What is a motorcycle airbag, what are they like and what types are now available

Motorcycles are one of those vehicles that everyone has wanted to drive at some point in their lives. Of course, when we finally have a motorcycle, it is important that we are responsible and that we do not go crazy. We have to wear safety elements such as helmets, boots, jackets, so that when we fall we don’t get hurt. Even so, a motorcycle will not be as safe as a car in the event of an accident, but we can add something more to the protection, a motorcycle airbag. If you have never seen one, here we explain what they are like and how they work.

What is a motorcycle airbag?

A motorcycle airbag is a safety device that protects us in case of an accident impacts and reducing injury or the chance of death.

Usually they are vests that contain an air bag, an activation mechanism and a structure. When we have an accident, the airbag inflates before we receive an impact, absorbing the energy. They have almost the same mechanism as car airbags.

How do motorcycle airbags work?

Within motorcycle airbags we can find two different operating mechanics:

Mechanic: In these cases the vest has a cable that is tied to the motorcycle. As soon as this cable is tensed to a certain pressure due to a blow or fall, the airbag activates. This is the first system that was created for motorcycle airbags. It is important that we tie the cable to the chassis or subframe of the motorcycle since they are elements that in the event of a fall will not move or jump as can happen with the dome. Don’t worry about forgetting to unhook it when you get off the bike because it will not activate, it will only do so when you feel a lot of force, that is, in the event of an accident.

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Electronic: This is a more advanced system, It has a switchboard that controls the variables and parameters of the impact and pressure sensors, the gyroscope and the accelerometer that the vest also incorporates. This allows the vest to detect when it needs to be activated, anticipating falls. This system can be worn inside or outside the jacket depending on the type of vest in question.

Are there only vest airbags?

The truth is that no, it is not necessary to buy a vest, there jackets and overalls that already incorporate airbags. These types of airbags are more aesthetic than vests and also mean that we have to wear fewer clothes, since we would have to wear the vest with the jacket as well.

More types of motorcycle airbag

Airbags not only exist as a garment that we have to wear, but they are also being developed to incorporate it into motorcycles.

Today there are few motorcycle models that include an airbag in their bodywork, for example, the Honda Goldwing is one of those models. The operation of this airbag is like that of cars, when we suffer a frontal crash, this airbag is activated and inflated with great nitrogen preventing us from colliding with the handlebars of the motorcycle and hurting ourselves.

Another airbag that also exists is the helmet airbag This airbag is quite small and is incorporated on the outside. When it jumps it unfolds protecting the cervical and dorsal from a possible impact. It is not a system that many motorcyclists carry and there are not many models that incorporate it.

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Is it mandatory to carry a motorcycle airbag?

Currently It is not mandatory to wear it but the DGT strongly recommends that we do it, in fact it has carried out several campaigns to promote its use.

DGT campaign to promote the use of airbags for motorcycles.

Although not mandatory, it cannot be ruled out that in a short time yes it will be since it is a safety element that can help a lot in the event of an accident. In fact, they want to force you to use it in the circulation tests of the driving test for permit A. In this way, they not only make the tests more secure, but also will promote its use Well, the motorcyclist will have gotten used to riding the motorcycle with the airbag on. This measure is not yet approved, but it will probably be implemented before the end of 2022.

Why is the motorcycle airbag important?

Obviously, if they recommend us to carry the airbag, it is for a reason. It is a technology that helps us reduce death in the event of an accident and serious injuries. Airbags are capable of reduce the impact energy we receive by 90%, so we can clearly say that it is something that can save our lives. In fact, this garment protects the thorax of the motorcyclist, which is an area where 35% of those killed and 25% of those hospitalized due to motorcycle accidents suffer injuries.

It is important that we take this into account because throughout the year there are many motorcycle accidents in which people unfortunately die. In fact, the DGT itself informs us that In 2020, 313 motorcyclists lost their lives in a traffic accident and 2,142 had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained in accidents. As we can see, it is necessary to increase the safety of people who drive motorcycles so that we can lower these figures.

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How much does an airbag for the motorcycle cost?

Of course, after reading this, you may be considering buying an airbag vest and wondering how much it costs. As well, a vest is between 200 and 600 euros, depending on the model.

If the jackets or suits with the integrated airbag have caught your attention more, you should know that the price is much higher, puending to reach 2000 euros. For this reason, people tend to prefer vests, they are more affordable.

Regardless of the model of airbag you buy, it is something that will protect you and that can save your life. And although it is not mandatory, you should consider buying one even if it is not the most expensive of all because it will protect you more than if you wear nothing.

About Alicia Peters

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