Posted on Sep 04, 2019

Understanding Wearable Motorcycle Airbags

Most riders will be familiar with the basic types of protective motorcycle gear such as leather jackets or pants and helmets. But there is another item that many might not be aware of: wearable airbags. While these products have been around for several years, they are just starting to become more available for average riders.

We at Hupy and Abraham understand the importance of informing and educating riders about new trends in safety equipment so they can be prepared for any possibility behind the handlebars. We’d like to give a brief overview of these products to help riders understand their usage and whether or not they may be in the market for them.

Wearable airbags often take the form of vests that riders wear underneath their jackets. In the event of a crash or collision, a built-in trigger will activate and instantly inflate an air cushion that is designed to protect the rider’s rib cage and spine. Other designs also feature added protection around the neck and collarbone areas. These airbags help to spread out the force of any impacts to greatly reduce or even avoid injuries as a result.

Certain airbags operate on a tether system where a chord is connected from the device to a part of your bike that will activate the cushion if you’re separated from your bike in an accident. Other varieties feature tiny sets of sensors that measure a variety of factors such as acceleration and gyroscopic characteristics to determine when the airbag should be deployed. A tethered airbag will offer riders much better variety and compatibility with other jackets and equipment, but the sensor-based designs will allow for much more accurate activation without having to be separated from your bike.

These wearable airbags have proven to be quite effective in protecting riders during crashes, but it is important to understand their limitations as well. While one airbag may be rated to greatly increase protection to your chest and back, it may be lacking protection in your neck. Should you consider purchasing a wearable airbag, we highly encourage you to look at all the different configurations and options to find something that suits your needs.

It’s also important to remember that these products aren’t the gold standard when it comes to protection and all riders should invest in protection based off of their own personal needs and desires. For more information on wearable airbags, check out this article from How Stuff Works. And to stay up to date on tips and trends of bikers, check out our Current News for Riders page on hupy.com.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham