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Well, tonight was my turn... It just stopped raining, I was going about 25 mph on highway in slow moving traffic and preparing to change lanes. I took a quick glance over my left shoulder, looked back to the front, and saw a van in front of me stop abruptly. Normal scenario on highways and I’ve been in those a hundred times. I must have locked up the rear or front brake, and bike fell over on the left side. Low speed, maybe 15-25 MPH, but it did throw me off the bike and to the side and dragged me a bit.

Bike damage: scratched front fender, bent forward control foot peg shifter, scratched auxiliary light, slightly scuffed handlebar shield and cracked left Leatherlyke saddlebag.

I was wearing full face helmet, motorcycle boots, winter motorcycle gloves, jacket and Helite Turtle airbag west. No motorcycle pants, just jeans. The only damage to me: a bruise and road rush on my left knee, and a light bruise on my left hip. Helmet shield scratched (did its job - I saw the road bounce in front of my face), left boot scratched badly (must have dragged under the bike for a bit), Helite Turtle airbag deployed (did its job), jacket has light scuffing on shoulder.

Post crash thoughts:
I had some health problems for the past few weeks, and I was not 100% on top of my game today, but I still decided to ride. In addition to that, road was wet. I must have overreacted on the brakes, and tires either caught a wet road marking or just the road surface was too wet.. Result: I’m on the ground angry and happy at the same time.

A couple of things come to mind when you crash for the first time. It can’t happen to me, how come?! Well, here is a reality check! First emotion is happiness - I’m alive and probably unharmed. Then make sure bike is off. Second emotion - angry that your dropped YOUR bike! Then I could hear sounds again, and I’ve heard a strange hissing noise and feeling somehow restricted in movement: Helite Turtle airbag deflating - it really worked! I hoped but had my doubts. I even bragged to a guy who stopped to ask if I’m OK. Helite just got a customer for life. Only if I wore my motorcycle pants with armor this evening (I have two pairs...).
Conclusion: I’m alive, unharmed, I rode my bike home to my family. Damage to the bike is unfortunate, but should be fixable relatively easy. I was looking to get a new helmet: it is time to get another :) Riding a motorcycle when you are not 100% for whatever reason is like playing dice with your life. I walked/rode away from this one, and I’m glad God gave me a lesson with my wallet and not my health or life. One other thing: ATGAT all the time. If it were 40 MPH or higher, I might have cracked my knee cap or broke a hip by not having proper motorcycle pants with armor.

P.S. kinda thinking to myself: probably this crash would not have happened if my bike had ABS.
Really glad to hear that your riding gear worked as expected and kept you safe.
You are the 1st person I've known of to report about a real world deployment of that Helite Turtle airbag, I'm glad it worked for you. I had heard of it 2 years ago but was skeptical and when I 1st learned of it availability in the United States was an issue :(
After reading your experience I decided to look and see if they're now available in the United States, I am still not certain if they're available here but I did find a competitor's product that is available in the United States and is worn under any jacket and also has shoulder inflation.
The j&p cycles website said it should be available for release this Month, here is a link.

 

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Discussion Starter #22
A couple of things come to mind when you crash for the first time. It can’t happen to me, how come?! Well, here is a reality check! First emotion is happiness - I’m alive and probably unharmed. Then make sure bike is off. Second emotion - angry that your dropped YOUR bike! Then I could hear sounds again, and I’ve heard a strange hissing noise and feeling somehow restricted in movement: Helite Turtle airbag deflating - it really worked! I hoped but had my doubts. I even bragged to a guy who stopped to ask if I’m OK. Helite just got a customer for life. Only if I wore my motorcycle pants with armor this evening (I have two pairs...).
Cheaper than a hospital stay. ¯\(ツ)
Absolutely! My overall hospital + multiple doctor visits bill for a bicycle crash was upwards of $4000 (that is 7+ years ago). Insurance covered majority of it, but still, ouch!
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Really glad to hear that your riding gear worked as expected and kept you safe.
You are the 1st person I've known of to report about a real world deployment of that Helite Turtle airbag, I'm glad it worked for you. I had heard of it 2 years ago but was skeptical and when I 1st learned of it availability in the United States was an issue :(
After reading your experience I decided to look and see if they're now available in the United States, I am still not certain if they're available here but I did find a competitor's product that is available in the United States and is worn under any jacket and also has shoulder inflation.
The j&p cycles website said it should be available for release this Month, here is a link.

