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Airbags Will Be Mandatory in MotoGP Starting 2018

The Grand Prix Commission recently met at Motegi and decided to change a bit the way MotoGP riders are protected when things go out of hand. The new rule dictates that all riders will have to use airbag-fitted leathers starting 2018.
Dainese D-Air 1 photo
The decision comes after discussing with the equipment manufacturer’s working group involved in the championship, who have approved this being a smart move.

Pioneered by Alpinestars and Dainese, the airbag technology is now an accessory available to riders wanting to boost their passive protection in case of an accident. The airbag-fitted gear has been found to drastically reduce the number of collarbone and shoulder injuries, both in the premiere class and on the streets.

Dainese also announced the licensing of their D-Air system to other motorcycle gear manufacturers like Rev’it and Furygan, hinting this will be the new standard for increased protection in the near future.

BMW Motorrad is another company that is launching an airbag-fitted jacket for the 2017 riding season. Called the Street Air, the jacket is backed up by the same technology used in Alpinestars’ current Tech-Air kit.

The new system uses a sophisticated algorithm that detects the imminent accident and inflates the full upper body airbag before the initial impact occurs to absorb the shock. The protection covers the back, kidneys, chest, and shoulders, and it doesn’t need a physical connection with the bike to work.

The airbag technology seems to be indeed a feature more motorcycle gear manufacturers will bet on. They are quite simple for the efficiency they provide. We know of at least two cases where wearing such a thing made a big difference.

There’s this inexperienced rider who missed a turn at 70 mph (112 km/h) and escaped unharmed. And then there’s this old gentleman riding a Can-Am Roadster who got cut by a car and T-boned the hell out of it. Despite his age, he escaped with only some bruises thanks to his airbag vest.


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