ARE MOTORCYCLE AIRBAGS EVER GOING TO MAKE THE MAINSTREAM?
The first motorbike airbag system was developed back in 1999: Pretty unsightly, rather complicated to use, very expensive, and too slow to inflate for reliable protection. Understandably, these issues led to the systems not having much traction. Only in the 2010’s, airbag motorcycle jackets and vests made their comeback: with much improved inflation times, less complication, looking better, they were a more attractive proposition but still devilishly expensive.
Airbags were introduced to our cars in the 70’s. Mainstream uptake was rapid. They saved lives, became affordable, and did not detract from the look of the car (interior). Those three factors were the key to making them an acceptable addition to our lives.
HOW MERLIN MAY HAVE JUST MADE MOTORCYCLE AIRBAGS A REALISTIC OPTION
Merlin Bike Gear identified these barriers and worked for the past two years to resolve all 3 of them. They are now confident that they have the key to making motorcycle airbag jackets and airbag back protectors attractive to more bikers, and therefore increasing rider safety for ‘the masses’. Merlin Bike Gear airbags aesthetically and deliberately look understated yet sleek. The mechanical system is extremely easy to use, and the price point is the most competitive on the market. Standout feature: Right now it is also the only motorcycle airbag system in the world approved to the highest level of CE EN accreditation (EN1621/4: 2013).
THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHAT’S NEW & GOOD:
- Homologated (or conforming) to EN1621/4
- Available as a standalone product you strap to your favourite biking jacket
- Available as an integrated airbag with a brand new Outlast jacket and trousers combination
- It inflates in just 0.08 seconds – The fastest we’ve seen!
- It uses a physical trigger mechanism which means it is pretty foolproof
- It is 6.5x more effective than a Level-2 back protector
- It is reusable, so in the event of an off, you can reset and recharge the system yourself.
THE PRICING IS SHARPLY CALCULATED IN ORDER TO MAKE THE BEST IMPACT PROTECTION AFFORDABLE FOR MOST MOTORCYCLISTS.
With a price point as keen as this, there are things this airbag system does not do or does differently to more expensive alternatives:
- It is a physical system and requires a pull cord connection from you to the bike: What’s good about that is that there is no battery to charge but you do have to remember to connect the pull cord
- The airbag chamber covers your spine, neck and coccyx: Those are clearly very precious parts of your body that need protecting; Alpinestars’ and Dainese’s Airbag systems cradle more of the torso and extend to protect parts of the vulnerable front of your body.
- While it does not have a complicated microprocessor-controlled brain it also does not require the same level of servicing or race / road adaptation via a software download: Nevertheless, 4-yearly servicing is required at a cost of £100.00 in order to continue to meet the EN1621/4 standards.