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Airbag clothing protects motorcyclists

Swatches | May 1, 2024 | By:

Mo’cycle® Airbag Jeans protect a rider’s lower body with airbags around the thighs and tailbone that inflate if a rider separates from the motorcycle with more than 80 pounds of force. Internal pads protect the knees. Images: Mo’cycle

Last spring, Airbag Jeans were launched via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and by last fall, the French government had awarded the product with a traffic safety innovation award. The product, produced by Swedish fashion-tech brand Mo’cycle®, combines airbags protecting a rider’s thighs, hips and tailbone with what is claimed as the world’s strongest denim, Armalith® denim. 

Armalith denim is a single-layer fabric made of a blend of fibers (including ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, or UHMWPE) that are ring spun and blended to achieve abrasion-resistant properties while at the same time being stretchy and resembling regular denim fabric, according to Mo’cycle. The airbags remain flat, expanding only when the rider is separated from the vehicle. The trigger mechanism is a tether connecting the jeans to the motorcycle and works by releasing gas from a replaceable CO2 cartridge. Just getting off the bike won’t trigger the airbags; they take more than an 80-pound pull to inflate. The internal structure of the jeans also has tough knee protection.

Mo’cycle was founded by Moses Shahrivar, who designed the company’s first motorcycle jeans in 2005, lined with Kevlar® and leather. The Airbag Jeans do not need any extra lining compared to the previous versions because the Armalith denim has the abrasion-resistant fibers in the core of the denim thread.

Mo’cycle teamed up with HELITE for airbag production, development and distribution. HELITE has produced airbags for the upper body for more than 20 years. The airbags are made in France and the jeans in Italy, with denim from Spain. 

A European Union grant and investors from a Shark Tank-like TV show helped pay for crash tests and development, and the crowdfunding campaign helped the business align its manufacturing with customer demand. Now the general public can order the products off the company’s or the airbag manufacturer’s website. They come in sizes and styles for both men and women. The company also has a vest and sells the pieces together as the Airbag Outfit. 

In March the company announced it would be a part of the Swedish crowdfunded angel investment site Accumeo, to allow the company to strengthen its inventory and logistics to meet demand. It has the goal of being on the country’s stock exchange in three to five years.

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