You can have the same airbag upper-body protection as MotoGP riders but for a fraction of the cost, thanks to the Helite Airvest and Helite jackets.
The airbag vest is worn over the top of any motorcycle jacket and inflates on impact to protect the upper body. The Helite textile and leather jackets include the airbag.
Here’s a video of a rider crashing and then remarking how the Helite vest saved him!
An advantage of the vest is that it can be worn over any jacket. So you can wear it on the track, or just cruising down to your favourite cafe.
All vests and jackets are made by French company Helite, distributed in Australia by Moto Smart and are available through the Motorbike Writer online shop.
How Helite offers protection
They feature an airbag and a hard-shell Knox (EN1621/2) back protector like a turtle. The layer-like configuration is aimed to provide resistance towards sharp and pointy objects that a rider may encounter during a crash.
That can include broken motorcycle parts, glass shards, fences, or poles.
Helite claims the “turtle vest” minimises risk of serious injury to internal organs. It also keeps the head aligned with the neck and spine to avoid spine hyper-flexion injury.
Helite says the shell and airbag absorb and distribute the force of impact over the surface area of the vest to reduce trauma.
They are distributed in Australia by Moto Smart and cost from $825 depending on colour (high viz or black) and size.
They all come with one CO2 cartridge that ensures airbag deployment in less than 1/10th of a second or 100 milliseconds.