It goes without saying that different types of riding require different levels of protection. Certainly, street riders can get away with significantly lighter weight riding gear as opposed to, say, hardcore off-road and enduro riders. When it comes to circuit racing, or gear designed for use on the track, technology develops at a rapid pace, and it is here where a lot of street-centered gear innovations find their roots.
The good old racing suit has evolved quite a bit over the past few years. These days, racing suits such as certain models from Alpinestars are compatible with proprietary airbag systems which deploy at a moment's notice in the event of a crash. On top of this, developments in materials science have resulted in suits which are lighter, more comfortable, and even more sustainable, such as the Near-X suit from Andromeda Moto. However, not all racing suits are compatible with airbag systems, and furthermore, not all airbag systems have been designed for track use.
This is where airbag vest technology pioneer Hit-Air's newest product, the RS-1 airbag vest comes in handy. Designed specifically for use on the circuit, the RS-1 can easily be worn over any standard racing suit or jacket. It attaches to the motorcycle via a tether, and deploys once said tether is severed in the event of a fall or crash. What makes this airbag vest superior on the track is its strategically placed protective elements. The RS-1 features protection for your neck, cervical vertebrae, shoulders, and the dorsal and thoracic parts of the torso.
The Hit-Air airbag vest is activated via a traditional cable which attaches to the motorcycle. Once severed, it immediately inflates the vest via a 60cc CO2 cartridge. Hit-Air claims that the vest will become fully inflated in a matter of 150 to 190 milliseconds—way before the time your body has made impact with the ground in the event of a highside. Additional protective features including a standard back protector as well as adjustability of the placement of the air cushions provides even more protection, while a velcro belt ensures a perfect fit, no matter the type of suit you're wearing underneath.
Hit-Air offers the RS-1 airbag vest in four sizes—M, L, XL, and 2XL. It's also available in four colors to match your favorite track gear, with the option of either a black, blue, red, or white vest. Pricing for this universal track-rated airbag vest has been pegged at 555 Euros, or the equivalent of $655 USD.
Sources: Le Repaire Des Motards, Hit-Air