Helite Airbag Vest Review with GirlRiders Demo Video
For some time now airbags in leather suits have been an option for the top racers in MotoGP. Now Helite Moto offers airbags for street riders. The manufacturer and technology may be different, but the purpose and the outcome are the same, making the rider safer.
I’ve had the Helite Moto airbag vest for a few weeks now. I’ve used at a track day over my leathers and on the street over my jacket. It is so comfortable and easy to wear, I forget I have it on. I see no flaws in the workmanship and have no complaints on the fit, other than that I had to resort to a child size, although I was thrilled to hear that was an option. Here is a full size chart. Helite offers free size exchanges in the U.S.
The Helite vest is tethered to your motorcycle and will deployed if ejected in a crash. I have jumped off the bike at the gas pump several times, and it was not enough to deploy, just enough tug to remind me that I was connected. You start to get in the habit of clicking in and out and becomes second nature, like turning the key.
The vest comes in black or high-vis yellow. There are also jacket versions available in full leather or adventure style. I did not see women’s sizing options yet for those, which would be a bit more important in a jacket than in the uni-sex vest. You can’t add patches or paint to the vest in anyway, you don’t want to chance damaging the airbag, but for just $10, Helite will add Velcro where you would like to customize, then you just add the other side of the Velcro to your patch and stick it on. The cost of the vest at this write-up is $599. It is an investment, but when you need it, you’ll be thrilled you had it. Check out our video below to see the vest inflate.
After the vest has been deployed, if the vest itself is not damaged from a crash, all you need to do is replace the CO2 canister, you can purchase extra from Helite. It was basically a simple procedure, but the first time took some concentration. Make sure you have the allen wrench that was included with your vest’s instruction packet. Helite has an instructional videos. Basically four steps. 1.Unscrew the top 2. Unscrew the canister. 3. Hold the tether ball in place and replace the top. 4. Screw in the new canister.
We tried tethering to a variety of bikes. Some are going to be tricky and you may have to get creative. Just ask Helite if you have any specific questions. The length of the tether is adjustable and you can purchase extras if you have multiple bikes. I actually had mine installed wrong, going to the center of my bars at the triple tree (I a have dirt bike style bar) here is what Nichole from Helite recommends:
Going to the handlebars is wrong because it could create longer deployment times if you were involved in a frontal impact. I prefer my lanyard mounted under the seat, and just long enough for me to dismount my bike without unclipping right away.
I am extremely pleased with the Helite Moto Vest and highly recommend getting one. Its an extra layer of protection that could make a world of difference.
Helite is offering GirlRiders a special offer, just use the code when ordering!