KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 27

sea-level living Brit. Fortunately the heat at least demonstrated the S-M10’s excellent ventilation features which drive air through the mouth piece and via the inlets around the visor (peak) over the rider’s scalp. Although I didn’t use them for this trip I could appreciate that Alpinestars has also integrated channels within the liner and chin bar to take the tubes of a hydration system – a neat detail. Unusual to this market sector, the visor (peak) is fixed in the one position, so there’s no scope for personalisation, Alpinestars is modelled on being a group of companies that are each truly dedicated to their own specific category. So even within motorcycling, we have a motocross team, a road race team, etc. But certainly there is crossover, so the neck brace definitely benefited from our starting in 1999 with the airbag. We’ve made a lot of studies since that time in the cause of injuries, and that research has helped in the development of the technologies behind the air bag, neck brace and body protection. Q We understand you’re working on bringing the airbag into the off-road arena, even motocross, probably very soon. A The goal when we started to make motorcycle apparel was to make motorcycling as close as possible to being as safe and comfortable as being in a car. So with the airbag, yes, eventually we will bring the airbag into off-road, but only when it is ready. For us, our product development is always 100% performance based, then comes the styling, the graphics and so on. Those are always the last things we put on our products – it’s always 100% based on performance. Q A What about Gabriele Mazzarolo? What do you get out of Alpinestars? I was a child when my father was making the first Alpinestars motocross boots – he wasn’t a great fan of motocross, but he saw the opportunity of making a better boot and that boot became so popular with the racers of the time. So being around that environment I was born with a crazy passion for motorcycles and cars. And so I’ve grown up with the company, taking over ownership in 1993, and so I share the passion with the company.