Alpinestars Tech-Air Off Road Motorcycle Airbag Review

The Alpinestars Tech-Air Off Road Airbag is finally available on the public market! Boasting a 95% reduction in crash impact on the body – in my opinion that’s kit worth wearing.

I joined the Alpinestars Tech-Air Off-Road global press launch in Death Valley, USA to test out the third-generation airbag. In the video below I will talk to you about all the details of this life saving piece of kit and why you should consider wearing one. Having used the Alpinestars Tech-Air off road motorcycle airbag myself for 2 years of rally racing including 8 international multi day races and the infamous original Dakar – The Africa Eco Race – I can say it’s saved my body and potentially my life on 5 occasions.

This video also includes multiple motorcycle crash videos where you can see how my air vest deploys.

Watch it here

What is the Tech-Air Off Road Airbag?

The Tech-Air Off Road is the latest, state-of-the-art motorcycle airbag protection system. A fully autonomous integrated motorcycle airbag system, that’s completely independent of the motorcycle, and is designed to provide full upper body protection ahead of the first impact of a crash – the key word here being, ahead – be it with the rider and bike, another vehicle, the ground, an object or obstacle. I explain the difference between this pre-crash deployment and other options such as tethered air vests in my video above.

How does it look and feel?

The airbag has been developed with performance materials creating a protection chassis that is highly ventilated, lightweight, ergonomic, and robust. It appears and feels like normal full body protective armour, with integrated elbow, back, shoulder and chest protection as well as the air vest system. It is a little bit bulkier than a normal full body protection, but not a huge amount, it is incredibly slimline, is made from highly ventilates stretch fabric which means it is breathable, comfortable and ultimately life and body saving with unobstructed movement.

How does the airbag work?

The airbag uses a series of tri-axial sensors including 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes, which in turn, communicate with the system’s computer, sending data inputs every millisecond (or a thousand times a second) which determines exactly when the rider needs it, deploying before you even hit the ground! As you ride along, if the system detects and determines a crash unfolding, the air vest system will deploy ahead of the first impact of the crash. From the moment of imminent crash detection to full inflation of the airbag bladder will take between 40 and 60 milliseconds. Thankfully due to these intelligent accelerometers and gyroscopes you’re not going to have an embarrassing curb side inflate as the technology is far more attuned, knowing what’s an actual crash versus a little stumble.

Misc Alpinestars C29I1105

Different algorithms for different terrains

Built into the Tech-Air off road system are also three separate algorithms – RALLY, ENDURO, AND STREET. What this means is that the Tech Air off-road air vest system is a perfect solution for any type of Adventure, Enduro, and Dual-Sport riders, allowing you to easily and quickly select the ride algorithm based on the type of terrain or riding.

To outline the differences between each ride mode algorithm:

ENDURO mode is optimized for low and medium speed riding, including enduro, dual-sport, and general off-road trail riding.

RALLY mode is optimized for fast off-road action on any type of terrain, including cross country, Baja, and Rally Raid competition type use.

STREET mode, just like on other Tech-Air systems, is optimized for any type of street riding on paved roads.

What does the airbag protect?

TAOR details (13)

When it comes to coverage, the airbag protects the rider’s full back, chest, shoulders, and neck* The chest, back, elbow, and shoulder protectors are all certified to CE Level 1, with the ability to remove both shoulder and elbow protectors if wanted. The Back protector provides new cell technology, and the slim design (3.5 cm max) is highly ventilated and makes the back protector light and flexible.

Additionally, and as mandated by the FIM (Federation International Motorcycling) regulation, the Tech-Air off-road airbag has been tested in static conditions to comply with the international regulation where neck movements are limited to a maximum of 40° on the rear and 30° maximum on a lateral direction, helping tremendously to reduce and/or mitigate any sort of whiplash and/or neck injury.

  • Neck protectors like the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support (BNS) or similar are not to be used with the Tech-Air off-road system.

How many deployments / crashes can you have in an airbag?

Similar to the original Tech-Air RACE system, the Tech-Air off-road only deploys one canister at a time, providing riders with two individual deployments before needing to replace anything. So what that means, is that the rider can have a deployment, get up, keep going, and have another deployment ready if needed. Canister replacement is quick and easy, and the airbag bladder itself is good for up to 4 individual deployments before needing to be replaced, provided of course the bladder itself isn’t or wasn’t damaged. And canister replacement is made even easier thanks to the ability for a customer to change their own canisters, which is further facilitated by two red LED lights next to the canisters, indicating if they’re blown or not. It is worth noting that Alpinestars currently state a service requirements after 4 deploys but off the record conversations indicate that they are working to have this number increased based on experience that the air vest can take more deploys safely… but with all safety equipment, for Alpinestars to increase the number from 4 a dramatic time and cost is required for legal sign off. I haven’t said you can go more than 4… but…

How do I use it?