Helite is readily available from a number of online retailers in US with full warranty, not sure about Canada. I personally bought mine from Revzilla.com almost exactly a year and one moth ago, and it was a very easy shopping experience: I had to return mine for a different size, and had no problem whatsoever.

There are two major wearable types of airbags right now: purely mechanical that have to be physically attached to a motorcycle (my Helite), and electromechanical - uses either just electronic sensors or a combination for mechanical and electronic sensors to deploy the airbag (something like the Alpinestar you suggested). Motorcycle airbag further vary by coverage areas: back, neck, front, sides, combination of some or all of the above, plus additional armor (e.g. back protectors, shoulder or breast pads etc.). In addition to variations stated above, airbags vary based on how they can be worn: stand-alone as a vest, stand alone under jacket, integrated into jacket, backpack-style, etc. Also ongoing maintenance is a factor: changing/charging batteries, programming, washing, replacing spare parts, etc. One last thing: some airbags are disposable (one time use), others can be reused by either sending back to manufacture to be recharged or by swapping a part (e.g. CO cartridge). An last but not least, physical appearance and comfort: hi viz colors, reflective material, ventilation (important on hot days), additional padding and ergonomic build. Notice, cost is not discussed here, but is is also a major factor for a lot of us.


I'll stop here, because this post can be a lengthy one. Bottom line, do your research before jumping to one or another option, as there are pros and cons to each option, and finding an optimal blend of functionality, protection and cost is a personal thing.

P.S. If people are interested, I might expand on the subject of motorcycle airbags in a separate post.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
If you really just want your neck supported, don't they sell an airbag collar for a lot cheaper than the vest?

Just a thought, and I really have no idea what I'm talking about, so feel free to ignore me. Everyone else does.
Lol, are you talking about his toy?

 

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Discussion Starter #25
FireManC50, glad you are ok & +1 to everyone's comments on gear and health over fashion. I have a pair of LeatherLyke bags in my basement for an '05 C50. Bought off another member here. Condition is good, not great. Depending on what style you have and which side you need, I might be able to help you out.

Or PM me and we can exchange pictures.
Mr. Johnny: thank you for offering! I'll PM you shortly.
 

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Helite is readily available from a number of online retailers in US with full warranty, not sure about Canada. I personally bought mine from Revzilla.com almost exactly a year and one moth ago, and it was a very easy shopping experience: I had to return mine for a different size, and had no problem whatsoever.

There are two major wearable types of airbags right now: purely mechanical that have to be physically attached to a motorcycle (my Helite), and electromechanical - uses either just electronic sensors or a combination for mechanical and electronic sensors to deploy the airbag (something like the Alpinestar you suggested). Motorcycle airbag further vary by coverage areas: back, neck, front, sides, combination of some or all of the above, plus additional armor (e.g. back protectors, shoulder or breast pads etc.). In addition to variations stated above, airbags vary based on how they can be worn: stand-alone as a vest, stand alone under jacket, integrated into jacket, backpack-style, etc. Also ongoing maintenance is a factor: changing/charging batteries, programming, washing, replacing spare parts, etc. One last thing: some airbags are disposable (one time use), others can be reused by either sending back to manufacture to be recharged or by swapping a part (e.g. CO cartridge). An last but not least, physical appearance and comfort: hi viz colors, reflective material, ventilation (important on hot days), additional padding and ergonomic build. Notice, cost is not discussed here, but is is also a major factor for a lot of us.


I'll stop here, because this post can be a lengthy one. Bottom line, do your research before jumping to one or another option, as there are pros and cons to each option, and finding an optimal blend of functionality, protection and cost is a personal thing.

P.S. If people are interested, I might expand on the subject of motorcycle airbags in a separate post.
Thank you for your reply, that's some really good information and things to consider.

I'm glad that your Helite kept you safe and I totally understand sticking with it, just suggesting something new that's coming on the market in case you were interested if your Helite was damaged in your accident.

One of the things I found interesting about the Alpine star unit is it has a emergency text feature, I don't know much about it but it seems like if it inflates it texts a notification to your emergency contact and lets them know the location of the accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thank you for your reply, that's some really good information and things to consider.

