Why You Should Consider Wearing An Airbag
I'm going to preface this with letting you know that I am absolutely biased when it comes to airbags. I've had two crashes that I know airbags saved my ass.
The first was a very fast low side in turn 4 at BIR. I hit the ground hard and was told I looked like a "ragdoll" when I hit the grass and started flipping through the air. In that crash, the airbag I was wearing did not cover the shoulders and of course, that was the part of my body that hit the hardest. As a result, I did injure my shoulder, but overall, I know I would have been much worse off. In this crash I was wearing a In&Motion airbag.
In the second crash, I was accelerating out of turn 5 at BIR and while I was accelerating, my front tire locked up. Since the bike was so totaled, we don't know exactly what caused it. I was going around 100mph when this happened which caused me to get tossed over the handlebars and the bike to launch into the air and start doing flips. I landed on my head and shoulder, rolled onto my back and then was hit by my bike and a bike that was directly behind me. I'm positive that in this crash, I probably would have had major injuries. In this crash I was wearing a Tech-Air 5.
After my experiences and subsequent education about airbags, I now know how protective they truly are. Below I have summarized energy transfer on back protectors and then on airbags. The difference is staggering!
They not only protect on the track, but I'd also argue that they're even more valuable on the street. I say this because I know that most street crashes involve an impact. I will go more into detail about airbags and what's available out there in a different blog, but for now I wanted to get this out there for you to start thinking about.
By the way, I research the hell out of this stuff and after learning all I can, I have chosen to stick with Alpinestars airbags at my shop. I could get other brands, but I personally believe that AStars makes the best, most protective one.
Back protectors EN1621-2-2014
CE Level 1 Less than 18kN (4047lbs) of force transfer from a 50 Joule impact
CE Level 2 Less than 9kN (2023lbs) of force transfer from a 50 Joule impact.
Airbags EN1621-4:2013 (tethered), EU425/2016 CAT II (electronic)
CE Level 1 Less than 4.5kN (1012lbs) of force transfer.
CE Level 2 less than 2.5kN (562lbs) of force transfer.
Tech-Air 5 less than 1kN (224.81) of force transfer.