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Author Topic: Safety Gear...  (Read 595 times)

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Offline KevinB

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Safety Gear...
« on: February 02, 2017, 10:25:13 PM »
After a recent off-road crash and enduring a few weeks of intense pain, I decided to up-armor myself with regards to safety gear.

I read through several threads on ADV Rider concerning upper body protection. I had narrowed my field down to the Leatt 5.5 Pro HD, the new Alpinestars A-10, and Tekvest Rally Sport. I like the protection of the Tekvest, but was concerned about heat retention. Several commented that wearing it just a bit loose allowed it to vent as well or better than a traditional chest protector. At $455 it's not cheap (cheaper than an ER and subsequent doc/physical therapy visits though), but I had just about decided to start saving my overtime $$ for one.

Well, today I'm surfing through ADV and land in a thread concerning a deer strike, the subsequent crash, and the lack of injuries attributed to the use of an airbag vest. I ride street much more than I ride dirt, and don't really relish the idea of sustaining injuries via the asphalt any more than I do from contact with nature.

Apparently, I've come to the realization that I don't like pain and I don't heal as fast as I used to. A few months ago, I was completely satisfied with my level of safety I find myself looking toward the next level.

I wish I could afford both systems, but for this year I'll probably be limited to one large $$$ gear purchase. Now to figure out which one...

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 10:30:51 PM by KevinB »

Offline SpeedyR

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Re: Safety Gear...
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 03:38:55 PM »
not sure the price range but Dainese will have their street DAir systems out this year. The air bag is built into a leather or goretex jacket. Sensors and telemetry will tell the system to inflate, so it's not reliant upon a tether or something to activate. The race/track system has been in use by the public for a few years now and has worked very well. the full jacket will be in the $1500 range so not cheap but as you said it's much cheaper than an ER visit, broken collarbone, or other injuries.

info here is a bit outdated but you can get the gist of it... (they don't make the Misano 1000 any more, and the new 2017 street stuff is different from what is shown).

Offline KevinB

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Re: Safety Gear...
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 04:16:27 PM »

I ordered and received a TekVest a couple of weeks ago, and finally got to get a decent ride in it today (several hours, in the heat).

I went with the Freestyle's their "entry" level vest. I chose it because it had the ability to add optional removable arm guards (they're fixed on the Rally vest above), didn't have extraneous pockets, and was front entry. The front zipper entry give up about an inch of protection in the front, but allows easier on/off and allows you to partially unzip and get extra air flow.

I'm very susceptible to heat and was worried about overall heat management. I did about 4 hours of dual sport riding today...highway/backroads to the playground in Fultondale, a couple hours knocking around on the powerlines and double track, and then back home. While I did get warm, it was never any worse than if I had been wearing a normal chest protector. It feels about like when I'm wearing body armor at work.

Size-wise, I wound up ordering a Large. I'm 5'10"/212 lbs. and normally wear an XL in t-shirts, jackets, etc. I emailed TekVest to inquire about sizing, and they suggested I go with a Large. I'm glad I did...with just a wicking t-shirt underneath, I had the adjustment straps let out with about an inch of strap left and it fit great (just a little loose to let air circulate). I've tried it on over my dual sport jacket to see how it will fit in cooler months, and with the straps all the way out it's spot on. I think with an XL, I would have had the adjuster straps cinched all the way in with a lot of extra strap flapping around. If the straps worked themselves loose during a ride the vest would be much too floppy and probably not provide optimal protection in a crash.

Material and construction quality are first rate.

For now, the airbag vest will have to wait.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 04:20:47 PM by KevinB »