A major leap forward in motorcycle protective apparel was introduced by Dainese at the EICMA show — and you can’t have it. At least not for a while. Dainese is concentrating on the European market before bringing it to the U.S. in 2013.
The D-Air jacket is the most technologically advanced motorcycle jacket in the world. Designed with street riders in mind, the system has accelerometers that are hard-wired to a CPU that is constantly monitoring inputs. When it detects a crash scenario, the CPU wirelessly triggers the two air bags in the jacket to inflate. The intelligent algorithms take 25 milliseconds to detect a crash and the bags take 20 milliseconds to inflate. In testing with simulated crashes that involved a motorcyclist colliding with a car, the time from the initial impact to the rider’s body hitting the car was 80 milliseconds.
Once inflated, the air bag covers most of the torso, the upper part of the abdomen, the thorax, the area surrounding the neck, and the back. In addition, the D-Air has state-of-the-art passive protection, with elbow and shoulder pads and a back protector. The air bags stay inflated for five seconds.
Such technology doesn’t come cheap. The hardware and installation costs €459 (approximately $620). The jackets start at €749 (around $1010) going up to €1540 (about $2078) for the Gore-Tex waterproof version.
And there’s also a two-year €180 ($243 or so) maintenance package, during which you can fall down as often as you like and have the gas generator and air bag replaced free of charge.