I'm glad that your Helite kept you safe and I totally understand sticking with it, just suggesting something new that's coming on the market in case you were interested if your Helite was damaged in your accident.

One of the things I found interesting about the Alpine star unit is it has a emergency text feature, I don't know much about it but it seems like if it inflates it texts a notification to your emergency contact and lets them know the location of the accident.
Thank you for your reply, that's some really good information and things to consider.

I'm glad that your Helite kept you safe and I totally understand sticking with it, just suggesting something new that's coming on the market in case you were interested if your Helite was damaged in your accident.

One of the things I found interesting about the Alpine star unit is it has a emergency text feature, I don't know much about it but it seems like if it inflates it texts a notification to your emergency contact and lets them know the location of the accident.
Airbag was just a part of the comprehensive solution. I had all the gear (except MC pants), and because of that I walked away with only a scratched and a bump on my knee. If I had a half face, or even 3/4 helmet I would have at minimum scraped my face, if I didn't wear an armored motorcycle jacket I would have likely fractured or badly bruised my shoulder, if I didn't wear motorcycle specific thick leather boots I would have lost some skin and probably broken a few bones... Any piece of motorcycle gear (airbag included) is just a part of the safety net which gives you that extra edge, +1% chance, that often separated road rash or a few broken bones from a critical injury or death.

I believe that the simpler the system, the safer it is. Emergency text message is an interesting feature, but you can have it by installing an app on a recent model smartphone (most smartphones have tilt/angle sensors, some even have g-force sensors). I don't trust newly developed complicated wearable electronics with something crucial like an airbag. Somewhat anecdotal example from my personal experience: a 5-8 year old Mercedes rear-ended my SUV on a highway at 20-30 MPH. I stopped avoiding emergency braking vehicle in front, driver behind me wasn't as lucky or quick. Mercedes engine dropped to the ground upon impact, my CRV's trunk bent inside-out, including fully inflated spare tire seating as high as rear seat headers. For Mercedes, impact was fully frontal, but airbags did not deploy. Whatever caused airbags to malfunction, that meant electronic airbag technology is still not bulletproof. I have my doubts that cutting edge wearable microelectronics used in various electronic airbags are as bullet proof as puncturing a CO2 cartridge with a spring loaded nail (basically how Helite works to inflate airbag bladder). All that holds the nail in place is a pin attached to a tether, which is anchored to bike's frame - pull hard enough, and a tightly wound spring ejects a nail through CO2 cartridge seal.
 

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You've hit the nail on the head with your point about technology perhaps not being 100% vs the mechanical system Helite. :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I’ve started repairing the damage done to the bike. I was able to repair the saddlebag cracks. It cracked in several places, and crash twisted lid hinge and ripped out the lock. With the help of a Dremel, heat gun, ABS plastic rods, SS mesh for reinforcement, some swearing and hammering, the saddle bag looks decent now, might even still be watertight. Cracks are mostly hidden under the lid and on the inside of the hinge, so the looks did not suffer much. Area around lock was damaged badly, and is really the only significant visible defect. I’m very impressed with Leatherlyke craftsmanship, considering one used bag (I’m at least the 3rd owner) carried all the weight of the bike in the crash. It is a real pity they went out of business!

My aftermarket forward control shift pedal was twisted and I just got the parts today to replace it. Considering I’m working from home with my kid crawling up the walls (schools and daycares are closed), I don’t even know when I will get to fix that. So tired after work and looking after my daughter that I just want to lay down by the time my wife gets home. Maybe one of the upcoming weekends. It really sucks not to be able to ride for several weeks...
 

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Discussion Starter #32
how you feeling overall...hope there wasn't too many after body effects...
how you feeling overall...hope there wasn't too many after body effects...
Except for a bad bruise and road rush on my knee, really noting. The day after, I felt slight aches throughout the body. Having proper gear really helped, even though it was a relatively slow speed spill.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Glad you were able to walk away. I hope your bike is ready to go when the weather gets good in the coming weeks.
Today was around 70`F and sunny with no wind. So it is not really the weather that is keeping me home right now, but this damned virus.
 

