Japan’s Hit-Air pioneered airbag vests just as gear juggernauts Alpinestars and Dainese developed their own systems. After devising an airbag vest for three years, Hit-Air released its first airbag jacket for motorcyclists in 1998.
Over the years, the company provided European manufacturers like Spidi, IXS, and Louis with airbag units for use in numerous vest and jacket models. In 2003, Hit-Air even applied its technology to a horse-riding airbag vest. Now, the Japanese brand is refining its flagship motorcycle vest with the MLV II airbag vest.
The second-generation MLV vest comes in two variants: MLV-P II (high visibility) and MLV-RC II (reflective). Regardless of the designation, the MLV II still protects the rider’s torso, back, and tailbone while the inflatable collar guards against neck and collarbone injuries. For 2021, Hit-Air reinforced critical areas of the vest and revised the shape for a better fit.
The updated cable-actuated inflation device not only meets Europe’s EN 1621-4 airbag vests standards, but it also exceeds those regulations. The MLV II deploys its airbag within 90-160 milliseconds, which is comfortably under the 200 milliseconds required by law. Hit-Air also fits a new back protector to help distribute direct impacts. The armor includes memory shaping for a superior fit and users can always remove the protector when necessary.
Protecting the inflation device between and during crashes is just as important, and Hit-Air reinforced the vest’s CO2 cartridge and cartridge housing. The new molded and stiffened textile should protect against damage and increase the MLV II durability and dependability.
At €545 ($666 USD), the Hit-Air MLV II is an affordable option in the airbag vest and jacket market. With four sizes to choose from, riders should have no problem finding a vest that fits their dimensions. Available for pre-order now, the MLV II airbag vest will roll out to Hit-Air vendors in mid-June, 2021.