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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I just jumped into the 21st century in bike rider safety! I bought an Alpinestars Tech Air 5 vest and a new jacket to go with it. I literally just got it yesterday so I haven't ridden with it yet. The jacket will be here in a couple days, although the Tech Air vest can be worn under most any riding jacket.

For me, safety equipment has always been a top priority. I've ridden off-road and MX for almost 5 decades. I ALWAYS wear whatever is deemed the most effective and current safety gear, like the Leatt neck brace I wear when dirt bike riding. So I started looking into the airbags now that I'm riding on the street more. It looks like they've gotten to the point where they're not bleeding edge quirky but refined and actually usable. I didn't like the idea of a tether connecting to the bike, I know I'd forget to unhook it and blow the airbag in the first week! (I think they did have GPS speed inputs so they probably wouldn't deploy actually.) The Tech Air 5 is fully self contained, it's simply a vest with no external connections.

The biggest influence in my deciding to buy was actually the data that a couple GP rider crashes provided Alpinestars. (I'll put some links below.) Those riders sustained G forces of 27 and 29.9 to their shoulders!!! My rough calculations say that's like having a 5,000 pound car land on your shoulder. Not only did they walk away, but the one guy raced two days later to win the championship. The reason they took those kinds of forces and didn't break anything is that Alpinestars says testing shows the airbag reduces impact forces by 95%! Again, my rough calculations says that means those riders took more like a ~200lb hit to their shoulders on the initial impact. No wonder they walked away.

There's a lot more info about the airbags from all the manufacturers online, if you're interested in safety follow the links below. I'll be adding to this thread once I get some miles in wearing the vest. So far wearing it around the house I think it's gonna be ok to wear. It feels about like wearing a Camelbak, which I've gotten used to anyway and NOT wearing my Camelbak feels weird. I'm sure it's not going to be a nice when it's hot next summer, but they say the venting is pretty effective. You can take the back and even shoulder pads out of your jackets when wearing it, the back pad even NOT deployed is level 1 rated. (The back protection when deployed is rated at the equivalent of 18 Level 1 pads stacked on top of each other!)

Hopefully I'll never have to see how effective it really is. Crashing and getting badly hurt knowing I could have avoided those injuries by simply wearing a currently available safety device is my worst nightmare. (Actually it was my reality many years ago, that was a lesson I'll never forget. Short story was I had a brand new pair of boots but decided to go to the mx track with my old boots because the new ones weren't broken in yet. Crashed on a jump and broke my heel in half.) Once I saw that the airbag vests were now highly effective and I could afford one, NOT wearing one would have been stupid. Again, in MY opinion.

Tech Air 5 Airbag vest...

Marques crash data from Alpinestars...

Loris Baz crash data...

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i wear an air vest quite a bit, mine is tethered but my next full suit will be an alpinestar air bag suit. The added safety to our spine and core is huge!!!!

congrats on the purchase , hope you never need it but if you do i can not imagine ever being sorry you had it!!!
 

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We had a thread on this last year around this time and a few guys were interested. Let us know how you like it, I'd definitely consider one if it's as good as they say!
 

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How do you keep the electronics 'charged'? I understand with a low tech tethered unit it is all mechanical, but with the independent ones I assume the have batteries?
 

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How do you keep the electronics 'charged'? I understand with a low tech tethered unit it is all mechanical, but with the independent ones I assume the have batteries?
I had to go check this very thing. Apparently it has a lithium ion battery and charges via a USB cable.
 

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2016 XSR900 60th Anniv. Edition
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This vest has been on my Wish List ever since they announced it almost a year ago. Maybe this Christmas???

GM tech, definitely keep us posted on how you like it!
 

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I've been contemplating getting a tethered vest this coming season. I've been with and watched two people who crashed this season so motivation is not in short supply.
 

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I have a tethered jacked for 3 years, never deployed thankfully. Will be switching to this vest - you get used to tethering but it is still a bit annoying, and it does not cover shoulders like A*.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I've ridden with it a couple times now, so far so good!

I bought a new jacket and winter gloves at the same time I bought the airbag vest. Of the 3 new pieces of riding gear, the airbag vest was actually the easiest to get used to. The jacket works good, it's just a little bulkier than I'm used to but it's meant to be a winter jacket. The gloves are going to end up going back, they're just too thick. I wanted warmer but I can't deal with feeling like I'm riding in mittens.

So yeah, the vest seems fine. It won't take long to be totally used to wearing it so NOT wearing it will feel weird. First couple rides didn't even get the battery off 100%, battery life shouldn't be an issue. It charges off USB so you can charge it darn near anywhere. The phone app isn't that amazing, the ride log is pretty basic. There's at least a dozen other apps you can use if all you want is to track your rides. I'll probably only use the app to check for software/firmware updates.
 

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Do you have to turn it on manually every time? Or is it automatically turned on when sensing movement/gps... etc.?

