In 2018 Alpinestars released its cutting-edge Tech-Air airbag vest system to the US market after testing the sophisticated system in premier class racing for over a decade. And while there’s no denying the major step forward in moto safety gear that this system represented, it was prohibitively expensive — something that was exacerbated by the fact the system could only be utilized with one of Astar’s Tech-Air-compatible jackets or suits. But the Italian motorcycle gear outfit is pushing the envelope once again via the release of the new standalone Tech-Air5, a smart airbag vest that can be worn under any existing jacket.
Like the original Tech-Air vest, the T-A5 relies on an advanced ECU and algorithm which is fed data from a trio of accelerometers, though the new version packs three gyroscopes instead of its predecessor’s one. The vest can deploy its airbag in between 20-40 milliseconds. As a point of reference, on average it takes the human eye 100 milliseconds to blink. Only requiring 4cm of loose space around the rider’s chest to properly deploy beneath a garment, the vest is said to be able to lessen the force of an impact by as much as 95% compared to regular motorcycle jackets. Astars have also launched a dedicated Tech-Air smartphone app that can display the vest’s battery life, operational status, and ride analysis, plus it can update itself as improved crash-detection algorithms are released. The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 vest will be available in March 2020 with pricing set at $700.