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The airbag jacket for motorcycling, horseriding and power sports.

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March 16, 2006

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March 17, 2006 Motorcyclists have long been the most vulnerable road users because they do not have an effective barrier between themselves and other objects in an accident. A flurry of activity in motorcycle protective gear could change things. Honda recently showed its first air-bag on a motorcycle and manufacturers are developing a cross between the airbag and a protective jacket designed to protect the motorcycle rider's neck and spine in the event of an accident. One of the first to market with the new design is Hit-Air which sells a range of jackets and vests featuring airbag technology designed to keep riders safe and comfortable in a wide range of driving and climatic conditions. The jackets are already in use by police departments in Brazil, Italy, Japan and Spain and appear to offer significantly greater protection than a normal jacket. The inflatable vests are finding application in many other potentially dangerous activities such as horseriding and power sports.

All Hit-Air jackets and vests incorporate the "Hit-Air" airbag safety system designed to protect the rider's neck, spine and vital organs in the event of a fall or collision. The "Hit Air" jacket uses CE certified armor to protect the shoulders, elbows and the spine but most importantly, the "Hit Air" jacket also incorporates an air cushion system. In the event of an accident and a rider is thrown from the motorcycle, the air cushion instantly inflates (within 1/2 second) to protect the rider's body.

Activation is simple and automatic. A coiled wire is attached to both the motorcycle and the jacket. Once the rider and the motorcycle are separated, the coiled wire pulls a "key" out of a gas release system and inert gas inflates the air cushion. The inflated jacket provides the necessary impact protection. After a few seconds the gas is automatically released through the gas release valve. Once the gas is released a new cartridge can be installed and the jacket is ready for reuse.

International distribution enquiries are welcome, and an Australian distributor has already been appointed.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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