British kit firm RST have just launched their first range of airbag jackets at prices they say will finally put the technology within reach of everyday riders.
Until now, electronic airbag clobber has cost anywhere from £1500 to £3500, however a partnership with innovative airbag specialist In&motion has enabled RST to offer their entry-level GT textile jacket with fully-integrated electronic airbag for just £399.99.
The Derbyshire-based firm have also developed bespoke airbag versions of their GT leather jacket (£699.99), Adventure X jacket (£499.99) and top-spec V4.1 one-piece race suit (£899.99).
The garments are exactly the same spec as their non-airbag counterparts, but have over 40 subtle fitment changes in order to seamlessly accommodate the airbag technology.
Stuart Millington from RST told MCN: "We intend to democratise airbag technology so that ordinary riders – not just the wealthy few – can afford that extra level of safety. The injury reduction figures from airbags are simply staggering."
Rather than being worn as a standalone vest, the U-shaped airbag is built into a mesh lining within the garment to protect the abdomen, chest, neck and shoulders. Meanwhile, two inflated channels run down the back either side of the spine to prevent twisting injuries.
The system’s ECU and inflation system are contained within a CE-Level2 back protector at the rear, matched with full CE Level2 limb protectors.
A bank of sensors scanning 1000 times per second feed information to the system which then uses algorithms to detect a crash. The system is claimed to detect and inflate in less than 0.05s.
After buying the jacket, owners need to lease the In&box 'brain' for £12 per month (or buy it outright for £399).
This can be swapped between garments, the subscription can be paused when not in use and the software is constantly updated via a smartphone app meaning it’s truly futureproof.
Best of all, the inflator can be re-gassed at home in the event it’s triggered by a crash. The RST range will be on sale in March next year.
More new 2020 airbags:
Dainese Smart Jacket £569.95 Uses the same tech as the firm’s race suits and D-Air Road jackets, ie an ECU and bank of sensors. Designed to be worn under or over regular kit. www.dainese.com
Helite GP Air and Turtle2 £750 French specialists first wireless system moves the game on via two sensors – one in the vest, another on the bike’s fork leg. Available May 2020. www.airvest.co.uk
Held eVest Clip-in Airbag Vest £349.99 Also using In&motion tech and designed to be compatible with Held jackets/suits. Subscription/purchase of In&box ECU required. www.held.de
Furygan Fury Airbag system £379.99 Another working with In&motion but lightweight vest features breathable fabric to boost comfort. Subscription/purchase of In&box again required. www.nevis.uk.com
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