Are Airbag Motorcycle Jackets The Next Big Thing in Rider Safety?

airbag motorcycle jacket

If you’ve ever been in a motorcycle accident, first of all, count your blessings for still being here. Second, you better be taking motorcycle safety more seriously.

Like your mom always says, you better wear your helmet! But with a motorcycle, a helmet is the bare minimum. To avoid more injuries and road rash from a potential crash, a smart motorcyclists needs proper shoes, gloves, jackets, and pants. However, some riders want to take that up a notch in the name of safety.

The idea of an inflatable motorcycle jacket is not a new one, but the trend has yet to really catch on.

Can an inflatable motorcycle jacket potentially save your life?

Just like the airbag in your car, an inflatable motorcycle jacket will deploy in the event of a crash. Unlike in a car, with a motorcycle, you’re almost guaranteed to be flung from your vehicle, so that presents a challenge for creating an effective airbag.

There are a variety of manufacturers that make airbag motorcycle jackets. Some use advanced gyroscopic technology (this comes at a high price) and some use some more simplistic methods. When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle jacket, especially one designed to help you survive a crash, you need to find a good mix of quality and affordability. If the technology is too expensive for most people to afford, what’s the point?

How it works

One of the most popular names in motorcycle airbag technology is Helite. They have been in the business for years, and have a different types of wearable airbags, including vests as well as jackets. Here’s how their technology works.

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In most cases, the motorcycle airbags either go over existing gear, or act as your main motorcycle gear. Rather than relying on high tech, expensive gyrpscopes and computers, Helite uses a C02 cartridge that connects to a tether, that is mounted to the body of your motorcycle. Similar to the technology that automatically shuts off a treadmill if you fall off of it, once the tether is pulled, the C02 instantly inflates the vest or jacket and before you even hit the ground, you’re surrounded by a safety pillow of air.

The Helite vests and jackets are suggested to be used up to 6 times. After that, they suggest sending it back and having it inspected to ensure it is still safe to use. This being said, one jacket or vest can save your life multiple time, unlike a helmet which should be replaced after an accident.

If you’ve got the budget, one of these inflatable motorcycle jackets can be the difference between life and death. When it comes to riding, especially commuting, safety always comes first. As technology advances, so will the way we ride.

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