With the third generation of D-Air systems, Dainese have developed their most effective and accessible airbag to date. So what makes them tick?
Dainese D-air systems are some of the most proven in the motorcycle industry with, as of writing, 12 years of MotoGP experience, thousands of analysed tests and deployments, and more than a dozen patents on just the airbag alone. Now in their third generation, Dainese has developed a full range of products specific for both track and road use, with reduced overall weight and a higher level of active and passive protection, and for the first time, various models specific for men AND women.
So what makes these airbags tick?
So, what is "D-Air"?
The D-Air system consists of a special piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) that uses an inflatable protector. Essentially, it's an airbag specifically designed for motorcyclists.
In a car, the simple concept of the airbag is an inflated cushion fitted between its occupants and the surface of impact and is designed to greatly reduce the risk of trauma and injury, as the resulting energy from the impact is absorbed by the cushion and deceleration is smoother.
Whereas a car collision would cause occupants to hit violently against the inside of the cabin, typically against the steering wheel, dashboard or doors, strapping an airbag to a motorcycle isn't the most effective method of protection, as a rider could fall in any direction during an impact, rendering the inflated bag strapped to the bike useless. Therefore in translation, the airbag cushion must be applied directly to the rider's body.
Lino Dainese understood this back when he developed the first concepts of wearable airbag technology in 1993. These early prototypes adopted airbag technology seen in cars at the time, with the airbag on the outside of the suit. From the outset, Dainese's aim was to create an airbag for motorcycle riders that could detect an impact and activate a three-dimensional airbag that covered the most critical parts of the human body.
Throughout the years, Dainese and his team were able to examine a large pool of data on motorcycle accidents that allowed them to understand which parts of the body were more susceptible to trauma in a number of different situations. Their research was pivotal to understanding than an airbag system must offer the best passive safety, while also maintaining the highest level of active safety. Their modern designs were created based on this concept,
Nowadays, contemporary D-Air systems see the airbag ingrained into the internal fibres of the rider's suit, as before they were an internal vest separate from the garment. There are also two different designs depending on how the D-Air is to be used: D-Air Racing designed for track-day use and racing, and D-Air Road, intended for touring and adventure riding.
These systems are built up of three elements that make them so effective: the special inflatable bag and the microfilaments within it, the electronic control unit that measures and detects the rider's actions, and the algorithm that calculates deployment.
What is the Airbag made of?
The core element of the D-Air is the special inflatable bag that protects the rider's body. This cushion effectively absorbs and distributes the energy of an impact in the event of an accident. This bag features a specific shape designed to cover the anatomical areas that need the most protection in a collision and is different in D-Air Racing and D-Air Road garments to best compliment the garment's use.
Inside the cushion are Microfilaments, a Dainese invention that differs from any design in an airbag system on the market. These innovative microfilaments, when in use, create real armour made of air that maintains thickness and an area of impact that is constant across the whole area of the body protected by the bag. The internal pressure inside the bag remains the same at each point, achieving a homogenous level of protection across the entire air armour.
The combination of high pressure and the microfilaments prevents air from escaping to other parts of the airbag when weight is applied. This prevents any irregular expansion or change to the shape of the bag and provides a consistent, high-level of pressure at any point in the bag.
How does the airbag inflate?
The D-Air system operates on a combined action of a number of mechanisms, from the airbag, a gas generator, sensors built into the suit, and the built-in software.
Inside the airbag is a built-in canister filled with highly-compressed gas that when activated, immediately inflates as the gas expands directly inside the bag. This cold gas generator is operable via an electronic control unit that consists of 6 sensors: 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes that work to recognize the rider's movements, and a GPS that allows the system to detect and accurately measure the rider's actual speed. This is powered by a small, lightweight lithium battery that can be recharged via a USB port and a micro USB cable.
This control unit works in tandem with the system's internal algorithm, built up of a complex combination of instructions, controls and calculations, analysing the information provided by the various sensors up to one thousand times per second and decides whether to activate the airbag.
With 18 years of development and data analysis, and 2500 activations during testing, races and road use, the software built into the D-Air is so intelligent and effective, the airbag is only deployed only when precisely necessary.
