Alpinestars has been redefining protection for motorcyclists ever since the company was established in 1963, and today sees the brand launching Tech-Air 5, the all-new, autonomous motorcycling airbag system.
Tech-Air 5 is the latest addition to the Alpinestars Tech-Air family, which includes the Tech-Air Race and Tech-Air Street systems. Alpinestars continues to lead the way in active air-bag technology for riders and their passengers and Tech-Air 5 is a powerful demonstration of Alpinestars commitment to making the technology more freely available as the best possible choice of ‘active’ airbag protection in the market.
Tech-Air 5 is a slim, self-contained wearable airbag vest that can be worn under any proper fitting textile jacket (*) or Tech-Air compatible jacket, or any leather jacket with 4 cm of space around the circumference of the rider’s chest. Tech-Air 5 offers unrivaled upper body protection keeping motorcycle riders safe by uniquely covering the rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs and full back. Shoulder protection is critical in a road impact, and riders’ shoulders are uniquely protected by Tech-Air, effectively and efficiently minimizing the risk of the rider sustaining shoulder and collarbone injuries. Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 provides the most comprehensive coverage of any airbag currently available.
The state-of-the-art, wearable Tech-Air 5 vest comes with an active electronic system that features six integrated sensors (three gyroscopes and three accelerometers) and a crash algorithm that leverages AI to accurately monitor when to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash. Developed from years of research with over 50% of the world’s top MotoGP riders, and Alpinestars customers, riding data from millions of kilometers and thousands of crashes have been analyzed to continuously improve the intelligent crash detection algorithm. Upon the identification of a crash situation, a protective airbag is deployed, providing unrivaled protection to the rider with a maximum inflation time of 20 to 40 ms based on the volume of the airbag size. The impact absorption while wearing the airbag results in a decrease of the impact force by up to 95% compared to a passive protector. The Tech-Air 5 airbag system offers the same protection as that provided by 18 back protectors (**).
The system is also extremely easy to use, just zip up the vest and close the magnetic flap and you’re ready to ride. An LED display indicates the airbag’s operational status and the integrated, certified lithium-ion battery has a battery life of 30 hours of riding time. The system comes equipped with a magnetic micro-USB charger that allows quick, easy and convenient recharging.
Tech-Air 5 has Bluetooth connectivity and an accompanying Tech-Air App, which uses the rider’s phone to display the system’s operational status, battery status and a detailed analysis of a ride; the system’s firmware can also be updated directly via the app.
Nearly 20 years ago, Alpinestars began development on the original Tech-Air system. When launched in the market in 2014, the Tech-Air system was recognized as the world’s first airbag providing full upper body protection with a completely independent electronic management system, in addition to having the versatility of the vest which could be easily zipped into a variety of Tech-Air compatible jackets. In December 2019, Tech-Air 5 has already been recognized by CES as one of the must-see innovative products in the Wearables Technology Marketplace.
A history of Alpinestars Tech-Air:
- 2001: Tech-Air Airbag system project begins.
- 2004: Alpinestars performs its first electronic airbag test; at this time with outer airbag balloons of 2 x 60 liters. Alpinestars decides to use electronic triggering for the airbag as the company analyzed and studied all solutions and discovered that with a mechanical system the activation is not fast enough to guarantee first impact protection.
- 2004: Alpinestars also starts collecting riding data from professional riders in e.g. MotoGP.
- 2009: Alpinestars introduces Tech-Air Race in MotoGP.
- 2011: Tech-Air Race is integrated into Alpinestars top leather suit and becomes become available to final customers.
- 2014: The Tech-Air Street airbag system is launched to the market at the EICMA show in Milan as a modular self-contained electronic airbag system that provides first impact protection for the full upper torso. Tech-Air Street is the first system in the market to provide this level of protection. Additionally, the system allows the rider to easily switch between Tech-Air compatible garments and to adapt these garments to his/her riding requirements and the weather conditions.
- 2016: Tech-Air Race is introduced as a modular system that allows riders to not only choose between a wide variety of compatible suits and garments, but to choose between algorithms; riders can switch between race track use and public road use. Tech-Air Race is the first system in the market to allow this option.
- 2020: The Tech-Air 5 system is launched, joining the Tech-Air Race and Tech-Air Street vests, in the Alpinestars Tech-Air line-up.
* The Tech-Air 5 wearable vest is designed to be worn under any proper fitting textile jacket, keeping in mind that the jacket must be large enough to accommodate the expansion of the airbag in the event of a crash. For textile jackets this requires an additional 4 cm of space around the circumference of the body. For those riders who want to wear a sports leather jacket, Tech-Air 5 may also be worn with Tech-Air compatible leather jackets which have built-in leather expansion panels to accommodate the inflation of the airbag. Riders who wish to wear a leather jacket that is not Tech-Air compatible must be sure that the leather jacket has an additional 4 cm of space around the circumference of the entire chest.
** The Tech-Air 5 airbag system offers the same protection as that provided by 18 CE Level 1 back protectors, as verified by SGS, an Official CE Certification company, that provides independent testing of product conformity with European Personal Protection Regulations.