Brand new for 2020, the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 Airbag is highly anticipated and has been touted as the most advanced motorcycle airbag system yet – so what exactly does it do?
What is the Alpinestars Tech-Air 5?
The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is the latest addition to the already accomplished Alpinestars airbag range featuring the Tech-Air Race and the Tech-Air Street systems. The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is a slim and self-contained airbag vest that can be worn under any jacket or Alpinestars Tech-Air compatible jacket with a tiny 4cms of space around the rider’s chest. As this can be worn under any jacket it is more versatile than all previous Alpinestars Airbag incarnations as they could only be used with the matching (sometimes pricey) compatible Tech-Air jacket.
The Tech-Air 5 gives unrivalled upper body protection as it covers the shoulders, chest, ribs and full back. It protects a wide surface for more comprehensive coverage. This is also covered by a number of certifications. This is CE category 2 Personal Protective Equipment under EU Regulation 2016/425. As the motorcyclists’ inflatable protectors standard (EN1621-4:2013) is for mechanically triggered systems, this has been used with reference to impact performance and ergonomics only. The Tech-Air 5 System, is equipped with a passive back protector that provides protection to the back area even if the system should not deploy. This back protector is certified as a Personal Protective Equipment Category 2, Level 1, under the Regulation EU 2016/425, according to the 1621-2:2014 standard. This also contains two pyrotechnically activated cold gas inflators, and as such, the whole item is considered as an “AIRBAG MODULE” category P1 under EU Directive 2007/23. The Electronic Unit of the Tech-Air 5 System has been tested according to different regulations for electronic and radio devices. The system has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. To cut a long story short this is CE approved and highly protective even without inflation! It protects up to 18 times compared to a protector Level 1, while the direct competitors achieve max 7 times a protector Level 1.
The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 system consists of an Airbag Control Unit with built-in sensors integrated in to the back protector. These state-of-the-art six integrated sensors (3 gyroscopes and 3 accelerometers) monitor the rider’s body for shocks and unexpected movements. The Alpinestars crash algorithm uses AI to accurately monitor when to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash. This is highly sophisticated thanks to years of research with over 50% of the worlds top MotoGP riders and Alpinestars customers with riding data from millions of kilometres and thousands of crashes that have been analysed to give the best intelligent crash detection algorithm going. Upon detection of a crash, the protective airbag is deployed automatically. This decreases the force of the impact by up to 95% – the equivalent of provided by 18 back protectors. This sophisticated system is impressively easy to use. Just zip up the chest, close the magnetic flap and you’re ready. That’s it. An LED display indicates the operational status and has a battery life of 30 hours of riding time. This also comes with a magnetic micro USB charger for quick and easy charging and features Bluetooth connectivity and an Alpinestars Tech-Air App to connect your phone to the system’s status and battery life and the system’s firmware can also be updated directly via this app.
As this has been evolved from previous Tech-Air jackets, Alpinestars have managed to make this ultra-lightweight for the specific purpose of use with all kinds of jackets. Designed to be comfortable as well as protective, the Tech-Air 5 needs just 4cm of space around it to be able to be deployed. The back protector works on its own without the airbag function so needs to fit well in order to offer the best protection going – you don’t want this to be baggy – or too tight! Speaking of too tight, the Tech-Air 5 is available from size XS up to 4XL – the largest Airbag size that Alpinestars have ever released – with the addition of this allowing you to use it with any jacket it makes it the most inclusive airbag yet!
As mentioned above, the fact that this can be worn under any jacket (and you’re not limited to only, often expensive, compatible jackets) means this is highly practical. The design is also extremely practical. The design is very quick and easy to use and the LED system is extremely easy to follow and is displayed at the bottom near the zip for easy viewing access. The Alpinestars App that goes with this system gives you all the information you need – as well as how much battery life you have left! This has 30 hours of battery use on full charge and with just 1 hour of charge you get 7-8 hours of use. This is also the quickest airbag that Alpinestars have ever released with inflation between 20-40 milliseconds which means it protects from the first impact – which is usually the most dangerous one. Another practical detail of the Tech-Air 5 is that it is an autonomous system. This means it is independant from GPS so the airbag deploys (if neccessary) even when the rider stops at the traffic light or in any circumstance where GPS connection is absent (like riding through a tunnel or also up in the montains) it doesn’t need to be linked mechanically to the motorbike and sensors don’t need to be installed on the motorcycle. Software upgrades are free of charge (and mean changes are very easy)
The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 have JUST arrived in the UK (another thing delayed due to Covid-19!) and will be available in our stores very soon – they are available online NOW. Get yours while stocks last!
Until next time, stay safe