Motorcycles Just Got a Lot Safer: Ducati to Test Airbags

Motorcyles can be dangerous. (Check out Ducati’s crash test below.) They’re hard to control, difficult for other drivers to see, and crashes often put the rider’s life in serious jeopardy. But that’s part of the thrill – that exhilarating feeling as you’re cruising at high speeds, only a jacket and helmet between you and the world. If only they could make riding a little safer…

That’s where motorcycle airbags come in. Italian companies Ducati and Dainese recently partnered to create D-Air, an integrated airbag jacket that senses collisions wirelessly and deploys within milliseconds – the first production motorcycle in history to have one. But believe it or not, airbag jackets have been around for much longer than that. It’s not a new idea, by any means. Let’s take a look at their history and how they got where they are today.

Hungarian inventors actually brought us the first airbag jackets in 1976 – for horse riding. Though generally not quite as dangerous as a motorcycle accident, getting thrown from a massive steed does not exactly feel good. Somewhat surprisingly, the idea took another 20 years or so to really gain traction in the biking community. (more…)

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A Japanese manufacturer, Mugen Denko, eventually brought the technology to motorcyclists with Hit-Air, which later spread throughout Japan and Europe. The rider would hook a lanya