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France: First Official Crash Test Classification For Biker Airbags

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  Safety Statistics
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map

Cars have had them for a long time now; crash tests. That's when they take one or several cars and crash them into a solid object and measure what's left of the car. Depending on the resulst, between 1 and 5 stars are attributed to the car. 5 stars is the best result, meaning it's a very safe car in case of accidents.

Now they have the same test here in France for airbag jackets used on motorcycles. No, they don't launch a biker equipped with an airbag jacket against a wall. The official test is much easier; they measure the time it takes to detect the crash is happening and deploy the airbag.

Click for bigger version of Airbag Vest Accident Deployment
Open image in a new window

People who should know (i.e. scientists) have stated that for an airbag jacket to be effective, it needs to have fully "blown up" in 100 milliseconds. So that is the baseline. Anything below 80 milliseconds is considered top quality (click here to read more about it Open link in a new window).

French SRA Open SRA link in a new window have tested 4 airbag jackets, 2 electronic ones, 2 using ripcords. Ripcords because of the method they use can never attain the highest note, something I can not understand, but I am only a humble human being.

Crash Test Malaysia

Anyway, the top-of-the-top of the SRA tests is Dainese Open link in a new window with their D-Air street that deploys in 45 milliseconds. Bering Open Bering in a new window's Protect'Air takes twice that number with 82 milliseconds. So it's 5 stars for Dainese and 4 for Bering. Advantage Dainese. However, the Dainese's air volume is 12 liters while the Bering is 18 liters and the more volume, the safer it is. Point for Bering and Juice.

As for the rip cord ones (remember that they can not measure properly the deployment time, so it's lower, but not realistic), Helite receives 3 stars, Allshot receives one.

Bering Airbag Jacket Test

Below is a link to the SRA website with their results (in French). It's not exactly earth shattering, especially since the results are not thought through, but it's a beginning. Hopefully they will refine their measurements and criteria.

Click here to see the SRA airbag test results Open Click here to see the SRA airbag test results link in a new window (in French)

Via: L'Equipement

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