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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
l’ve Been considering an inflatable vest and done some research....just wanted to reach out for opinions...pros vs cons...any appreciated...
many thanks
John
 

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John,

I have been using them since 2011 and I use the "Helite" air vest, (https://heliteuk.co.uk/) following an on duty crash, which has left me with spinal injuries since 2001. The company has many products now, including an electronic version, personally I prefer the physical lanyard type, ( electronics can fail), I have secured the one part around the "high/low" bracket for the front seat height adjustment and is totally secure, as I have cable-tied the metal bracket in place. Every time I get on the bike, I "attach" the "male" attachment into the female (on the bike). I had this on my "job" bike as well as my personal RT.

It takes a hard pull to activate and I have no question, should I take an unintended "off" from the bike it will deploy. I have known people get off their bikes and try and walk away, the tether stops them and the jacket has not deployed. I also carry an extra CO2 (spare) canister beneath my seat, just in case, I have a slow "off" or for some other reason, I can inspect the jacket and providing it is not damaged, I can replace the canister and be on my way again.

I hope this helps.....?

Rossy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perfect...I looked at that product....I too am basic old school and will go with lanyard as well. Ridden years without, but saw a friend with his and got me thinking....really have no reason not to get one...thanks for quick response 😀
 

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Perfect...I looked at that product....I too am basic old school and will go with lanyard as well. Ridden years without, but saw a friend with his and got me thinking....really have no reason not to get one...thanks for quick response 😀
No problems at all, I cannot sleep at the moment, hence web surfing. It was a no brainer for me, as I have to protect my spine as much as possible.
Take care and stay safe 😎👍
 

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Hi John,
I just bought a Helite a few months ago. The under vests need inflation room, which would mean all new gear (including a $1400 Roadcrafter). Plus, I commute, so an undervest would destroy my business clothes if worn on top, won't fit underneath, and even if it did it would mean I'd have to strip to get it off and on at work. The Helite also provides better coverage than the undervest types.

I don't have issues with the lanyard. No batteries, no service plan, and the electronic types aren't any faster to inflate.
EDIT: It also means I can keep an allen wrench and spare canister in my shoulder pocket, and recharge it on the road if I have a lowside or fall and it discharges.
Ryan F9 did a pretty detailed discussion of the alternatives.
 

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Hi John,
I just bought a Helite a few months ago. The under vests need inflation room, which would mean all new gear (including a $1400 Roadcrafter). Plus, I commute, so an undervest would destroy my business clothes if worn on top, won't fit underneath, and even if it did it would mean I'd have to strip to get it off and on at work. The Helite also provides better coverage than the undervest types.

I don't have issues with the lanyard. No batteries, no service plan, and the electronic types aren't any faster to inflate.
EDIT: It also means I can keep an allen wrench and spare canister in my shoulder pocket, and recharge it on the road if I have a lowside or fall and it discharges.
Ryan F9 did a pretty detailed discussion of the alternatives.
Hi Alan,
Being a medic as well, I keep my spare on the bike, I personally wouldn’t like it on me, if I had a spill, hitting the road surface, let alone anything else, i.e. roadside furniture, that large CO2 canister might cause bruising & discomfort at minimum and worse case scenario, a fracture, is there anywhere you could put it on that lovely machine of yours?
 

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Been wearing a Helite for a few years now.

I am wearing the second generation that has a better cut and reflective material then my original 1st generation.

I have set it off once. Backing over a steep driveway curb cut out. One min my feet were there the next not. I simply fell over on the right side. It took enough slack and enough of my weight sliding as the bike tipped it went off. Really have to say not the first time I laid my GS over on it's crash bars. It was the first time a air bag vest went off and to be honest it was very strange. I did not realize what was going on as it tightened and it was a very weird experience. I can say my hands never left the bars and I never felt the ground so it works.

I prefer the simplicity of a tether and prefer not to have to subscribe to a service as some require. While I was a network administrator and like computers and electronics well enough, KISS is a good theory in my motorcycle and gear for me. I could have had TFT on my GS and prefer the gauges.

I prefer the vest as I had to purchase no new riding gear. Aerostitch and Klim gear gets expensive. It is florescent yellow and will burn your retinas. You also get to remove the back pad of your gear as the vest has it built in so that does help in cooling in summer as my mesh jacket flows better out the back even with the vest on.

The only knock is I have to say I have had to stop a few times to attach the tether. If you forget you need to stop and attach. While not a big deal and it has become second nature as in using my seat belt it does happen. And just good practice to ride with nothing like that air canister in your pockets as was said that is going to hurt. I struggle with keeping my cell on me but I figure it will break, or I will be able to call for help, that huge CO2 is not gonna give and is gonna hurt.

