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RidingGearApparel Airbag Vests & Jackets?

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Anyone run one of these or would you? I know they are not new per se, but I can't say that I see many in use. So, I thought it might make an interesting topic.


From Dealersnews.com


The most basic type of riding gear airbag protection is a vest that can be worn over a riding jacket. Airbag vests can use one or more CO2 cartridges for inflation, triggered by a lanyard connected between the vest and motorcycle or by electronics that use crash sensors. When the rider “exits” the motorcycle during a crash, the lanyard system releases a pin that punctures the cap of the CO2 cartridge. The rapidly expanding gas inflates a tube-like structure that cushions the neck, back, base of spine and chest, providing more protection than a solid back protector or traditional armor.


Airbag vests are portable, not only between bikes but also between riders by a swapping the vest. The Hit-Air YS vest is one of the latest examples of a modern vest. It retails for $489 and is available in adjustable medium and large sizes. Some motorcyclists joke that if the lanyard is pulled accidently (or on purpose by someone having a bit of fun) the vest or jacket will inflate. This is not true, according to the company. The Hit-Air jackets and vests, for example, use a coiled, stretchable cord attached to the motorcycle. A quick-disconnect clip attaches the cord to the vest. The cord’s length is adjusted so the rider can stand on the pegs and stretch it to its full length. If the rider is thrown from the bike, it takes a little over 65 lbs. of force to set off the airbag.


The Hit-Air YS vest can be worn over any type of riding jacket. The CO2 cartridge and trigger mechanism is located in the front pocket. A lanyard is connected between the vest and motorcycle and triggers airbag deployment if the rider is thrown from the motorcycle. The trigger, or Key Ball, has a unique design and false deployment is reportedly rare, according to the company. When the vest is inflated (on right), the rider's neck, back and tail bone are protected. 

Because it fits over a traditional riding jacket, the YS is available in 3XL to 4XL sizes. Its large reflective strips and fluorescent yellow color make it stand out for nighttime riding. The vest sells for $489.




n this cutaway of the Hit-Air vest (left), the air tube configuration can been seen. When high-pressure gas from the CO2 cartridge is released, it fills a continuous urethane tube that provides cushion to neck, chest, back, hip and sides of the rider’s body in the event of a crash.




The CO2 cartridge can be replaced in a few minutes by the owner for about $20. Cartridges are sized according to the type of vest/jacket.




The Hit-Air Key Ball and CO2 cartridge are stored in a front pocket on the YS vest (image, right) and other Hit-Air jackets. The key ball holds a holds a compression spring and interlocking needle with the key box. When the lanyard is pulled with enough force, the key ball comes out of the key box and a needle is released that punctures the gas cartridge. The vest inflates within a quarter of a second. The CO2 cartridge can be easily replaced by the owner with no special tools.




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