Monday, March 20, 2006

Airbags for Ruff Riders

I hear people say that you've got to be crazy to ride around on a motorcycle. I don't agree. But, I do think that you've got to be crazy to do it without protection - ride a motorcycle, that is. I saw a guy on a crotch-rocket this weekend, and the dude wasn't wearing a shirt, much less a jacket, helmet, or anything else resembling protective gear. Check that, he was wearing goggles. Someone should let him know that the "begoggled and shirtless" look may be oh so Thunderdome, but it really doesn't work in traffic heading to Steak 'N Shake. Anyway, there was a point in here somewhere . . . ah, yes. So this company, Hit-Air, has developed motorcycle jackets with built in airbags. Seriously. These things have canisters filled with compressed inert gas attached to air bladders around the chest, back, and neck areas. The system is designed to deploy within half a second of a rider being thrown from his bike. The jacket is tethered to the motorcycle by a coiled wire. As soon as the wire is stretched by more than 66 pounds of force (the leeway is built in to avoid accidental deployment) the valves of the gas canisters are opened and you've got instant Michelin Man. The jackets come in various styles and colors (uberhep spiky-haired Asian model sold separately).

Hit-Air [Via Gizmag]

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