Helite vest - Suzuki Burgman Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Helite vest

Has anyone tried one of these. Seem like an awfully good idea--also seem awfully expensive for what you get. But, if it saves you from caved in ribs or a broken spine...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2721233...&ul_noapp=true
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 06:04 AM
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I have a Hit-Air YS in Hi-vis, I think they do it in black too. Had it 7+ years.

Mine has a collar that supports your neck and a lower section that pops down over your coccyx which the one in the link doesn't seem to have (maybe it is just packed differently).

I quickly started to feel naked without it, the only time I don't wear it is on the very hottest days in city traffic because it is another layer that adds to the heat. On fast roads I always use it.

Clipping onto the tether line becomes part of your start-up routine.
They take a lot of force on the tether to fire the pin, accidentally catching it isn't going to set it off.

Fitting the fixed tether is a bit tricky on a scooter because the frame isn't accessible. Mine passes under the seat and it attaches to the helmet lock bracket (B400)
I tried it through the vent under the seat and that worked well but the line was tight against my inner thigh and bugged me. I thought about adding a second line to the same clip coming from the passenger grab rail wich would make it fire a little bit quicker in a head-on.

The tether needs to be under slight tension, you want it to fire as soon as you part company with the bike.

Once fired, they don't stay inflated, they aren't perfectly air-tight so that they cushion you but don't bounce you and slowly deflate if there is no impact. It doesn't restrict your arms when it goes off.

There is an optional chest plate.

I have never deployed the vest in anger but have spoken to people who have and said it did its job - these were bruising, bone-break offs rather than mincemeat events. Lots of bruising to limbs but none to torso.


Last edited by Bluebottle; 09-17-2016 at 06:11 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 01:07 AM
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Hot weather

Are they comfortable in hot weather?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 07:34 AM
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It is another layer and tends to hold your clothing in closer contact with you, cooling air has a harder time circulating or getting into vents that are blocked so they can be slightly stickier in hot weather.

They aren't a complete layer so it isn't as bad as adding a jacket - it is a tube that zig-zags around you. Mine is encased in a vest but that is Mage of mesh so air still goes through it.

As I said above, I don't wear mine when it is extremely hot. On those days the heat itself becomes a danger and I only wear an armoured mesh jacket. For me that is rare, - it helps that I don't have a lot of "in-built personal insulation" (fat) and my usual jacket is breathable with lots of vents to unzip.

Last edited by Bluebottle; 09-18-2016 at 07:42 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 10:27 AM
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Helite Vest

I have one, and love it. I bought the hi-viz one at this years Americade in Lake George, NY. Actually 3 of us from our club bought them. Got a great price too. They inflate in 1/80th of a second, start to deflate after 2 minutes. They are washable . For the warm weather, I bought a Bonn Armour shirt to wear under it, there for not needing to wear a jacket for armour protection for elbows, shoulders, etc. When the vest blows up, your head is captured by the collar portion of the vest, and holds it very still, helping to reduce injury. If you do suffer a chest injury, it starts to deflate after 2 minutes. You use a tether to attach to the bike, it takes about 75lbs of force to trigger the cartridge. So if you forget your attached to the bike when getting off, you won't set it off. This is the newest and best technology in air bag goodies. By buying the vest, you don't need to get rid of any of your jackets. When using the vest with any other armored wear, you must take out the back plate of the jacket your wearing. The vest has it's own back plate which is good.

Bob
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 10:32 AM
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That is interesting, mine doesn't have back armour.

Correction: I just checked and mine has a pocket for a backplate

Last edited by Bluebottle; 09-18-2016 at 10:41 AM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:18 AM
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That looks a bit warm, but safe!


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:45 AM
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$169.44 for shipping! Wtf? Okay, if some Chinese company is shiping me a $2 Cree flashlight and charges $5 for delivery, I can understand their making up for lost profit with the charge. But $170 to deliver a $450 vest that probably weighs less than five pounds? That's just robbery.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:30 PM
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I have the Hit-Air vest in hi-vis. I wouldn't ride without it. It does block some of the vents on my jacket in the summer, but the protection is worth it.

One of the experienced riders on the NT-Owners forum was leading a group of 4-5 others. The road curved and he didn't. He has no recollection of what happened. He went off the road and his helmet and gear protected him from road rash, etc. But he almost died with 17 broken bones in his rib cage, a crushed vertebrae and a fractured vertebrae. He probably would've walked away from the accident if he'd been wearing one of these vests.

In my old age, I've come to realize that while something like this seems expensive, just compare that to the bill from the emergency room plus the follow-on hospital bills that you could avoid.

I dropped my NT700V last spring. I was at a busy intersection to turn right and the light changed. The intersection was pretty large and the traffic coming from my left had just noticed the light change to green. If I turned right now, there was plenty of time to get out in front of them. Just as I started to go a teenager with his skateboard walked out in front of me. My fault, not his. The bike went down in a second. As I'm laying against the curb, I realized I didn't hurt. Then it dawned on me that the air bag vest had deployed before I hit the curb. No pain, except to my pride. It cost about $20 to replace the CO2 cartridge that provides the gas to inflate the jacket and I was back in business again.

FWIW, I don't think there's a real difference between the Hit-Air and the Helite vests for protection, but the Hit-Air is less expensive.

Chris

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