Alpinestars XA: cooling the MotoGP grid

Dailies -


Alpinestars-XA-Cooling-1.jpgWhile watching the last MotoGP race at Mugello I saw this device poking out of Nicky Hayden‘s leathers before the race. We’ve been seeing them in use for a few years, but it reminded me that’d I’d never figured out exactly what they were or how they worked. Turns out it’s an Alpinestars XA cooling device, developed specifically for professional racers and works like a tiny A/C unit.
Alpinestars-XA-Cooling-2.jpgDesigned to plug into the same port in Alpinestars race leathers as a
hydration bladder, the XA is a battery powered fan that pumps 140 cubic
feet of air into the suit every minute. It can do that for up to 45
minutes thanks to a lithium polymer battery that’s similar to the latest
technology being used in electric motorcycles.

Sitting on the starting grid just before a race, riders are uniquely
vulnerable to overheating and dehydration. Heat build up from the bikes
and the sun reflecting off the pavement can create enormous temperatures
and the effects of that can dramatically decrease a rider’s

The air flowing into the suit is routed around the rider’s body by the
internal ventilation already built in (air scoops and ventilation holes
capture cooling air and channel it through a race suit at speed) and
exhaust it through perforations. The high velocity air flow increases
the evaporative cooling effect of sweaty skin, cooling the rider,
Alpinestars claims, instantaneously by 14.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The XA was originally rolled out in 2005 and is now in its third
revision, it’s only available to professional racers.

  • Brian Zooom

    “The XA was originally rolled out in 2005 and is now in its third revision, it’s only available to professional racers. “

    that sucks….or should I say that blows…

    there are some guys out there who’d love to buy this…that reminds me to go back and check on that A/C system that I saw a news article about last year for motorcyclists that attached to the back like a tailbag.

  • the_doctor

    I remember seeing one of the Bostrom’s (I think it was Ben) rocking one of these in ’05. It was awesome back then and is still awesome today.

  • Mark D.

    It may be low tech, but I’d rather have the girl holding the umbrella!

    • Brett L.

      I’d like to be the handle of the umbrella the girl is holding.

  • MotoRandom

    I was looking for a top hat for my son and I was searching through costume shop websites in my area. I found one that does mascots for sports teams and advertising. They have a vest that you can put 10 ice packs into. I always wondered how the Mouse doesn’t get heat stroke in that Florida based theme park. I’m thinking that would be real nice to have on under the armor jacket on the really hot nasty days. Pretty low tech compared to this but something we could actually use on the street.

    • PhilMills

      There’s quite a few companies that make evaporative cooling (soak ‘em before you wear ‘em) vests out there, a handful that do phase-change stuff (that is: no evaporation, just chemicals being endothermic) and one or two that have some actual A/C or water-cooling lines that route around their gear.

      I’ve gotten a lot of use out of some of those evaporative neck-ties full of silica beads that absorb a ton of water and then let it evaporate around your neck.

  • vic

    i ve seen it on hayden last year,it was bigger and bulkier but i can’t recall seeing it on other racers and i usually watch the bbc stuff where they show the staring grid in detail

    anyway neat stuff

  • Chris Y.

    I’ve seen jackets which have water cooling lines through them. Race car drivers use them too. They are connected to a regular drink cooler box filled with ice, and the water is driven by a pump. Pretty simple concept.

  • DoctorNine

    You know, with bikes these days routinely pulling over 120HP, putting a small Heating/AC unit on them wouldn’t take too much power. And running it to a port on the abdomen of a riding suit, with a vacuum cleaner hose, like the astronauts did, seems like it might be a pretty interesting idea, especially on touring machines.

    • vic

      it would encourage more people to ride attgatt

  • Carter Picazo

    I Appreciate the report guy, I’ll keep these in mind on my following trip, BTW people can guess what model u have and the newness of it, so its better to keep it close to you at all times.