Kit.

The second system tested was the AirNest jacket by Helite. This air bag vest is activated with the help of a rip cord that has to be attached to the bike before the ride. This system also reacted very quickly during the test and its protective potential was also very high. However, since it did not react immediately after crashing with another vehicle, the air bag vest only received a “good” instead of a “very good” rating.

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