Tag Archives: motorcycle jacket

How long does waterproof gear last?

Have you ever found out the hard way that waterproof gear has a use-by date after which it is totally useless?

Two pairs of boots, two pairs of gloves, a jacket and several pair of pants have failed me after as little as five years of periodic use.

This is despite the fact that I look after my gear and store it in a cool, dry cupboard.

Waterproof warranty

I’ve checked all my waterproof gear and none offers a lifetime guarantee.

Also, note that “weatherproof”, “water-resistant” and “water-repellent” are not the same as “waterproof”. These terms mean the garment is rarely watertight even in light showers when you are riding.

And check whether it says the gear is 100% watertight. Some may also include an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

This rating consists of two numbers. The first from 0-6 measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust, while the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click here for more details.

Also note that your supposedly waterproof gear may only be guaranteed to be impervious to water in some areas or just have watertight pockets.

Waterproof warranties are typically the same as the garment which is usually from one year to about three years.

Manufacturers could fit jackets and pants with more robust and heavier waterproof membranes and offer longer warranties.

However, that would impact on comfort, weight and price.

So it’s important to look after your waterproof gear.

Failures

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Limited Road Glide Boom Box rain wet infotainment audio techno
Caught in the rain

One of the main problems with waterproof failures is that you may not notice a fault in your gear when you put it on.

You only find out when you go for a ride and get caught in the rain.

And even the most minor fault, crack or split can suck in moisture when you are riding at highway speeds!

There can be a number of reasons for waterproofing failures:

  • Waterproof leather gear is usually the first to give in because it can age and crack;
  • Boots can develop minuscule cracks in the soles from simply walking around in them;
  • Racing boots with bolt-in toe sliders can become loose as they repeatedly hit the ground, allowing in water;
  • Waterproof pants can develop small tears in the lining or you can dislodge the glued-on taped seams if you pull them on while wearing your boots;
    Waterproof pants
    Waterproof pants lose their taped seams and lining from years of use
  • Folding waterproof garments can cause them to wear and split at the creases;
  • Carrying waterproof gear on your bike scrunched up on a rack and secured by Occy straps can cause rips and wear;
  • Gore-Tex pants and jackets should last a long time, but the outside layer can get worn from rubbing in areas such as the armpits, crutch and backside;
  • Zippers can become rusted from rain and road grime and even waterproof zippers can become gummed up by dust and bugs; and
  • Machine washing your gear can remove or destroy the watertight capabilities of some materials.

Waterproof care

King Canute found he could not hold back the tide and maintaining waterproof riding gear can be similar.

However there are some things you can do:

  • Boots will last longer if you only wear them on the bike and do limited walking.
  • Regular treatment of leather with shoe polish, special softeners and waxes such as Dubbin may help prolong their waterproof life;
  • Take your boots off before pulling on waterproof overpants;
  • Re-spray your textile gear with waterproof sprays;Nikwax Gloveproof waterproofs gloves
  • Store your gear in a cool, dry cupboard;
  • Hang your jackets and pants and never fold them;
  • Always allow wet gear to dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight before storing;
  • Carry waterproof gear in a safe place in your backpack or bike luggage, preferably rolled up, not folded;
  • Give zippers an occasional spray with silicon or rub them with an appropriate wax to help the zipper slide smoothly and last longer; and
  • Leather gear requires special attention. Click here for our comprehensive tips on how to look after your leather gear.

WashingWater crossings

Riding in the rain or even doing water crossings not only get your gear wet, but also dirty.

So you should periodically wash your gear before storing it away.

When washing your gear, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They usually stipulate a hand wash or gentle, warm-wash machine cycle.

Long, hot machine washing cycles can limit the waterproofed life of a garment.

Never use fabric softener when washing and most manufacturers warn against tumble drying or ironing.

However, note that some materials, such as Gore-Tex, actually require tumble drying or ironing after washing to restore their waterproof qualities. Watch this instructional video.

User error

Sometimes it’s not the gear that fails, but the rider, says  Link International product manager Ron Grant.

“The majority of wet claims I believe are mainly due to incorrect usage or fitment,” he says.

“You can have the best jacket in the world, but if you don’t get all the closures correctly positioned, ensure your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t exposed (which creates a wicking point for water entry) you will still get wet.

