If you would like to share your testimonial about a personal Helite Airbag Technology experience, please send it to us HERE. All feedback is welcome and shared!
Rider testimony received February 7th, 2017
"Just wanted to write and let you know what a great product you have.
I ride a 2011 BMWR1200GSA and was riding to work yesterday down the same road I have for the last 20+ years. It had rained really good the night before and the road was wet, but nothing to really worry about (or so I thought). I was in the right hand lane (two lanes going my direction) and I had just moved over to the left side because there was a big Snap-On Tool Van merging onto the highway and I wanted to give him room. Just as I got past his front bumper and going about 55mph, the bike started fish-tailing right to left. I tried steering into the skid and let off the gas a little trying to calm the wobbles, but they just got bigger and bigger and on about the eight one, the bike went to the right and I was pitched out to the left, off the bike (high-side). I didn’t have any time to think what was going on; next thing I knew, I hit the highway pretty hard with the left side of my head and shoulder and was sliding down the road! I started feeling a “burning” sensation on my left thigh and rolled onto my back before coming to a stop by the side of the rode. Nothing hurt and I immediately stood up, but had a hard time moving my neck and arms! Then I realized that my Helite Vest had gone off and that was keeping my head and neck secure! I just felt the pressure all around my torso and realized it had protected my head / neck / spine / ribs / hip during the fall. Long story short, the guy in the Snap-On Tool Van stopped right behind me to block traffic and helped me pick up the bike (it had come to a stopped about 20 feet down the highway on it’s left side). I moved to to the side of the rode, gave the bike and myself the "once over” and realized that we both were in working condition! I picked up the broken wind deflector and left front turn signal, dusted myself off, gave the bike a quick look for any leaks, breaks, missing parts. I thanked the Snap-On driver for stopping and started up the bike and rode to work for a meeting (and I was only 3 minutes late!).
I can not tell you how impressed I was with the vest… I didn’t even realize it had gone off until I had stood up and tried to move! It inflated in a nanosecond and I now know why my back and ribs don’t hurt! Also, after looking at the abrasion on the left side of my helmet, I can honestly say that with out the vest and the way it secured my head and neck so quickly, I would not have been going to work in the Emergency Department, but I could have easily been one of the patients that morning! Thanks for making one outstanding piece of riding gear and I’ll be telling all my friends what piece of gear they really need to be wearing!"
Ray D, RN
Rider Testimony Received January 31st 2017
"I was traveling on Tasman Highway in Tasmania, towards Hobart. After riding for 3.5hrs I was pretty exhausted. During a corner, I wasn't paying enough attention, looking into the rear mirror for my friends behind me. Then I realised I was running wide and target fixated. That resulted in me running off the road, and low siding the bike at 80km/h. I don't know exactly when the airbag got deployed. All I know is that I tumbled for a few seconds, eventually hitting my bike and stopped. Immediately after the crash I feel quite a lot of pain in my knee and elbow, but no pain in my body, neck or head. After checking if my arms and leg were working, I unlatched my airbag, as it was really tight, and made breathing difficult, especially after being winded by the crash. Then I basically turned off my bike and got up. I did have full leather on with pads, so my knee and elbow was fine after about 10 minutes. There was scratch on my backside, between my leather jacket and pants. But yea, the part of my body that didn't feel any pain during or after the crash was the part covered by the airbag. I'm not sure if the photo shows it, but the vest has a small tear on the back. Without the airbag, this puncture probably would have been my back. Thanks to the protection gear, especially the airbag, I was fine about 15 minutes after the crash. I got to continue my trip in Tasmania, this whole incident only delayed me for about 1 and half hour.
