Stephanie, California - October 2019
As new motorcycle riders, we extensively researched safe riding practices. We came upon safety vests and looked at all the various options. We kept coming back to Hit Air due to their quality, reviews and reported reliability. We are located in California and couldn’t find anywhere locally to try on the vests. We came upon BikeBone and I called to speak to someone about sizing. I had the pleasure of speaking with Rueben, who patiently answered all of my questions. I’m very petite and Hit Air vests are unisex, so Rueben brought my attention to the MLV-CS Equestrian Harness Air Vest, which is the same as the MLV-C Motorcycle Air Vest, but is a good option for smaller riders. My husband is between sizing, and after talking with Rueben he suggested that we go with the larger size for him. We received the items quickly and although my vest fit, my husband wasn’t sure about his own sizing and thought he should try the medium out.
I called Rueben the next day, and he nicely sent out a medium so that my husband could try on both. He ended up deciding on the larger size, but he wouldn’t have known without being able to compare. We were able to send back the medium vest without a problem. Reuben is a great listener, and is patient and professional. I enjoyed our interaction, and won’t hesitate to purchase from BikeBone again.
The HitAir will greatly reduce your chance of injury or death
Allen - spyderlovers.com member
I decided to go with the best known and used airbag jacket in the business...the Hit Air jacket. I spoke with Rueben at www.bikebone.com. He is a gentleman and answered my thousand or so questions...was very honest and upfront about each of the brands on the market (I think they're impactjackets, motoair, and hitair)...anyway, after a lot of pushing from the wife, who doesn't want me to become roadkill, I decided to get the hit air jacket. First Appearance: This jacket is very well made...they run a little small, so keep that in mind if you're going to get one. The 'cordura' is of excellent quality, the pockets are functional, and the padding is beyond padding...even without the airbags, the padding in this jacket far exceeds that in my other 3 riding coats! The quality of this jacket is top-rate. Fit: The jacket fits a bit snug, as it should. It has a liner for the winter and could be considered a 4 season jacket...depending where you live, of course. For those in really hot climates, the vest might work better for you...the safety testing was the same...they both did quite well. It has zippers and velcro on the sleeves for adjustment and the waist can be adjusted with velcro as well. Function: The jacket is waterproof and has high quality reflective components. It has special technology to keep you warm in winter and cool in the summer. The jacket has a CO2 cartridge on the right chest region....you have to attach a clasp from the CO2 cartridge to a cable that has to be attached to your bike (this is so that if you come off the bike the airbags deploy). The cable is best attached to the right side passenger rubber handle thingy. When you get out of the seat, the cord has no slack, but it won't create enough pull to set off the CO2 cartridge.
Concerns: Unwarranted concerns about getting off the bike and forgetting to detach the clasps. The CO2 connection can take a good amount of tug before it goes off...when you're attached, you won't forget to unclip it before you get off the bike. It becomes routine, like taking the key with you when you get off the bike. There should be slack when you're riding and no slack if you get up and out of your seat a little. The attachment does not get in the way or affect any of your functions on the bike...
Final Thoughts: If you don't have an airbag jacket, get one. It's like buying a car without an airbag...oh, they don't make them without airbags anymore...for a reason... As far as riding goes, the protection is unmatched. There is no question that they will vastly increase your odds of surviving a fall and coming out with minimal to no injuries (at least in the upper body). The jacket, along with a full face shield, is the safest way to ride...period. I have asked if Rueben could do something for spyderlovers members and he agreed to take $50.00 off (along with free shipping) for any coat that anybody here buys. Full disclosure...as I did with Mosites Motorsports, I don't get a kickback...I'm always looking for merchants to help out spyderlovers members as the help I get here from many of you is priceless and much appreciated. If you're in the market for an airbag jacket for safety, the Hit Air will impress you. As a crash reconstruction specialist, I can say that this jacket saves lives...there are plenty of testimonials out there about it and I hope I never have to find out how well the airbags work. On that note, the peace of mind is great... Most all of us here spend a lot of money on our bike for modifications of all sorts. I love adding mods to my bike as well. All this is for naught if you get badly hurt or killed on your bike. The Hit Air will greatly reduce your chance of injury or death. If you have any questions or concerns about the jacket, please feel free to ask me. I'll help you as best as I can.
