Alpinestars Tech-Air 5

Motorcycle Airbags for Any Jacket: Alpinestars Tech-Air 5

Alpinestars just launched its latest autonomous airbag system for motorcycle riders at CES. The new system is designed to work with any brand of riding jacket. It should hit retailers this March for $700.

The torso airbag system for motorcyclists is not a new concept. Alpinestars launched the first Tech-Air back in 2014, and now at least four other companies have airbag systems on the market.

Up until this point, Alpinestar’s Tech-Air airbag system has only been compatible with an Alpinestars riding jacket or tracksuit. The Tech-Air 5 allows you to use the system with any motorcycle jacket of your choosing.

The Latest in Motorcycle Airbag Tech

The Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 is an electronic, self-contained, wearable airbag vest for motorcyclists.

The system uses six integrated sensors — three gyroscopes and three accelerometers — and a crash algorithm that leverages AI to monitor when the airbag should deploy in the event of a crash.

After many years and thousands of crashes, Alpinestar’s crash detection algorithm has been highly refined.

Alpinestars Tech-Air 5

The key to this safety system is that it can identify a crash event and deploy the airbag within 40 ms. Two integrated argon gas canisters make the speedy inflation possible.

This means that the airbag is actually being deployed before you hit the ground, which provides crucial protection from that first big impact. The vest provides impact protection for a rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs, and full back.

The Tech-Air 5 vest is super easy to use. Just zip it up, close the magnetic flap, and ride. You can check the status of the system with the integrated LED display. The lithium-ion battery on board is good for 30 hours of riding before needing a recharge. Recharging is easy with a magnetic micro-USB charger.

Alpinestars Tech-Air App

The Tech-Air 5 vest connects to the Tech-Air App via Bluetooth. The app isn’t needed for the operation of the vest, but it does offer a ton more useful features.

It offers operational status information, easy firmware updates to the vest, automatic emergency contact texting in case of a crash, and detailed analysis of your rides.

Not for Off-Roading

Currently, the Tech-Air airbag system is only for use on the road or track. While Alpinestars says it will work for adventure riders, they mostly mean the adventure riders who frequent Starbucks with their big bikes and not those that take those big bikes into adventurous off-road terrain.

Alpinestars is working hard to develop an airbag system for off-road riders and racers. The Tech-Air 5 system is not for that, however, as the electronics are calibrated for on-road use. It would be likely that this vest would deploy if a rider was taking big riding impacts over rough terrain.

Bryon Dorr
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Bryon Dorr is the Motors Editor of GearJunkie. He has been writing about overland travel, off-road vehicles, whitewater kayaks, and outdoor and travel gear for 11+ years, with over 2-years of that at Lola Digital Media. Prior to his current role, he freelanced across a wide range of outdoor, automotive, and travel media outlets, both online and in print, as well as with a wide range of commercial clients as a photographer, social media marketer, and copy editor. Based in Portland, Oregon, Dorr is an avid kayaker, cyclist, skier/snowboarder, runner, and photographer. When not outdoors doing human-powered adventures you’ll find him behind the wheel or bars of something with a motor and wheels or enjoying a dark craft beer with friends.