Rider Testimony from Facebook October 2016
Hi. I've commuted with my new Helite Turtle Airbag Vest for a couple days now, and the quality and functionally (from a rider comfort standpoint) is great -- it doesn't get in my way at all. It goes on over both my heavy duty one piece riding suit (name omitted for reasons of political savvy) and my mesh jacket. It goes on in 4 clicks (including clipping into the bike), and I can attest that it is idiot (me) proof with regards to inadvertently getting off the bike without unclipping beforehand, which I do pretty much every time. I've tested that multiple times now and no accidental deployment. Lol. The potential for neck hyper-flexion or serious spinal injury has always been in the back of my mind as I commute through DC Metro traffic, and the vest helps to alleviate some of those concerns. Thanks for believing in and promoting such an essential piece of gear. I'd really love to see one on every rider. As a suggestion, maybe you can make one that is a leather vest and can somehow have patches sewn onto it to protect those burly, Harley types
Rider Testimony sent in October 11th
I purchased the Helite vest when you were at Laguna early last year and wear it every time I ride. I do have to say it looks big and bulky, but it does not get in the way while I am riding aggressively on the track. Yesterday, Saturday October 9th I had my first crash. It was a big high-side. I was thrown into the air and landed on my left shoulder and neck. The impact was violent that it knocked the wind out of me. When the track workers approached me, they thought for sure I had broken something and was surprised to see me conscious and alert. While I was in serious pain, I too was surprised that I had not damaged my shoulder or broke my clavicle. Needless to say I am very impressed with Helite vest and will continue to wear it when I ride. The vest survived the crash as well and only has a couple of scratches.
Rider Testimony sent in July 29, 2016
Rider Testimony sent in April 18th, 2016
As I was heading to the GP races, I turned into the gas station. The bike leaned more than usual and in a split second I went down. I was on my back held up by a cushion of air as I looked up to see my bike in front of me. I stood up and surveyed my situation. My head was being held steady, not bouncing on the pavement, as the air in the Helite vest was still pressurizing the front and rear tubes. Although I had slid from my side to my back I felt no pain. Two people came over asking where I hurt myself. I was not hurting as we picked up the bike. I parked it and checked my gear. Not a mark on my $600 Shoei helmet, the leathers showed a small scuff mark on the arm and the vest had a 4" square where some abrasion appeared. So I saved over $1200.00 in damage to my helmet and leathers. No pain in the upper body and neck area are due to the air tubes protecting me. After a quick stop I was off to the races, races that I travelled 1400 miles to see. The spill under normal conditions regarding gear would have meant a shut down. The vest proved a saviour, re cost savings, pain blocker and once in a life time viewing motoGP / motoAmerica races at COTA, Austin.
Other benefits wearing the fluorescent vest have been: A) drivers leave more room around me, (B) when I I am behind a vehicle alone or with a group of motorcycles, drivers pull to the right so the bike(s) could go by (C) I am more relaxed riding as there is a safety factor wearing the air vest, similar to a car driver that has air bags.
If you see a demo coming to your town, put on your regular gear and try out the vest. You will definitely realize the value of the vest. Check out a video of the vest in a fall
Rider Testimony sent in March 16th, 2016
I want to thank you for such an awesome product, The Helite Turtle Airbag vest.
I purchased the vest several months ago when it became available in Fredericksburg, Va. at Morton's Bmw cycles.I had been searching for such a product.
On 3-11-16, I found out the hard way that it actually works!
I was leaving bike week at Daytona beach Florida, headed back to Northern Va.
I was in a hurry to get on the road, did all my checks, attached myself to the tether for my airbag vest and off I went.
I went thru an area at the condo I was staying, that's used to wash cars. There was a lot of soapy water.
I thought I had cleared that area and twisted the throttle. Bad move!
The next thing that happened was a 900 plus pound Goldwing fish tailing down the road, after several fish tails I got thrown off the bike!
These were the damages.
1. Cracked and scratched full face helmet.
2. Several scratches on accessories attached to bike.
3. Foot peg jammed in my left chin (bruised up pretty good)
4. Slammed hard on the pavement
I really didn't noticed my vest had deployed, but it did. I got up at that point,and noticed the vest had worked as expected. I was so happy I had made the investment!
I feel that the impact of slamming into the pavement would have broken several ribs, and who knows what else!
I would never ride without my Helite turtle vest..
Thank you for such awesome technology.
Chris C - Virginia
"An airbag vest? Like one of those fancy things Moto-GP riders are wearing now? Or are they just for stuffy BMW riders? Well, in fact, all of the above and more!
