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Thread: Helite Air Vests- what do you owner's think of the products?

  1. #1
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Helite Air Vests- what do you owner's think of the products?

    I am pondering purchasing a Helite touring jacket with the airbag built in. LOL, while I hope most of you have not had to test the airbag in an accident, what do you owner's think of the products and the company over time? St.

  2. #2
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    BMW MOA President Reece Mullins was wearing a Helite when he encountered a deer on his RT. I think he wrote something about it on the Forums (with photos) but I can't put my finger on that right now.

    I just looked and found that BoxFlyer was wearing a Helite when he was rear-ended by a Toyota RAV 4. See the thread here: https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...Helite-Turtle2
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison 2018-Present
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    MOA #153274
    "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo-via Walt Kelly

  3. #3
    I recall reading Reece Mullin's and BoxFlyer's account of their accidents and the credit given to the wearing of the helite vest with preventing injuries. These accounts were largely responsible for me obtaining helite vests for me and my wife. I found the company very professional to deal with and we got the vests, extra lanyards (for other bikes), and extra CO2 (just in case of inadvertent vest actuation). I have not crash tested either the Helite Vest or my 'Stich.

    I could not locate the post by Reece about his accident. I did find some other stuff - yikes!!!

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...le-Airbag-Vest

    https://www.bmwmoa.org/blogpost/1239...venture-Jacket

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-Vests-in-2020

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...flatable-vests

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...iz-Vest-Review

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...cket-or-Others

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I just bought a new Dainese jacket and sized it to allow an Alpinestars 5 jacket under it. It includes shoulder and upper arm protection that the Helite doesn't, nor does it require a tether to the bike.

    I have a 'stich and the Dainese, so I'm going to buy something that works with either. And based on my experience with electric jackets, the tether is a complete PITA that I always forget to unplug. My buddy set his Helite off by getting off his bike and doing exactly what I do with my electric jacket.

    I saw the Helite jacket at the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Show last year and was not impressed, hence my looking at vests more deeply.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    I have the Hit-Air vest very similar to the helite. I wear it all the time and have not accidently set it off getting off the bike. It takes a pretty good tug to deploy. I have stepped back several times with it hooked up and hit the end and it did not go off.
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2016 R1200GSA, 2018 Cummins 2500

  6. #6
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    My problem

    LOL, my problem is I am not of average size and weight. I cannot order jackets online and expect a fit and in a lot of cases there is not a big enough size to fit me.

    I do like the alpinestar vest with the extra shoulder padding, I question it's neck coverage such as Helite has to reduce or prevent whiplash (LOL, exactly what just happened to me in my recent accident)

    I loved my Aerostich Roadcrafter Jacket, its back pad and padding did their job along with the Cordura.

    LOL, few dealerships or brick and mortar stores stock jackets and riding gear in my size and are not interested in having an item shipped to them that may or may not fit me.

    So, it is early stages of the looking. Winter is on in my neck of the woods and I am still in pain from the accident. St.

  7. #7
    RK Ryder
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    Fortunately, I have never been in situation where my Helite needed deploying.

    Despite wearing it on every ride and having buckle up reminders beside each bike's ignition, I occasionally forget to attach the tether. Luckily once I start rolling, my routine is to check that it has been secured and occasionally have to pull over to attach the tether. If I were buying mine today, I would buy the recently introduced electronic version which is not tethered to the bike. This would eliminate the need to remember attaching the tether.

    The Helite is heavy. The weight disappears once I am on the bikes as the lower part rests on the pillion's seat. However I am now down to 5'6" (used to be 5'9.5"). If you are tall, the weight might not disappear as does mine. I have a bicycle cable lock to attach the Helite to the bike if I am going to do a walkabout (not a short trip into a gas station); for me, the weight is a too little much for that activity. (Of course I'm a short, 140+ lbs, grumpy old man, quickly approaching my 76th year.) Your physical fitness is possibly in better shape than mine and the vest's weight would not be an issue for you.

    Bought the highly reflective version which, for me was a mistake. I have key parts of it covered with black duct tape to eliminate the vest's reflection onto my GPS.

