Airbag Jacket any good? ( Hit Air Safermoto jacket & vest)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by mikeyoda, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    One of my first cars was a 1961 Morris Minor Traveller with after market lap sash front seat belts mounted through the timber frame. As seat belts go, they were pretty primitive; they certainly hadn't been barrier tested and it was not a car I would choose to have a significant crash in.

    But those primitive seat belts were a major improvement on the car as it left the factory.


    Modern seatbelts are far more sophisticated, right down to pyrotechnic tensioners and deliberate Z folded weak sections to ease tension controllably, but does this mean we shouldn't have bothered with seatbelts until we'd reached this level of sophistication? Of course not.


    In 1993, as a student engineer, I was working at GM Holden in Australia doing lab testing of car components, including the steering wheel for Holden's first air bag model. That air bag typically would not go off in a side impact or a rollover. But in a significant proportion of collisions it provided worthwhile protection. Side airbags are now common, but we had to start somewhere.


    The first generation motorcyclists "airbag jackets" inevitably will have shortcomings that will be improved upon. They will get better and cheaper.


    And at some time, the increasing sophistication of protection provided and the decreasing price will move them from "wtf?", through "a neat idea", through "I'd like one of those", through to "I don't really feel comfortable riding without one".



    For some of us with high mileage and high income, they've already arrived at the last stage. For me they're at "a neat idea" at the moment, but right now I can't afford $400 for an early model to replace two perfectly good jackets I currently own. I can believe that my next jacket in say 5 years might have a much better one for a premium of around $100.


    I might add that self inflating life jackets using similar technology and the same cylinders are already at similar prices to quality conventional life jackets, and have reached the "I'd like one of those" stage for me. But I've got a good quality conventional life jacket which I am reluctant to discard.
  2. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    No need to discard your present jacket buy one of our vests to go over your jacket. Would be a pity if you had an accident before you got to the "I don't really feel comfortable riding without one" stage :D

    I agree with all your points and I have personally reached the last stage, especially while racing. The cost benefit analysis is a no brainer. if it saves you from just 1 visit to the ER it has paid for itself :clap

    Safe riding :D
  3. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    The trouble is that the simple vest is still $400.

    When I'm ready for a new jacket in few years, I expect a jacket with airbag will be no more than say $300 versus $200 for a similar quality jacket without.

    After 30 years riding, 26 since my last "off" and only doing around 5500 miles per year nowdays, I'm pretty low risk. Which doesn't stop me being careful or wearing good gear, but it does tend to prevent me spending hundreds on the latest thing. As I said, I suspect the time will come, and it may well be my next jacket, but not before I need a new jacket.
  4. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Hopefully the price will come down as the market grows. I think the price will not come down to much as it is still a "niche" market and the components are still expensive to put together.

    Hopefully you will keep us in mind when the time comes to buy a new jacket :D
  5. Tonopah

    Tonopah Been here awhile

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    Your market just grew by one.

    I ordered a YS today.

    I commute through heavy traffic daily, lane splitting to some extent, and this Hit Air thread has been bothering me to the point where this morning I just didn't feel safe enough. All those freakin' cagers trying to wipe me off my bike (it seems). I will continue to use my usual gear (Olympia Phantom one piece or Revit' Sirocco jacket & pants plus BMW Santiago boots and Shoei helmet with Revit' gloves) but will add the hi viz Hit Air.

    Hope the large size fits though...
  6. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Thank you. Shipped the vest out today so you should have it by Friday. :clap
  7. TallRob

    TallRob Long timer

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    Im back,,,,,hay, when should I expecgt my vest?
  8. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Waiting on it arriving from Japan, as soon as I get it I will send it right out to you. thanks for your patience :D
  9. Craigart14

    Craigart14 Been here awhile

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    It looked pretty fast to me. The sound you hear is the vest slowly deflating afterward. It inflated in less than half a second.

    Craig
  10. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    0.25 of a second to full inflation, I can say hand on heart it inflates BEFORE you hit the deck. It did in all 3 of my crashes that I had the vest on :clap
  11. Houngan

    Houngan Adventurer

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    I bought one of the full vests, and while I'm still coming to grips with the BLINDING YELLOW, I can report a few things:

    Inadvertent inflation: So far I've only remembered to untether once, every other time I've thrown a leg over and then figured out I was still tethered. If you're going to try to jump off and rope a calf it may be an issue, but so far it looks plenty strong enough to prevent triggering.

    Airflow: Good, but not great with the chest protector. Over 30mph I was comfortable in 90 degrees, a mesh jacket, serious overpants (no venting) and the vest. Going slow things got sweaty, I don't know that I can blame the vest more than the pants, though.

    Comfort: Once it is on, I didn't notice it. The rigid chest and semi-rigid back (provided for free from Safermoto, because they rock) seem to act almost like a prop; I just kinda collapsed into my gear and rode for hours without any particular issue other than a chapped ass.

    Visibility: Subjective, since I wasn't looking at myself, but all the rear-enders were creeping up on me in a comfortable fashion.

    Fashion: Unexpectedly, I still got plenty of waves and even yapped at some pirates in my overgeared state.

    Cons: I don't care for the zipper. It seems up to the task, but really not that impressive compared to my YYK zippers on my jacket. This is subjective, but you want a zipper to inspire confidence.

