Ducati has announced a new version of its stunning Multistrada 1200 sports-tourer (check out our video review) that wirelessly inflates airbag jackets for both rider and passenger in the event of a crash. A step forward from the motorcycle airbag Honda showcased in its Goldwing series, the Ducati system can protect the rider and passenger even once they’ve separated from the bike.

Motorcycle clothing company Dainese has been experimenting with suit-mounted airbags since 2008 – its D-Air system is already available in Race and Street versions. The Race version pops out of the collar to protect neck, shoulders and collarbones, and the Street version is a much larger bag that protects the wearer’s entire torso, front and back.

These systems activate in a slide or a crash, using data from a bike-mounted control box to decide when it’s time to pull the pin. That’s a lot better than other systems that need you to separate from the bike and pull a release cord to activate.

The news here is that Ducati and Dainese have teamed up to build the D-Air system (presumably the Street version) into the already impressive electronics of the Ducati Multistrada 1200, and release a special D-Air edition for European riders only.

The airbag jackets will inflate in a very quick 45 milliseconds, enough to give excellent core body protection in most crash situations, and the on-bike control system can operate both rider and pillion jackets in an emergency.

I’m not sure I’d want to be a pillion behind a rider whose jacket airbag is going off as it could be a bit of an ejector seat experience. But then, if it’s the Street system they’re going to use, it might not be too intrusive.

Ducati plans to release more information on April 15. In the meantime, you can check video of the D-Air Street system inflating below.

Source: Ducati UK