New Helite Vests and Jackets

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by ErikMotoMan, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. helitemoto

    helitemoto Been here awhile

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    These are the only pictures I have so far. The buckles and the logo will be changing. It's hard to see from these pictures, but there are reflective designs on the top of the shoulders front and back.

    WP_20160524_09_36_48_Pro.jpg WP_20160524_09_36_36_Pro.jpg
    #41
  2. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    I like the HIVIZ HELITE so much I ordered HIVIZ accessories for my bike:



    IMG_4100.JPG
    #42
  3. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

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    First off I'm not trying to bash any company and I always support advrider vendors.

    I finally decided to get an air vest now that $600 sticker shock wore off. My question is which vest between hit-air and helite. The helite turtle has a back protector which I don't really need and makes packing space a little bigger. I do like all the reflective on it and it seems durable. Also they offer an advrider discount. The hit-air looks like it supports the neck a little better than the turtle. I linked the hit-air so you know what I'm talking about.

    What made you pick one over the other?

    http://www.bikebone.com/new-2016-hit-air-vhr-light-weight-fast-inflation/
    #43
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  4. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Since I do not own a hit-air unit (nor do I know anyone who does) I can only speak to the advantages of the HELITE products, but before I do so, please allow me to correct a misconception: You most certainly DO need the back protector, the one inside your jacket won't work as well. Here's why (IMHO) the HELITE solution is obviously better:

    First, take note that the HELITE Turtle technology back protector is integrally designed to distribute the impact over a broader area, as seen here:

    bon-turtle-1.banner-sans-texte-f2edc8fe.gif

    This makes a lot of sense, doesn't it ?

    But wait! There's more!

    7 additional advantages which I'll try to explain as well as I understand them:

    Advantage 1: The external back protector also protects your expensive airbag system from abrasion, penetration and general damage.

    Advantage 2: Compared to a conventional unit, the HELITE back protector is actually larger and covers a greater area of the spine, lumbar and hip area.

    Advantage 3: If you have a jacket with a back protector, you can (usually) remove the back protector or leave it in place. I chose the latter and here's why:

    Advantage 4: 10 years ago, I fractured my back and thus have some back issues. The HELITE vest actually helps me a lot: Snapped tightly in place, it almost acts as a clamshell brace,(stabilizing my upper torso) especially if combined with the back protector that's inside my leather jacket. In effect, I'm wearing a multilayer protective sandwich: back protector + airbag + back protector. I don't find it cumbersome at all, and it certainly works better than any kidney belt.

    Advantage 5: As opposed to the hit-air, the HELITE doesn't have parts that pop out and protrude. I'm afraid those bits and pieces could be torn off upon initial impact causing instant deflation.

    Advantage 6: Because the HELITE doesn't have protruding bits and pieces, reusing the unit is likely of a much higher probability than with the hitair. (IMHO)

    Advantage 7: Research and Development. HELITE is the concept pioneer and developer. They have been in business longer than anyone else and have a far greater customer base to support continued research and product development.


    As an interesting aside, HELITE have developed hip protection units for the elderly. These use electronic sensors to detect the beginning of a fall. There's an interesting video:

    I'm ordering one of those for my 87 year old mother. Any ideas on how to get her to actually use it ? :imaposer


    For the record: I don't work for HELITE. Expressed above are my (IMHO) useful thoughts based upon my multi-year use of a HELITE Turtle vest and observations I have made in conversations with other HELITE users. Hope this helps. Whatever brand you choose, don't let the price point be the ultimate decision maker.
    As long as you get something - you'll need it sooner or later.

    BTW : I think HELITE has a 10 % discount for us ADVriders.

    My orginal post :
    10 years ago I crashed, broke my back. It wasn't even a hard crash or high-speed crash.

    In the end, it took years to recuperate, I lost my business, my house and the wife showed her true colours. They weren't all that pretty.

    On top of that, there was the $ 85,000 (give or take) hospital bill.

