Since 21st April 2018 all motorcycle clothing has to be certified as PPE or Personal Protective Equipment by law. Below is a brief summary of testing and classification for your information.
Clothing is classified to different levels AAA being the most protective down to C being the least. Loosely speaking you can say that they are most suited to the type of riding below but always go for the highest if possible.
- Class AAA Motorways and Higher speeds
- AA Touring
- A City or Urban use 30mph and below.
- B No armour so not advised
- C Waste of time
This testing is done by certified bodies both here and abroad under the standard EN 17092-2.
To pass the tests to the required standards there are many tests done on the clothing such as ergonomics (fit) and innocuous (the chemicals in the dyes etc) However the three biggest tests and arguably the most important ones for motorcyclists are:-
This test is designed to test the initial strength of the clothing upon first impact with the road surface.
For this test, a sample of the material which must include a seam is stretched and clamped over special test apparatus. Pressure is gradually applied to the seam and the test ends when the seam bursts or the maximum test pressure is reached. The maximum pressure reading determines the burst resistance score.
This test measures how long the material used in a gear could slide along a road surface before being worn away, exposing the rider’s skin to injury.
A sample is wrapped around a solid metal block on an arm, which is dropped onto an abrasive belt moving at a fixed speed and a timer started. When a hole forms in the material, a thin wire behind the material is broken, automatically stopping the timer. The longer the time taken for the material to fail, the higher its abrasion resistance.
Tear resistance (or tear strength) is a measure of how well a material can withstand the effects of tearing.
A sample of material is mounted on a special machine and literally pulled part until it tears.
All of our protective motorcycle gear is tested in the UK by SATRA and you can find our declarations of conformity here.