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It’s no secret that you trade security for fun when you choose to ride a motorcycle instead of driving a car. However, there are steps you can take to better protect yourself as you ride. For instance, a DOT full-face helmet will multiply a motorcycle rider’s safety and survivability in a crash over a “brain bucket” or no helmet at all. Better still, you can supplement a high-quality helmet with a motorcycle airbag vest to protect yourself in a crash. 

A motorcycle airbag vest can protect your neck, shoulders, and vital organs in the event of a motorcycle crash

Motorcycle airbag vests deploy an airbag in a crash to protect felled motorcyclists, like an airbag in a car. While it doesn’t seem necessary, a deployed airbag can exponentially reduce head trauma and slow forward momentum in a crash. Specifically, the safety equipment typically operates via two different triggering systems. The first and most analog is a tether system. With a tether, not unlike a ripcord on a parachute rig, a rider pulls the tether to activate the airbag. 

Of course, it’s not a rider physically pulling a cord, but rather the tether activating the system after the rider is separated from the bike. The second system is an electronic setup. With electronic systems, the airbag works via accelerometer sensors that detect a motorcycle rider’s crash.

A Harley-Davidson Smart Vest with Dainese tech will use an airbag system to protect motorcycle riders in a crash.
A Harley-Davidson Smart Vest with Dainese tech | Harley-Davidson

Moreover, you’re not limited to one type or appearance of motorcycle airbag vest. For instance, for die-hard lovers of the gritty, noir Harley-Davidson aesthetic, the MoCo partnered with Dainese to produce an airbag vest. The Harley-Davidson Smart Vest incorporates airbag technology to protect riders in the event of a fall. Like other smart vests, it won’t deploy away from a running motorcycle. That’s good news for safety-conscious riders concerned about slipping and accidentally deploying the vest. 

Of course, there are high-visibility options out there, too. It’s not a bad idea, either. Lacking visibility leads to many motorcycle collisions. For instance, the Helite Turtle series offers a high-visibility (Hi-Viz) yellow to keep riders seen.

Furthermore, motorcycle airbag vest price ranges vary wildly. On the one hand, Amazon offers generic motorcycle safety vest options for as little as $130. However, like a good textile or leather motorcycle jacket, you pay for quality. For instance, the Men’s Dainese-powered Harley-Davidson Smart Vest costs $850. Still, it doesn’t stop there. Some race suit options can cost nearly $3,000. Check out the video below to see an airbag system in action!