Hmm, guessing it's automatic.

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Discussion Starter #11
Yep, it's pretty brainless to use. Zip it up and the velcro flap pretty much flips closed by itself. The LED's at the bottom of the vest let you know it's on and operational. It's honestly the easiest part of my riding gear to put on and take off.

And remember if you've been seriously thinking about using one but keep putting it off, just realize how p!ssed off you're going to feel if you have a serious injury crash and didn't buy it. I don't think you ever regret buying safety equipment, but you damn sure can regret NOT buying or wearing it.

BTW, one of the biggest differences between the tethered airbags and the Alpinestars vests is they will deploy if you're rear-ended while stopped. That's a pretty big deal if you live somewhere that doesn't allow lane splitting or filtering. When I first started riding I actually felt a little bad about filtering at a stoplight, it seemed almost rude. But when I learned that law enforcement and motorcycle safety people actually suggest doing it (safely) to avoid being rear-ended, I do it at most stoplights now. So evidently being rear-ended while sitting at a light on a motorcycle is a fairly common thing?

We all do and have done things in our lives others think are stupid or dangerous. I'm not going to stop doing some of those things, but I also don't want to die doing them if it can be avoided.
 

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So evidently being rear-ended while sitting at a light on a motorcycle is a fairly common thing?
I’ve had two of my best riding buddies get hit like that. One escaped with minor injuries, but his CBR900RR was totalled. The other not only lost his almost-new S1000RR, he ended up in a coma for several days, then went through months of healing. So I would say, yes, it’s a thing. We still tend to position ourselves right on the lane line when we’re stopped...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did around 5 hours riding today, the airbag vest was totally fine to wear. You get used to it pretty quickly and don't even notice you're wearing it. Now granted, it was around 65 degrees most of the day, not sure how it's gonna be when it's 80 or 90 degrees out. But as far as weight and feel, it's perfectly fine.
 

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So I've been doing a little research on the alpinestars air vests, and the older ones required you to use special jackets that had flex zones built in to them for when the air bag deployed (as well as being zipper compatible with the jackets). This model is advertised as compatible under any jacket correct?
 

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If I remember correctly, they said most textile jackets should have enough room, but a snug-fitting leather jacket won’t work unless it’s compatible with the vest (and of course A-Stars will be happy to sell you one!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, the Tech Air 5 can be worn under most any jacket, it just can't fit super tight.

I just saw this on Reddit, I thought it wouldn't hurt to copy/paste it here since the subject is basically spending money on riding gear...
(Again, this was posted on Reddit, it's NOT ME.)

Spend the ****ing money.

Last week I got hit from behind on a feeder next to the highway. I went flying, and my girlfriend on the rear fell and was run over by the truck. They didn't stop for another 1/2 mile down the road.
I escaped with just a broken tibia and now I have physical therapy. Had all my gear on. Girlfriend wasn't so lucky. Her modular helmet i got on sale years ago from revzilla split open on contact with the ground and shes in the ICU with a skull fracture, brain bleed, and pelvic injuries.
I dont know if she will be the same now, and I have to live with this. Spend the ****ing money on your gear. Don't try to penny pinch when it comes to this stuff. I'm convinced if she was wearing the high quality helmet I was wearing, she wouldn't be in as bad of shape.
I know these stories get posted here all the time. Just another to add to the list, I guess. I just hope everything turns out okay.

Stay strong and stay safe.
 

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After a low side last year I bought a Klim Jacket that cost more than the Alpinestar Tech Air 5. The Olympia mesh jacket I had gave me all the abrasion protection of a wet paper towel.
 

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Had a few rides in my Tech Air 5. Fits well under my textile Joe Rocket, not as well under my tight leathers, so ordered a new Dainese jacket one size too big. Perfect! After 5 minutes I forget it's there. Hope to never test its protection, but if I do, hope it's worth every penny.
 

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So...

I was all set to tell ask my wife to get me this vest for Christmas, when I read a review on Revzilla, where a guy read in his user manual that you can’t use this vest at altitudes higher than 2000m (6500’) above sea level, or it will damage the battery! Is this true?! 😳

Some of the best roads I ride around here are well over 6500’ in altitude. If this is the case, I can’t justify getting this thing. Can you confirm, @gmtech16450yz ?
 

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So...

I was all set to tell ask my wife to get me this vest for Christmas, when I read a review on Revzilla, where a guy read in his user manual that you can’t use this vest at altitudes higher than 2000m (6500’) above sea level, or it will damage the battery! Is this true?! 😳

Some of the best roads I ride around here are well over 6500’ in altitude. If this is the case, I can’t justify getting this thing. Can you confirm, @gmtech16450yz ?
Here's the manual: https://www.revzilla.com/assets/0003/7337/Tech-Air_5_Airbag_System_Manual.pdf
 
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