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Author Topic: Hit-Air Airbag Vest review  (Read 6802 times)
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« on: August 17, 2017, 01:50:07 AM »

Hit-Air Airbag Vest review

First, watch this video, in full screen.
You don’t have to watch the entire clip. Just first one minute is enough.

How do you feel?
That’s how bad things happen.
I hit a deer once, on a motorcycle, back in the late 90s.
One early winter evening, shortly after sunset, the deer jumped out from the right hand side bush.
I had no time to react.

When things go wrong, you really don’t have time to react. (Anybody who thinks he/she can avoid the crush in the video above can stop reading right here, and move onto next thread.)

The rider walked away ( rode away, to be precise) from that accident in the video above, because of the protective gear he was wearing.
(Besides Hit-Air Airbag Vest, Motoport kevlar suit and Dainese body armor underneath.)

Now, read this article.

A 74 year old rider was cute off by SUV. Bike totaled and serious damage to the SUV, but the rider was OK...at 74.


(This rider was wearing Helite vest.)

Today, an older gentleman on Honda S2000 came to me at a gas station and started asking questions about the Airbag Vest I was wearing.
(We talked a while, about other things, too. But the first thing he asked was about the air bag vest and that’s what he was interested in the most.)

So, what it’s like to wear airbag vest? Are they comfortable (to wear)?

Yeah, ...  I really don’t feel it while I’m wearing. (The good gear should become invisible once you put them on, meaning that you don’t feel the gear while you are wearing them and riding.)

The one I’m wearing is Hit-AIr MLV-P model, in Hi-Viz yellow.


I bought mine from here

It has split back kind of design, so it flows enough air. (When it’s getting close to 90°F, I switch to Dainese mesh jacket. I simply move the airbag vest onto the Dainese jacket, wear them as one unit. Although the vest blocks some air flow, I’ve never had any problem. Also, keep in mind that I wear chest protector all the time, that also block some air flow. Again, I have no complain about that.)

Is that an “extra step” to put the vest on? Too much hassle to put one more gear every time you get on a bike?

No. Not at all. Mine stays on my R-3 suit (Aerostich Roadcrafter one piece). I just grab R-3 and put them on as one piece unit.
The only “extra” step is that you need to connect the coiled wire to the vest when get on a bike. (And unclip the coiled wire when getting off the bike.)

I think it’s worth mentioning that you need to attach the coiled wire to the bike.
Find a suitable anchor point, attach the coiled wire

clipped here while not in use

Then, adjust the length of the coiled wire. Standing up on the foot pegs while still holding the handle bar with both hand, the coiled wire should be stretched out all the way.


This is the only thing you have to do before starting to use the vest.

Pros and cons (of wearing air bag vest)?

Extra protection around the neck, entire back, entire chest, hip(both side and back) that regular body armor can not offer.
Especially important thing is that the airbag vest stabilizes the riders neck as soon as the rider gets ejected from the bike.

Spinal cord injury is one of the worst nightmare. The only other way to stabilize your neck is to wear neck brace such as this.

Big reflective material is not some cheapo stuff, but LUMIDEX. Works great.

How it looks like from typical car driver’s point of view

(I should put some reflective tape on the helmet.)

Looking at from the front

Nothing, really. Other than ...

It makes you look dorky.
(Well, I wear Hi-Viz yellow Aerostich, so I already look dorky enough from the beginning.)

It makes you look fat.
(One piece Aerostich makes you look fatter than you actually are, anyway. Who cares. You can’t see yourself while riding.)

It costs over $500.
(A whole lot cheaper than ambulance ride to ER.)

(There’s a youtube video made by pretty well known motovlogger who’s whining about the cost of airbag vest.
Don’t listen to that guy. He doesn’t even know how to insert foam ear plugs, yet, making the “how to insert foam ear plug” video and preaching people.)