One deer, one VTX 1300 at 60 mph
Tim Bake - July, 2009
I managed to reduce the Michigan deer herd by one deer in June. I was cruising along at just below 60 MPH at 9 am when a buck jumped in front of my VTX. I hit the deer's head and it's body side swiped me off the bike. The distance from the first skid marks to were the bike and I ended up was about 195 feet. The jacket performed perfectly and I remember rolling through the ditch thinking how glad I was the jacket inflated. The only injuries I sustained were strains and a bit of road rash. No injuries to my spine, ribs or major parts. I have highly recommended the Hit Air jackets before and now have proof as to how well they perform. Thanks
When I decided to get my scooter
I also decided to spare no expense on safety equipment. I figured I needed protection from cell phone toting SUV drivers here in Ann Arbor. So I did my research and picked out a jacket line that provided the safer CE armor as well as the airbag system. I decided to go with the Hit Air line imported from Japan...
Crashed (my first!): Pics of Gear/Bike
... was doing about 40mph heading West when a red mini-van (heading East) decided to turn left, thereby crossing my path. He claims he didn't see me and was obviously driving too fast/not looking. From my end I'm cruising and all of a sudden I see the side of a mini-van right in my path. This was near the bottom of a decline. I grabbed my breaks, bike slid out and down we went.. I fell to the left and the bike slid out from under me, sparking every where. Thankfully we both missed the mini-van.
Honestly, I did not have a single scratch on me. My knee is a tad sore today, but more like I banged it on the table than taking a fall. Other than that though, I'm perfectly fine. The air bag jacked deployed--it propped up my neck and kept my upper body off the pavement. The brunt of the fall was on my left forearm and left knee. Thanks to the CE armor and the fact I was layered, I didn't feel a thing. Even my gloves (first day using them!) are barely scratched. Most the gear can be repaired with some patching. The Hit Air jacked just needs a new CO2 canister, which cost like $20 and a patch and it should be good to go again.
Conclusion: Highly recommend all my gear Sure it's costly, but I walked away from a 40mph fall without a knick on me. Air bag jackets, though costly, are just awesome. My EU style is great for the fall/winter and I'm planning on getting one of the mesh ones for the summer.
I purchased my hit air vest directly from Rueben at Bikebone.com back around January of 2008
Dealing with Rueben was an absolutely pleasure. He explained the merits of hit air compared to some of the other companies putting out these jackets. He did this without negatively selling the other manufacturers, but rather focused on what was right with the hit air products. When I recieved the vest, I was extremely impressed. The quality of the workmanship was outstanding, the material seemed bullet proof and the vest fit perfectly. The first time I wore it was at Daytona bike week in march of 08. Since then, I have not put on a single mile on my bike without wearing this vest. I hope to never test it's function, but I do feel better off wearing it than not.
I am a long distance rider ...
Nick J. Georgia, USA
... and my choice of riding apparel was the Aerostich Road Crafter. The Aerostich is one of the best riding suits on the market. I have logged thousands of miles wearing my Road Crafter. The Aerostich is especially great for abrasion protection. Protection against abrasion is good, but abrasion is not what can do you the most harm. Injuries to the neck and back are the most serious one can sustain because you could easily end up paralyzed any where along the vertebrae from your neck down to you hips. That is not only bad but sad.
When I discovered the Hit-air, I knew I had to have one. I did my independent research and due diligence. This included reading as much as I could find about the testing of the air bag system. I bought the jacket and was very impressed with the quality, workmanship and functionality.
Wearing a jacket that provides me with superior protection against injury to my neck, back and hips (the most vital parts of the body) gives me the peace of mind that ordinary jackets cannot provide. I now have four Hit-air jackets and all of them are comfortable, stylish and very safe. I get compliment from everyone that I show the jackets to. I highly recommend the Hit-air to anyone who is a serious rider and understands the importance of safety.
When I began riding motorcycles again...
Brian Gorrell - Oklahoma, USA
... after 10 years off I became much more safety conscious. I love the freedom and joy of riding but not the inherent risk. My first line of defense was taking proper rider training courses offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation including the BRC and ERC. Rider training never ends and you never stop learning but these courses were really invaluable. Next I learned the acronym ATGATT "All The Gear All The Time".
The question then became what gear to use. For me the answer was a full face white helmet, kevlar lined jeans, boots, gloves, and a protective motorcycle jacket . I initially bought a mesh-type jacket with CE approved armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back. I felt more protected but also understood this jacket would not do much to protect my body from the severe impact of an accident.
