For reasons too obvious to mention, motorcycle gear protection has been on my mind lately. Though my broken collarbone is unfortunate, it is timely, as Dainese just released its D-Air Misano 1000 jacket, the world’s first commercially available self-contained airbag jacket for motorcyclists.
Let’s be really clear about one thing: this is a sea change for motorcycle safety.
Debuting at the San Marino GP, the venue for the Dainese D-Air Misano 1000’s release is no mistake, as the jacket builds off the Italian company’s experience with airbag suits in the MotoGP World Championship.
At the highest level of racing, airbag technology has become a game-changing technology, and now riders on the street can use essentially that same airbag system, that same proprietary crash-sensing software (modified for street use), and that same company history of safety that the professionals rely on while on the race track.
The fact that Dainese’s system is self-contained is a huge deal for the Italian brand, as it means there are no rip-cords attached to the motorcycle, and no extra sensors attached to the motorcycle, in order to initiate the jacket’s inflation.
This means that any rider, on any bike, can wear the jacket and be protected by its 5cm (~2 inches) of inflated airbag padding.
That means fewer broken collarbones (Dainese’s track record with this in Grand Prix is astounding, even compared to the Alpinestars Tech-Air system), fewer neck injuries from helmet roll and shoulder impacts, and fewer injuries to the chest.
Like Dainese’s airbag race suits for the public, the D-Air system analyzes data 800 times per second from its six sensors located in the jacket’s hump, as well as data from a built-in GPS unit, all in order to pinpoint when a rider has become involved in a crash, and when they are about to have a major impact.
The jacket is fully serviceable by Dainese, and we assume service plans can be bought from the Italian brand. The list price is an expensive €1,499 – which might put-off some buyers, but I can tell you that price is still cheaper than a broken collarbone, even with healthcare.
So far availability is in Europe only, but we should see the Dainese D-Air Misano 1000 jacket in the USA by mid-summer 2016. US pricing hasn’t been set yet, obviously, be we would expect something in the $1,500 range. I’ve already got my order in – how about you?