Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dainese readies airbag jacket for bikers.

VENICE: Apart from motorcycle ABS, airbags for two-wheelers have been around for years.  A few implementaton have been thought up from onboard airbags to one that the rider wears as part of a jacket.
Now Dainese has released the road-going version of the D-air Racing suit which was introduced earlier this year.
Its latest product called D-air Street  is set to go on sale in the first half of next year.
D-air Street is specifically designed for use on public roads.

The system is composed of the Motorcycle Kit (MKit) and either an outer waistcoat or jacket, which host the airbags.
The MKit is fitted to the user's motorcycle and is the brain of the system, which features a pair of accelerometers - one under the seat, and the other on the front forks.
There is also a fall sensor that is physically connected to a display unit on the dash, to show the rider system information.
Inside the clothing garment is the airbag device, which features two airbags both with a volume of 12 litres. They also include two cold automotive-type gas generators run by battery-powered electronics, with an average life of 30 hours, and a five-hour charging time.
The system has been designed to protect the spine in conjunction with a back protector, limit movement of the neck whilst rolling, and to protect the upper abdomen and chest.

The unit automatically switches on when the ignition is started, and communicates with the airbags via a two-way radio link.
Once activated, the MKit detects the airbags and the connection is signalled to the rider on the display, together with battery life information.
The system is set to identify head-on collisions with a 45-degree angle impact or a slide
Once trigged, the airbags are deployed within 45ms, protecting the wearer. A pillion passenger can also be protected by the system if he is also wearing a D-air Street garment; this will link into the MKit and the rider will be able to see the status of the pillion's system on screen.
D-air Street is available in three garment styles, an outer waistcoat, Gore-tex jacket and a textile jacket, which has removable sleeves for all-round use.
As well as the airbag system each garment also includes a fitted back protector, with removable shoulder and elbow protection, excluding the waistcoat. Standard features also include removable thermal liners, outside pockets and adjustable waistbands.

D-air Street is currently undergoing TÜV SÜD certification process and Dainese, a company located in Vicenza, 62km northeast of here, is positive it will reach the levels required. The D-air Racing system is already certified by TÜV SÜD.
Pricing for the complete system varies from 1,196 euros (RM5,116) to 1,970 euros (8,444)
To see the D-air Street in action visit: the Dainese site. 

In other motorcycle safety developments, the ABS system that BMW pioneered 23 years ago has advanced to a stage where now the industry is talking about Race ABS that are suited for road bikes as well as off road bikes.
The high point of ABS development for motorcycles as it currently stands is the new BMW Motorrad Race ABS, developed for the supersports bike S 1000 RR.

The rider can press a button to select engine characteristics including the relevant Race ABS characteristics for a range of conditions such as a wet surface ("Rain"), road ("Sport"), race track with supersports tyres ("Race") and race track with slicks ("Slick").
These are combined with the various modes and are mutually harmonised for maximum safety. In this individually adaptable rider assistance system, the rider himself selects the level of support to be provided.
For example, unwanted early intervention of ABS while riding in sporty style is now a thing of the past.
The new BMW Motorrad Race ABS is a completely newly developed system which is significantly lighter than previous part integral systems. With a control unit weighing just 1.5 kg and a total weight of just 2.5 kg, it is ideally suited for use in supersports motorcycles.
But in addition to weight the system especially provides even further improved regulation response.
Currently, the ABS systems generally used in serial production motorcycles are only partially suitable for off-road use: their regulation specifications on surfaces such as gravel does not allow for maximum possible brake performance.
For this reason, the relevant parameters and in particular the slip thresholds in the Husqvarna Motorcycles Off-Road ABS have been adapted for improved braking performance over rough terrain.

Husqvarna is owned by BMW and makes motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles.
Since there is no ABS regulation of the rear wheel, the specifications for road speed and wheel acceleration were also optimised. The additional use of the rear wheel rotational speed supports the reference speed for the front wheel.
The Husqvarna Motorcycles Off-Road ABS supports the rider when braking, allowing him to concentrate fully on the track and providing enhanced braking safety in the threshold range in particular.
The system also promises less stress and greater comfort for the enduro riders to stretch their personal limits and to enjoy even greater off-road fun.
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