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BMW Motorrad rider equipment will contain airbags

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Posted April 28, 2015

Riding a motorcycle has been a dream of many people. However, for the most of us it remained just a dream, because concerns about safety did not encourage fulfilling it. But now there are many smart solutions to improve safety of motorcycle riders, some of which will make it to official BMW Motorrad jackets.

New BMW Motorrad equipment will have an airbag waistcoat, to protect upper body of the rider. Image courtesy of BMW

New BMW Motorrad equipment will have an airbag waistcoat, to protect upper body of the rider. Image courtesy of BMW

The motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, called BMW Motorrad, announced partnership with company Alpinestars, which specializes in motorsports apparel, clothing and safety gear. They are going to develop jacket, combined with an airbag waistcoat developed using Alpinestars technology. They say, that jacket will be available in both male and female versions and will be introduced later this year.

The technology that goes into this safety gear is fascinating. Alpinestars’ Tech-Air airbag system independently functions without the need for sensors to be installed on the bike. There is also no need to link a specific motorcycle to the airbag system used by the rider. In other words, it is the first self-contained street motorcycle airbag system in the world. It means, rider can switch motorcycle without reconfiguring the system.

The waistcoat with airbag system offers freedom as no other motorcycle airbag systems have ever offered. Riders will be able to change motorcycles or scooters without reinitializing the bike-to-rider set-up. System is immediately ready for use; no time is wasted while setting up electronic pairing between rider or passenger and motorcycle.

In fact, rider does not even need to turn it on, as it turns on automatically as soon as jacket is zipped up. Combined with the jacket, this safety gear offers high levels of upper body protection. It covers shoulders, back and frontal torso. Sensors of the airbag system are located close to the body of the rider. Therefore no triggering wireless signal sent from the bike is necessary.

The Tech-Air airbag system has been developed for quite some time now. It is said to deploy airbag fully in just 25 milliseconds and detect an impact between 30-60 milliseconds, depending on accident type. Fully charged batteries will last for about 25 hours, each hour of charging ensuring four hours of riding time. It has been tested in many different conditions and should work in all weather conditions, on and off road, during usual motorcycle crash while riding or being hit in the standing traffic.

BMW is proud about their safety systems, incorporated in Motorrad brand. They are executing what they call “Safety 360°” principle – concept of safe motorcycling is broken down into three facets. They are safety technology in the vehicle, safety provided by rider equipment and safety through rider training. This new wearable safety gear is part of BMW’s second pillar of motorcycling safety and it is going to be developed with world famous manufacturer of safety equipment.

Alpinestars has been a working company for over 50 years. Their innovative airbag system the Tech-Air was being developed since 2001 and now is ready to be incorporated into the latest BMW Motorrad equipment. Company has been providing equipment to other sports as well, such as Formula 1 and NASCAR, but motorcycle sport remains main field for Alpinestars.

Maybe new safety systems that are created for motorcycles will encourage young people to dream about becoming bikers again. Because it is said that motorcycles provide freedom on the road like no other mean of transport.

Sources: BMW, Alpinestars

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