Are motorcycle airbags worth it? Should you buy one!!

Are motorcycle airbags vests worth it?
Are motorcycle airbags vests worth it?

Airbag vests were generally used in racing because of being expensive. But as now its price has become lower, it has become an option for the riders to buy one, aside from having riding gears. So, just like our primary safety gear like helmets, jackets, gloves, shoes, etc., the airbags are also safety gear that provides an extra level of safety. If you are confused about buying airbags, then here is what you need to know about them.

Are motorcycle airbags vests worth it? Motorcycle airbags are worth it, as it provides additional protection and prevents injuries if you fall or get into accidents. It works like armor, protecting our body from high-level impacts. Thus, motorcycle airbags vests are worth the investment as it keeps your invaluable life safe.

Safety is the utmost priority for all the riders out there. And, whether you admit it or not, we all know that motorcyclists are the ones who are more prone to dangers than car drivers.

Car drives are ensured with enclosed glass, sheet metal, airbags, shields, seat belts, etc., but with motorcycles, we don’t have this many safety options; that’s why motorcycle accidents are very common. 

According to the NHTSA report, 13 cars out of every 100,000 are involved in a fatal accident, but motorcycles have a fatality rate of 72 per 100,000. In the year 2019 alone, 5,014 motorcyclists died. 


The above deaths could have been avoided if riders had worn all the gear with them, but unfortunately, most of them didn’t wear the gears while some were drunk. But surviving high-speed accidents is not easy even if you wear the gears.

The riders have known this for a very long time and after years of advancements in motorcycle gear. Manufacturers have brought us to the airbag vests. These airbag vests are not a recent invention, and it’s just that people have started using them recently. Before that, it has been used in Moto GP riders, police officials, racing riders, and street riders.

The airbag vest technology was invented and patented in 1976 by a Hungarian inventor called Tamas Straub. In 1980 the patent application ended from the protection of Tamas Straub, now the airbag jacket has become public intellectual property, and it can be manufactured freely by anyone.

In 2006 the first real crash test was done at Adria International Raceway with a professional stuntman. To know more history about the motorcycle airbag vests, you can visit this website.

We all know that airbag systems were used in cars since the mid-1970s, but airbags in motorcycles became popular after mass production started, and its price eventually got lower, and now you can find airbag vests as low as $600.

But there are companies manufacturing airbag vests which are very costly, approx $2000 to $3000. These airbag vest prices are very high, but the advanced feature they provide is undoubtedly best. So, the airbag vest price will vary as it all comes to the level of protection you get from these.

Now, let’s dive into the detailed working of motorcycle airbags vests solely responsible for saving riders’ life.

How do motorcycle airbags vests work?

AIrbags vests are lighter and provide an incredible amount of protection to our bodies. It remarkably reduces the risk of damage to the spinal cord, chest, back, neck (collarbone area), etc. The force of impact will be distributed across the airbag vest, reducing the injury and protecting the rider’s body instead of getting absorbed by the rider’s body in the absence of an airbag vest.  

The motorcycle airbags vests fall into two categories. The first type of airbag jacket is tethered (manual), and the second type is electronic (automatic). The first airbag vest was a tethered (manual) system that works on a simple mechanism and then comes electrical advanced airbag vests. Let’s talk about the working of these airbag vests. 

Working of Tethered motorcycle airbag vests

tethered motorcycle airbag vest
tethered motorcycle airbag vest

The tethered airbag vests use CO2 cartridges to inflate during accidents. The airbags have a cord attached from it to the motorcycle, and as soon as the rider is separated from the motorcycle, it triggers the CO2 cartridges to activate. The CO2 cartridges will inflate the airbag vests that will become as hard as armor to protect the riders from most of the impacts.

These tethered bags require a tactful force of 20 to 30 kg to activate. So, even if you forgot to detach the cord while walking off, you will feel a strong tension in your body before the airbag is triggered.

Apart from this, these tethered airbags use CO2 cartridges to inflate them, and that’s the benefit. You don’t need to send your airbag vest back to the manufacturer, unlike electric airbags vests. It takes only 2 minutes and a $20 dollar CO2 canister to reload it in the helite turtle airbag vest.

Working of electronic airbag vests

Electronic motorcycle airbags vests
Electronic motorcycle airbags vests

Electronic motorcycle airbag works on batteries and follows the person’s movement more than 1000 times per second using the various sensors embedded on the airbag jackets. As soon as the sensors detect any abnormal movement, the airbags instantly inflate before the impact.

There are many electronic airbags manufacturers, but I like the helite electronic airbags more as they are self-serviceable and reusable without taking any subscription plans.

The helite electronic airbags require an e-cartridge to inflate the airbags as soon as a fall or accident is detected. And the e-cartridge can easily be replaced, and you will be ready for another ride.

But some other airbag manufacturers, like inmotion (Klim), use apps to pair with the airbag to be functional. To be fully functional, you need to buy their subscription plan; otherwise, your airbag will not work. Apart from the subscription model, you need to buy their argon cartridge for inflation. Thus, overall the cost of klim airbags are too expensive to use.

Are motorcycle airbags reusable?

Yes, motorcycle airbags vests/jackets are designed to be used more than once if there is no damage to them after the event. It takes around 1-2 minutes to replace the cartridges and reuse them after that. Both tethered and electronic motorcycle airbags are reusable after the crash by just replacing the cartridges.

Thus, you can use motorcycle airbags till it doesn’t get damaged by replacing the inflators.     

With electric airbags, you need to do an extra process of recharging them after a certain period, but there is no charging problem with tethered.

You need a $20 CO2 cartridge and 60 seconds of spare time to replace the cartridge and get ready for the adventure and no headache of charging it every time.

How much safer are motorcycle airbags?

Safety concerns the most while riding a motorcycle on the road, and that’s why you are here to know whether buying airbags with the investment for you.

We all know that motorcycles are the most vulnerable compared to other vehicles like cars, trucks, SUVs, taxis, etc. That’s why the motorcycle airbags are designed.

So, How safe are these motorcycle airbag vests/jackets? Motorcycle airbags jackets/vest aims to prevent and protect the rider from spine, neck, torso, and head injuries. Rider’s wearing airbags, vests/ jackets reduce the forward momentum in a crash by 60%, and the head trauma is reduced by approx 80%. Airbags vests provide complete neck and spine injury protection during accidents or falls.

With airbags, your every movement and milliseconds count; if anything abnormal happens, the compressed air will be released instantly and becomes hard as armor.

Thus, motorcycle airbags have increased the safety of the rider and are safer. 

Should I buy motorcycle airbag vests?

You should buy an airbag bag vest if you ride hard on the roads and want to be protected in the worst situations. You can go with helite Airbags as these are inexpensive and self-serviceable. Buying an airbag vest increases your protection and makes you prepared for the worst case.

But, if you have extra money to burn, you can go with an helite electronic airbag system that runs on a battery. 

The helite electronic airbag jackets work on battery wirelessly, so no headache of cords. You need to change the gas cartridge after the crash.

So, you can go ahead and buy the airbags vest if you are concerned about riding a motorcycle and want to be protected. These airbags will keep you safe while any accidents happen.



We have discussed many essential aspects of the airbags system. And I am well aware that you have found your answer.  The airbags vests work like armor, protecting you from the high-level impact. Thus, motorcycle airbags vests are worth the investment as it keeps your invaluable life safe. Till then, ride hard and ride safe!! 

2 thoughts on “Are motorcycle airbags worth it? Should you buy one!!”

Comments are closed. Protection Status