What is the difference between D-Air racing and D-Air road?
During development in each generation of airbag systems, Dainese adopts a single philosophy: to expand diversify in their range to protect what must be protected, as required by the context.
Essentially, Dainese develops each product to fit around its intended use. In the context of D-Air, the needs of an adventure and touring rider are different to the needs of a racing and track-day rider, and so how the D-Air System works is different to cater for these needs.
The key differences in the two systems are the shape and size of the airbag, and deployment algorithm. This is because they are two different fields of application when taking into account speed, terrain, and impact, so as to offer the most protection to the human body as possible. The microfilaments inside D-Air Racing and Road garments also vary in length, so as to maintain their thickness during an impact on different surfaces.
How effective is the Dainese D-Air system?
Every D-Air product is improved through experience, research and testing, with numerous advancements in technology made in each iteration of their airbag systems improving upon the last since their introduction to the commercial market in 2012.
Dainese claim their airbag systems are so effective, that they work 10 times better than a traditional protector. The effectiveness of a traditional protector derives from its ability to absorb the energy that results from an impact. The more energy absorbed by the protector, the less energy the rider's body receives. When comparing the energy absorbed by a D-Air airbag to a Level 1 chest protector, the amount of energy is reduced by 86%
What is new about the D-Air 3rd Generation?
Now in their third generation, the D-Air airbag is now fully integrated into the garment rather than in an internal vest separate from the garment. The total weight of the airbag system is 37% lighter when compared to their previous version, which makes for more comfortable wear and ergonomics.
Dainese have developed motorcycle airbag tech for both racing and road purposes, as well as of broadened themselves out of the motorcycle industry with products specifically for skiing, developing various models of jackets both for men and for the first time, women.
How do I reset the D-Air system?
In previous generations, the procedure to reset after deployment meant the garment had to be sent back to Dainese for the airbag to be replaced, and for a general check-up of its functions.
For the third generation procedure, the construction of D-Air Road garments has been overhauled to allow for easier reset of the airbag. All you need do is take the jacket back to us, Infinity Motorcycles, where we can replace the airbag after deployment using a spare parts kit sent by Dainese.
For D-Air Racing garments, these still need to be sent back to the manufacturer in order to reset the airbag. This is because the stress caused by the fall on the track, as well as the damage to the suits, only Dainese laboratories are capable of fully resetting the system's functionalities and restoring to maximum efficiency.
How to register the D-Air jacket/suit
Before you take home the D-Air jacket or suit you've just purchased, you will be required to register the product. This is so if you're involved in an accident, or if there is any damage to the jacket/suit or circuitry, you can send your garment back to Dainese to have it repaired.
You shouldn't need to worry about how though - this is carried out by our Infinity staff, and they only need your email, address, and contact number before letting you take your purchase home, or before dispatching your item if you buy online.
Dainese airbag technology has consistently been evolving to higher safety standards, ergonomics and innovations. With the new generation of D-air®, the next step in the advancement of our airbag system, for the first time we can offer our customers a full range of specific products for various motorcycle applications, from the track to the road, for both men and women.
You can purchase the 2019 range of Dainese D-Air today in various models and colours. Buy online today for 0% Finance.
Dainese D-Air Carve Master 2 Gore-Tex Jacket | £1099.95
The Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Motorcycle Jacket combines perfectly the key recognisable features of a touring garment with a unique racing fit, design and the superior safety of the integrated Dainese D-Air system. The Dainese Carve Master 2 D-Air Gore-Tex Motorcycle Jacket has been created using waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex 3 membrane. This material comes with a guarantee to keep you dry whilst you are out and about, as it provides the best-in-class waterproof protection. Gore-Tex products are waterproof and windproof, all whilst being breathable to allow water vapour from your body to escape, but retaining heat and keep cold air out. The membrane contains pores smaller than a water droplet, but larger than a water vapour molecule, so rain and snow can’t get in, but sweat can get out. This Jacket has also been created using Mugello fabric, along with 3D-Stone fabric inserts on the elbows.
