World’s First: Ducati Airbag Jacket

Gear -


Ducati Airbag Jacket

Ducati is claiming a world first with news of an airbag jacket, which is integrated wirelessly to a motorcycle, and that can be deployed within milliseconds of a potential accident being detected.

The Multistrada D-Air model is according to Ducati the first production motorcycle in the world to have an integrated airbag jacket wireless system built into the bike’s electronics. However, BMW Motorrad revealed last year at EICMA, held in Italy that it too was planning to launch a similar set up on its motorcycles this year.

Ducati Airbag Jacket

The Ducati Multistrada D-Air is equipped with a series of sensors that connect to the Ducati Apparel airbag jackets, which are manufactured by Dainese. Airbag deployment is triggered wirelessly by the bike’s electronic system and takes 45 milliseconds to inflate and will apparently work simultaneously for both rider and pillion.

Ducati says: ‘The intelligent passive safety system uses sensors built into the Multistrada’s existing electronics to constantly understand the vehicle’s dynamic situation and deploying only when subjected to a genuine accident scenario.’

At present there is no indication from Ducati on specification or price or specific details on how the system works. The bad news for the U.S. is initially that D-Air will only be available in European market from May 2014. However, Ducati says further information, including pricing, will be revealed on April 15.

  • Jesse

    I’m always concerned by first generation electronic doohickeys that are there to ‘help’ me, but like ABS and traction control, I like where this is going.

    • Jason

      These systems have been used since 2007 in racing and Dainese introduced the D-air Street to the general public in 2010. I’m sure the bugs are worked out now it is just a matter of price.

  • Guy Simmonds

    I wonder how the jackets will pair with the bikes? It’d be pretty daft if the bike just sends out a “Warning: Accident” signal to all jackets in range. Would mean if you’re a Ducati rider passing by a Ducati accident, then BOOM, airbag deployed.

    • Ayabe

      I’m sure there is a pairing system akin to bluetooth or something like that.

      • Clint Keener

        Yea, I thought it was bluetooth.

    • stever

      Your garage door opener doesn’t open every garage door on the block!

      • Guy Simmonds

        Everyone on my block has a different brand of garage door opener, and our houses don’t move. Bikes, on the other hand… :P

        • hunkyleepickle

          no, every garage door opener has a different internal code, which you can change incidentally, that matches your garage door. Brand has very little to do with it. I think you’ll be fine if you ride by another ducati accident…

          • labradog1

            Can I hack a garage door remote, so I can pass a guy and make him pop a puffy for a laugh?

      • ThruTheDunes

        Slightly off topic… the military owns the garage door opener freq. When the Navy does big war games off San Diego, a lot of people come home to open garages. Kinda lights up the police phone lines. I always got a chuckle out of the news stories about it, but then again, I didn’t have a garage door opener. Hope someone at Ducati knows enough not to spec the garage door opener freq…

    • Aaron Averett

      ANT+, maybe?

      This problem is pretty common in high-tech sporting goods like the power meters and heart rate monitors used on high end bicycles, and they have the ANT+ Sport protocol to deal with it. The user experience is a lot like bluetooth. You hit the “connect” button on whatever sensor you want to pair with it, and then the connect button on the head unit, and it figures it out. I’ve never had a problem with cross-talk with other riders’ bikes.

      • Guy Simmonds

        Yeah, I expect it’ll be a similar technology. Which potentially adds a bit of effort and complication to getting the bike started up (especially if you’re carrying a pillion wearing a D-Air jacket too) but no big. I’m still amused by the idea of a group ride and everyone’s jackets inflating at once.

        • ThruTheDunes

          Good one! That laugh brought the soda out my nose…

  • Ross Logan

    D-Air was chosen for the name after the American marketing team found potential issues with the name D-Bag

    • Michael Howard

      A D-Bag on a Ducati? That’d be a first. ;)

  • Jack Meoph

    The first thing we do is protect the rich people that buy our ridiculously overpriced products. Secondly, we charge those people a ridiculous amount of money for the means to protect themselves. Third: profit!

    • Nathan Haley

      The idea is you fund technological innovations by offering it to early adopters – people who both have a lot of money and are willing to spend it on what you offer. As they buy your product and continue to fund your R&D, you make refinements to the product and as economies of scale take shape, you can offer lower priced versions. For being the first (and damn near the only) system of its kind, this is not overpriced.

      • hunkyleepickle

        Yes, because Dainese is known for being economical and offering lower prices on anything they sell….

        • Nathan Haley

          in that case, firms at the lower end of the market will either copy the product or engineer around the patent to bring lower cost options.

  • Scheffy

    It’s cool and all, but somebody come wake me up when ejection seats are a thing.

    • zedro

      It would require overpass detection I’m guessing.

      • Guest

        As a scholar once said, “Watch the canopy.”

    • Kr Tong

      I’d prefer missiles that detect impending collisions and clear the path of cars, humans, deer, small dogs, etc..

    • Michael Howard

      All bikes have ejection seats. They’re referred to as a “highside”. ;)

      • Piglet2010

        How do I high-side my Honda Elite 110, since it lacks the power to break the rear wheel loose on pavement, and the brakes are linked?

        • Michael Howard

          Look for slick surfaces that enable the rear tire to slide/spin easily while cornering. Black ice works well, but don’t ask how I know. ;)

          • Piglet2010

            I would have to be in exactly the right place in order to regain enough traction to high-side before going down in a low-side – would be quite tricky to do.

            • Michael Howard

              Lucky you. I’ve highsided my Majesty twice without trying at all. ;)

              • Piglet2010

                Your Majesty (har har) weighs 213 pounds more than my Elite, and has nearly 4 times the power.

                • Benjamin Reynolds

                  I’v highsided a bicycle before, I’m sure I could manage it on the Elite.

  • zedro

    Does it inflate into the shape of a car?

    • labradog1

      The Chopper Flopper model inflates into a shorty half helmet with an inflatable rubber Kaiser spike on top!

  • hunkyleepickle

    sounds cool, and economical i’m sure. Said no one ever. Great idea, but i wouldn’t really be interested in this sort of feature until i can buy the suit separately, and not have it tied to a specific sku of a specific model of bike. Makes the resale value actually go down in a sense.

  • Joey Delgadillo

    The Safermoto vest has been around for a long time and will work with any bike, this isn’t the first.

    • zedro

      I think they are referring to the bike integration, not just the suit.

  • Κακος Λυκος

    Can we see it inflated on this Italian guy, just to know will we look like a blowfish waiting for the ambulance after the crash?

    • Davidabl2

      I’d prefer to think of it as reclining on a air mattress…although it probably deflates after the wreck ’cause it’s picked up some small holes.