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Discussion Starter #1

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I like the idea of no tether to the bike. I wonder how long the batteries last (meaning how many charges/years) and availability of replacement inflation canisters
 
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Looks like good tech, but I prefer a simple tether. No battery's and foolproof.

I am a believer in Helite and they make jackets also. I prefer a stand alone vest but everyone has their own preference.

I like it and price wise it is in the ball park but still a bit more then a Helite (especially the one i have in the classifieds) and the Helite has more coverage.
 
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One of the reasons I went with the Helite is the extensive coverage around your neck and lower rear torso. This doesn't seem to add much beyond the basic torso? Could be wrong on that. But what I do know is that I won't be using a battery operated unit. I also very much like the ease in "recharging" the Helite with a simple screw in CO2 cannister. Fancy Argon canisters sound expensive.

The tether is something to deal with. I have forgotten to attach it a couple times. Went to a way to clip it to the bars so that should be less likely to happen again. I want 99.9% percent reliability with the air bag vest. Mechanical tether is MUCH more likely to work perfectly when needed. Charging a vest every other day sounds like something easy to forget. I have done that with my Sena units.......
 

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Been using a Helite Turtle for around 4 years now, just upgraded to the latest vest, they do a trade in, in Europe. Connecting the tether is now second nature. Reason for me for a vest is I wear different jackets in winter and summer. I wouldn't attach the tether to the bars though, I followed the manufacturers recommendations and attached it under the seat to the frame on my RT and it then comes up at the front of the seat.
 

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I don't know about the Alpinestar model but the Dainese must be returned to be reset in case of deployment @ $250 a pop.
My Hit-Air vest only requires a $30 CO2 cartrige that I can replace myself.

The Alpinestar battery is said to be good for 25 hours.
 

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I wore mine over a mesh jacket in 42°C temps last year. With or without the air vest, it's still F**** hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One of the reasons I went with the Helite is the extensive coverage around your neck and lower rear torso. This doesn't seem to add much beyond the basic torso?
I noticed this as well about both the new Alpinestars and Dainese. I wonder if its because these vests are designed to go under a jacket maybe making the neck protection feature more difficult to incorporate in the design. Regardless, I agree and would prefer to have the extra protection especially around the neck.
 

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I'll stick to my 3 year old Hit-Air vest with a tether. I wonder how much a airbag vest will expand under a tight fitting jacket.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Looks like Klim is coming out with one later this year and it appears to have good neck protection. The price point for all of these is $699......almost like they are colluding on price. :mad: This new Klim vest goes for $399 then you have to buy the control unit for another $300 or rent it for $120/yr.

https://www.cyclenews.com/2020/01/article/klim-ai-1-airbag-vest/


 

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I'll stick to my 3 year old Hit-Air vest with a tether. I wonder how much a airbag vest will expand under a tight fitting jacket.
It's a good question to ask. Could someone get hurt by the expansion of the vest?
 

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I have used Helite for about 4 years. The reasons I prefer Helite are it's mechanical so there's no electronics to fail, it has better overall airbag protection and the BIG one is that if you come off your bike, you can change the cO2 canister at the side of the road in under 5 minutes. My understanding is that all the electronic versions have to be shipped back to somewhere (I'm in Australia and there's probably only 1 or 2 places) which costs both time and money. I have had two slow speed come off's in the past 35 years - both in the past 4 years so was wearing Helite. I can personally say they work!! Both times I was back on the road within 20 minutes.

I am lucky enough to have a Helite vented summer jacket which I wear about half the year here when it's warmer plus a Turtle 2 High viz Airvest which fits over my BMW Jacket which I use when it's cooler or when I am on a trip.

I do about 20,000 kilometres (12,5000 miles) a year and never ride without a Helite on.
 

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It's a good question to ask. Could someone get hurt by the expansion of the vest?
Not very likely as you need a fist of room around your body. You dont have anything coming at your face and it is just a tightening from the expansion. If you get to a BMW National they usually light a few off for people to try, and see. But that is a matter of timing. I asked when they were going to demonstrate and was there to watch. And it is like 5 mins and 25 bucks to put a new canister in so I carry a spare just in case.

I know you can get hurt much worse without the expansion of the vest so I will take my chances on expansion :wink:

Next to my C3 Pro it is the nicest piece of equipment I own.
 

