Airbag Motorcycle Suits in MotoGP
Over the past few years, airbag motorcycle suits have helped prevent serious injury to the world’s fastest riders.
This airbag technology is used by most of the top pilots, including Valentino Rossi (Dainese D-air, which was designed with input from the nine-time World Champion) and Marc Marquez (Alpinestars Tech Air Race).
Motorcycle suits with airbag technology were never mandatory, but that changes for all classes across the 2018 MotoGP World Championship, including Moto2 and Moto3 racers.
The 2018 MotoGP rules state that airbag suits must be worn in every session by every permanent rider. Wildcard riders are the only exception, and replacement riders are exempt from the rule for two rounds only.
The airbags should protect the shoulders and collarbone, and it’s optional for full or central black protection. However, MotoGP says if a manufacturer chooses to have back protection, it must cover the entire spine.
Following are MotoGP’s guidelines for manufacturer’s of these suits:
- Each airbag system must pass a series of tests to prove it fully complies with the regulations.
- Requirements range from the battery and electronics to deployment and inflation times, with accidental deployment also an important factor.
- An accidental deployment of the airbag must not risk causing a rider to crash or impede a rider from controlling their motorcycle.
- Airbag systems must not require any parts to be added to the motorcycle, and must be triggered without the rider being tethered to the bike.
- Each manufacturer must self-certify on the official documentation for the suit that their system fully complies with the regulations and reaches these standards.
- Manufacturers must also declare the reliability of their system based on internal testing.
MotoGP says “These regulations mark yet another step towards increased rider safety, with the FIM, IRTA and Dorna all committed to making sure MotoGP is as safe as possible – and always evolving.”