From the Helite website: “Protecting as many people as possible from serious injuries” is their primary mission. Helite has been around since 2001, but is rather new here to the United States. Having spent a few years living and working in Europe I got accustomed to seeing airbag vests around, from scooter riders to track riders. Granted, the motorcycle culture is much more safety oriented across the pond. But this begs the question, why aren’t we (riders in the U.S.)?
After surviving a near death accident this past January out in Texas, I became a far more safety conscious rider. Granted, I have always worn gear head to toe but there is always room for improvement. In steps the Helite Airbag Vest, since I already own a fancy hi-viz Aerostich with no desire to replace it with anything else, the vest could be the perfect addition to my gear closet. Chatting with Nichole (Helite Rep) after a demonstration she gave, I presented her with an idea of loaning me a vest for a week or so as I was participating in a 24 hour Mini Moto race with a few friends. She talked it over with her boss and a few days later I had a loaner vest to destroy! I tried to give them fair warning that in a mini moto race the chances of a lowside or three are pretty high… and the vest would probably be returned with holes. For whatever reason, they didn’t have an issue with this.
Once I got my hands on the vest I instantly attached the tether to my trusty SV650 commute rat bike. A nice hook and loop design which you fasten under your saddle, simple 5 minute install on any motorcycle. The tether clips into the vest and off you go. As many of you are wondering, yes, I hopped off the bike the first time and forgot to unclip the vest. No, it didn’t explode and send me flying across the street. The mechanism requires 60lbs of force to trigger the large CO2 cartridge. That’s quite a pull, so don’t worry about forgetting to unclip. The vest itself is made of a cordura like material on the outside (think sturdy material like an Aerostich) and the inside is thick padded mesh to aid in ventilation. There are three buckles securing the vest, which are large and easy to snap even with thick fingered gloves. The icing on the cake for me is the built in Knox spine guard, protect those vertebra!
Flash forward a week or so and we are at the races. The vest fits nicely over any piece of gear, as it is easily adjustable via six velcro tabs. It had to be marginally snugged up over my leathers, compared to the frumpy frump of the Roadcrafter. It was a pleasant 103 degrees at Willow Springs International Raceway the day of our race, with the vest over my leathers I expected it to inhibit some of the airflow. I am very happy to report that it did none of the above, since the vest fits a bit loose (to allow for inflation room) the air circulates and allows your gear underneath to breath!
On my third stint out, I had a tasty lowside while diving into a corner chasing a Honda Grom. It was so quick I couldn’t react, thankfully the vest did. Leaning over on a mini moto, you are practically on the ground as is. The vest inflates within 100ms of the tether being pulled, so before I hit the ground I was protected. After coming to a complete stop, the bike and I had slid for probably 20 or so feet. The entire way I slid on my back, legs up like an awkward little turtle. I tried to jump up, but the vest was still fully inflated. My feet could not get good footing and my arms were raised off the ground. After floundering about for a few seconds I rolled over and crawled for off the track. Hopped back on the bike and rode into the pits for a tech inspection and rider change. Soon after arriving in the pits another racer and photographer came up and asked “Are you alright? That looked like it hurt!” Folks had been crashing all day and night, as this was a mini moto race. But rarely does someone come up and ask if you are ok, that must have been a good one! “This crash surely left some marks on the vest” I said to myself, but alas no visible signs of impact. Even my leathers were all scuffed up! Swapped out the used cartridge for a new one, which takes about 3 whole minutes to do with a hex key, and the vest was ready for another stint. If this isn’t a quality garment, I’m not sure what is.
I’ve been asked a few times, “Would you recommend it to a friend?” Absolutely, yes. As someone who has rather recently rolled down a desolate interstate 470 feet, I am confident that this vest would have lessened the pain and injuries I received, and the face plant in the mini
moto race could have ended badly as well. It would seem that I wreck rather often with firm vigor, and maybe I do… All the more reason to add this piece of gear to my stable.
Now the $600 dollar price tag could seem a bit steep in some people’s minds, understandably so. But this vest is completely reusable and requires no repacking of material, just a simple CO2 cartridge swap. Also, this vest is not simply for a racer/track rider, in my mind this is the perfect piece of gear for a commuter, maybe the most important piece of gear (besides helmet) as it protects and cushions your vital organs and spine. No jacket or one piece suit can provide the level of protection that this vest does.