“If you wear gloves over your cuff, water penetrates through the jacket stitching in the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the outside of the waterproof liner (so the rider is still dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This is not a glove issue but a rider fitment issue.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders buy ‘shorty’ waterproof boots and then complain they get wet feet.

“If you have a look at their rain pants when their feet are on the pegs, the rain pants may ride up just enough to allow water into the boots.”

Ron Grant tests waterproof gear
Ron Grant tests waterproof gear

Ron warns that water will finds its way into that 1% vulnerable area in your whole riding ensemble and spoil your ride.

He says he left for work recently in the pouring rain on his Triumph Tiger 800 fitted with a new, large touring screen to protect him from the elements.

“This new screen creates a bit of a vacuum between the screen and I could see water droplets swirling around in front of me around my throat area,” he says.

“I didn’t really think about this too well, but I had pulled my neck-sock on before fitting my jacket as it’s more comfortable that way.

“The droplets eventually soaked my neck-sock which wicked the water downwards wetting my jumper and shirt. My waterproof jacket didn’t fail, it was the dummy wearing it that failed!”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP testing women’s riding gear

As Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort testing and ratings system for motorcycle clothing has surpassed 200 tested items, there seems to be a paucity of women’s gear.

The safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world and has now rated 202 items of clothing, including 105 jackets, 50 pairs of pants and 47 pairs of gloves.

However, in women’s gear only eight leather jackets, eight textile jackets, seven textile pants and three gloves have been tested.

The lack of women’s gear is a common criticism we receive here about the MotoCAP testing.

However, it should be pointed out that the testing is actually quite representative of the proportion of female riders in the community which is estimated to be about 10-12%.

In fact, the women’s gear tested represents 12.9% which does not account for the fact that gloves are often sold as unisex, rather than for men or women exclusively.women's gear female riders testing

Testing methodology

Dr Chris Hurren*, a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory work on protective motorcycle clothing, explains the MotoCAP methodology for selecting gear for testing.

“We have all of the instore women’s gear in the purchasing database alongside the instore men’s gear,” he says.

“The algorithm determines what will be purchased and it does not discriminate between men’s and women’s apparel.

“Appropriate proportions of both are being purchased.

“We have tested women’s gear in each of the categories of MotoCAP.

“If you compare the percentages tested with what is hanging in store the ratio of men’s to women’s is quite similar.”

In the past 24 months, all garments reported on the MotoCAP website have been purchased covertly by MotoCAP purchasing staff.

None has been supplied by distributors or manufacturers.

* Dr Hurren worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime. He has also written a series of four articles for Motorbike Writer on the new European clothing standard which you can start reading by clicking here.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati launches new touring gear

If you love touring on your Ducati in Italian style, safety and comfort, you’re going to want the new touring range from the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.

Ducati Australia and New Zealand head of market Alana Baratto says the touring gear will arrive in November.

If you can’t wait, you can buy the gear online on shop.ducati.com.

Sport Touring C3 Jacket ($A789)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 sport-touring jacket, is produced by Spidi exclusively for Ducati with CE-certified protectors on shoulders and elbows. You can also fit a back protector.

The outer jacket, made of a mix of polyester fabrics, is equipped with large air vents and has a waterproof and breathable H2Out membrane.

The removable thermal lining can also be worn as a casual jacket.

It is designed to be worn zipped together with Tour C3 trousers.

It comes in a men’s cut in black/red and high-visibility black/ yellow, and for women in black/red.

Tour C3 Trousers ($A499)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 trousers are designed by Aldo Drudi and made in collaboration with Spidi Sport.

They also have the H2Out membrane, CE-certified shin and hip protectors, a removable lining, elastic fabric, and zipper-adjustable air vents.

The pants are tailored in different cuts for men and women.

Fabric-leather gloves Strada C4 ($A299)Ducati touring gear

These limited Strada C4 gloves are produced by Held exclusively for Ducati.

The exterior is made of cowhide, sheep leather and polyamide fabric.

Inside is a Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane. However, the reduced thickness created by the Gore grip process still allows control sensitivity.

They also have SuperFabric inserts, volume adjustments on the wrist and are fully CE-certified.

