FortNine - Motorcycle Airbags Exist – But No One Uses Them? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Interesting video.


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    Richard230's Avatar
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    I have one friend, the fellow who's F800ST lost its sprocket, who always wears a air bag vest. But he is the only person that I can recall seeing wearing one.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    I wear mine daily and know a few others that do too, but we all have versions that fit under our jackets so an average passerby would never know.

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    As daft as it may sound, i think they've not been advertised that well since becoming a standalone unit that's compatible with all jackets. Unless you're looking for new gear you might stumble across them, but otherwise they've not been put out there.

    I have one i wear 99% of the time. Not sure if any of my biking mates have one (but i've not ridden with them in a year!).

    Cost is still a big hurdle as they're circa £500 still, which is the cost of a new jacket & trouser set. When the price drops further to £300 or so, i think they'll become more popular as that price is not far above the cost of a decent back protector.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  7. #5
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    I have the Hit-Air MLV-P that I bought several years ago. I won't ride without it.

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  9. #6
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    Are they comfortable to wear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riggie View Post
    Are they comfortable to wear?
    I've no issues with mine (Dainese Smart Jacket), wearing it under my jacket or over.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    I have the Hit-Air MLV-P that I bought several years ago. I won't ride without it.
    Also in the Hit-Air camp. On the street, I started wearing an MC3 vest with the included back protector, allowing me to run my jacket without a back pad (more breathable without that slab of foam sweating up my back). On the track, my wife and I both wear SV-2 harness-type vests. She started using one before I did but insisted I use one when I moved into the Advanced/Expert group. Despite having an Alpinestars Tech-air suit, I run the external vest instead of AStars proprietary insert since I worry about neck protection (as Fortnine video demonstrates) and the ability to reload it myself.

    Regarding comfort, they definitively add some noticeable weight. In terms of ventilation I would imagine an over-vest lets more air thru than an internal airbag since the plastic bladder is further away from you skin, inviting more opportunities for air to get between. Vests with larger canisters on chest can interfere with the tank if you are hanging off on left hand turns. This is why we use the more minimalist SV-2 for track. That's where the internal airbags have a distinct advantage with their firing mechanism housed in the back

    As for cost, they're far cheaper than a hospital trip, especially for those in the US.

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  13. #9
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    I've got the Klim vest and can't even tell it's there. It seems the only objection people have with Klim is the subscription model,, my suggestion is to just buy it outright for the same price as the others. Added bonus is that I can also reload it myself and the new air can comes with a fitting to pressure test the vest first, reload kit is about $100 last I checked. They say you can do it three times before you should send it in for an inspection, with any luck I'll never get to that point.

  14. #10
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    I actually think the Klim subscription model is great at this point because with how fast this tech is moving, there will mostly likely be a new and better model within a year or two and you can sell your older one to upgrade and not pay the full initial price of $700 (that's what the other brands are charging) right up front.

  15. #11
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    Ths issue with the Klim subscription is, what if your payment bounces and your vest switches off when you're out . . . . . ? I mean looking at your emails to find out after an off isn't a great way to find out.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  16. #12
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    You pay for the subscription and wait a day or two, or even near instant within a minute, for it to clear like any other payments. There is a phone app that accompanies the vest. The app will let you know that everything is good to go or not. Even if the vest isn't activated, how is that different than your riding before you bought the vest? Unless you plan to ride less safe with the vest, there isn't a negative impact on your riding.
    Last edited by chupa88; 03-11-21 at 05:44 PM.

  17. #13
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    Yeah, I don't get the fear of not activating due to non-payment. Pretty sure anyone responsible enough to buy an air vest is also responsible enough to make sure they pay their bills and that the payments clear. And again, if someone legitimately has that fear, then don't do the subscription model, just pay up front for outright ownership and it will be 'on' as long as you own it. The price is still inline with other brands, and the upgrade-ability of the product still exists since you can still replace the vest or the brain independent of each other for about half the cost of the whole setup.

  18. #14
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    My comment was only playing devils advocate. As we all know there are people who err on the cheaper side of things and would take that risk.

    After 2 years with that vest you've essentially paid for it anyway, so i can't see the cost advantage of the subscription model on a long term basis.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  19. #15
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    I get that, but I see that argument come up over and over again, even Ryan said it in his video. He seemingly discounted it based solely on the subscription model without ever mentioning that you don't have to go that route. I think the subscription model makes a ton of sense for some people that are limited by the seasons. I'm personally using this model because they will replace the brain at 3 years, that alone is worth it for possible tech upgrades as well as just getting a fresh battery.

