Airbag jackets have been around for a couple of years but Dainese has developed the D-Air Racing airbag system specifically designed to protect racers. The system was introduced at the Valencia GP in both the 250cc and 125cc classes. As luck would have it, the system was given a workout as a couple of riders with the D-Air system crashed and the system deployed.
The D-Air racing system protects the shoulders, collarbones and neck, a particularly vulnerable area in racing, especially during a highside.
The most revolutionary aspect of D-air® Racing is that the entire system is contained in a new and very special attachment on the rider’s shoulders and back which takes the place of the traditional “hump”.
D-air® Racing works totally independently from the motorcycle and triggers when the rider falls due to sliding of the front (front lowside) or rear (back lowside) wheel or in the event of a highside.
The device is managed by a sophisticated system of accelerometers and rate gyros located inside the “hump” whose signals are processed by a data interpretation algorithm which decides whether or not to inflate the airbag. The trigger signal reaches a gas generator which inflates the bag in approximately 40 milliseconds.
Airbag jackets currently on the market are inflated when the rider is thrown from the motorcycle and a tether connected to the bike pulls a ripcord firing a CO2 cartridge. The Dainese system uses no tether.
The D-Air Racing system is specifically designed for racing, a D-air® Street system is currently under development.
I’ll be interested in seeing more street oriented systems coming to market. Airbags definitely provide an extra layer of safety in cars and trucks. Wearable airbag systems make a lot of sense for motorcycle applications since riders are usually thrown from the bike in a crash and you need to “carry your protection with you.” I wonder what the Dainese street system will look like.