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Thread: inflatable vests

  1. #1

    inflatable vests

    Hello,

    Considering an Helite or Hit Air inflatable vest. Anybody using one and what are impressions?

  2. #2
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Do a search and you should find a couple of fairly recent threads on the vest, including a review with video.
    Kevin Huddy
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  3. #3
    thanks, will do

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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Bottom of the page- similar threads may help you.
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortoneye View Post
    Hello,

    Considering an Helite or Hit Air inflatable vest. Anybody using one and what are impressions?

    Couple of years experience now with the Helite.

    A very well engineered and constructed product. Have recommended it to others, who have bought one as well.

    I demo'd it many times during a product review phase, later published in WING WORLD Magazine.

    Will never ride without it!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortoneye View Post
    Hello,

    Considering an Helite or Hit Air inflatable vest. Anybody using one and what are impressions?
    If you're near a rally or trade-show, the Helite folks do demonstrations. Having been a demonstration dummy, I was impressed and considering a future purchase.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
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    I have the Hit-Air. Very very similar to the Helite. Except it is less expensive.

    I purchased mine after a fellow rider on a forum I belong to went straight when the road curved. He has no idea why he went straight. His riding gear and helmet protected him from road rash and such. However, he had something like 17 broken bones in his chest, a fractured vertebrae and a crushed vertebrae. For weeks, it was touch and go as to if he'd survive. If he'd had one of these vests on, chances are he would've walked away from the crash.

    The basic vest is much like a safety vest in appearance except it has a CO2 canister in the front hidden away in a pocket. A lanyard attached to the bike will pull a cord attached to the CO2 bottle, releasing the air. Before you hit the ground, the vest is inflated. The obvious parts that inflate are two tubes running vertical in the front and back. On the Hit-Air, you also get a section that inflates to protect your neck and collarbone. There's another that inflates and protects your tailbone.

    The first time I used it was at an intersection where a teenager walked out in front of me, just as I gave the bike some gas and had the steering turned. I was down and laying against the curb before I knew what had happened. The thought occurred to me that this should hurt. I was laying up against the edge of the curb, but the vest was holding me off it. Without the vest, even on that simple a fall, I probably would've bruised or cracked a rib. With the vest, I got up feeling a little chagrined and realizing this was going to cost me $20 for a new CO2 cartridge.

    I too wouldn't ride without it.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  9. #9
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Just looking at the Hit-Air website. Many choices that will take a long while to sort through.
    Kevin Huddy
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  10. #10
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    Inflatable vests started with the equestrian sports. Remember Chris Reeves?

    The two I think you'd want to steer towards are the MLV-PY and the MLV-YC. I'm not sure the YC inflates above the shoulders to protect the neck and collarbone, and below the waist to protect the tailbone, but you can look. I have the PY.

    MLV-PY http://www.safermoto.com/air-bag-vests/mlv-py/

    MLV-YC http://www.safermoto.com/air-bag-vests/mlv-yc/

    I bought mine from these people, though it seems you can find them at many locations. Safermoto looks to be a mom and pop store. Customer service is good from what I've found.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daboo View Post
    I have the Hit-Air. Very very similar to the Helite. Except it is less expensive.

    I purchased mine after a fellow rider on a forum I belong to went straight when the road curved. He has no idea why he went straight. His riding gear and helmet protected him from road rash and such. However, he had something like 17 broken bones in his chest, a fractured vertebrae and a crushed vertebrae. For weeks, it was touch and go as to if he'd survive. If he'd had one of these vests on, chances are he would've walked away from the crash.

    The basic vest is much like a safety vest in appearance except it has a CO2 canister in the front hidden away in a pocket. A lanyard attached to the bike will pull a cord attached to the CO2 bottle, releasing the air. Before you hit the ground, the vest is inflated. The obvious parts that inflate are two tubes running vertical in the front and back. On the Hit-Air, you also get a section that inflates to protect your neck and collarbone. There's another that inflates and protects your tailbone.

    The first time I used it was at an intersection where a teenager walked out in front of me, just as I gave the bike some gas and had the steering turned. I was down and laying against the curb before I knew what had happened. The thought occurred to me that this should hurt. I was laying up against the edge of the curb, but the vest was holding me off it. Without the vest, even on that simple a fall, I probably would've bruised or cracked a rib. With the vest, I got up feeling a little chagrined and realizing this was going to cost me $20 for a new CO2 cartridge.

    I too wouldn't ride without it.

    Chris
    Just out of curiosity, what is the retail price for that brand of air-bag vest?
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    If you took the trouble to follow the link I provided, it would tell you the price.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    OK. "Took the trouble" to look at the links.

    The MLV-PY only has two retaining straps across the front, vs. 3 for the Helite, and construction seems a tad thin. Also looks like too much inflated-bladder restriction across the diaphragm - could cause some critical breathing restriction during a crash.

    To each their own, but I'd spend an extra $100 and get a Helite.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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    Since there are videos showing the Hit-Air being used on race tracks where the racer falls, I'd say that's proof the number of straps is sufficient. For anyone not familiar with these, after the air bag vest is used, you simply repack the bladder in the outer shell of the vest and replace the CO2 cartridge. In the case of the racers in the video, they did that and were ready to use it in the next race.

    As for the construction being "a tad thin"...Greenwald...how did you figure this out from a picture? Did you zoom in to the point the picture became all grainy? Or are you just trying to justify spending another $100?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  15. #15
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortoneye View Post
    Hello,

    Considering an Helite or Hit Air inflatable vest. Anybody using one and what are impressions?
    FYI, I don't work for either company, so no 'justification' of expenditure is implied here.

    Like helmets, you just buy the best vest you can afford. Most important thing is to wear one - they really are a game-changer in crash safety for recreational motorcycling.

    Ride safe and often!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
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