Its been a while since modern race suits have been installed with airbags to protect the rider in case of a crash and Italian protective gear manufacturer Alpinestars launched the Tech-Air airbag line a couple of years ago. Alpinestars Tech-Air Race focused on road racing safeguarded the rider on the track and the Tech-Air Street and Tech-Air 5 makes street riding safer. Now the brand has launched an all-new system for off-road aficionados.
The new airbag system for off-road use has been tested by rider’s throughout the 2019 Dakar and the 2020 Dakar and the system features a Rally-Riding crash detection algorithm. Upon deployment, the active airbag system inflates and protects the rider’s back, chest, shoulders and collarbones, in an unfortunate event of a crash. The active airbag system also comes integrated with Alpinestars Bionic Pro v2 for arms and chest protection. The Off-Road Airbag system will be available for use at the 2021 Dakar for all professional rider’s. The new rule of the event also mandates that rider’s compulsorily wear an airbag system to compete in the coveted race.
While the brand has not yet listed to the pricing of the Tech-Air Off-Road system, the Alpinestars Tech-Air Race is priced at USD 1,149.95 (MSRP) and the Tech-Air Street is retailed at USD 799.95 (MSRP). It is difficult to speculate what kind of money would such a system cost. But its operation in a demanding situation and a technoscientific algorithm is not likely to be cheap. Nevertheless, the technology will certainly save lives for the professional riders on the off-road rally tracks.
The brand could also develop a lite version of the system for a more recreation focused use, in the near future. If a more affordable system for trails use is developed it will encourage more aficionados to participate in smaller off-road events with the confidence of safety. Only time will tell if the product line evolves and grows in the future but more Adventure & Enduro enthusiasts are also likely to absorb this tech to improve their safety quotient both on and off roads.