The wait is almost over. Introduced in 2011 to European consumers, it took another 4.5 years for the D|air technology to reach our shores. Early adopters can pre-order D|air Racing suits now with an expected arrival date sometime in September.
If you’re unfamiliar with D|air technology, in a nutshell it’s a Dainese leather suit integrating all the components of a wireless airbag system for protecting a rider’s shoulders and collarbone. Its stats are impressive.
- 30 milliseconds: The amount of time it takes to deploy the D|Air system. (There are 1,000 milliseconds in one second)
- 7 sensors: 3 accelerometers, 3 gyroscopes, 1 GPS
- 85%: Amount of reduced force transmitted to rider
- 800: Number of tests passed to receive TÜV SÜD certification
- $2499: Cost of Misano D|air Racing suit
- $299: Cost of a two-year extended service agreement for reinstalling a deployed D|air system.
Judging by those figures the D|air system is fast, sophisticated, safe, certified, and, of course, pricey. But as Arai and other premier helmet manufacturers have been asking for years; “How much is your head worth?” The same applies in this situation.
Presumably coming stateside soon will be the D|air Street system introduced in Europe in 2012. But maybe not. While the D|air Street is the same self-contained system as its Racing counterpart, to be functional in an environment more complex than a racetrack takes additional sensors mounted to the motorcycle. Dainese is experiencing difficulties with the proper installation of said sensors at its participating Euro dealerships, thus delaying a U.S. introduction of the Street system.
A good bet for the future of D|air Street technology is seen in the form of the Ducati Multistrada D|air model, where the bike comes from the OEM equipped with all the necessary sensors. The sensors recognize impacts from the front, sides or rear, as well as low-side scenarios. The system also recognizes when an airbag is unnecessary such as a rider losing balance at low speeds or the Multistrada tipping over while parked. In addition to Ducati, Dainese is already talking with the likes of Yamaha and Bosch about just such a future of combined motorcycle/apparel safety.
In related news, Dainese recently began offering D|air Armor to non-Dainese supported World Championship-level riders. D|air Armor is an undergarment for racing suits, featuring an integrated D|air airbag. The undergarment’s back protector houses the entire protection system – electronics, gas generator, wiring, battery and GPS. While this may sound like Dainese is giving away it’s hard-learned airbag technology, it’s not. According to Dainese the secret sauce is all in the algorithms making D|air technology perform as well as it does, and Dainese certainly isn’t giving away that information.
The D|air Racing Misano suit will be available for $2,499 through Dainese D-Stores, D-Corner dealerships, top Dainese resellers and www.dainese.com. An optional extended service package is offered for $299, providing unlimited re-arming for two years, plus a 15% discount for crash-damage repairs. Rearming the system without the extended service package or after it has expired costs $200 a pop. Turn around time is 3-5 business days plus time for shipping.