*For reals this time.
For those looking for more protection from their racing leathers, Dainese D-Air Racing suits are finally coming to the USA. Already bringing the technology in Europe last year, Dainese is set finally to bring the D-Air Racing technology to the USA, in September 2015.
Riders interested in the airbag-equipped leather suit have two options: 1) the top-of-the-line off-the-rack Misano D-Air cow leather suit ($2,499), or 2) the made-to-measure Mugello D-Air custom kangaroo leather suit (Price TBD).
This announcement represents the first airbag-equipped motorcycle race suits to go on sale in the USA (Alpinestars Tech-Air system is still not available, though the rival Italian brand is close to coming to market), and offers track riders the same level of protection as Dainese’s MotoGP riders, like Valentino Rossi.
It has been a long time coming for Dainese to make good on its initial “launch” of the D-Air technology to American riders, as the Italian company announced D-Air for the American market all the way back in January 2012 (Dainese has been working on D-Air since 2000, though announced it ready for market in 2012).
Addressing the delay to market, Dainese explained that the company had been weary of the litigious nature of the American consumer.
The Italian company also wanted to trial selling the airbag suits in Europe first, as the suits require special servicing after the airbag deploys, and European customers are physically closer to the Dainese’s Italian HQ.
With Dainese USA now ready to service the North American market locally, the rollout to the USA can now commence at full speed.
Many of the initial details about the D-Air Racing have remained since its initial announcement. The system is still a cold-fire deployment with four liters of air directly protecting the shoulders and collarbone, while indirectly also protecting neck roll by stabilizing the helmet via the shoulders.
It takes 45ms for the D-Air Racing to detect a crash is happening and to deploy its airbag. Airbag deployments will only occur when a rider highsides or has a lowside with a tumble. It will not inflate when a rider lowsides and simply slides down the track, or when the the rider is moving less than 50 km/h.
Teaming up with 2D, on-board telemetry is possible, and it is enabled via the D-Air Racing’s on-board GPS. The system syncs with Google Earth, and can show racing lines, braking points, acceleration data, speed, and of course lap times. It comes with 4GB of storage (up from the original 2GB), which should be more than enough to record a day at the track in telemetry.
The D-Air Racing has so far been the most protective racing suit and airbag racing suit at the Grand Prix level, with only one incident where a rider has broken their collarbone during a crash (Pol Espargaro). That level of safety bodes well, and Dainese’s certified tests show that D-Air Racing reduces the impact force 85% when compared to traditional shoulder armor (23kN vs. 3 kN).
Good for only one deployment, D-Air Racing owners will need to send their suit to Dainese after the airbag inflates. Accordingly, the cost of servicing an airbag deployment is $200, which includes ground shipping.
Owners can also opt for the Extended Service Package, which is good for an unlimited number of deployments over a two-year period. It costs $299. Both service levels will have a 3 to 4 business day turnaround.
Dainese hopes to bring its D-Air Street to the US market in 2016, and the company is slowly adding OEMs to its list of partners who will build bikes that are D-Air Street sensor equipped.
Dainese hopes to also have an add-on system, for legacy motorcycle owners, though it’s not clear when that will be available to the public, since proper installation is critical to its operation.