Friday, November 04, 2011

Dainese D-air Street coming in 2012, will watch your back on the road

The D-air Street could be a worthwhile addition to your motorcycle riding attire...

After the Dainese D-air Racing suit, which was launched earlier this year, the Italian motorcycle apparel brand is now ready to release the road-going version of the system – the D-air Street is currently undergoing TÜV SÜD certification and will go on sale by mid-2012.

According to Dainese, the D-air Street is specifically designed for use on public roads. The system comprises the ‘Motorcycle Kit’ (MKit) and either an outer waistcoat or jacket, which host the system’s airbags. The MKit is fitted to the user’s motorcycle and is the ‘brain’ of the system, featuring a pair of accelerometers, one of which is mounted under the seat and the other on the front forks. There is also a fall sensor that is physically connected to a display unit on the motorcycle’s dash and shows rider system information. The airbag device features two airbags, both with a volume of 12 litres. These include two cold automotive-type gas generators run by battery powered electronics, with an average life of 30 hours, and a five-hour charging time.

The Dainese D-air Street system has been designed to protect the spine, in conjunction with a back protector, limits movement of the neck whilst rolling and also protects the upper abdomen and chest. The unit automatically switches on when the ignition is switched on and communicates with the airbags via a two-way radio link. Once activated, the MKit detects the airbags and the connection is signalled to the rider on the display, together with battery life information. The system is set to identify head on collisions with a 45-degree angle impact or a slide. Once triggered, the airbags are deployed within 45millieseconds, protecting the wearer in the event of an accident. A pillion passenger can also be protected by the system if he/she is wearing a D-air Street garment, which can be linked to the MKit. In this case, the rider is also able to see the status of the pillion rider’s system on the MKit screen.

The D-air Street will be available in three garment styles – an outer waistcoat, goretex jacket and a textile jacket, which has removable sleeves for all-round use. In addition to the airbag system, each garment also includes a fitted back protector with removable shoulder and elbow protection, excluding the waistcoat. Standard features include removable thermal liners, outside pockets and adjustable waistbands, and the waistcoat/jacket is available in a wide range of sizes.

The MKit D-air Street system is priced at £390 and the waistcoat/jacket (which host the airbags) are priced between £640-£1,310. The system should definitely not be looked upon as a substitute for rider training and riding skills acquired with years of motorcycle riding experience. But as an additional safety net, the D-air Street could be a worthwhile addition to your motorcycle riding attire.

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