Horizon helmet ($A999)Ducati touring gear

The Horizon composite fibre helmet is based on X-lite’s X-1004 shell, but designed by Drudi Performance.

This modular helmet is one of only a few flip-up designs approved to be worn while riding in the open position.

The chin guard has a dual safety opening system and ventilation system.

There is a removable and washable internal padding, a sun visor with UV 400 protection and reflex inserts for greater visibility.

Black Steel helmet ($A949)Ducati gear

The Black Steel helmet is based on the Arai Renegade V and designed by Drudi.

The outer shell is made of SFL fibre while the inner shell is made of EPS with differentiated density.

Its interior is made of antibacterial and washable fabric, the VAS visor has a wide field of view and the ventilation system is able to circulate about 14 litres of air per minute.

All Terrain Touring Boots ($A569)Ducati touring gear

These CE-approved, full grain leather and suede, all-terrain boots were made in collaboration with TCX.

They are equipped with a waterproof and breathable eVent membrane and a closure system with adjustable, interchangeable aluminium levers.

The boots have a rubber sole for maximum grip on the pegs and feature lined pleats to increase comfort.

Ducati Communication System V2 ($A569)Ducati gear

This intercom system with voice commands allows up to 15 motorcyclists to communicate simultaneously in a range up to 1.6km in “ideal conditions” and about 1km in “real conditions”.

The connection is automatic, activates by talking and goes off after 30 seconds of silence.

In case of interruption, the connection is automatically restored.

It is based on a Cardo Intercom System and allows the rider to make and answer calls, control mobile devices with the touch of a finger or a voice command and listen Bluetooth music or the integrated FM radio.

The volume of the device adjusts automatically according to the background noise.

It features universal connectivity with any Bluetooth headset of any brand.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Women who ride motorcycles need gear too

(Contributed post)

Women’s motorcycle gear is a hot topic nowadays as more women take to two wheels. Yet time and time again, women mention the same issues when looking for gear: poor fit, clichéd pink colours or floral patterns, and a limited range. Most of these complaints are completely justified.

But Karolina from Liberta Moto recognises that the voices of women in motorcycling matter. “When I first started riding a motorcycle, I didn’t know any other women who rode, but now I barely know someone who doesn’t.”

“Girls need better than this”women's gear female riders

“I started riding a motorcycle five years ago and I traveled everywhere around Sydney and New South Wales,” Karolina says. “When you travel long distances, you want something protective and comfortable to support the longer rides. Let’s be honest, motorcycle gear shops that produce mass amounts of riding gear don’t keep your best interests in mind. Especially for ladies!”

In retail shops, she’s used to seeing bulky gear with ornate floral patterns—a stereotypical pattern she’s surprised to still see. The online space offers more options for women, but nonetheless, few brands cater to motorcycle-riding females.

Even with gear that looks nice, it doesn’t always have the benefits of functionality. Karolina recalls: “I remember when I bought my first jacket. It was the best of the worst—bulky, heavy and stiff. At least it was in a beautiful bright red colour. Having to wear this uncomfortable, bulky and unflattering ladies’ riding jacket in the early days, I thought ‘girls need better than this!’

Motived for her community, Karolina decided to provide girls with better gear, and in 2019, Liberta Moto was born.

Creating the Perfect Jacket

“Living in Australia where the summers can be very hot, riding in a heavy leather jacket is the worst feeling; always sweaty and hot as hell. I often ended up riding a bike without wearing a jacket at all, and I felt very unsafe and uncomfortable.” Since retail stores only offered fabric (or plastic) jackets—mass produced and lacking in comfort and style—Karolina decided to make her own.

women's gear female riders
Sugar Glider

She started with the Sugar Glider women’s motorcycle jacket: a versatile, buttery soft leather jacket that looks great both on and off the bike, made with women in mind. Specifically designed for summer, it features large, perforated panels for airflow but also comes with a removable inner layer, providing warmth on colder days.

The Sugar Glider has received high praise from the female motorcyclist community, and is now being sold online and in select stores across Australia and the US.

In order to achieve comfort and avoid a plastic feel, the jacket’s armour is impact reactive, meaning it hardens on impact, but is also soft, like memory foam. It comes fitted with removable CE Level 1 armour for the shoulders and elbows and CE Level 2 armour for the back.

