Clover Crossover Airbag Jacket Preview
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
The new 2013 Clover Crossover jacket was announced at the 2012 Intermot show in Cologne, Germany this week.
The Crossover is the first three-layer jacket in the world that is equipped with a CE Level 2 (EN 1621-4) airbag back protector.
The airbag meets CE Level 2 standards and it can be attached to the rear of the Crossover jacket.
This hybrid system provides normal ventilation through the jacket with the added protection of a fast-deployment airbag.
The Crossover jacket also features a unique "Zip & Fit" adjustment system that allows the jacket shape to be custom-fitted to each owner.
The Crossover jacket and airbag should be available in early Spring of 2013 and we'll publish a full review as soon as possible.
In other news from Clover, the company has announced that they are developing an eCommerce system that will allow North American customers to order products directly from the factory.
This will include Clover products such as the Crossover jacket and the CE Level 2 Clover Tekno jacket (review) that was reviewed on webBikeWorld in April of 2012, which generated a huge amount of interest by motorcyclists all over the world.
Clover is probably the most influential motorcycle clothing company you've never heard of. During its 32 years of history, Clover introduced many innovations that became a standard for the motorcycle wear. These include:
The year 2013 brings yet another Clover innovation that is consistent with this "first to market" philosophy of innovation: The Clover Crossover Airbag.
The Crossover Airbag jacket is the first three-layer jacket in the world that is equipped with an airbag device certified at Level 2 of the CE prEN 1621-4 standard. Following is an edited version of the Clover press announcement:
The protection available for motorcyclists has now reached a new level of higher performance. The CE (prEN 1621-4) standard is the new step in the evolution of airbag devices and an airbag must meet the standard to be considered as a Personal Protective Device (PPD) or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Europe from now on.
The airbag devices certified according to this standard are the only ones that guarantee performance for the user. Only those devices that can be classified as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can guarantee the performance stated as such.
The Crossover Airbag is a protective device that can be used in summer as well as in winter, thanks to the most efficient system of dynamic ventilation currently available.
The Crossover Airbag jacket also includes the new Clover "Zip & Fit" adjustment system that allows the wearer to custom-fit the the size and shape of the jacket independently from the removable internal layers that are installed.
The Crossover Airbag jacket is a product of Clover's technology and experience in designing clothes certified according to the EN 13595-1 standard, where Clover has always been on the cutting edge. The jacket will be produced in Europe in the Clover Factory in eastern Europe. The airbag system is 100% made in Italy, and every single airbag device is activated and tested before reaching the market.
The goal Clover intends to achieve is to design and build protective devices for the motorcyclist where the protective capabilities can be objectively measured and described.
To objectively determine if an item of motorcycle protective gear is able to actually protect the rider, in Europe the CE mark, followed by the norm which refers to the European Norm EN is used. These are the requirements for the standards in Europe that have been developed to improve safety.
The purpose is to protect the motorcyclist by objectively certifying (by an independent, certified testing lab), on an objective basis, which devices can be classified as protective and to increase the protection with a high level of security.
An EN certification Level, such as Level 2, cannot be issued by the manufacturer. It can only be issued by an independent authority -- a testing lab that has been certified by the European Community -- that tests the product to the published standards.
Clover is the first manufacturer in the world that was able to combine a three-layer touring jacket with an Airbag system that is certified according to the prEN 1621-4 norm, and this allows Clover to once more keep its position on the cutting edge in this field.
The Airbag device is a certified Personal Protective Equipment according to the EN 1621-4 Airbag standard. Its activation it is due to a "cold explosion" of CO2 at high pressure.
The device is connected to the motorcycle by a spring-loaded pull rod that permits normal movement on the saddle during riding. The Crossover Airbag module has an inflation time of 0.08 seconds, which permits the efficacy of the device in different situations of impact (see the video clips of the crash test taken during the Dekra Labs certification testing in the video below).
The EN 1621:4 standard provides two levels of protection: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 2 is the most protective.
The mean value of residual force transmitted to the body for Level 1 must not be more than 4.5 kN and the highest value of residual force transmitted to the body no greater than 6 kN.
For Level 2, the mean value of residual force transmitted to the body must not be greather than 2.5 kN and the highest value of residual force transmitted to the body not greater than 3 kN.
The Crossover Airbag system has been certified for a mean value of residual force transmitted to the body of just 1.4 kN, which is about two times better than required by the standard for a Level 2.
