Most motorcycles lack air bags, so a Japanese company, Hit-Air, part of Mugen Denko Co. Ltd. (www.hit-air.com), has managed to pack protective air bags into a variety of fairly good-looking jackets.

When the rider gets on his motorcycle, he attaches a coiled wire to a hardpoint on the bike using a simple, but reliable, one-touch-release connection. Then, if the driver is thrown from his bike, the wire pulls the pin from a CO2 cartridge, which releases gas into several air bags that protect the rider’s neck, chest, sides, back, and hips. They inflate in 0.5 sec, and reduce the effects of impacts on the rider’s body. They even provide protection if not completely inflated upon impact. Once inflated, the air bags soon deflate as gas leaks slowly through a release valve. The jacket also contains CE certified armor — tough inserts much like the pads in football pants — that protects the rider’s shoulders, elbows, and spine.

Jackets come in a variety of styles and can be waterproof or covered in reflective material.

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

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