    Forward: I need better luggage to really enjoy the product. I don't want to drag the thing around, but I really want to wear it, so luggage is critical to my enjoyment.
  12. nashopolis

    nashopolis Been here awhile

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    thanks for the continued reviews - i'd love to see some more picture out in the field of the hi vis vs the black vest or MLVs. I'm trying to decided which way is more functional and also within my realm of taste.
  13. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    All I can say is the HI VIS is REALLY HI VIS :D No chance of not being seen when you wear it
  14. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the review, hope you continue to enjoy the product and never actually have to "use" it :D
  15. Houngan

    Houngan Adventurer

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    Yeah, it's . . . insanely hi-viz. Retina scarring, really. If you have any qualms about being too hi-viz, this isn't for you. I'm seriously considering doing some dye/painting on it just to tone it down a bit, but on the other hand I want it during dusk/dawn or in any marginal situation other than full sunlight, you will NOT be missed. Safermoto, you need to get them to do a black or white vest with hiviz features, instead of pure hiviz!

    H.
  16. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Almost all our jackets and vests have some reflective/hi vis features. our ML-R model is made from Lumidex and when light hits it, it lights up like a Christmas tree :D The MX5 jacket is the same way. Our JV vest has a Luminex pad on the back and the grey piping is made from Reflex which is a reflective material when lights hit it.
    Keep the suggestions and questions coming, I will do my best to answer them for you :clap
  17. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Your vest shipped today out of Reno, they said delivery by Thursday afternoon!!! but I would expect Friday :D Let me know what you think when you get it :clap
  18. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    I have had the Rivet version (which is now not made) that I got for cheap. I probably wouldn't have bought one but it was only $100 so worth a try I thought. I would probably buy a Hitair now for commuting.

    I actually fell off with it on on the road the other week. I was on my Sachs Madass 125, I was being silly on the bike and dropped it at about 20-30 km an hour (about 15miles/h) when I dug the back brake in scraping the footpegs on a roundabout.

    The airbag didn't deploy as the bike basically just fell (lowsided) on top of me. This did cause an issue as I couldn't get up as I was still leashed on. I had to twist around and remove the leash without setting it off which took about 5 seconds. The bike was light so having the weight on me wasn't an issue and I didn't burn my leg as I was wearing gear and the 125 doesn't get that hot. The car behind me had to stop which they did but they would have had to do that anyway. It might be a little difficult to get off without setting it off if you had a broken arm or something.

    I didn't land on the cylinder. The cylinder is on the right side of your body next to your stomach. This was the side I fell on but I never hit it. I think that this is low risk as you fall on your side in low speed incidents and the airbag is inflated in high speed incidents where you might get turned over.

    I did set it off once when a car sideswiped me at low speed in a car park (<5km/h). I didn't even fall off but I stood up too much when I was trying not to drop the bike and set it off. It is actually quite claustophobic and I just wanted to get it off asap. I wonder if this is a good idea after a crash (I would try to avoid removing it too fast in case you are injured). Its not as easy to remove if it is inflated. The leash didn't actually seperate on this one as well, but as I said I

    How does the Hitair attach? Could non-deployment be an issue?

    I have never set it off in normal situation of getting on and off. I have almost pulled the 125 over but I usually notice it then. I don't think that this is a real risk.

    Overall I am still happy with it. The neck protection is the reason that I would buy another one as normal jackets have no neck protection, the Rivet airbag has a nice "pillow" that comes out of the back of the jacket that stops your head moving. That has to be a good thing. It is a pretty cool bit of kit too having an airbag in your jacket.
  19. SaferMoto

    SaferMoto Been here awhile

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    Couple of observations:

    1. Try making your tether as short as you can while still allowing you to move freely around on the bike, standing ect.

    2. Test your vest to make sure it deploys properly. In some vest the mechanisms can wear over time and should be serviced/repaired.

    3. We usually try to size our vest to clients. If you are at a show we like to use a compressor to inflate the vest slowly so you get used to how it feels in an emergency situation. The first accident I had while wearing the vest, when I stopped moving I did a quick check. "Could not move my neck, almost panicked, did a quick fingers and toes check, good. Then remembered the air bag was holding my head in place, neck and spine straight. I smiled got up and walked away from a 70mph highside

    4. we have never had a report of non-deployment in a crash situation where the rider was separated from the bike. YOU MUST attach the tether to the bike correctly as per the instructions

    5. The new NW version is pretty cool I have been using it on my SuperMoto rides around town this week. I can even wear a backpack with it. I will post some pics tomorrow

    Glad to know you think air-vests are a "cool piece of kit :clap
  20. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Good advice about watching the length of tether. I actually think that it would have gone off if I had been going faster (or maybe on a bigger bike) it was more of a flop and slide and so I was still sitting on the seat when I came to rest. I still wasn't injured even though it didn't go off as the only bit that really hit the ground on my upper body was the arm armour which is normal and not inflatable.

    Sounds like the hitair has the neck protection I am looking for. As you can't get anymore co2 bottles for the Rivet, I might get one if I set it off again.

    Oh and the ambulance officers that attended when I sideswiped the car (someone called emergency even though I wasn't hurt) also thought it was the best bit of kit ever.