The 2011 products are starting to show up, and this week Alpinestars invited some of the magazine guys out to their So Cal offices show off their 2011 line of new products… Or at least the ones they’re telling us about so far. All of these products that I can tell you about here are due for launch August 23rd, so you have just a little time to stuff your piggy bank so you’re ready when they show up on dealer shelves.The big news is Alpinestars new B2 Carbon Knee Brace. This is a high end brace ready to go knee-to-knee with the best over-the-counter braces on the market. The carbon fiber brace is designed to protect against hyperextension as well as twisting injuries to the knee. It looks sturdy, feels light, and shows typical Astars quality. It comes in 4 sizes, is right and left knee specific, and retail is set at $349.95 per brace (not per pair). I’ve included the marketing materials on the brace from Astars at the end of this web story.
Alpinestars also has two all-new chest protectors and one updated version, and all were designed with neck brace compatibility in mind. Though all three were intended to be optimal with Alpinestars’ own Bionic Neck Support, they have been designed to work with most of the neck braces on the market.The $169.95 A-10 protector goes over the jersey and is designed to be compatible with neck braces. The front upper section is completely removable so you get the option of wearing it at full protection without a brace, or with protection that comes right up to the front of the brace. You can see in the photos how the options look. The first photo is the chest protector in non-brace mode, the second photo shows the brace with the front piece removed. Publisher Sean Finley purposefully blurred this shot of me so my striking good looks wouldn’t distract you from the product. The final shot shows the A-10 with the Astars Bionic Neck Brace in place.
For under-the jersey riders, the new $159.95 A-6 arrives on scene. It has a removable rear top section that doesn’t leave a ‘hole’ in the back plate but rather a ‘shelf’ where a neck brace’s rear section can settle. The front is designed low with a shelf where the front of the brace can rest. The protector comes in one size, a “S/M,” but it seems large compared to other under jersey protectors. Another striking feature about this brace is how thick yet light weight the plates feel. It seems designed to crush and distribute weight. Sean Finley offered to throw me down the stairs to test it out. I was going to agree but realized we’d already given the A-6 back to the Astars guys.And the Bionic jacket line has been streamlined into one unit that should cover everyone, the $249.95 “Bionic Protection Jacket for BNS,” which comes in sizes from M to 2XL. The full protection device has removable sleeves as well as a removable upper back plate to give a ‘shelf’ for neck braces, just like the A-6. This is the ticket for the rider who wants the maximum upper body protection. I’ve worn a short sleeve version of this product and it really gives a snug, protective feeling that can gain you some confidence, but for hot weather riding that extra protection does add heat to your ride.
And speaking of heat, Astars is introducing its MX Cooling Vest for $49.95. It comes in sizes S to 3XL and is designed to be soaked before you put it on then slowly release the water to keep you cool. The designers said its cooling effect will last long enough for a long moto, and depending on weather, windflow, etc, that range should be from 70 minutes to 3 hours. After that point the rider’s sweat will work with the device to continue to cool, just not at the same level.And for you adventure riders, there is the new Durban Gore-Tex Jacket ($699.95) and Pants ($499.95). Both of these items are multi-optional, with removable sleeves, leg cuff adjustability, truly waterproof pockets, zip-off suspenders, etc. the jackets are designed for any adventure with change for toll pockets while on the road, an inner jacket that can be worn on its own when venturing off the bike, and a rear pocket that completely separates form the jacket to become a small messenger bag while you’re walking about. But don’t call it a messenger bag or a man purse, please refer to it as a satchel. You know, like Indiana Jones wears.If you’re a street bike rider Alpinestars also showed off a lot of innovative race and touring gear that will be out also on August 23rd. And keep reading if you want to pore of all the marketing information Astars is releasing on their cool new brace…The B2 Carbon Knee Brace reduces the risk and severity of knee injury by preventing excess torsional force transfer to the knee in the event of an accident. The B2’s innovative design provides protection while still allowing the full range of normal knee movement while riding.The B2 is constructed of two carbon fiber composite frames which are specially formulated to provide the best combination of flex, weight and structural strength. The design is extremely streamlined and well vented and is mounted on soft pivots for a snug fit and greater freedom of movement.Several innovative features are integrated into the B2’s design to help prevent the risk of injury.The internal dual stainless steel hinge link system is engineered to absorb impacts and sustain multi directional loads. The free floating, self locating protector affords comfortable riding in all conditions and is removable, allowing the B2 to adapt to use in sports with no impact risk.A Femoral and Tibia slider complete the protection system.The extension stops provided with the B2 allow post-operation support as well as helping prevent hyperextension injuries by restricting excessive leg movement. The leg extension movement can be blocked from 0 to 20 degrees.The inner foam liner improves both comfort and impact absorption and has embossed details for better grip and air circulation. The liner can also be removed for cleaning.Fitment of the B2 is quick and easy thanks to quick release buckles and a precise fit can be achieved using the combination of D-ring adjusters and volume adjuster around the knee.The B2 Carbon knee brace is available in either left or right leg versions in sizes S-XL.