If you want to see why I wear it you can refer to this thread on this forum under LT for a quick look. Broken Neck

I just got a brief run to NC and The Dragon last week for a few days. Went down with a 86 year old friend and meet up with a few chapters of The Blue Nights. We rode 610 miles down on Tuesday, and 610 miles back on Friday. It rained the last 150 miles home. I stopped and put my rain suit on and slipped my vest on top and tethered it and rode on.

 

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I have a BMW Street Air vest and suit. Unfortunately it is discontinued so I bought the Alpinestars Tech Air 5, mainly for use under a Rallye Suit. I wasn't keen on the idea of tethering. I can use the Tech Air on any bike, even ones I am borrowing. I didn't like the idea of a tether even though people who have one say they are no problem. I would probably pull the bike over getting off. There are circumstances where the tethered jackets wouldn't activate, but then the same is probably true for the Tech-Air, although different scenarios.

So far I haven't had hot weather to check out the ventilation - 23C max so far with no problem and more air vents I could open on the jacket. Happy with my decision. We will see if I am happy at 30C if it ever gets that high.

A friend with a Helite says it gets a bit warm with his Airflow suit in summer but I suspect he will get more air flow than the Tech-Air will.
 

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Yep. Pros and cons to all. For my use case, undervests didn't work, and the tether was acceptable (electronic vs tether each also has their pros and cons). If I wasn't a commuter and the issue of new gear wasn't a problem, the undervests would have been a perfectly acceptable solution.
 
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Hi John,
I just bought a Helite a few months ago. The under vests need inflation room, which would mean all new gear (including a $1400 Roadcrafter). Plus, I commute, so an undervest would destroy my business clothes if worn on top, won't fit underneath, and even if it did it would mean I'd have to strip to get it off and on at work. The Helite also provides better coverage than the undervest types.

I don't have issues with the lanyard. No batteries, no service plan, and the electronic types aren't any faster to inflate.
EDIT: It also means I can keep an allen wrench and spare canister in my shoulder pocket, and recharge it on the road if I have a lowside or fall and it discharges.
Ryan F9 did a pretty detailed discussion of the alternatives.
I must admit I also watched the great review FortNine did on these jackets. He really is a very good presenter.
I’m definitely going to buy a Helite, as they are expensive, but not as eye watering expensive as I’d thought!
 

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John,

I have been using them since 2011 and I use the "Helite" air vest, (https://heliteuk.co.uk/) following an on duty crash, which has left me with spinal injuries since 2001. The company has many products now, including an electronic version, personally I prefer the physical lanyard type, ( electronics can fail), I have secured the one part around the "high/low" bracket for the front seat height adjustment and is totally secure, as I have cable-tied the metal bracket in place. Every time I get on the bike, I "attach" the "male" attachment into the female (on the bike). I had this on my "job" bike as well as my personal RT.

It takes a hard pull to activate and I have no question, should I take an unintended "off" from the bike it will deploy. I have known people get off their bikes and try and walk away, the tether stops them and the jacket has not deployed. I also carry an extra CO2 (spare) canister beneath my seat, just in case, I have a slow "off" or for some other reason, I can inspect the jacket and providing it is not damaged, I can replace the canister and be on my way again.

I hope this helps.....?

Rossy
GlosPolbiker,
I don’t know one end of a screwdriver from another....I’m sure you are super busy, but if you have time could you share a picture of how you’ve attached it to your seat base?
I‘m sure my local BMW dealer won’t help as it’s a non-BMW part, and have visions of flying off the bike with the bracket coming with me! 🤪🙏🏻
I have applied for BikeSafe, I hope to meet you sometime!
Warm regards,
Jan
 

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I brought Helite into Australia in 2015 as the first Aussie distributor. I did this after a mate came off in a very slight way at under 60kph and still managed to break his collarbone, broke 2 ribs and pierced a lung. Interestingly he didn't have a scratch on him as he had all the usual gear on but nothing that protected him from the impact. I searched the net and found Helite and formed a company and became the distributor. Truth is that it's usually the impact with the ground, a tree, a vehicle or other solid object that does the most damage and most motorcyclists don't wear any protection for this. FYI, I have no vested interest in promoting Helite as I sold the distributorship about 16 months ago. I still never ride without either a Helite Airvest or Jacket on (I can comment on the pros and cons of a Airvest or Air Jacket is anybody wants me to)
 

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Hey all,
l’ve Been considering an inflatable vest and done some research....just wanted to reach out for opinions...pros vs cons...any appreciated...
many thanks
John
Planning on going for a swim? 🤣
 

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I brought Helite into Australia in 2015 as the first Aussie distributor. I did this after a mate came off in a very slight way at under 60kph and still managed to break his collarbone, broke 2 ribs and pierced a lung. Interestingly he didn't have a scratch on him as he had all the usual gear on but nothing that protected him from the impact. I searched the net and found Helite and formed a company and became the distributor. Truth is that it's usually the impact with the ground, a tree, a vehicle or other solid object that does the most damage and most motorcyclists don't wear any protection for this. FYI, I have no vested interest in promoting Helite as I sold the distributorship about 16 months ago. I still never ride without either a Helite Airvest or Jacket on (I can comment on the pros and cons of a Airvest or Air Jacket is anybody wants me to)
Yes if I would have had my vest when I totaled my 07 LT in The Badlands I believe I would not have broken my neck, C1 and C2, the Atlas and Axis, or your first two vertebra. And I would not have broken 3 ribs.