    Bankruptcy followed.

    Obviously, these aren't issues that go through one's mind when starting the motorcycle, but those are the HARD consequences.

    Had I been wearing an inflatable device I believe I would have walked away unscathed. Considering the Helite costs about the same as a quality helmet, the return on investment is HUGE!
    #44
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  5. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

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    Great post. I see the point of the back protector. I assumed it would be on the inside of the vest between you and the air chamber. I didn't look that much into it. The reason I didn't like the back protector is because off-road it's easier to stash the vest in a bag without it.

    Tons of good info, thank you.
    #45
  6. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    Also debating Hit Air vs Helite. Still leaning towards Hit Air for the increased airflow in the back. While the Helite has one big panel in the back thanks to the back protector, effectively blocking all back vents and airflow, the Hit Air has a structure with lots of open space. I think it may be lighter and more comfortable for daily wear, especially in the summer. If it's written off in a crash, so be it. I'd rather not crash that often.
    #46
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  7. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    i have both hit-air and helite:

    1) both have great coverage to neck and hip / tail bone area, and hit air can be pair with additional body protector- though i think the hit air's is little old fashioned - but you can always buy a better protector and cut to fit - so i call that equal more or less;

    2) someone mentioned ventilation - if you wear a full back protector (whether separate or integrated) as well as the air vest- you are not going to breath a lot anyway- one is just bad as another - they block up a lot of the air - there is no hiding of that fact;

    3) whether the back protector is outside or inside does not affect the ultimate force attenuated, all else being equal - think about it - if air vest attenuate "X" KN of force and back protector "Y" KN force, the total is still X+Y KN force whether X is before Y or not. The diagram is totally misleading - the sum of spread of force will be the same - the airbag is not a bag like the diagram, it's a continuous air tube with both brands!!! - no advantage on amount of force that can be attenuate if all else is equal;

    4) arguably though having the back protector outside may reduce the chance of rupture of air bag on impact and immediately after, and therefor may have better chance of airbag surviving on a slide to provide some secondary impact for the rider (like sliding 30metres and hitting a kerb)- advantage Turtle set up

    5) the single most important factor for me to buy helite (even though i still own a fully functional hitair jacket) is the deployment time differences between the 2 - Hit air is very good, but it needs a updated deployment system to reduce the inflation time to helite's 0.10 sec (rather than hit air's 0.25 sec) - that's less than 1/2 of hit-air's deployment time; even at 36km/hr or 20mph - the differences is still over 1.25m - at higher speed the distance would be even higher

    6) Helite is currently almost 2X of price of hit-air though;
    #47
  8. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    Where did you buy your Hit Air from?
    #48
  9. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Hi Ace

    Thanks for your input. Good to get that from an owner of both brands. Which, naturally, leads to the question of why did you end up with both?

    I agree the hit-air looks a little old fashioned. Somewhere I recall reading that there's a stringent EU test standard that only the HELITE meets?

    You're correct in your assertion that the amount of kinetic energy that impacts a rider (weight x speed) doesn't change regardless of the configuration of the protective gear.

    However, the point illustrated here is that the energy is dissipated, spread over a large surface area. As an example: what would you rather have fall on your head: a pound of steel or a pound of styrofoam?

    Also, should one forget a back protector, the hit air leaves the spine unprotected from object penetration.

    Inflation speed advantage is very important, I'm sure the folks at hit-air are aware of that and hopefully working on improving that.

    Price point? In the US it seems there's much less difference. And that difference pretty much evaporates with the Advrider discount from HELITE. Yet the old adage holds: you get what you pay for.
    #49
  10. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    George, that 'open space' is what really concerns me about the hit-air. In order to effectively protect your spine, you must wear a back protector. Should you choose not, or forget, then you're putting yourself at much greater risk for object penetrating.

