08 Jan Helite – Airbag Jackets for Bikers
One of the biggest challenges we face as motorcyclists, is protecting our bodies from impact in case something goes wrong. Motorcycles have built-in protection elements such as traction control, full body kit and/or bash plates. We wear helmets, jackets, pants, and gloves, but nothing really protects our chests and backs from high impact. Back protectors most definitely serve a purpose – but not like the Helite Airbag Jacket that I’ve just tested.
The Helite Airbag system comes in different forms. You can either buy a complete jacket with the airbag built in or you can look at the vest that you can wear over your jacket and/or leathers. There is even an equestrian version available for horse riders.
How does it work?
The jacket and/or vest comes with an airbag system that consists of a CO2 cartridge that screws into a unit where the ball bearing can be moved/pulled into any direction. There is a small piston that is the keeper for the ball bearing. It’s all mechanical with no electronics or battery that needs to be charged. Quote: “Helite is the fastest mechanical airbag on the market”.
The ball-bearing unit is connected to a strap that must be tied onto the frame of the motorcycle. It takes quite a bit of force to pull the ball bearing out, so you don’t have to worry that it will just deploy all on its own as you walk away – the strap will just tighten and hold you back until you press the release clip, or apply enough force to deploy the canister.
Once deployed, it tightens onto the chest in milliseconds and immobilises the neck for complete spine and neck stability. This airbag system is easy to reset by yourself. If you decide to wear a Helite jacket you will not be able to wear a neck brace, but the airbag jacket seems to replace the purpose of the neck brace. That means you will not need to carry an extra piece of equipment around if you end up wearing the jacket with the built-in airbag. The vest is also extremely light and forms part of your own jacket, so it’s just as convenient. The vest will slowly start letting air out after it has deployed. If you need to release the pressure more quickly, you can unclip the jacket or unscrew the canister. Although Helite gives a lifetime warranty, it is on everything except the fabric.
Let’s take a look at some of the options available and what type of riding it’s most suitable for:
The GP Air is most suited for racing and is designed to allow space for the hump on your leathers.
A bright yellow reflective vest designed for safety as well as visibility.
This grey-and-black touring jacket is more for winter conditions with a built-in airbag.
This black vest can go over your everyday personal jacket for the necessary protection.
The summer jacket comes with ventilation for summer and a built-in airbag.
This black figure-fitting jacket comes with a built-in airbag.
This jacket comes with a built-in airbag and is a stunning fit for the ladies (in black).
The jackets and vests are made of Cordura fabric and/or leather that is extremely strong. In some cases, the leather may be heavy and hot. The great thing is you have a variety of types and styles to choose from with the important safety element from Helite. Find out more about Helite and how their product can save your life here: www.rideforlife.co.za
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