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Today was around 70`F and sunny with no wind. So it is not really the weather that is keeping me home right now, but this damned virus.
I plan to ride. If asked where I am going, I'll simply say to the grocery store... that is 2-3 hours away. Or you can say you are on the search for toilet paper...
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I plan to ride. If asked where I am going, I'll simply say to the grocery store... that is 2-3 hours away. Or you can say you are on the search for toilet paper...
Same here, planning to ride. I'm one of the few lucky ones who is still working in NYC (all non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down). Between being my daughter's daycare teacher/cook/playmate/pony/babysitter (daycares are closed), and at the same time working remotely trying to provide as much support as possible to my workplace, and doing a million other things, I just didn't have the energy to invest into fixing the bike. I live in an apartment building, and any kind of repair or modification becomes a small endeavor.

That said, today I've transferred my Bluetooth headset to my new replacement helmet, and I'm a step closer to riding.
 

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Well, tonight was my turn... It just stopped raining, I was going about 25 mph on highway in slow moving traffic and preparing to change lanes. I took a quick glance over my left shoulder, looked back to the front, and saw a van in front of me stop abruptly. Normal scenario on highways and I’ve been in those a hundred times. I must have locked up the rear or front brake, and bike fell over on the left side. Low speed, maybe 15-25 MPH, but it did throw me off the bike and to the side and dragged me a bit.

Bike damage: scratched front fender, bent forward control foot peg shifter, scratched auxiliary light, slightly scuffed handlebar shield and cracked left Leatherlyke saddlebag.

I was wearing full face helmet, motorcycle boots, winter motorcycle gloves, jacket and Helite Turtle airbag west. No motorcycle pants, just jeans. The only damage to me: a bruise and road rush on my left knee, and a light bruise on my left hip. Helmet shield scratched (did its job - I saw the road bounce in front of my face), left boot scratched badly (must have dragged under the bike for a bit), Helite Turtle airbag deployed (did its job), jacket has light scuffing on shoulder.

Post crash thoughts:
I had some health problems for the past few weeks, and I was not 100% on top of my game today, but I still decided to ride. In addition to that, road was wet. I must have overreacted on the brakes, and tires either caught a wet road marking or just the road surface was too wet.. Result: I’m on the ground angry and happy at the same time.

A couple of things come to mind when you crash for the first time. It can’t happen to me, how come?! Well, here is a reality check! First emotion is happiness - I’m alive and probably unharmed. Then make sure bike is off. Second emotion - angry that your dropped YOUR bike! Then I could hear sounds again, and I’ve heard a strange hissing noise and feeling somehow restricted in movement: Helite Turtle airbag deflating - it really worked! I hoped but had my doubts. I even bragged to a guy who stopped to ask if I’m OK. Helite just got a customer for life. Only if I wore my motorcycle pants with armor this evening (I have two pairs...).
Conclusion: I’m alive, unharmed, I rode my bike home to my family. Damage to the bike is unfortunate, but should be fixable relatively easy. I was looking to get a new helmet: it is time to get another :) Riding a motorcycle when you are not 100% for whatever reason is like playing dice with your life. I walked/rode away from this one, and I’m glad God gave me a lesson with my wallet and not my health or life. One other thing: ATGAT all the time. If it were 40 MPH or higher, I might have cracked my knee cap or broke a hip by not having proper motorcycle pants with armor.

P.S. kinda thinking to myself: probably this crash would not have happened if my bike had ABS.
Sorry to hear but glad you're ok and home with your family. I look forward to hearing you out riding again.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I finally fixed all the damage. Cosmetically bike is in a good shape: just a scratch on the front fender and very light scuffing on hand guard. There are scuffs on foot pegs and AUX lights, but barely visible from aside. Repairs were cheaper than a new helmet :) The most expensive repair related item that I had to buy was a rotary tool from Amazon for $50. Bike was on battery tender since the accident, and I've ridden it around the building garage a few times. Hopefully weather is nice over the weekend, and I can go riding :)))))))

P.S. I ordered a replacement shift peg, but it had 3/8 fine thread stud, and surprisingly I did not have one in my stash... So for now, I'll be riding with a slightly bent shift peg (no big deal).
 

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have a good ride and be careful out there...this nice weather we will be having this weekend is going to get a lot of people outside and I don't think they will be aware that its mc riding season.
 

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We don`t like to hurt a bike , but I`m glad you didn`t get hurt any worse than what happened.
 
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