The latest evolution of Dainese’s long development of the D-Air airbag is a system that inflates inside the suit with little effect on the rider other than increased safety. Like previous iterations that inflated externally, this one has been designed primarily with the racer in mind; the bag deflates after 10 seconds to accommodate riders hopping back on to rejoin the race or running back to the pits for a restart. Dainese is now confident in D-Air’s ability to avoid accidental inflation that it’s big name racers have begun wearing it; Guy Martin wore a Dainese D-Air-equipped suit at last month’s TT and Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have been using it during MotoGP practice sessions. Lorenzo had a D-Air suit at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last Saturday, but sadly wasn’t wearing it when he high-sided, dislocating his shoulder.>
The reason Dainese is taking so long to develop D-Air is that it’s
convinced that sophisticated gyroscopic and impact sensors are crucial
to making the suit work as intended while creating minimal hassle for
the rider. Unlike Spidi’s airbag suit, which just entered the market,
Dainese doesn’t want to use a lanyard attached to the bike, the risk of
accidental inflation or no inflation at all is just too high. By
equipping racers with the suit Dainese’s not so much testing the
impact-reducing abilities of the bag, which are something of a given,
but rather developing large amounts of data it can use to map the
forces encountered in a variety or riding and crashing circumstances.
That data will then be used to program the D-Air system to behave in
the appropriate manner in virtually all race conditions.
Of course, that only covers D-Air being used by racers. The more
complicated environment facing road riders means that we’ll likely see
racers wearing the suit long before we’re able to wear one on a Sunday