    The Helite, once deployed, can be folded back up, and with a spare cartridge on board, is operational again. I believe that some vests need to send back to the company to ready for future use.

    It is a good product to take on every ride.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  8. #8
    The helite and hitair can both be repacked and rearmed by the user. I think all of the electronic ones have to go back and be inspected and repacked for a considerable fee. Some also have a monthly service fee, I know the KLIM does. Also you are limited by battery power. If I am out riding for several days and camping I don't want an extra electronic item to keep charged.

    I do offroad riding on my GSA and I disconnect or do not wear the vest when doing that, do not want it deploying during a fall over. But I do wear Klim gear with level 2 padding and a neck brace from Leait when I do not have the vest on.

    A lot of things to think about to get the one that is right for you.
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2016 R1200GSA, 2018 Cummins 2500

  9. #9
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
    The helite and hitair can both be repacked and rearmed by the user. I think all of the electronic ones have to go back and be inspected and repacked for a considerable fee. Some also have a monthly service fee, I know the KLIM does. Also you are limited by battery power. If I am out riding for several days and camping I don't want an extra electronic item to keep charged.

    I do offroad riding on my GSA and I disconnect or do not wear the vest when doing that, do not want it deploying during a fall over. But I do wear Klim gear with level 2 padding and a neck brace from Leait when I do not have the vest on.

    A lot of things to think about to get the one that is right for you.
    My friend set off his electronic vest in July at a dead stop in a parking lot in the Alps—one of those off-balance sort of things that can happen to any of us. This was a Ducati vest, which I believe was made by Dainese, and required ordering a new internal bladder at $400 which did not arrive at his dealership until sometime in October. He had the liner replaced but the vest is still not showing the correct blinky light sequence so it’s going back in for further attention. So yes, the supposed convenience of the electronic versions may work out to be not quite so convenient in the end.

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  10. #10
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    D-Air Smart Jackett

    After considerable research, I purchased the Dainese Smart Jacket: https://www.dainese.com/us/en/motorb...39_color=BLACK .
    I do not think one can go wrong with the Klim or Alpinestar vests/jackets, either. But, the tethered products are completely out-dated.

    Klim: https://www.klim.com/Ai-1-Airbag-Vest-3046-000?cur=USD .
    Alpinestars: https://www.alpinestars.com/products/tech-air-5-system .
    Last edited by craydds; 11-30-2022 at 10:04 PM.
    Ray Puckett, MOA #225597
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    '74 R90/6. '75 R90S. '76 R90S. 2019 R1250RT.
    Too many dirt bikes.

  11. #11
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Deployment

    LOL, I am not too worried about the ease of repacking after deployment unless of course it is an unintentional deployment. Sadly at two of my accidents, EMT people turned jackets, riding pants boots and other articles of clothing into a jigsaw. I expect most likely in an accident with an air vest the same might happen? I guess it would depend on the accident and the condition I would be in. St.

  12. #12
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    The expense of destroyed gear from an actual accident is one thing, a $400 recharge and 4 month wait for dropping the bike at a dead stop in a parking lot is quite another…

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by craydds View Post
    After considerable research, I purchased the Dainese Smart Jacket: https://www.dainese.com/us/en/motorb...39_color=BLACK .
    I do not think one can go wrong with the Klim or Alpinestar vests/jackets, either. But, the tethered products are completely out-dated.
    Sometimes simple is better. I like my tethered vest. It meets all the same standards as the electronics one with nothing electronic to fail. As long as I wear it and plug it in it will go off in a get off.
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2016 R1200GSA, 2018 Cummins 2500

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
    Sometimes simple is better.
    Kinda like my old airheads. Reliable as a sledgehammer.
    Ray Puckett, MOA #225597
    IBA #82538
    '74 R90/6. '75 R90S. '76 R90S. 2019 R1250RT.
    Too many dirt bikes.

  15. #15
    Ute's Chauffeur cruisincruzan's Avatar
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    Recently rec’d an e-mail from Helite stating that I can pre-order the tetherless version of the vest. My plan is to get one in spring.

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