Hit-Air airbag vest was invented by a Japanese guy Kenji Takeuchi, back in the mid 90s. (1995).
It was pretty much his personal project, and he nearly bankrupted while developing the vest.
(He had totally different kind of business. He did this Airbag vest project purely for saving motorcycle riders.
A lot of time, work, and money went into the development. Here’s the video of the story of this man.
(Sorry, it’s Japanese only video, there’s no subtitles.)

Should I buy it?
Only if you want. Just like the rest of protective gear, it’s your personal choice what to wear and what not to wear.
Some people say they would rather quit riding if they are forced to wear XXXX (full face helmet, Hi-Viz vest, you name it).

On the other hand, if you are interested, and can afford $500-$600, go ahead, order one today. (Either Hit-AIr or Helite, they are both excellent.) You won’t regret. Really the only thing you’d loose is “cool” image. And the level of protection the airbag vest offer far outweigh the uncool look.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 01:50:30 PM by S21FOLGORE » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 12:23:17 AM »

Hit-Air vest in action

These two videos will show you how they deploy.

How quickly they deploy, and how they support your neck and head

Skip to 8:40

The one in the 2nd video is  “Hit-Air racer vest”, race/track use specific ones.

For the street use, racer vest is not recommended mostly because the coiled wire (tether) is attached at the back of the vest. (So that it won’t disturb the rider’s movement, especially at corners.) You can see in the photo above, how the coiled wire is attached to the bike and the back of the vest.

It is a bit of surprise, but MLV-P deploys slightly faster than racer vest. (However, don’t get overly concerned about 0.0x seconds difference. They all work in the real world.)

The air bag jacket vs air bag vest
To me personally, the vest is the winner.
The vest can be worn over the jacket / suit you already have, and it can work with any of the jacket / suit you have or you will have in near future.
Realistically, you need at least two sets of riding gear (even in the San Francisco Bay Area), so buying a jacket with airbag integrated just doesn’t make logical sense. (What if the accident happens while you are wearing another jacket ?)

Sitll, probably there are some people who prefere the jacket with airbag system, than wearing the vest. That’s fine.
Both Hit-AIr and Helite make some nice airbag jackets, for both men and women.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 10:06:09 AM by S21FOLGORE » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 04:42:24 PM »

So, I made a quick short video, of how much extra time does airbag vest add to gear up before taking off.

As you can see, it is practically nothing! Mine stays on the R-3(Aerostich Roadcrafter suit), so it goes on with R-3, and it comes off with R-3, no extra step or added time.
After getting on the bike, how long does it take to clip the coiled wire (tether) to the vest? A second or two, at the most.

While it’s not “fighter pilot scramble” fast, I can do it  about twice as fast if I really need to. (But, I have no reason to rush.)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 04:46:12 PM by S21FOLGORE » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 05:41:54 PM »

Its the future. One day all jackets will have it built in I guess.

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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 10:41:32 AM »

I sure hope so.

Dainese took almost ten years to make back protector available to the public.
I first heard about “spine protector” (that’s how they were called back then) worn by Freddie Spencer, in the early 80s.
(Incidentally, that spine protector was still in the early stage of the development, and exclusive to the guys like Spencer, Barry Sheene, (read : Dainese sponsored riders) only. But, Freddie often let fellow GP riders (who are not sponsored by Dainese) to use his extra protector.

In the begining of the 90s, the back protector that looked almost identical to the one worn by Freddie in the early 80s hit the market.
Shortly after, their first BAP back protectore came in, and I bought that one right away.

Talking about the big names such as Dainese, the future is surely coming to the market.

Dainese D-air racing Misano suit

D-air street jacket (Available in Europe, but not in US)

You may or may not like the system. (For some people’s preference, that’s just too much sensors and electronics, too much stuff that can fail.  Only work with the jacket/suit that are D-air system compatible. To me personally, the biggest issue is that the fact that system rely on GPS, to determine the rider's movement.)

Alpinestars Tech-Air

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