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Not very likely as you need a fist of room around your body. You dont have anything coming at your face and it is just a tightening from the expansion. If you get to a BMW National they usually light a few off for people to try, and see. But that is a matter of timing. I asked when they were going to demonstrate and was there to watch. And it is like 5 mins and 25 bucks to put a new canister in so I carry a spare just in case.

I know you can get hurt much worse without the expansion of the vest so I will take my chances on expansion :wink:

Next to my C3 Pro it is the nicest piece of equipment I own.
I'm aware of someone who thinks he suffered injuries to his rib cage in a tip-over fall with a Hit-Air vest. Because he wasn't pulled away from the bike, the vest didn't expand until he hit the ground and the tether did its job. He had severely bruised rib.
What I don't know, I wasn't there, was the injury due to the fall or the sudden expansion when he was on the ground? In other words, there was no room for the vest to expand externally, causing the ribs injury.

This hasn't changed my mind about wearing my Hit-Air vest. I always wear it when riding but it has me wondering.
 

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I'm aware of someone who thinks he suffered injuries to his rib cage in a tip-over fall with a Hit-Air vest. Because he wasn't pulled away from the bike, the vest didn't expand until he hit the ground and the tether did its job. He had severely bruised rib.
What I don't know, I wasn't there, was the injury due to the fall or the sudden expansion when he was on the ground? In other words, there was no room for the vest to expand externally, causing the ribs injury.

This hasn't changed my mind about wearing my Hit-Air vest. I always wear it when riding but it has me wondering.
I never thought of that--trying to get off the bike in a low speed tip over when you're tethered to it. I have to think the first impulse will be to get clear of the bike and therefore allow the air vest to deploy. God forbid if you should consider the vest tether during that moment and hesitate to get clear of the bike it could be a lot uglier than just letting the bike drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I certainly agree with all the benefits folks have mentioned regarding the mechanical tether systems and although they obviously provide improved protection versus none at all, I've had reservations regarding their effectiveness relative to the electronic versions. I remember seeing a crash test video a few years ago of a tethered vest that did not inflate prior to the dummy impacting the vehicle being t-boned. I then searched for and found videos of electronic systems that showed much quicker and more effective inflation times. One showed inflation of the bag before the dummy's butt even left the seat. I also read somewhere that the electronic systems can detect a low-side and inflate before the rider hits the ground, a condition that a tethered system would not respond to in time if the rider remained on/near the seat.

Now that prices have dropped on the electronic technology and its become more mature I've started looking at air bags again. Searching, I found the videos I saw several years ago and have included them below.

This is the video of the tethered system and it was the Helite vest:


Here are two videos of electronic systems:

Alpinestars


Dainese

 

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Good stuff for sure. Thank you for sharing.

One thing is obvious, this should be shown to anyone who does not wear a helmet. Watching the helmet hits was almost as interesting as the vests.


Nothing is foolproof. To me it is another layer of protection. Nothing is going to take the place of skill and of course luck!
 

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I certainly agree with all the benefits folks have mentioned regarding the mechanical tether systems and although they obviously provide improved protection versus none at all, I've had reservations regarding their effectiveness relative to the electronic versions. I remember seeing a crash test video a few years ago of a tethered vest that did not inflate prior to the dummy impacting the vehicle being t-boned. I then searched for and found videos of electronic systems that showed much quicker and more effective inflation times. One showed inflation of the bag before the dummy's butt even left the seat. I also read somewhere that the electronic systems can detect a low-side and inflate before the rider hits the ground, a condition that a tethered system would not respond to in time if the rider remained on/near the seat.

Now that prices have dropped on the electronic technology and its become more mature I've started looking at air bags again. Searching, I found the videos I saw several years ago and have included them below.
Fascinating videos. What I was struck with was how the poor Helite dummy landed straight down on his butt with a lot of down force. It appeared the vest did little or nothing there for pelvic and compression fractures. For the Alpinestars vest the dummy's head really took a direct hit ramming it into the upper spine as his head flopped backwards then appeared to rebound off of the inflated collar and ended up contributing to a direct hit. Probably way better than unadulterated whiplash though. I'm sure statistically speaking they provide very significant reductions in injury severity for many events but there will be many more where it just doesn't come into play enough to matter. I wonder if anyone is making a vest that goes overtop your riding jacket but like the helite has better armor and is electronically deployed. Not having to screw w/ the tether could be enough to entice me to commit to one of these and the jackets themselves look heavy and maybe too restrictive, and hot to boot in hot weather.
 
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