Simply put it on, zip it up, ride the highway to the trails, toggle the display to select your algorithm, and go. Simple as that… With the Tech-Air off road, it turns on and is activated simply by zipping up or unzipping the system, and there is also a 2-second vibrating haptic alert as well notifying the rider when the system is activated or deactivated.

Why choose this one?

This Alpinestars Tech Air Air Vest is specifically conceived for off-road riding, the culmination of more than 20 years of research and development, tens of thousands of man hours, and millions of kilometers of data logging and testing both on the track, and on public roads. And that’s not to mention the thousands of crashes not only our world-class riders have sustained in developing this revolutionary product, but also all the customers who have entrusted their safety, protection, and well-being to Alpinestars products. Even my own riding data has been collected by Alpinestars over the last few years to add to the data.

Sizing

The Alpinestars Tech-Air Off-Road airbag is available in 5 sizes: Small through to 2XL. Please note there is no women’s specific size, I’m 179cm tall and weighing approx. 65kg and the size Small is the perfect fit for me. For women there is a women’s focused air bag by Alpinestars – please check out the Tech-Air 3 Over Garment

Additional features:

1. Bladder water integration – The Tech-Air off-road also comes with the ability to easily use a hydration bladder without having to wear a separate bag or pack. There’s a breathable storage pocket with a connection loop to support the bladder on the back protector for even greater versatility and ease of use.

2. Battery life – When it comes to battery life, a fully charged battery will provide 30 hours of active ride time, and a low battery will fully charge in about four hours. The recharge plug is found on the upper right of the LED panel and is located to allow users easy access to quick battery charging.

3. LED display – The system’s status can be viewed at any time via its new LED display, which is located on the bottom left side of the chest protector and displays everything from battery level to armed or standby status. Also included on the LED display is a switch button and indicator showing which riding mode the system is in, which as mentioned earlier, includes RALLY, ENDURO, and STREET.

4. Washable – Additionally, riding and muscling the bike off-road can of course make you sweat, and the Tech-Air off-road System’s Electronic Control Unit and airbag are completely removable so that the Protection Under-Jacket can be washed separately, with the ability to keep it feeling and smelling fresh.

How much does it cost?

Alpinestars TechAir Off Road price tag is $999.95 USD (£800) with no subscription fee. Two new canisters cost around $169.95USD (£134) and will give two deploys / crashes. Every four crashes /deploys Alpinestars recommend getting the vest serviced for roughly $300USD (£235) at an authorised Alpinestars dealer.

Rider history using the Alpinestars airbag:

The final development version of the Tech-Air off-road Airbag System debuted at the Andalucia Rally in Spain in November 2020, and was worn by 52 riders at the Dakar in January 2021, including Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec who placed first and second in the race.

Then, in Morocco, the Tech-Air off-road System was worn by over 40 riders in the race, where there were 31 airbag system deployments, with 0 false positives. The Honda HRC, KTM, GASGAS, HERO, HUSQVARNA and YAMAHA official riders wore the Alpinestars Tech Air off-road V2 Airbag System. The riders in the top 3 overall for the race, all wore Tech-Air off-road: Pablo Quintanilla, Ricky Brabec, and Daniel Sanders.

In the 2023 Dakar, 83 riders on bikes and quads wore the Tech-Air off-road system earning 9 out of the top 10 positions including the full podium including Alpinestars rider, Kevin Benavides, the overall winner.

Needless to say, the air vest has been developed and proven in the world’s most demanding environments, time and time again. The 2024 Dakar saw over 110 motorcycle riders in the Alpinestars kit with all top ten riders in it. With over 300 crashes in the single event that was a lot of injuries saved.

I’ve had 5 crashes myself and every one of them was bad enough to know I would not have carried on without the airbag protecting me and taking 95% of the impact of the crash off me. Which is why it is so great to announce that the Alpinestars Tech-Air Off-Road Airbag is now available to the general public.

More information on: https://www.alpinestars.com

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebookTikTokLinkedInYouTube, Whatsapp and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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