    Once you realize that you must wear a back protector with the hit air, the airflow argument becomes moot.
    The other part of that argument is that cooling is dependent upon the amount of heat dissipation, which is far more dependent on the amount of air flowing across the FRONT of the torso. As an example, if you're riding a GS off-road on a hot day, the possibly most efficient cooling (other than an ice water soaked coolvest) would be to remove the windshield.
    IMHO, ofcourse.
    #50
  11. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    I ride a Triumph Scrambler, with just a flyscreeen in the summer. So airflow is fine.

    My jacket already has a very substantial back protector, which is why Helite's back protector system is not of crucial importance to me. And the jacket back protector works in conjunction with the vents, instead of blocking them.
    #51
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  12. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Thanks Sitheach,

    Yes, once I re read your original post I realized the failure to clearly communicate the HELITE integral back protector location and overall function as an energy dissipator and airbag 'shield'. In fact, it wasn't until last night when I found the illustration that I realized why it's called 'Turtle' :hmmmmm:fpalm

    Also, from personal use, I know that the HELITE can be folded into a medium size tank bag: IMG_6065.JPG

    IMG_6066.JPG

    IMG_6068.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #52
  13. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    George Hanson: I ride a Triumph Scrambler, with just a flyscreeen in the summer. So airflow is fine.

    Exactly agreed. Airflow comes from the front.

    My jacket already has a very substantial back protector, which is why Helite's back protector system is not of crucial importance to me. And the jacket back protector works in conjunction with the vents, instead of blocking them.

    Exit airflow isn't all that relevant, IMHO. As you can see from my earlier post, I also use the back protector in my jacket, in effect enjoying the safety compound of 2 back protectors separated by the airbag. Having been badly hurt and financially devastated I have learned the lesson of ATTGATT.
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  14. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    Those of you with either the Hit Air or the Helite: is there any discomfort from the part over your ass? It looks like it extends pretty low and you might end up either sitting on it, or it riding up, depending on your bike's ergonomics.
    #54
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  15. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Obviously, cannot speak to the qualities of the hit-air, but I can't say there's any discomfort. Riding my GS in a relaxed slightly leaned back position, the vest understandably does ride up a little because the hip extension touches the rear seat. On long trips I remove the rear seat and install a luggage platform instead, which completely eliminates any upward movemt of the vest. On any other bike with a slight forward lean, the bottom of the vest doesn't touch the seat at all. Hope this helps.
    #55
  16. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Spoon!

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    I get the airflow argument with a non-mesh jacket. A lot of textile jackets have exhaust vents on the rear that would be blocked by the vest. Even if you are getting lots of air to the front vents of the jacket, the blocked rear vent will mean that air can't circulate to cool you off. That's one of the last mental hurdles for me to get over to pull the trigger on the Helite. I guess I'll just have to get a new jacket for summer to go with the Helite :D
    #56
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  17. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

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  18. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    1/100 of a second difference? That's it. I'm so junking my HELITE. :imaposer

    But, seriously, not wanting to get into an argument based upon personal preferences, likes or dislikes I'll simply suggest that everyone is entitled to my opinions. :jack, except fashion opinions I'm going to stay away from...

    Not sure the neck protection is, as you say, 'better'.

    So how does one define 'better'?

    It may be 'bigger' as in 'more protruding' but if you watch the HELITE videos you will notice the comments about how strongly the helmet is supported.
    #58
  19. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    I have a Hit-Air that I've ridden in for about 30k miles. I ride year round in Nor Cal. I do not notice any discomfort from the part over the ass.
    As mentioned above the vest does block some air flow however, I would much rather block some air flow than ride without an airbag vest. Whether you buy a Hit-Air or Helite, either way you are way better off than no air vest at all.
    Erick I appreciate your comments about the back support plus the air bag. I took out my jacket back support when I started wearing the airbag vest. Now, I am going to reinstall it :)
    #59
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  20. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Awesome! Buy me a beer when I next come thru your area? Probably on my way back from the MOA rally in SLC.
    #60