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EICMA 2018 show: 5 considerations around the motorcycle airbag

Motorcycle airbags 2019

Several major equipment brands are taking advantage of the EICMA show in Milan to launch the latest version of their motorcycle airbag . I toured their stands to get an idea of ​​the added value of their latest products. Which led me to make five more or less relevant thoughts on this growing market. I'm waiting for yours in the comments!

1 – The motorcycle airbag will be autonomous or will not be

If wired models (connected by a cable to the motorcycle) continue to find a place in the catalog of certain manufacturers like Bering (and its C-Protect Air) or Clover, the real new features for 2019 in terms of airbag rely on on-board electronics. Not surprising, that said: the trigger speeds – and therefore the protection capacity – are incommensurate with what a mechanical trigger can offer. We are talking about a factor of 3 to 10, at first glance. When the wired airbag wants to be triggered, which is not systematic, particularly in the event of sliding alongside the motorcycle.

Autonomous airbags are also the only ones that are potentially ready in time in the event of a frontal impact... I'll leave it to you look at Cédric’s guide, which explains why very well. Many brands are betting on this technology and in 2019, the range of motorcycle jackets and jackets capable of protecting you with an independent airbag is expanding considerably.

2 – Prices do not drop substantially

However, prices are not falling significantly... This can (still) be understood: manufacturers must cushion the development of this technology which has remained fairly confidential until today. And then on-board electronics and pyrotechnic cartridges are expensive. Call to those interested: consider offering us entry-level one day, preferably soon! Good point for In&Motion, which offers financing in the form of leasing the In&Box electronic box. The brain of the Ixon U03 airbag accounts for half of the total budget. If not lowering the price, this makes the product more accessible. And then you get an extended warranty and hardware updates if necessary.

Bering Airbag

The Bering radio-controlled airbag and its sensors on the motorcycle

3 – Radio-controlled airbags, we no longer talk about them

Well, on the other hand, radio-controlled airbags, that is to say those controlled by sensors fixed on the motorcycle, clearly seem to have fallen into oblivion. The Bering Protect Air remains to my knowledge the only representative of this solution which nevertheless proves to be very effective in terms of accident detection. And again, no trace of him on the French brand's stand, alone the Bering site specifies that it is still distributed.

The cumbersomeness of mounting the sensors, to be carried out by a professional validated by the brand, and the impossibility of riding protected with an unequipped motorcycle, it is true that they constitute significant obstacles compared to a usable independent airbag . out of the box and on any motorcycle.

Dainese D-Air Lady motorcycle Airbag

The Dainese D-Air airbag developed for women alongside the Avro D-Air Lady suit

4 – Finally 100% feminine models

Dainese , presented in Milan the third version of its D-Air (we mentioned the second here). On the program, a reworked algorithm to better detect the beginnings of falls, as well as better integration into the jacket allowing gains in weight and ergonomics. But the big news is the appearance of a female version of the D-Air.

Forgotten on the market until today, women bikers finally have an autonomous model designed specifically for them. The D-Air Lady cushion is thus adapted to their body shape. It offers more advanced protection than a male airbag that is too flat on the chest. Several women's products are available in D-Air version for 2019, including the Dainese Avro Lady D-Air suit and the Racing 3 Lady D-Air jacket.

Alpinestars tech air sport Airbag

The Alpinestars Tech Air Sport version airbag , to be housed under compatible leathers

5 – Autonomous, but not independent

In&motion, the French company which develops the electronics and software of the Ixon U03 Airbag , unveiled new partnerships in Milan. In addition to Ixon , several of our favorite manufacturers will soon offer their version of the airbag developed in Haute Savoie. Starting with Furygan and Klim (to mention the brands we distribute at Motoblouz ). Others will follow. Good choice !

A priori, the technology will remain the same as that of the U03. In fact, the airbag will simply be designed to be installed in the equipment of each brand as a liner. The official version is that when you put on the jacket, the airbag becomes one with it. Same observation at Alpinestars , whose Tech Air Airbag , available in Race and Road versions, is designed to fit into its jackets marked as compatible.

I don't understand this obsession of manufacturers to limit the use of THEIR airbag to THEIR equipment, and no other... Sure they would sell a lot of them if they opened their chakras a little! On this, Ixon has had a keen eye with its U03 model, recently launched on the market. Universal, it allows you to wear it under all the jackets that suit you, whatever the brand. It smells good that the out of stock continues for the French brand in this matter. At least, at Dainese , we are consistent: their airbag is integrated into the equipment by technical choice.

NB: I do not brush Ixon in the direction of the hair out of interest. The proof is that we don't have any in stock at the time I write these lines to you!

Ixon Airbag

The Ixon U03 airbag , autonomous and universal


No doubt, the motorcycle airbag warms the brains of development engineers. The products seem more and more successful, and bikers more and more open to the idea of ​​equipping themselves. I can only recommend it, because despite my somewhat cynical remarks, many of us can testify that their airbag saved the day. If you have already set your sights on one of them, we are all interested in your selection criteria in the comments!

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Editor and tester for Motoblouz , I am an unconditional fan of roads with bends. For me, the motorcycle is a means of escape as well as a means of transport.

1 comment(s)

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  1. The outstanding monitor! november 18, 2018 at 01:55 Answer

    Not much to add since we already talked about it. My opinion agrees with this one, with as a priority for a democratization of the motorcycle airbag the need for them to become more and more “transparent” in use. No discomfort compared to a classic jacket if integrated and if it is a jacket like the Ixon it is essential that its wearing does not present any particular constraints. Ditto for use, its startup and operation must remain as simple as possible (click on a button for example and nothing more).
    In any case, everything seems to be going in the right direction according to the latest news for those who want to equip themselves!

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