After my brothers horrendous bike accident in September 2016 I find that safety whilst biking is regularly on my mind. Not to the point of being worried or nervous or affecting my biking particularly, just a little more awareness of what can go wrong on a sunny Sunday on a road you know well.
At the 2017 MCN London Motorcycle Show we met Nick from www.lovelifeandride.com to check out the Helite Air Vest.
Watch our video review and then click on the read more to see thee rest of the article and distributor links.
Helite produce a range of products from the basic Air Vest through to touring/adventure jackets and leather jackets all integrated with their airbag protection system.
This system is fully mechanical and does not rely on electronics or sensors; therefore there are no batteries to go flat. Relying on a lanyard that is attached to the bike as a trigger mechanism and a CO2 cylinder for inflation the Helite Air Vest is a very neat and effective solution.
In the event of an accident, as you part ways with your bike, the lanyard is pulled, triggering the system. The vests bladder, then inflates in around 100ms giving the rider a cushion of air around all the important places including, ribs, collarbones, back and pelvis, massively reducing the risk of serious injury. There is also a Knox back protector built into the vest to give an extra layer of protection.
The CO2 cylinder continues to inflate and keep pressure in the system for approximately 10 - 15 seconds before the pressure slowly tails off.
Most comparable systems would then require a visit to the manufacturer or service agent to be reset, however the Helite Air Vest can be reset at home with a simple allen key and a new CO2 cylinder. Simply unscrew the cylinder then using the provided allen key partially un-screw the trigger mechanism which will allow the reattachment of the lanyard. Tighten the mechanism and screw in a new CO2 tank and you are ready for the off. It’s a five minute process which can be done at the side of the road or trail meaning you can be on your way again with full protection in minutes.
We have tried the vest and after a couple of minutes you forget that you are wearing it, this is down to the light weight and fit which doesn't hinder riding. You just have to remember to clip and unclip as you mount and dismount. If you do forget at the petrol station the lanyard will pull a little as it has an elasticated section, but unless you give it a tug of 30kgs or more it will not activate.
In our opinion this is a great product that has the ability to protect you from a range of injuries, it is well made with thoughtful design.
Thanks to Eduardo from www.helitemotoairbag.es for supplying a vest for use in the video and Nick from www.lovelifeandride.com for the Demo at the bike show.
Click the links for a distributor in your country.