Dainese has revealed a new version of its airbag protection system for racers that adds protection to a rider’s chest named the D-Air Thorax. Like the D-Air Street, the Thorax uses an airbag that inflates upon a collision to protect the collarbone and torso, but has a more ergonomic design to suit a racer’s compact riding posture. The shoulder protection has also changed from the original D-Air Racing design, covering more of the shoulders’ sides as well as the collarbone area.
The D-Air Thorax uses an advanced electronic and pneumatic system with a larger-capacity gas generator than the original D-Air to better maintain inflation pressure after an impact. Dainese claims its airbag technology inflates in just 45 milliseconds and absorbs 85% of the force of impact.
MotoGP racers such as Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi helped test the original D-Air Racing suit in actual racing conditions, and for the new D-Air Thorax, Dainese turned to Luis Salom who currently leads the Moto3 World Championship. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has already put the airbag to the test with a couple of highside crashes this season and sounds impressed with the new design.
“The first time that I tried the D-air Racing it was at Jerez 2011,” says Salom. “I’m now happy to use the new D-air as you can feel more protection not only on the shoulders but on the thorax as well. The safety feeling is definitely higher.”
Dainese says the D-Air Thorax is only the first of a new generation of pneumatic and electronic systems under development.