Airbag technology for motorcyclists continues to advance, and today’s news from Alpinestars is proof of that, as the Italian brand has added a “race” mode to its consumer-facing Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest.
Shipped with a “street” algorithm, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 can now be updated via firmware to include the company’s racing algorithm, which can be enabled by Bluetooth and a smartphone app.
This update means that the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 vest can provide airbag safety not only for street riding (and what Alpinestars calls “light off-road” riding), but also during race track conditions, when worn under a properly fitting jacket or suit, of course, that has 4cm of space around the circumference of the chest.
With this announcement, Alpinestars has also changed its servicing policy and options, where a new cheaper “inflator only” service can now be had for $179, which includes only the replacement of the suit’s two argon canisters (both of which are used with a single airbag deployment).
After three deployments though, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 vest needs to undergo a full servicing ($299), as the airbag itself is only rated for three inflations.
These advancements are a part of a larger push by Alpinestars to improve its airbag offerings, and to widen the range of applications where motorcyclists can be protected with an airbag.
Just this year, Alpinestars added a Tech-Air package for racers in the Dakar Rally, which will likely give birth to an off-road version for consumers in the coming years.
Of note, Alpinestars does not recommend that women with breast implants to wear any of the company’s Tech-Air products, as the airbag has not been tested for those body types. Lastly, the Tech-Air 5 batteries hold 30 hours of charge.