RST launches new £399-£499 airbag jackets | NEWS
Leading British motorcycle clothing brand, RST have launched a range of new top-spec touring jackets and race suits complete with airbags for 2020 – making MotoGP technology affordable for the average road rider, or scooter racer.
The range was launched at their Derbyshire HQ this week as part of a press preview for their 2020 collection, which included the full RST range, plus the Arai, AGV and Wolf brands. We’ll bring more highlights from the previews later but for now let’s take a look at their airbag technology.
In e Motion
Airbag race suits, jackets and vests are nothing new but an affordable, top-spec touring jacket with reusable built-in MotoGP honed technology for less than £500 is unheard of… until now. RST have partnered up with leading French airbag company, In e Motion to develop wearable airbag tech for some of their jackets – with prices starting at just £399 for the GT jacket or £499.99 for the Adventure X – Evolution shown in the video and photos.
Wear and forget
In e Motion have worked with RST to build their well developed (over 4.5 million miles of testing, both on track and more importantly for us, on the road) “Wearbag” system into various jackets and an RST race suit. The system uses complex algorithms to detect a crash situation, rather than just deploying it by accident if you accidentally get nudged by somebody whilst wearing it in the pub. There are no wires, no lanyard and all you need to do is turn it on and wear it. Wear and forget.
Being built into the jacket means that the jacket will fit properly and the airbags will always be worn (rather than having a separate vest that you can choose to wear). The brains of the system are built into the specially developed back protector of the jacket, as is the inflator. It’s compact, neat and only adds 70 grammes to the weight of the garment. To turn it on you simply double press the ‘ON’ button. It gives 25 hours of ride time and will go to sleep when you stop riding, the system is rechargeable. It’ll bleep to warn you as it gets down to seven hours of charge and you can also check the status using the dedicated ‘My In&Box’ app.
To help make this system so affordable the ‘In&Box’ brains of the unit is leased at £12 a month for three years. That subscription means you’ll get regular software updates, it also means you can switch from ‘Road’ to ‘Track’ mode if you’re into track days or racing (the box can be used in three different garments so you can swap between a road jacket and race leathers for instance. After the three years, you can buy your ‘In&Box’ for £99. The subscription can also be stopped at any time, like if you’re not riding through winter etc.
If you have a crash the airbag will protect your vital organs and support your neck. It inflates in milliseconds then loses some of the pressure. Hopefully, you’re unbroken so you can simply deflate it, regas it (you’ll need to buy a new inflator at £89.99) and carry on wearing the jacket as before.
£899 top of the range airbag race suit
Scooter racing is quite big and likely to get even bigger in 2020 as the British Endurance races get more popular. It’s also quite a risky hobby. RST have redesigned their top-spec kangaroo hide V4 race leathers for 2020 (they’re tailored for race use rather than road). Kangaroo skins are very expensive but are more supple than cowhide. To make them more affordable, RST have reduced the use of kangaroo in areas where it’s not needed. This has allowed them to knock a huge £300 off the cost of the V4.1 race suit. This is the exact same suit, made by the same people, on the same production line as the race suits worn by RST supported riders like Alex Lowes in World Superbikes.
For 2020 the V1.1 will cost just £699.99 (it was £999 this year) but it gets more attractive than that. The V1.1 is also available as an airbag suit for just £899. To put it into context, an Alpinestars Tech-Air® vest costs £999 on its own and if that goes off you have to send it back to Italy to be checked over and rearmed.
You can find out more about the RST range here. The 2020 range will be available in the New Year.
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