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MotoGP makes airbag suits compulsory

motogp airbag suits

MotoGP riders have been wearing airbag suits since 2007 to protect them in a crash, but from this year they will become mandatory in all classes.

If airbag suits are good enough for MotoGP riders, they are also good enough for you.

Helite makes airbag vests and jackets for a fraction of the cost of the MotoGP suits.

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.

Read a review by a customer.

MotoGP airbag suits

If you are a professional race, you may be interested in the Dainese D-Air professional racing suit.

MotoGP stipulates that the airbags should protect shoulders and collarbone, and optional spine protection.

  • Each airbag system must pass a series of tests to prove it fully complies with the regulations.
  • Requirements range from the battery and electronics to deployment and inflation times, with accidental deployment also an important factor.
  • An accidental deployment of the airbag must not risk causing a rider to crash or impede a rider from controlling their motorcycle.
  • Airbag systems must not require any parts to be added to the motorcycle, and must be triggered without the rider being tethered to the bike.
  • Each manufacturer must self-certify on the official documentation for the suit that their system fully complies with the regulations and reaches these standards.
  • Manufacturers must also declare the reliability of their system based on internal testing.
  1. MotoGP’s new rule would also prevent a crashed rider from returning to the race or perhaps even the pit. Maybe that is the actual intent or the rule.

  2. Another really good manufacturer is SPIDI which have a full vest for AUD $995, a neck airbag vest with protective inserts and even just a neck Airbag.
    I was at a presentation for these products and they are amazing.

    Mister_T, I don’t believe that is the case. This looks like another commercial move because everything that became mandatory for MotoGP has attracted investors and brands which in turn means more variety. Instead of being limited to 3-4 manufacturers, now everybody will start researching and developing better stuff just to get in to a sponsorship deal…

      1. and they should wear an orange safety vest, if you can’t see a large motorcycle with a loud exhaust no chance you’ll see a pushbike

  3. That footage is just bull dust – For a start he was maybe going a little quick – but that doesn’t look the case to me – he had a gentle left curve to negotiate and he appeared to deliberately run the bike off the road – didn’t even try to negotiate the bend/curve in the road – even a novice rider could negotiate that road ok ….. and So close to the start of the clip and with the Air Bag Manufacturer emblazoned across the screen it begs the Question – ‘Is this FAKE MEDIA’ ? …

    I have watched the crash from the START many times and I am More Convinced that this is a PUT UP JOB …. Specifically for the Air Bag Manufacturer …. It is the biggest CROCK I have seen for many a day – Maybe the Bag saved him from some bumps and bruises but to try and sell their product under false pretences makes me sick – if you are that bad a rider then you should sell the bike, surrender your licence and go back to your smart car and keep out of my way or I will set off your air bags for you …

    FAKE BIKER – FAKE CRASH, FAKE VEST – WHERE ARE THE Stringent Tests Statistics … ??? What Standards do they adhere to …


    Take Care – RIDE SAFE,

  4. SO are these bike airbags a one use? i.e. once it activates it cannot be used again or can they be reset? If so where and at what cost?

  5. These airbag systems have two cartridges so you could crash twice. If the technical director doesn’t have a problem with the condition of the suite after a crash, they won’t have any reason to pull you from the track (in MotoGP). 30 seconds after the crash the airbag will have deflated enough and you should be able to continue the race.

    You can replace the cartridges yourself or have them replaced for around $300 (which is weirdly expensive because those cartridges only cost a couple of bucks).

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