After much research I discovered the airbag jacket concept and several manufacturers with products. I have actually tested and used three different brands at this point: The Airetronics Vest, The Impact Jacket, and The Hit-Air Jacket. The Airetronics vest simply didn't work very well for me because I kept setting it off! It actually has two tether cords and two separate CO2 cartridges on each side. It seemed if I moved even slightly in the seat I would be in danger of setting it off. The Airetronics vest also offered no additional protection such as traditional CE armor inserts.
Next I tried out the Impact Jacket. The Impact Jacket is a good product, but because I test inflated this jacket many times I found the airbag would not always inflate consistently. Several times the test inflations were unusually slow because the force with which with tether is pulled out has a direct impact on the size of the hole created in the CO2 cartridge. Airbag deployment is also hampered if you do not have an absolute perfect jacket fit. With the standard CE armor included it is a much better product than the Airetronics vest, but I still was not fully convinced.
Finally I found out about the Hit-Air Jacket - the original company that started this research and product line. The Hit-Air jacket has all the standard CE armor with the additional benefits of the airbag protection. I found the inflation mechanism on the Hit-Air to be much better and consistent.
With the Hit-Air key-ball mechanism, it doesn't seem to matter what direction you pull the cord, or with what force the cord is pulled (minimum 40-45 ft. pounds) because it will inflate consistently every time. I also like the fact compressed air from the CO2 cartridge is delivered evenly throughout the airbags by several connecting tubes. After many inflations, I have found an absolute consistent inflation time of 350-450 milliseconds.
Some have debated that this is too slow to help you out but consider even if the jacket is only partially inflated at the time of an initial impact it is partially inflated evenly throughout the jacket and therefore provides some protection. In any type of motorcycle accident where the rider is thrown from the bike to the ground by the time one reaches the ground the jacket is inflated. I feel much safer and am always happy to share my experience with others.
The Hit-Air Jacket looks just like any regular high quality motorcycle jacket, but under the surface it is a completely different level of protection. I never ride without my Hit-Air jacket!
My Hit-Air experience
Victor Fields, Georgia USA
I attended the 2006 Americade event in Lake George, NY. The Hit-Air jacket was being demo'd as I walked by, I stopped to watch and asked questions. From that point on after looking at other biker products I spent most of my time there in the Hit-Air booth asking questions and helping out for free, I was really very impressed with the jacket.
I was given the chance to try different models and have the air bag system deployed. I found out that it would be hard to deploy it yourself by pulling on the lanyard. It takes a pretty hard yank (up to 30 kg or 66 lbs) to deploy it, I don't believe anyone alone can do it.
They showed and allowed me to repack the jacket, replace the keyball, CO2 cylinder and demo the jacket on those that asked questions. One of the Hit-Air dealers and I talked about the jacket and other riding experiences we had over the years. He gave me his business card and I told him, when I buy my bike, I'll buy a jacket from him.
Well, less than 6 months (August 06) later I bought the Honda 2006 ST1300 w/ABS. I then bought my first Hit-Air jacket, the MX model from the Hit-Air dealer I met at Americade. I also purchased the HP model to wear over the Comfort Shell riding suit I bought from a BMW motorcycle dealer; riding without the Hit-Air, was like driving without a seatbelt.
To sum this up, I’ve wanted a bike for a very long time. My brother owned a Honda 250XL years ago, rode it, enjoyed the feeling but did not like the idea of maybe leaving my skin or breaking my ASSet on the highway. I later became a very active bicycle rider, riding from Jacksonville, FL to Orlando, Tallahassee and other cities in the area. All with the idea that if I fall or crash, it would below 20 miles an hour.
As I traveled to different countries as a SCUBA diver, my fellow divers and I would rent scooters to travel around the country or island. As you can see, that feeling of freedom has always been in my blood, beginning with my first bicycle, a Red Firestone cruiser in the mid 50’s.
Like I said in the beginning of this testimony, I was really impressed with the Hit-Air jacket. A major decision to buy a motorcycle was because of my Americade, Hit-Air experience. Are there any competing companies that make a similar product, yes but from what I have seen, the quality of the Hit-Air jacket is not matched; you be the judge.
Do I like this jacket? Yes, I have no plans of leaving my skin or breaking my neck, torso or tailbone on the road. I believe in ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time)!
Macedo - www.ST-Owners.com - ST eed > V'Ger4 - 2006 ST1300 w/ABS