As much as style was a concern, so was safety. “I needed to make sure the jacket was properly equipped with safety features, so I sought advice from professionals in the industry. The design was developed in consultation with a leather garment professional and with a professional in racing industry, a trusted well-known brand that make road and racing suits.”

And Don’t Forget the Boys

women's gear female riders
Men’s jacket

Leveraging the success of the women’s Sugar Glider jacket, Liberta Moto also wanted to provide an option for men. “We recognised that the same issues affecting women in summer were also a concern for men, so we decided to redesign the Sugar Glider specifically to suit men’s body type.”

Just like its sister, the men’s Sugar Glider is exceptionally light, comfortable and highly functional, looks great and keeps you cool during warmer rides. The success of the men’s Sugar Glider jacket has Karolina working on other pieces aimed at men. “We have a number of new products in development, so watch this space!” she exclaims.

New Ventureswomen's gear female riders

But a men’s line isn’t the only new project Karolina has been working on, with Liberta Moto recently launching a range of women’s motorcycle gloves.

Just like the original Sugar Glider jacket, all of the gloves have been designed specifically for women’s hands with a focus on comfort and functionality. “Liberta Moto continues to listen to customers as we strive to bring them impeccably designed and highly functional products”.

While creating motorcycle gear for women is Liberta Moto’s chief goal, it’s certainly not their only one. “We are working to expand our collection and support riders in the industry, as well as planning to make educational motorcycling videos on YouTube. Our aim is to build a supportive, educational community.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bull-It Tactical Hoodie jacket tested

The hoodie is becoming a big fashion trend among urban riders so now award-winning UK protective clothing company, Covec Limited has introduced a Tactical Hoodie to their Bull-It range.

It’s a comfortable and versatile jacket with some interesting features and suitable protection for the urban environment.

Bull-It Tactical Hoodie comes in black in sizes S to 4XL for £199.99 (about $A360).

Hoodie styleCovec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

I’ve been wearing this soft-canvas-feel jacket for a few weeks now and find it very comfortable both on and off the bike.

Apart from being a trendy style, the hoodie is also practical for extra warmth when you are off the bike.

I’ve worn a few hoodie motorcycle jackets and have found some annoying because the hoodie section flaps around and can slightly impede head movement.

Despite the fact that the hoodie can’t be removed or clipped down, it doesn’t affect head movement nor flap around. The pull cords do flap in the breeze, but they are soft and don’t annoy or distract.

It features a zip-out full-size quilted liner, but it’s not really a winter jacket. It’s more suited to temperatures between 12C and 30C.

A clever feature of the liner is the extra high corduroy-lined collar which snap-locks together and provides some protection from the cold so you don’t need to wear a neck sock.Covec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

The waist band and cuffs are elasticised for a firm fit and the cuffs also feature loops that go around your thumbs to prevent the wind pulling your sleeves up.Covec Bull-It Tactical hoodie

The two outside pockets have waterproof YKK zips and the taped seams are waterproof, but the pockets and the jacket outer shell are not waterproof, only shower resistant.

Inside are two pockets in the liner and two in the jacket itself which are difficult to access when you have the liner in.

The inside jacket pockets have Velcro’s fasteners but there are no fastenings on the liner pockets, so be careful when throwing your jacket over a cafe chair as your wallet could fall out as I found!

SafetyCovec Bull-It Tactical

This isn’t a jacket you would wear to a race track.

It’s more suited to the urban environment or for touring where comfort and flexibility play an important primary safety feature.

As MotoCAP chief scientist Chris Hurren explains in this video, there are different levels of abrasion, impact and seam-bursting protection required for different types of riding.

This jacket has not yet been tested by MotoCAP.

However, it features Covec yarn in the outer shell to boost abrasion resistance reinforced with Covec’s “Webtech” race-developed abrasion protection.

It has been tested to the new CE standard (17092) standard for AA protection.

They say it also has lower thermal conductivity which reduces chances of friction burns in a slide down the road.

It comes standard with CE 1621 Level 2-approved armour in the shoulders, elbows/forearm and back.

There are some reflective strips on the jacket for night visibility but they are fairly small.

It also features two elasticised loops in the bottom of the jacket that attach the jacket to the belt loops on your pants so they don’t become detached and expose your body in a crash.

