While watching the last MotoGP race at Mugello I saw this device poking out of Designed to plug into the same port in Alpinestars race leathers as a hydration bladder, the XA is a battery powered fan that pumps 140 cubic feet of air into the suit every minute. It can do that for up to 45 minutes thanks to a lithium polymer battery that's similar to the latest tec...

While watching the last MotoGP race at Mugello I saw this device poking out of

Alpinestars XA: cooling the MotoGP grid
Designed to plug into the same port in Alpinestars race leathers as a hydration bladder, the XA is a battery powered fan that pumps 140 cubic feet of air into the suit every minute. It can do that for up to 45 minutes thanks to a lithium polymer battery that's similar to the latest technology being used in electric motorcycles.

Sitting on the starting grid just before a race, riders are uniquely vulnerable to overheating and dehydration. Heat build up from the bikes and the sun reflecting off the pavement can create enormous temperatures and the effects of that can dramatically decrease a rider's performance.

The air flowing into the suit is routed around the rider's body by the internal ventilation already built in (air scoops and ventilation holes capture cooling air and channel it through a race suit at speed) and exhaust it through perforations. The high velocity air flow increases the evaporative cooling effect of sweaty skin, cooling the rider, Alpinestars claims, instantaneously by 14.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The XA was originally rolled out in 2005 and is now in its third revision, it's only available to professional racers.