Perhaps the best news from Alpinestars at CES is that the Italian brand is going to make its off-road airbag system available to consumers, later this year.

The news comes as part of Alpinestars’ larger airbag product line announcement, but we figured this news was so important, it deserved its own story.

This is because the Tech-Air OFF-ROAD V2 protection jacket is the first commercially available airbag system designed for off-road motorcyclists, and that makes it a game-changer for those who want the best protection in the dirt.

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.

If you have read Asphalt & Rubber long enough, then you surely must now our rabid affection for airbag equipped motorcycle gear. I’ve even gotten a little snobby about it.

To reiterate, airbags represent a new generation in safety equipment, and they dramatically reduce the injuries a rider can sustain during a crash or accident.

Right now though, airbag safety technology is limited to motorcycle jackets and racing suits, with protection only available on the torso.

What about south of the belt line though? Truthfully, the current state of airbag technology covers only half of our bodies, leaving out legs (and arms) exposed to harsh impacts.

This is where French upstart CX Air Dynamics hopes to disrupt the space, as they are working on an airbag-equipped set of pants.

Episode 28 of the Brap Talk podcast is now out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and as always, it is packed with some interesting motorcycle discussions…and some strong opinions.

Our show starts with news from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where we saw the new Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest, and the electric superbike from Damon Motorcycles.

The latter provides quite a bit of fodder for a frank conversation about this motorcycle debut, and the lofty promises the Canadian company is making about its product.

Another debut seen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the eagerly awaited Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 airbag vest offers a new name in autonomous airbag safety for motorcyclists.

Boasting the ability to put an airbag in almost any motorcycle jacket, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is a direct competitor with the Dainese Smart Jacket – as the two Italian brands continue to one-up each other in this budding space in motorcycle safety.

Genetically speaking, I feel like I am a bit of an oddity. I am a true 6’2″ in height  (not a Tinder 6’2″, which is more like 5’9″ mind you). So, that’s 190cm of Jensen Beeler, coming at yah.

I mention this because I was reading recently that for humans, something seemingly as basic as height isn’t controlled by a single gene. In fact, there are about 700 genes that factor into how tall we are.

It is a fascinating concept on how the DNA from our parents interacts to make us who we are. For instance, despite my tall stature, my parents are pretty much right in the middle of things: my father was 5’8″ and my mother 5’6″. 

I could make a joke about having a tall mailman growing up, but really I get my height from my mother’s father, who was six-foot on the dot. I got his red hair too, which went white when I was a teenager, just like all the rest of the grey-haired Beeler progeny. We must get our hair attributes from a number of genes as well then.

Despite being tall, I have a relatively normal inseam, of 32 inches, which means I make most of my height in my torso. I have broad shoulders too, but like my father, I have short arms (thankfully, not quite as short as his).

I have small feet and hands, so it is size 10 shoes for me (with a high arch), and “small” size gloves in most brands. My head is a large in just about every helmet though, which makes for an interesting bookend on the sizing spectrum.

The point that I am trying to drive home here is that we are all very different people when it comes to our body shapes. There is no simple break down of putting humans into categories like small, medium, and large.

We are more complicated than that…and so should the items we wear.

We have be extolling the virtues of airbag-equipped motorcycle jackets and suits for quite some time now, and to repeat a favorite line of mine, your standard leather motorcycle jacket is now obsolete, if it doesn’t have an airbag in it.

That statement still holds true, but Dainese just gave your old jacket a new life, as the Italian brand just debuted its “Dainese Smart Jacket” system.

Don’t let the name fool you though, this isn’t a new jacket from Dainese, it’s a vest – an airbag vest, to be precise. What makes the Dainese Smart Jacket so…smart…is that the airbag vest can be worn under or over your typical motorcycle jacket.

The future of motorcycle safety apparel just took another step forward, as a new brand has entered the airbag game for motorcycle track and race suits.

It shouldn’t surprise us to see that the brand in question is REV’IT, as the Dutch company is already at the forefront of motorcycle apparel design, and is an avid safety partner for racers at the top level of the sport.

REV’IT joins Alpinestars and Dainese in offering an in-house airbag safety technology system for track use, but the brand is taking things to the next level with its novel approach to keeping riders safe.

For REV’It, the issue isn’t just in deploying the soft protection that an airbag offers a rider. Instead, their new airbag design promises to be lighter in weight and cooler in temperature than the units from the competition.

On Thursday, a German court of appeals in Munich released a ruling that Alpinestars had infringed upon a patent by Dainese, which held bearing over the the brands’ airbag suit systems.

The impact of that decision amounted to a big blow to Alpinestars’ ability to sell its Tech-Air garments in the German market, as the ruling meant that Alpinestars could no longer sell its Tech-Air products in the German market, and also that Alpinestars would have to pay restitution to Dainese for damages.

Letting that news circulate through the weekend, Alpinestars has now issued a statement about the German court’s ruling, which not only adds more clarity to the patents in question, but also shows that the legal battles between the two companies are far from over.