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Testing Rider Airbags with a Metal Baseball Bat and Walking Away

Helite is a French airbag manufacturer that specializes in personal protection, and a rider vest is, naturally, on their product list. Helite also manufactures riding jackets equipped with airbags, as well as equestrian gear and more, but those are a different story.
Aluminum baseball bats versus Helite airbag vests 29 photos
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The piece tested in this video is the simple vest, a garment that can be worn over your favorite motorcycle jacket and which is bike-independent. Such vests can be even worn over one-piece leathers or, during the warm season, even if you choose to ride only with your t-shirt.

Helite's airbag vest uses a tether for actuating the bladder inflation trigger. However, the engineers have made sure that the vest will not be activated if you simply forget to untether yourself from the bike before you get off it.

Only pulling the tether, even with a lot of force, will not trigger the system. However, a jerky, sudden pull would activate the system and the vest will become fully inflated in 100 milliseconds. The CO2 cartridge is easily replaceable, and the vest is reusable, provided it doesn't become ruptured or perforated during the crash.

The vest comes with removable Knox CE certified back protection and is manufactured from strong 600D Cordura fabric. A mesh liner adds to comfort, while strong clips and adjustable straps ensure a comfy fit.

Helite offers airbag vests in either black or high-viz neon yellow with reflective stripes, for prices that start at $599 in the US and €449 in Europe. Airbag-equipped textile and leather jackets are also available.

The vest tested is the Helite Turtle model, and it really does an excellent job protecting the guy's back against repeated blows with an aluminum baseball bat. Not sure how much the conditions in a crash resemble this type of abuse, but, if anything, this radical test looks unnaturally satisfying.



 
 
 
 
 

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