Now my wrist and ankle would still have broken but the vertebra became a career ending issue. And the Ribs hurt like hell I had never broken a rib in my life and I hope I never do again.

Yes everyone is going to make a choice on type of system. Me, I carry a extra tether. If I want to ride another bike I slip it on as it is a loop just like a ROC strap and I am off in 1 min or so. As I said I like the tether and the ability to use it over all my gear including my rain suit. I have distincter summer and winter gear becaus I live in PA and we have seasons. I do ride winter as I have a full set of heated clothing including socks and gloves that goes under my full AeroStitch Dariean pants and jacket. I also have a mesh summer jacket and a few others I use at times. For me the vest made sense.

If I had no gear and was just buying in I would need to consider a jacket for sure.

Either way I believe if you want the best in protection a air bag in any flavor is the best there is to offer to mitigate risk on a motorcycle. Nothing is 100% but for the cost of a set of tires it is worth what a air bag device may save you down the road in injury's.
 
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Yes if I would have had my vest when I totaled my 07 LT in The Badlands I believe I would not have broken my neck, C1 and C2, the Atlas and Axis, or your first two vertebra. And I would not have broken 3 ribs.


Now my wrist and ankle would still have broken but the vertebra became a career ending issue. And the Ribs hurt like hell I had never broken a rib in my life and I hope I never do again.

Yes everyone is going to make a choice on type of system. Me, I carry a extra tether. If I want to ride another bike I slip it on as it is a loop just like a ROC strap and I am off in 1 min or so. As I said I like the tether and the ability to use it over all my gear including my rain suit. I have distincter summer and winter gear becaus I live in PA and we have seasons. I do ride winter as I have a full set of heated clothing including socks and gloves that goes under my full AeroStitch Dariean pants and jacket. I also have a mesh summer jacket and a few others I use at times. For me the vest made sense.

If I had no gear and was just buying in I would need to consider a jacket for sure.

Either way I believe if you want the best in protection a air bag in any flavor is the best there is to offer to mitigate risk on a motorcycle. Nothing is 100% but for the cost of a set of tires it is worth what a air bag device may save you down the road in injury's.
That image makes you more than think! I’m buying one in the next week. Thanks a Million!
Jan
 

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Long time & very satisfied Helite user here. Highly recommended.

I prefer the lanyard type just in case I forget to charge the battery, and because - as noted by GlosPolBiker - in the event of an unintended inflation, I can put a new canister very quickly and be on my way. This may have happened, allegedly, to someone not unadjacent to this computer. That person was highly embarrassed but totally unharmed (as was the vest) despite falling awkwardly.
 

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That image makes you more than think! I’m buying one in the next week. Thanks a Million!
Jan
Well not meant as a scare tactic. As I said while I can never be sure, but after the falling over and the vest inflating my neck was isolated very well so I can assume it would have isolated my neck in a real crash.

Now the canister is 25 bucks and I could have done without the demo but hey such is life. It was fun to see just how tight it got and how it isolated me from the ground even. I mean I landed on my side with my hands still on the bars while backing out a steep driveway cut out. I hit my side and and my elbow pad and never felt a thing. Just the weird sensation of the vest inflating. I did get a demo at the Helite booth at one rally but not the same when so unexpected.

It is just another tool we can choose to use.
 
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Well not meant as a scare tactic. As I said while I can never be sure, but after the falling over and the vest inflating my neck was isolated very well so I can assume it would have isolated my neck in a real crash.

Now the canister is 25 bucks and I could have done without the demo but hey such is life. It was fun to see just how tight it got and how it isolated me from the ground even. I mean I landed on my side with my hands still on the bars while backing out a steep driveway cut out. I hit my side and and my elbow pad and never felt a thing. Just the weird sensation of the vest inflating. I did get a demo at the Helite booth at one rally but not the same when so unexpected.

It is just another tool we can choose to use.
Thanks! I’m a 100% convert! 👏💪👍
 

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Hi Alan,
Being a medic as well, I keep my spare on the bike, I personally wouldn’t like it on me, if I had a spill, hitting the road surface, let alone anything else, i.e. roadside furniture, that large CO2 canister might cause bruising & discomfort at minimum and worse case scenario, a fracture, is there anywhere you could put it on that lovely machine of yours?
I have the healite vest
easy to use summer and winter or whatever you're wearing and I recommend it
 
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