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Ducati Multistrada triggers rider airbags

Ducati Multistrada
Ducati Multistrada to get variable valve timing?


Ducati Multistrada will be the first production bike with an integrated rider suit featuring a linked airbag system. It could lead to a safer motorcycling future where riders are surrounded by protective airbags.

While Honda’s Goldwing was the first motorcycle with an airbag, the Ducati Multistrada D-Air system features a protective suit that is linked via sensors to the bike to provide airbag protection. Ducati developed the integrated system with Italian motorcycle clothing company Dainese.

Ducati Multistrada BMW Dainese airbag suit
BMW Dainese airbag suit

Their system beats BMW to the punch after the German bike company announced an alliance with Dainese last July for a similar project. BMW showcased their patented Dainese D-Air Protect System in a DoubleR RaceAir one-piece leather race suit at last November’s Milan bike show. It’s basically an airbag inside a riding suit that is activated by sensors on the bike which detect a crash.

However, Ducati will be the first to market with a linked airbag system. The sensors in the Ducati Multistrada will monitor the bike’s dynamics and can set off the airbags within 45 milliseconds. Ducati will reveal their system on April 15, but it will only be available in Europe for the moment.

While any extra protection is a good thing, it will be interesting to see the full details of this system. A failsafe system needs to be developed so that the linked airbags don’t trigger if, for example, the bike falls off its stand.

  1. I think that we are getting away from the pure essence of motorcycling. While it is hard to argue against increased safety (especially if you are going around a racetrack) will this fit in with the lifestyle choice of an average motorcyclist? If you used the car analogy then everybody would have been driving a Volvo when they were at the forefront of car safety design. Notwithstanding the cost of a Volvo a lot of people were put off by the false concept that the Volvo driver was immune from injury in an accident (and drove accordingly). We ride motorcycles for the simple pleasure they bring and we accept the inherent dangers that goes with that pleasure – the wiser ones ride accordingly. By the way I assume that these suits will only be available in a choice of 2 colours – Dayglo Orange or Dayglo Yellow?

    1. We can’t hold back technology, but we can choose to ignore it. That is why there is such a trend toward Spartan “dark custom” bikes.
      The concern is that the safety gurus will mandate safety technology like they have done in cars – seat belts, ABS and stability control!

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