Sinar Puncak Sdn. Bhd., the official Alpinestars road products distributor in Malaysia launched the Alpinestars Tech-Air airbag system recently. The range consists of three standalone products, namely the Tech-Air 3, Tech-Air 5, and Tech-Air 10.
Racesuits with embedded airbags are compulsory in all classes of MotoGP since 2018. The regulation seeks to minimise upper body injuries to riders and results show a marked decrease since.
Alpinestars (Astars) had been the pioneer in the system even years before it was made compulsory. As such, most non-Astar racesuits incorporate the Astar Tech-Air system. Prime examples are Hafizh Syahrin and Khairul Idham Pawi.
However, Astars recognise the need for airbag systems for riders who may or may not wear Astars suits and jackets. They have since introduced the standalone Tech-Air for this very reason years ago, but their commitment to rider safety sees them researching and developing the system further, culminating in this new line-up.
How it works
Say the word “airbag” and we would think of cars, first and foremost. Sensors are placed around the car to detect impacts. The signal is then sent to the airbag ECU and it will trigger a deployment (with nitrogen gas) if it finds a sufficiently serious deceleration.
On the other hand, the Astars Tech-Air system functions a little differently, especially regarding detection as the dynamics involving the rider varies greatly from car passengers.
Sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes pick up abnormal rider movements, such as when thrown off the bike in a highside crash, or a drop that is too fast in a lowside crash. These sensors are not attached to the motorcycle.
The airbags are then automatically inflated instantaneously with argon before the rider hits the ground. Inflation speed is very fast, too, at only 25 miliseconds (0.025 seconds), compared to the speed of our eye blinking at 150 miliseconds (0.150 seconds).
Alpinestars Tech-Air 10
The Astars Tech-Air 10 is for racing purposes and worn inside the racesuit. As such, it provides the largest area of protection to the shoulders, chest, the entire back, and hips.
The airbags are contained in a light and breathable layers, which means it is worn as an inner layer within the racesuit.
There are 12 sensors, 6 are accelerometers, while the other 6 are gyroscopes.
It provides both active and static levels of safety. Chest and back protection surpasses CE Level 2 (the highest level) when it deploys. The built-in (but removable) back protector provides CE Level 2 protection.
The system can be connected to the smartphone app for mode selection (prior to riding). The rider can choose between RACE or STREET modes. Both modes use different AI algorithms to deploy the airbag.
It takes 4 hours to charge the system fully, which allows for 24 hours of use. 1 hour of charging provides 6 hours of use, if there is a shortage of time. An LED display indicates the system’s charge level. This display can be detached from the waistband and placed on other parts such as the suit’s sleeve or motorcycle. We only need to pull it on, zip up, and close the waistband to activate the system.
The Tech-Air 10 retails for RM4,899 and is available in sizes M through XXL.
Alpinestars Tech-Air 5
The Astars Tech-Air 5 is a jack-of-all-trades, suitable for urban commuting, touring, and racing. It can be worn as a vest underneath the jacket as it does not feature hip protectors. There are 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes, with two modes: RACE and STREET. It provides the best possible protection to the shoulders, chest, ribs and entire back.
The Astars Tech-Air 5 retails for RM2,999. Sizes are from S to XXL.
Alpinestars Tech-Air 3
It can be worn underneath the jacket or over the jacket like a safety vest. Being the lightest option, it is suitbale for commuting and touring.
The rider only needs to close the tab after zipping it up to activate the system. Made of fabrik and large expansion panels at the sides, it provides a good fit. It senses the rider being thrown off the bike and will activate before the rider hits an object.
The Astars Tech-Air 3 retails for RM2,299 and is available from S to XXL.
What to do after the system activates?
There are several options after the airbag deploys in a crash and it does not necessarily mean the unit needs to be replaced outright. It depends on the severity of the crash and the rider may need to replace the canister or airbag only, or both. Please refer to the table below.
Only certified Sinar Puncak personnel are allowed to service the system as it needs trained skills.
The service centre is located at:
GOMOTO xPerience Lab, SS2, Petaling Jaya.
Please visit the Alpinestars Malaysia – Road Facebook and Instagram pages for more details: