A key app update and new technical refresh services join the party.
Alpinestars introduced some key upgrades to the Tech-Air 5 airbag system for 2021. If you just bought yourself a Tech-Air 5 system toward the end of last year, no worries—you can have these upgrades, too. All in all, they seem like pretty thoughtful changes designed to make Tech-Air 5 owners’ lives easier, so let’s take a look.
For those unfamiliar, the Tech-Air 5 is meant to be worn under any jacket you like. Obviously, Alpinestars is hoping your jacket of choice is also another Alpinestars product, but it will still work just fine under any other jacket you choose. It covers your shoulders, back, chest, and ribs completely, and will protect your upper body in the event of a crash. An active electronic system with six sensors onboard, coupled with Alpinestars’ crash algorithm, monitors and deploys in the event of a crash.
It also communicates via Bluetooth with a dedicated smartphone app, which is where one of the 2021 updates comes in. Prior to this update, the Tech-Air 5 came equipped with Street Riding Mode, which told the protective device to react in ways geared more toward street riding.
Gallery: Alpinestars Tech-Air 5
By taking a Tech-Air App software update for the app on your phone, you’ll be able to access the Riding Modes menu in your Settings. From there, you can switch your Tech-Air 5 to Race Mode any time you hit the track. Alpinestars cautions that this mode is only intended for track use, and riders should always remember to switch back to Street Riding Mode before riding home.
The other key 2021 update from Alpinestars is an inflation service, which can save you the expense and hassle of having to buy a whole new airbag device any time yours is deployed. It’s called the Inflators Only option, and replaces the two argon canisters that deploy if you crash. It will cost $179, which is a whole lot less than the $699.95 MSRP of a whole new Tech-Air 5 system. Alpinestars will offer this service via its Certified Tech-Air Service Centers.
According to AStars, the Tech-Air 5 can withstand at least 3 deployments before the actual airbag itself must be replaced. However, that’s another service option the company will make available, as well. This full service includes inspection, cleaning, airbag replacement, and argon canister replacement for $299. New tires are expensive, if you’re a track day regular—and clearly, Alpinestars is doing what it can to help keep your track day costs down while also keeping you safe.