Today let's talk about the airbag technology.
I own and wear a Helite Turtle Airbag Vest Hi-viz as part of my daily use of gear.
Had a lot of questions why I've chosen this product and not another brand/type or why not having it incorporated into a jacket.
This were the points that made me go for this product:
-airbag system which inflates upon impact using CO2 canister;
-is a vest, and you can wear it over any motorcycle jacket. If you don't like it, at least you have your normal gear;
-a wide range of types of vests and options to choose from as colours, hi-vis, the option to be suitable for racing jackets, even custom made and the new technology that was launched at EICMA Milan 2019- the electronic airbag system and I was there to check it up;
-the interior padding is soft and makes it comfortable to wear;
-has hard back protection incorporated;
-manufactured with top quality materials and with real hi viz strips, not just a bit of hi- viz material which will fade away;
-spare parts easy to find( canister, straps);
-easy to clean and isn't required to use a specific, special cleaning product which they rebranded and selling it at silly money. I clean mine with CIF £1( photos below are showing the same vest but the yellowish photos were done indoors and the bright yellow photos were done outside on a sunny day);
-is all the way mechanical, having 100% reliable trigger. No sensors, no modes, no dead batteries, no battery recharging as we already have enough gadgets to worry about;
- easy of use (attaches / detaches with quick clip);
- speed of installation and adaptability to all vehicles (strap installed only once on one or more bikes, for driver and passenger);
-after the deploy, the vest returns at the normal shape. The mechanism/airbag inside is so well designed so the material doesn't need restitching like other jackets with airbag technology;
-when you will have it deployed, is easy to service it and to have the canister changed by yourself;
-they have a lot of dealers all over UK and all over the world and canisters are cheap;
-when not inflated, the vest allows full body movement. When inflated the jacket supports the spinal column to prevent over flexion of the spine by inflating both chest and back airbags preventing major injuries to neck, back and torso;
-can be sent for servicing every time you want, but you need to have it checked by the team at least once a year for your safety;
-has a lifetime guarantee on the airbag component of the jacket or vest subject to the product being serviced & maintained according to the supplier.
The manufacturer recommends more frequent servicing:
-if you had a particularly bad accident, impact or fall;
-if there is visible damage to the jacket or vest;
-if you are a daily motorbike commuter;
-if you have more than six deployments.
For more technical info access the main wesite if our friends from Airvest LTD which are the main branch in the UK https://www.airvest.co.uk/
I'm wearing it since March, every day, on every ride. At the beginning I was forgetting to unclip it, so I can guarantee that if you worry that you will pop randomly because of this, your are safe.
The force required for the initiation of the airbag is around 60 lbs/ 27 kg required in an incident(dropping your bike will deploy it- tried that too).
It will become a habit to attach and detach the vest, much like wearing the seatbelt in the car. After just a few ride outs you will be overwhelmed with the feeling of 'nakedness' and guilt if you ride without it! It's addictive!. You should be riding with it each and every time!
Why do I say this?
In summer , we started our riding holiday from Essex to Devon and Cornwall. I was visiting a friend of mine and asked me if I'm not fed up having all the time, all my gear on, especially in summer when is hot and if it's not heavy and my reply was: I feel naked without it and my safety comes first!
And that holiday wasn't an exception!
As usual we chosen a destination and said to try some B roads. Trying is how we ride, discovering!
We are always prepared to do an emergency brake as we never know when a vehicle can come our way and you know B roads/country lanes.
Oh well... this time, I've manage to stop in due time and as you know this lanes aren't straight from one side to another. Put my feet down and guess what, I've slipped on mud and leaves and manage to hit some logs and woods and I was lucky with my Helite Airvest as went on, inflating, as supposed to and I'm happy that I've had it as my ribs and my back are in one piece .
The Helite Airbag system will inflate in less than a tenth of a second (at 250 mbar of pressure) and will stay inflated to support and protect the rider for 15 - 20 seconds. It will take 5-7 minutes for the Airbag to deflate completely, unscrewing and removing the canister will speed this up significantly.
Always wear your gear as you never know when something might happen 🦸♀️🏍 and if this gear is chosen by the police motorcyclists and Fire Bike instructors, is good enough for me too!
About cleaning it and changing the canister to be continued .