How is the Klim Ai-1 Airbag Vest different from other motorcycle airbags?
When you start looking into investing in a personal airbag vest, a few questions will come up, especially when you discover there's a number of different types on the market.
I've spent many, many hours researching the technology and styles of both tethered and non-tethered airbags. Hopefully what I've found out will make the choice easier for you.
In this article, I'll explain how In&Motion airbag deployment system that is incorporated in the Klim Ai-1 vest works. We'll also answer some of the more commonly asked questions around this technology, the protection the vest provides, and the subscription service it needs to run it.
What is Airbag Protection?
Airbag protection was originally designed and used for motorcycle Police Departments around the world, as well as MotoGP racers.
Over time, these were then developed for street riders, and as technology improves, so do these airbag systems.
There are 2 main types of rider airbag protection. Originally there was only a tethered system, but now there is another type of system that uses software and the latest technology available to control airbag inflation.
Klim's two main competitors, Helite and Hit Air, use a deployment system in their jackets and vests where the rider is tethered to the bike via a quick-release lanyard cable. When a rider is thrown from the bike, the physical connection with the bike is disconnected, and the airbag is released.
This type of airbag system is fully incorporated into either a riding jacket or into a vest that slips over a riders own jacket.
Klim, as well as other well known brands such as Dainese, Alphinestars, and Ixon, use a deployment system where the rider is not tethered to the bike.
These use technology and sensors to monitor the position of a rider and can sense if they're about to come off the bike. These can also detect when a rider is about to be impacted from behind while stationery.
Dainese and AlpineStars have jackets, vests and full riding suits. Klim and Ixon have a vest that is worn under a riders jacket or vest.
Which Smart System is used in the Klim vest?
Klim use a smart airbag protection system that is designed by In&Motion system into their Ai-1 vest. Smart protection solutions with their increased ergonomics and adaptability, significantly improve the level of protection in the event of a fall or an accident.
In&Motion was founded in 2014 and have developed partnerships with a number of motorcycle apparel manufacturers who now use this system in their gear.
As well as Klim, other manufacturers partnered with and using In&Motion smart protection technology include Ixon, Triumph, Held, Furygan, RST, and Hyod.
How Does the Klim A1-1 Vest work?
The sensors and software of this system is contained in what's called the In&box. This is a small removeable control unit that is positioned in a static CE Level 1 viscoelastic back protector.
The algorithm measures a rider's movements and will detect an unrecoverable imbalance, and anticipate an impact. This triggers the inflation of the airbag.
Klim Ai-1 Airbag Vest Features - At a Glance
* CE ratings (European Conformity) signifies that products have been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements.
** Outer jackets must be big enough to allow for inflation of the airbag.
Protection from being hit from behind
Being rear-ended while stopped is one of the most common motorcycle accidents that happens when riding on the street through traffic.
The Klim sensors when a rider is about to be hit from behind and dislodged from the bike while stationery.
How quickly does it inflate?
Around 1000 algorithms are continuously evaluated. When the system detects an imbalance, it will take less than 25 milliseconds for the airbag to be inflated to the optimum pressure. This will deploy and inflate in time to help protect the rider from any imminent impact.
How long does it take to deflate?
Unlike other airbag vests, once inflated, the Klim vest will hold the air longer. You need to physically remove the cartridge and then deflate the vest.
This is helpful if you're in a situation where you may be in a tumble roll and need the air protection that bit longer.
How do I re-set it after it's been deployed?
After being deployed, the vest will go back to its original state on its own. You don't have to send the vest anywhere to have it reactivated. The CO2 / Argon canister will need to be replaced though. These cost around $100 each.
After 3 deployments, the vest will require technical evaluation by In&Emotion to check and replace if necessary.
How much does the Klim Ai-1 vest cost?
The price of the vest is between $399 - $450 USD (depending on which size you need), plus the yearly on-going cost of a subscription of $120 USD.
Why do I need a paid Subscription?
When you buy a Klim vest, you need to purchase a subscription to register and activate it. Don't let this put you off this vest. The cost of the vest is around $400 USD, and there are affordable options and advantages to the subscription.
There are yearly or monthly pricing options, or a one-off buying option.
The yearly cost of a subscription is $120, the monthly cost option is $12 USD per month. With this option, you can turn the subscription off at any time, or when you're not using it for a period of time. This option gives you a lifetime warranty.
There is also a one-time fee of $399 USD which gets you a 2-year warranty, but not as many options.
Personally, I'd recommend the $12 per month / $120 per year ongoing subscription option.
Charging, Battery Life and Updates
The battery life is estimated at 25 hours of continuous riding. To put this in an every day context, you should get around 1 week of battery life between charges in normal use. (This is based on the assumption that a daily commute is around 2 hours each day and the “automatic standby” function is used during the rest of the day when it's not in use).
It's recommended that you switch off your In&box system when it is not being used for several consecutive weeks.
Charging the Box
The In&box can be charged with the Micro USB cable that's included with the purchase, and with a standard USB charger (which is not supplied).
The charging time is around 3 hours.
The In&box can also be charged on an external battery or cigarette lighter. However, it could take longer than the usual 2 to 3 hours to charge this way.
How do I know when a new Update is available?
When a new update is available, a notification appears in your My In&box mobile app dashboard. If you don't have the latest update, a red cross will appear in the tab “Update” of your dashboard.
To make sure you're up to date with the latest software updates, it's recommended you connect your In&box to your Wi-Fi network about once a month.
Why does this look like the Ixon IX Airbag vest?
This airbag vest is marketed in the UK under the Ixon brand.
Klim have picked up the American distribution rights and it's labelled under their brand, but essentially they are both In&Motion vests.
Sometimes accidents are completely unavoidable. You only need to come off your bike once and you'll be glad you invested in personal airbag protection.
Klim vests give you the protection you need with the freedom of still wearing all of your favorite jackets over the top.
The vest is lightweight and offers good protection to the neck, thorax, abdomen, and spine in the event of an accident.
The vest is much lower in price than many of it's competitors so adding $120 a year to keep it up to date with on-going software and algorithm improvements, still makes sense.