Motorcycle protective equipment is something I’ve been getting progressively more concerned with as I get older. Having started riding on the street nearly 25 years ago (has it been that long?) I’ve been fortunate to have what I would consider less than my share of spills and get-offs. I’ve also been fortunate to have been able to walk, or limp, away from the crashes I’ve had.
In the 90’s I had a couple of minor get-offs that left me and my bike pretty much unscathed and considering the lowly state of my protective gear at the time, I was very lucky. Fast forward to the present and I have a lot of protective riding gear. This includes the usual suspects such as armored jackets and pants, gloves, boots, and a full face helmet.
Last year I reviewed the EVS R4K race collar, a neck protection device designed for off-road use. It has worked well for me over my street gear for nearly a year now but lately, I’ve been looking more closely the benefits and options involving airbag vests and jackets.
Manufacturers Helite (below) and Hit-Air (pictured above) are probably the best-known manufacturers of airbag-equipped protection for motorcycle riders. Both companies offer several options of vests and jackets with integrated airbags and use a lanyard system to “fire” the airbag if the rider is separated from their ride.
While these manufacturers would likely argue they are each better than the other, there is little dispute that either airbag systems is certainly better than none at all. After reading numerous threads on the subject of airbag jackets and vests at ADVRider.com I decided it was time I take the plunge.
After weighing the various options of one brand or the other AND a vest versus integrated jacket, I pulled the trigger this morning and have my first piece of airbag-equipped riding gear on the way. Which did I choose?
In the meantime, I’m very interested to know what my fellow riders think of airbags for motorcycle riders. Would you use one? If not, why? I get that price might be a factor but if that isn’t it I’d like to hear the reasoning for or against. Leave comments here and let me know.
*Article originally published at Motorcycle Words by Brandon Jackson.