The jacket would go well Bull-It’s Tactical cargo pants.

About Covec LtdBull-it Jeans win enterprise award

Covec Limited is the parent company of Bull-it Jeans.

In April 2020, they received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise recognising their export success to 14 different countries in Europe, Australia, North America and New Zealand.

Covec developed their protective textile material by re-engineering inflexible liquid crystal polymer to achieve abrasion resistance, weather-proofing, low thermal conductivity and improved strength.

Covec’s material is used in sportswear, military clothing and their motorcycle clothing brand, Bull-it, which makes jeans, leggings and jackets.

It is also licensed to a variety of global brands including Triumph Motorcycles, Rokker of Switzerland, KLIM USA, RevZilla, IXS and The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ulka Gear jacket becomes handy backpack

Carrying your helmet around with you can be a pain, but the Ulka Gear motorcycle jacket transforms into a handy backpack that also holds your lid, gloves, goggles and more!

These Indian-made jackets come in a Hakkit Forever touring and Hakkit V2 city version, both suitable for the hot Indian climate.

Prices are quoted in Indian rupee and translate to about $A170 to $A210 plus postage.

Handy jacket

Ulka Gear is the brainchild of company founder and former national circuit racer and trainer Shahnawaz Karim.

“When hitting the open roads, the biker’s gears including helmet, jackets etc. is of paramount significance thus offering maximum functionality,” he says in the official press release.Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacket

I understand the pulse of the motorcycle bikers and aim to provide with a motorcycling experience.

“We designed a convertible jacket which has weathered the test of time and aim to become one of the most iconic items of clothing for motorcyclist.

“I am optimistic that we would emerge in times to come as India’s most efficient rider’s apparel brand and global brand to reckon with.”

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakka V2 city jacket

The handy Ulka gear jackets are available in different sizes from XS to 3XL and they say they are unisex with an adjustable waist.

Other features include CE-approved back, shoulder and elbow armour and abrasion-resistant Cordura material.

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakkit Forever touring jacket

If you are riding in the rain, the pockets are “water-resistant” which is not the same as waterproof but there is a waterproof rain cover you can wear over the jacket. U can also wear it inside for warmth.

Hakkit Forever also has a pocket on the left forearm for your mobile phone.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield launches first women’s riding gear

Royal Enfield has expanded its vintage-look apparel to include its first range of women’s riding gear.

Australian importers Urban Moto Imports says their shipments of the gear have been delayed due to the Covid outbreak.

“We are hoping to see stock around springtime,” says spokesman Mal Jarrett.

Meanwhile, you could buy it online from India at the official Royal Enfield website.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

Riding gear sizes

However, there may be differences in Australian/India sizing, so we suggest waiting until they arrive and you can try them on and get the sizing right.

The range includes jackets and pants, leather gloves and leisurewear such as shorts and t-shirts.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

The all-season Nubra jackets and pants and summer Breeze range include rain and thermal liners, CE-certified elbow and shoulder armour, YKK zips and Cordura reinforcement.Royal Enfield vintage-look women’s riding gear

Female riders have been complaining about being neglected by motorcycle gear manufacturers for years although it is getting better and more available.

MotoCAP has also included women’s jackets in their safety ratings.

It is great to see motorcycle manufacturers pay attention to the potential women’s market and providing properly tailored gear for the female form.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP ratings for more than 200 items

Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing has added 15 jackets to its list of more than 200 tested items.

The safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 202 items of clothing, including  105 jackets, 50 pairs of pants and 47 pairs of gloves.

Latest MotoCAP testing

In the latest round of testing, MotoCAP has added 15 textile and leather jackets.

The RST Adventure III textile jacket shares the equal highest safety rating awarded to a textile jacket yet, having received three out of five stars.MotoCAP now rates more than 200 items

The Ixon Frantic leather jacket adds to the range of high performing leather jackets, having received four out of five stars for safety.MotoCAP now rates more than 200 items

Click here for all the MotoCAP jackets ratings.

International award

Last year, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

MotoCAP gives clothing two separate star ratings – one for protection and one for heat management or comfort.

Clothing manufacturers’ advertising is not an extremely useful resource for protection in a crash or from the extremes of an Australian summer.

