If you want Moto-GPstyle airbag protection on the racetrack, you’ll first have to get a compatible race suit. Alpinestars now has a number of suits that are compatible with its airbag vest technology and Missile Ignition is the most affordable one in the range.
Nearly everything comes across as an improvement over the Motegi v1 suit that I’ve been using for the past three years, especially the protection scheme. This includes the addition of replaceable elbow sliders, new hard-plastic external armour for the knees, and built-in hip armour. The Missile Ignition is a CE Level II-rated suit and is constructed in 1.3mm genuine bovine leather.
The new suit gives me a freer range of motion thanks to the improved stretch panels positioned in areas like the shoulders, arms, crotch and knees. A large area of perforation down the chest and arms keep ventilation flowing, but using an optional chest protector or airbag vest will obviously restrict this. There are some other small improvements that I like as well, including the new softer material at the neck and cuffs of the sleeves.
Look inside and you’ll notice that the suit has two sets of zippers. One is to remove the ashable liner (which has a waterproof pocket), and the other is to interface with the Alpinestars Track Vest airbag system. At the back, you’ll spot a short wire with a small plastic plug at the end. This connects to the airbag vest and sends power to the indicator LED lights for the airbag system that sits flush on the left hand. We’ll have a full review of the advanced and fascinating airbag system in an upcoming issue.
The Missile Ignition packs good comfort and some solid protection, but there is a small downside – weight. At about 5.2kg, the suit is a good 600g heavier than my old one, and that’s due to all the added armour and airbag paraphernalia. This is not noticeable when on the bike, but you can feel the added weight while walking around, especially with the airbag vest installed.
There are a few colour schemes available, but I love the look of this Black/White/ Red (where the red is more of a fluorescent orange). That said, Alpinestars doesn’t do ‘subtle’; we counted 18 Alpinestars logos and another five that lets people know the suit is ‘Tech-Air compatible’!
Airbag technology is at the absolute top of the game when it comes to protective apparel. The price of this airbag-ready suit reflects that, and India’s overbearing tax and duty structure only amplifies it. Predictably, availability in India is slightly delayed due to the pandemic. On its own, the Missile Ignition is a great suit, and it is a solid starting point for when you plan to make an investment in an airbag-vest.
Price: Rs 1.2 lakh (approx.)