We welcomed the sight of Newham Trading Standards arriving at the London Motorcycle Show at the Excel on Monday to comb through the multitude of stands selling bike clothing – everything from bomber jackets to gloves, hoodies to motorcycle jeans – including ours.
A short time later, the Trading Standards team took enforcement action against a whopping 11 out of the 26 traders for failing to comply with motorcycle clothing safety regulations. Incredible!
Trading Standards gave out advice; additional signage had to be put up; some goods were removed from sale; some clothing was confiscated due to unsafe back protectors; and one stand was shut down altogether. Among the finds were falsified labels and fake armour. A spokesperson for Newham Council confirmed, ‘We take our responsibility to protect the public from unsafe goods seriously and our Trading Standards Team advised the businesses and ensured the unsafe items were immediately removed from sale.’
Needless to say, Roadskin was not among this group of 11. As manufacturers and retailers of genuinely high-quality, certified protective bike clothing, it’s worrying that so many retailers are not testing their products in the correct way and are giving their customers a false sense of security: selling them products that don’t do what they promise. At Roadskin, we are first and foremost riders. Our family and our friends are riders, too. Complying with safety regulations is our priority.
Roadskin’s director Ian explains, ‘Bona fide, responsible retailers invest a lot of time and money when designing their products to ensure that their goods meet the strict testing criteria that is in place to pass CE approval.
It is extremely important to us that the goods we sell are fit for purpose; from Roadskin's point of view that means our products can, quite literally, save your skin!
“It can sometimes take up to a year from conception to manufacture of a product to get it absolutely right, which includes the three to four months that it’s taking to get a product tested and certified. But we wouldn’t do it any other way.’
How is protective bike clothing tested?
All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and the EU is deemed as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), so it must be rigorously tested and certified to ensure it provides some protection against injury from minor impacts and abrasion in the event of an accident. All Roadskin jeans are independently tested at the laboratories of the SATRA Technology Centre in Kettering. You can read more about this here [Testing motorcyclists' PPE (satra.com)]
What do the safety ratings of motorcycle clothing mean and which gives me the maximum protection?
At the end of the testing process, apparel is given one of the following CE protective ratings. This rating applies to the whole garment, not just the fabric, and considers seam strength and construction alongside fabric composition.
AAA rating: Items assessed as AAA will give you maximum protection for the riskiest kind of motorcycling – at speed and on motorways (Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans, Paranoid jeans)
AA rating: The second highest level of protection, suitable for touring and adventure riding at speeds of less than 60mph (Roadskin Easyrider jeans)
A rating: The third level of protection. A-rated clothing tends to be lighter and suited to warm weather. Ideal for riding around town at speeds of up to 30mph. (Roadskin City jeans)
It goes without saying that we recommend you ALWAYS wear armour with your motorcycle clothing to help protect you from any impact. All of our apparel is provided with Level 2 CE-approved memory foam armour. Wearing armour doesn’t just to help protect your bones, but also reduces the impact of the bone against the fabric in the key areas.
ANY ‘motorcycle’ garment displaying a label along the lines of ‘100% protection’ is a red flag. No garment can give this guarantee as there are so many variables – the speed of an impact; the weight of the rider; the roughness of the surface being ridden and so on. What the established CE rating system does is give you a reliable indicator of relative protection that can be clearly understood.
Our guarantee of compliance with safety standards and our declarations of conformity:
Our declarations of conformity can be found here on an item-by-item basis:
We’d like to say thank you to Paul Varnsverry, technical director of PVA-PPE Group, who is taking the lead on driving out the motorcycle clothing cowboys, and the Newham Trading Standards team for doing such a great job on the Friday – creating a fairer market for retailers but more importantly ensuring that riders can trust what they are buying.
Rest assured that Roadskin will always put the protection of riders and compliance with safety regulations at the heart of our business. If you have any questions, as always please drop us a line.