Alpinestars released its new Tech-Air Street line this week at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy.
The Tech-Air Street system consists of the Tech-Air Airbag System Vest and two compatible outer jackets, the Valparaiso and Viper.
Using electronic sensors in the shoulders, the vest detects imminent impact and inflates to protect the back, shoulders, kidney area, chest, and upper abdomen area. The vest is completely self-contained, which means it doesn't need to be connected to the bike and can be moved between either jacket.
The Tech-Air Vest is constructed of a mesh shell with stretch poly-fabric on the shoulders and torso to help allow for movement. The Airbag Control Unit (ACU) is sealed in the back protector, and Alpinestars claims it is certified to work between 14 degrees and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The vest then connects to the jacket via two connector cables.
The Alpinestars Valparaiso for Tech-Air Jacket is the touring-oriented option. It's designed to be a four-season jacket, which means that by pairing different liners, it can be worn in cold, warm, wet, and dry conditions. The jacket has sensors built in to the upper part of the zipper and the system arms itself automatically when it detects the jacket has been zipped closed. It also has an LED panel on the sleeve to let you know the system is working properly — and to let people know you're basically an indestructable superhero.
The Alpinestars Viper for Tech-Air Jacket is a street-oriented summer riding jacket. It features mesh construction with a removable windproof liner and, like the Valparaiso, arms automatically when zipped up.
The neat part about this whole Alpinestars system, compared to something like Dainese's D-Air system, is that it doesn't need to connect to the bike in any way, so it can be used on any bike or on multiple bikes. Alpinestars has yet to release information on how this system performs, in terms of what it takes to engage the system or how quickly it deploys, but if it lives up to its promise, it will be a step forward in personal protection.