Enduro21 takes a look at the Alpinestars Tech-Air Off-Road Airbag system, developed and crash tested at Dakar but now available for “racing and performance riding”, aka enduro, rally and street riding.

Developed and tested since 2017 at the Dakar, Alpinestars’ Tech-Air Off-Road Airbag System has since become a mandatory piece of safety equipment for motorcycle competitors in rally-raid. What’s new here is the upper body protections system, first developed in MotoGP, is now available for any of us to buy and aiming at enduro, adventure, even street rider use.

As you’d hope for a suit developed by riders racing rally bikes (all KTM, Husqvarna, GASGAS and Honda riders) the jacket itself is built from stretch, mesh fabric to let a rider move properly. That alongside the standard CE-approved chest, back, shoulder and elbow protection.

Enduro, Rally, and Street modes give you different levels activation depending on your riding but typically it is designed for high-sides and low-sides, activating when you’ve been ejected via sensors using accelerometers and gyroscopes and an ECU.

The nitty-gritty here is the suit is proven at Dakar by Pro and amateur riders and that should be enough evidence for anyone. Designed to let you ride with minimal intrusion into body movement, it fits under riding jackets.

From our own experience, the compression suits or upper body armour systems like this are too much if you’re doing timed enduro tests, naturally. But for trail or adventure riding they are comfortable, you quickly get used to them and can be a great addition to your riding kit, particularly if you’re doing higher speeds adn or riding on the road. 

It’s pricey at just under 1K and, according to riders we know, the extra bulk does take a little getting used to while riding. But you can say that about any high-quality protection equipment and, if you are doing the kind of riding where an airbag would be a good thing, then you probably are already used to wearing bulkier riding kit.

Practically speaking, the suit houses two replaceable inflation canisters, so if you crash once, you have been warned, but you do have another lifeline. It needs charging to use as well (up to 30hrs battery life), has a sleep mode for when not in use and turns on and off simply by zipping up the front.

The airbag system is not compatible with neck braces but it does come with a drink pouch, and bladder, as standard though.


Three Riding Modes:

• ENDURO Mode is for low and medium speed trails and unpaved surfaces like gravel, riverbeds, mud, and other natural terrain. Typically, these include several changes in riding directions, tackling obstacles and hills at lower speeds.

• RALLY Mode is for fast off-road action on any type of terrain and recommended for riding longer straight sections with multiple bumps and different terrain, higher speeds, and those “unlikely” to find in Enduro competition – typically desert, gravel and open terrain.

• STREET Mode is for asphalt roads including situations in which the rider’s motorcycle is hit by another vehicle while stopped.



Tech-Air Off-Road System key technical details:

• The world’s first dedicated off-road Airbag System, Tech-Air® Off-Road with 3 Riding Modes.

• Riding Modes are easy to switch, even while on the move via the LED Display located on the front of the System, or via the Tech-Air® App.

• The Tech-Air® OFF-ROAD System features dual charge capability meaning two, full gas inflators equates to two separate airbag deployments – one-at-a-time deploy during a crash scenario.

• Quick release cover opening allows for rapid gas inflator replacement by user (only in countries where gas inflator replacement is permitted).

• A fully self-contained, standalone system; 3 accelerometers (1 triaxial accelerometer) and 3 gyroscopes (1 triaxial gyroscope) are integrated in the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to monitor performance and active airbag protection in a variety of dynamic off-road riding scenarios. No external sensors are required for the system to operate.

• The Tech-Air® OFF-ROAD System uses an integrated, certified lithium-ion battery, with a fully charged battery life of 30 hours and a recharge time of approximately 4 hours; charging the battery for approximately 1 hour will provide approximately 8 hours of riding time use.

• The LED Display features an integrated port for easy charging via the USB-C cable into the on the jacket and connect it to a power source.

• To turn the Tech-Air Off-Road System on, simply zip up the front and it will automatically turn on and activate. To deactivate the airbag, unzip the System and it will automatically turn off.

• A dedicated ‘Shipping Mode’ slide switch is located on the ECU to enter a sleep mode which allows the battery to be disconnected from the System during transportation or when the System will not be in use for a prolonged period of time. The System is sold with the Shipping Mode turned on.

• The Tech-Air Off-Road System’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and airbag are completely removable so that the Protection Jacket can be washed separately.

• FIM Cross Country Rally Regulations Homologated for race use.

• Average inflation time of 52 milliseconds (depending on the size of the airbag).

• Airbag coverage on chest, back, shoulders, and neck provides upper body protection.

• Neck protection is provided by the airbag inflating around the neck in compliance with the FIM regulations.

• The airbag has been fully certified for up to 4 airbag deployments before having to replace it, providing the airbag hasn’t been damaged in one of the first 3 deployments.

• IMPORTANT: neck protectors are NOT compatible with Airbag Systems, accordingly the Tech-Air OFF-ROAD System is NOT compatible with the use of Alpinestars’ Bionic Neck Support (BNS) nor any other neck protections.

• The Tech-Air Off-Road System’s ECU is seal-protected within the vest to ensure all-weather performance and the vest and componentry are certified to function between -10°C and 50°C.

• Bluetooth connectivity to a Tech-Air® App means the System’s operational status, battery status and My Ride Trip recording can also be easily accessed on a mobile device, subject to network coverage.

• Users can easily update the System’s firmware when improved crash-detection algorithms are released via the Tech-Air® App.


The jacket itself is ventilated, lightweight, ergonomic, and robust Alpinestars say. Constructed from a breathable stretch mesh for ventilation, it keeps the CE Certified protection close to the rider’s body and fits under a normal riding jacket.

Both the chest and back protectors incorporate new Nucleon CELL Technology which is light, flexible and als ventilated for enhanced performance. The jacket’s chest protector is certified to CE Level 2, while the back, elbow and shoulder protectors are certified to CE Level 1, and providing additional protection against impacts to elbows and shoulders protectors plus they are replaceable.

• Ergonomic design delivers exceptional rider comfort and freedom of movement.

• Additional front padding on the arms and chest for enhanced roost protection.

• Water bladder compatible: back holder for a Hydration pack with 1.5-3 litre capacity already included.



Sizes: S-2XL

Price: £949.99 / $995.99 (replacement 2-pack of canisters approx. £150 / $169.95)

More information: www.alpinestars.com or eu.alpinestars.com