For protection, composite level 2 protectors have been provided on the elbows and shoulders, and PU rigid plates covered with high resin 3D-Stone fabric can be found in addition on the shoulders.
For staying comfortable during the ride whilst wearing this Jacket, several different features have been included. Air vents can be found on the chest, back and sleeves. The Gore-Tex fabric has been combined with an external fabric that has been treated for water resistance, adding to the waterproofing of this Jacket. There a thermal collar and liner included, both of which are removable.
To ensure that this Jacket has an individual fitment to the person wearing it, several points are adjustable. There is a drawstring at the bottom of the jacket, a fastening system for Dainese pants and adjustment can also be found on the sleeves, wrists and waist.
There are several pockets you can use to carry belongs whilst out on the bike whilst wearing this Jacket - a cargo style on the back, two waterproof pockets on the outside, as well as an additional four non-waterproof on the outside and two inside. 1 pocket has a thermal liner, and a pocket for the Double Chest Protector is used. Reflective inserts can be found across the Jacket to make the rider visible in low/poor light conditions
Dainese D-Air Misano 2 Leather 1pc Suit | £1979.95
The Dainese Misano 2 D-Air Perforated Leather Motorcycle Suit is an iconic track suit with the latest generation of the D-Air airbag technology, revisited to enhance comfort and protection. The Dainese Misano 2 D-Air Perforated Leather Motorcycle Suit has been constructed using D-skin 2.0 full-grain cowhide leather with several panels of S1 bi-elastic fabric to provide a great fit and feel, as well as freedom of movement. Several of the leather panels are perforated to provide cooling airflow to the rider whilst this Jacket is being worn.
Protection can be found at several points across the suit. Advanced knee construction has been included, with a protected seam to avoid any unwanted damage. Level 2 standard composite protectors have been included on the elbows, with soft protectors at the hips. Level 1 soft protection has been included on the shoulders, which are combined with seamless racing aluminium plates. At the elbows, there is a replaceable slider system and seamless aluminium plates for further structure and protection.
For staying comfortable during the ride whilst wearing this suit, 3D-Bubble fabric inserts have been paired with localised perforation. There is also a NanoFeel removable liner if needed.
Knee Grip Insert Technology (KGI) has been used, along with a 2.0 knee slider. There is a soft insert on the coccyx and big aerodynamic spoiler on the back to aid high speed performance
Dainese D-Air Racing 3 Leather Jacket | £1099.95
The Dainese Racing 3 Leather Motorcycle Jacket has been a staple product in motorcycle wardrobes, and now it has been evolved to accommodate the ultimate D-Air Airbag system.
The jacket has been constructed from tough Tutu cowhide leather with the addition of S1 bi-elastic fabric panels to provide a great fit and feel, as well as freedom of movement. Several of the leather panels are perforated to provide cooling airflow to the rider whilst this Jacket is being worn. For protection whilst wearing this Jacket, thermoformed shoulders with external aluminium plates has been added to provide support. CE Level 2 protection can also be found in the elbows and shoulders.
To ensure that the fit of the Jacket is personal to the rider, there is adjustment in the waist. There is also a jacket-to-pant fastening system if being worn with Dainese trousers. Additional features include one internal pocket, two out pockets on the from, and reflective inserts across the Jacket to make the rider visible in low/poor light conditions
The Dainese Racing 3 D-Air Perforated Jacket is the latest version in a long line of leather jackets. The Racing 3 D-Air Perforated Jacket is made of high-quality Tutu cowhide leather that has a water repellent treatment. Known for its excellent abrasion- and tear-resistance, Tutu leather is also soft and flexible, providing the wearer with a comfortable ride. with perforated panels for airflow at speed. S1 stretch panels help with fit and freedom of movement.
Dainese's D-Air Road collection includes a Pro-Armor back protector that houses the D-Air unit. The CE rated Pro-Armor moulds to the body to provide protection and comfort. When Internal sensors and a GPS signal read factors inherent in a crash, an airbag inflates to protect the chest and neck.
This article was written by Jonah Son, Website & Content Executive at Infinity Motorcycles