All in all, after wearing this vest on the track, for daily commutes and hooligan rides in the mountains I forget it is even there. It has become part of my daily gear."
"On December 7, 2014, my Helite Airnest paid for itself many times over by protecting me when I went down on a freeway at close to 50 miles per hour. I was thrown from my bike, landed hard on my side, then on my back, and then slid before coming to a stop where I easily stood up (to the amazement of motorists who had stopped). As a testament to how well my Airnest Vest protected me, I immediately walked away, and the only first aid I needed was a Band-Aid on one knee. I better appreciated the force of the impact 24 hours later, when I developed 1 to 2 square feet of bruising that took 2 weeks to clear up. The majority of this bruising was in the areas not protected by the Airnest. I have since surveyed my extensive protective gear, and although every piece helped and shows evidence of some impact, the Airnest vest was instrumental in protecting the critical torso area. Most importantly, when I was checked out the next week, I had no neck or whiplash injuries. Surprisingly, the vest shows little abrasion damage despite cushioning me as I slid on my back down the freeway.
I have since spoken to a friend who has the unusual background of auto racing as well as rehabbing spinal cord injury patients. He is very impressed with the multiple ways the Airnest protects a rider, and it is very clear to him that at the very least, the Airnest saved me from significant road rash and likely saved me from additional significant injuries.
I have to say that the Airnest is the best investment I have ever made."
John Wagner, San Diego, CA
"Good news and bad- I ditched the bike and slid after clipping a car at 40MPH and triggered the jacket- which worked perfectly and I got up and shifted the wreckage myself! Not a mark on my upper body (leg got a bang but nothing broken). No stiff neck, helmet was held perfectly even though I tumbled a bit.
10 out of 10- the bystanders and police who responded couldn't believe it. (We needed the police cos I ride a GS and it killed the car which blocked the road)
The vest has a little abrasion damage to the cartridge cover flap but otherwise looks fine. "
"Last Christmas my caring wife bought me an inflatable motorcycle jacket for added protection. The cool thing is the vest fits over a normal motorcycle jacket and is virtually unnoticeable except for the lanyard that attaches to the motorcycle. I am an ex motocross racer who was forced to retire after I ripped my knee apart. However I started riding motorcycles again 8 years ago and have loved my daily commute to work and weekend rides with friends. It didn't take long to put my newest accessory to the test. Whilst commuting to work one morning a car made an illegal u-turn right in front of me, before I knew what was happening I was lying on the floor after being body slammed into the car in question. I looked down and noticed that my inflatable jacket had deployed as designed and I had minimal injuries of which I should have had several broken ribs and severe whiplash, I sustained a damaged shoulder and medium case of whiplash. I know it is an expensive bit of kit but it was worth every penny and I can't recommend it highly enough, just a pity my bike wasn't wearing one as it was a write off! Regards"
I bought the vest as opposed to a jacket for the simple reason that I have a number of jackets for summer, winter and hot weather riding and the vest would be used all year round.
9:10am on February 29th 2012 was when it paid for itself. Whilst riding on my BMW adventure to a meeting in Halifax I had an accident, which saw me run at 20mph into the back of an almost stationary car that had to brake suddenly. The result was that I was thrown forward off the bike and rolled off the car boot landing on the road looking back at the damaged bike. The motorcycle vest had inflated protecting my front, back and neck and acted as a cushion when impacting on the car, in effect I 'bounced' off his boot. As for injuries, the only ones I received was a bruise on my thigh where my leg hit one of my mirrors, a couple of grazes on my shins and a dented pride at having had such a stupid accident.
I am 6ft 3" tall and weigh in at 21 1/2 stone and so the inflatable motorcycle jacket did its job even on someone of my size. What can I say, to walk away from an accident with two grazes and one bruise is good even if the bike is written off. I dread to think of what injuries I would have received had it not been for the inflatable vest, certainly a lot more bruises and probably damaged collar bones at the very least.
All I need now is another bike and a new gas cylinder for the vest. If ever there was a prize for the best safety feature then this air vest should get it. "
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