Remember that a Level 2 motorcycle back protector (not airbag, but a standard back protector) is required not to exceed a mean value of 9 kN. That means that the Crossover Airbag device absorbs about 6 times more impact energy than a normal motorcycle Level 2 back protector.
Such a high degree of absorption of the impact offered by Crossover Airbag grants a level of protection never reached before and not reachable by other systems than those Airbag devices providing a big volume of air.
Another important characteristic of the Crossover Airbag system is its modular construction. The Airbag device is actually completely removable from the jacket. This characteristic lets the user remove it easily from the jacket to wash the jacket just like a normal motorcycle clothes.
Being modular to the jacket, the Airbag device can either be purchased together with the Crossover jacket or purchased afterwards. The Crossover Airbag jacket is actually "upgradable" by simply adding the Airbag kit device.
If the jacket is used without the Airbag module, a standard back protector can be inserted in the pocket in the jacket.
The Airbag device is simply rechargeable by the user. The accidental activation of the Airbag device does not damage the jacket nor the Airbag device. That permits the user to recharge the device simply buying a recharge kit at very low cost.
The Airbag has no electronic parts inside; it is completely a mechanical device. Its performance does not suffer from atmospheric conditions like rain, humidity, dust and electromagnetic interferences commonly present in the air. Because it does not require batteries or an external energy source, the Airbag device can accompany the motorcyclist at all times without concerns about checking the charge of the battery, recharging it or substituting it.
Clover was determined to design a jacket that was suitable for every weather condition. It also had to be appropriate for both hot and cold climates and include waterproofing and insulation. It would also meet the requirements of the touring rider and the city biker.
The design was intended to be combined with an airbag device but the jacket would have to be comfortable for all season riding.
To reach that goal, Clover designed a three-layer jacket: the external shell is the first weather-proof barrier that also protects the rider against injuries due to the protective devices that are included in the outer shell. The second layer provides the necessary waterproof capability, with an "Aquazone" breathable/waterproof membrane, which allows high breathability and waterproofness. A third thermal layer then provides insulation where it is needed.
All of the internal layers of the Crossover Airbag jacket are completely removable with no restriction for the airbag device that remains always available with or without the layers attached.
The ventilation system of the Crossover Airbag jacket was of primary importance. It is difficult to design an airbag system that allows proper ventilation.
To make the jacket suitable for the hot-weather riding, Clover introduced an new ventilation system able to catch the most air as possible from every part of its surface. The 8 frontal ventilation intake points can be modulated to the quantity of air desired and permit to Crossover Airbag jacket to grant an comfortable internal temperature even in hot climates.
However, Clover considered this aspect without prejudicing the jacket's cold-weather comfort. Once the ventilation system is closed and the internal layers are installed, the jacket is ready again to face cold climate.
The most common problem of a three-layer jacket is fitting it to the rider during the different weather conditions and with the liners installed or removed. To permit the Crossover Airbag jacket to be worn all the year long, Clover has designed the "Zip & Fit" adjustment system.
When purchased in winter, the jacket size is chosen with the waterproof and insulating layers installed, plus any heavy garments that the rider is wearing. But in summer time, all the internal layers have been removed and the rider may be wear just a T-shirt underneath, so the same jacket can suddenly feel too large, generally one size bigger.
The traditional pull strap adjustment devices permit only a partial solution of the problem, affecting the jacket's protective capabilities because the protectors need to remain tight to the body parts they are designed to protect.
The Clover design consists of a new solution that allows the wearer to reduce the width of the jacket by one size in all of its dimensions, from the bottom through the armhole and to the forearm. Clover named this system the "Zip & Fit".
The system uses an expanding fold that, when closed, permits the rider to reduce the jacket by one size in the complete width of the jacket, especially in the most critical point: the armhole, where the shoulder protector is lodged. Furthermore by acting on its four sliding tabs, it is possible to modulate how much the jacket is narrowed and to decide which zones narrow more.
The Crossover Airbag Jacket will have a list price of €499, including 21% VAT (Non EC-customers do not pay VAT). The Airbag module list price is yet to be determined, but it will be somewhere between €399 and €449 including VAT.
Customers can buy the jacket and then add the Airbag module later, or they can buy the jacket with the Airbag at a slightly discounted price.
It is estimated that the Crossover Airbag jacket will be available in March of 2013 and we hope to have one for a review at that time.
See Also: Clover Tekno Jacket Rreview
Publication Date: October 2012
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