  20. #16
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    Does anyone have the Ebay Chinese made vests that cost around £100 UK ?

  21. #17
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    I wear my Alpinestars TechAir on every ride. I take it to my classes for show and tell. I almost lost my life about 4 years ago and swear, If I had been wearing a vest, I would have walked away from it. I would have paid 10x what it cost if they were available back then for the street.
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  22. #18
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    Did you notice that the Dainese air bag didn't inflate as much as the tethered air bags? And that nothing expands over the shoulders to protect the neck or shoulder blades? And the back protection, he equates with a simple back pad.



    He's not really keen on the non-tethered airbags.

  23. #19
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    I do wonder why these new vests are under the jacket instead of over the jackets?

  24. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    Did you notice that the Dainese air bag didn't inflate as much as the tethered air bags? And that nothing expands over the shoulders to protect the neck or shoulder blades? And the back protection, he equates with a simple back pad.

    He's not really keen on the non-tethered airbags.
    No back protector covers the neck or the shoulder blades either . . . . so it's a bit of a moot point trying to compare 2 things which both don't do the same thing.

    The back protection on an airbag is better than a normal back protector. What he's missing, or misinterpreting is the rating of airbag vests/suits are not equivalent to normal protection.

    My Dainese Airbag is;
    AIRBAG LEVEL 2 CHEST EN 1621-4 DC
    AIRBAG LEVEL 1 BACK EN 1621-4 CB

    Airbag protection CE rating;
    EN 1621-4 (‘1621’ signifies motorcycle armour, ‘-4’ indicates it’s an airbag) is the standard for Motorcyclists’ Inflatable Protectors, however it’s not compulsory for airbags to be homologated to it.

    As with body armour, the standard has two impact performance levels;
    Level 1 must transmit no more than 4.5kN average force (with no single strike exceeding 6kN;
    Level 2 must transmit less than 2.5kN average (with no single strike greater than 3kN.)


    Standard Motorcycle protector CE rating:

    Level 1 protectors: The maximum transmitted force must be below 18 kN, and no single value shall exceed 24 kN
    Level 2 protectors: The maximum transmitted force must be below 9 kN, and no single value shall exceed 12 kN.

    The impact max values of Level 2 of standard armour is twice as high of the level 1 on an airbag equivalent . . . .

    And as no back protector is tested beyond level 2 you have to find the manufacturer data to show standard armour has been tested beyond this. I doubt most do as they are only looking to pass the CE level 2 rating, unless it is to be racing certified.
    Last edited by DJ123; 03-14-21 at 03:39 AM.
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  25. #21
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    I think you're reading that wrong. You're saying that a level 1 airbag much transmit NO MORE THAN 6kN, and a level 1 std protector must transmit NO MORE THAN 24kN. I'd much rather have only 6kN of force hit me vs 24kN of force, lower is better. This is force transmitted (what you feel), not how much it can withstand or dampen the impact.

  26. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    I think you're reading that wrong. You're saying that a level 1 airbag much transmit NO MORE THAN 6kN, and a level 1 std protector must transmit NO MORE THAN 24kN. I'd much rather have only 6kN of force hit me vs 24kN of force, lower is better. This is force transmitted (what you feel), not how much it can withstand or dampen the impact.
    No, you've read my post wrong/misinterpreted it. I have now added a clarification of my point.

    The impact max values of Level 2 of standard armour is twice as high of the level 1 on an airbag equivalent . . . .
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  27. #23
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    Ok, I get what you're saying but the wording is confusing.

  28. #24
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    Just a quick contribution here. I have a Helite turtle vest, and I think it is outstanding. I don't know what HitAir's current line up is, but it was not comparable to the Helite, IMHO, three years ago when I bought mine. I have left the back protectors in my jacket as well as in the vest, and I don't have any discomfort from it at all. Nor an overheating issue, but then, I haven't ridden in, say, Arizona summer temps.

    My wife rarely rides with me, but when she does, she wears a Helite also.

    There are no problems with accidental activation or feeling encumbered. I don't wear it all the time, but if I'm going to be on the highway, I definitely do. Sometimes in the city as well. And I don't care what others think of my appearance or lack of 'cool' or 'manliness'. I figure it if saves your life, or spine, once, it's worth it.
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