Australian Motorcycle Council Protective Clothing sub-committee chair Brian Wood points out that MotoCAP tests the whole garment, unlike European Protective Clothing Standards which only tests samples of fabrics, fastenings and stitching.

“(It) gives the motorcycle community more information when they are making choices about the clothing they wear when riding,” he says.

MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Warranty issues on motorcycle clothing

If you’ve ever had motorcycle gear fail through wear and tear or a crash, it could be covered by the Australian Trades Practices Act and/or the manufacturer’s warranty.

But first, click here to see the difference between a product failure and rider error.

Consumer protection

If it’s a genuine product failure, then it is deemed “not fit for purpose” and the Act will offer consumer protection.

The problem is that “fit for purpose” can be difficult to quantify and prove.

However, if the garment makes a specific claim that is not met, then that is a pretty clear case of product failure.

Otherwise, if it fails to meet basic acceptable standards such as the zipper failing, you should be due a repair, refund or replacement.

LDM ExoFlex jacketYKK zips

Most protective motorcycle clothing brands vie for consumer dollars by also offering manufacturer warranties that go above and beyond the basic statutory requirements.

They can vary from one year to as many as seven years.

A one-year warranty may be sufficient to reveal any issues if you are a regular rider.

However, weekend warriors or monthly riders may require a longer warranty period to identify any problems.

Warranty conditions

Riders should also note that a warranty is only as good as the fine print exclusions and conditions.

For example, some warranties may exclude track use and even crashes which is strange since surely the main reason to buy protective motorcycle clothing is to protect you in a crash.

Interestingly, one company also offers a crash guarantee on some of their gear, promising a replacement if the damage cannot be repaired for half the cost of a new item.

However, they do not cover gear that has been cut off by a first responder.

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

Dr Chris Hurren who researches protective materials for a living and worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol used by MotoCAP for testing says a suitable warranty should cover materials, closures and seams.

“It should cover defects from manufacture and use of faulty components during assembly,” he says.

“A warranty will also allow a manufacturer to see what is giving problems with their garments and allow them to find an alternative as they will see trends in components or seam failures.

“Most warranties will not cover general wear and tear or ageing from extended use but these are sensible as they are out of the control of the manufacturer.”

CE approved

Link International product manager Ron Grant points out that a major benefit of buying European CE-approved riding gear is that once approved, manufacturers are not allowed to change material, stitch lines, manufacturing plant, etc.

If they do, the garment has to be re-submitted for testing at an average cost of about $10,000 per garment.

“This guarantees product consistency,” Ron says.

“Non-CE brands usually place an order for jackets, don’t actually go to the factories for quality control checks, cannot guarantee the material used is the same quality as last production, nor even guarantee who is making the gear as there is potential the factory the product was ordered from may sub-contract production to someone else,” he warns.

Ron says one of the biggest issues facing the industry is not just trying to teach riders what garment is better than the other, but also the necessity to actually wear safety gear.

“Recently I saw a guy on a new sports bike with brand new boots, leather jacket, gloves, top-of-the-range helmet and board shorts,” he says.

“Every day I see guys geared up on their way to work wearing runners or lace up work shoes. Or no jacket. Or shorts. Or normal jeans. The other day I saw a guy fanging over Mt G with a pretty young lady on the back with a string top and skimpy shorts.”

He says the onus is on experienced salesperson to expertly advise customers so they buy the right gear for their use.

“Of course, that is all negated when buying online,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle riding gear failures

Your motorcycle jackets, pants, gloves and boots that are supposed to protect you in a crash, can sometimes experience failures of the most basic test of simple wear and tear.

However, it is important to differentiate a product failure from a rider error.

Product failures

We recently bought a pair of motorcycle gloves (pictured above) that split the stitching at the cuff after a few weeks of normal riding.

The gloves had a one-year warranty and the shop contacted the distributor who replaced them.

Motorcycle riding gear failures glovesSame failure

Only a few weeks later the second pair failed in exactly the same way.

Obviously there appears to be an inherent design fault in the gloves.

This is not the only example of motorcycle protective gear failing the basic wear and tear test.

Dr Chris Hurren who researches protective materials for a living and worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol used by MotoCAP for testing has also experienced basic wear failures.

While trying on a pair of protective denim pants in a store, the top button above the zip pulled apart and fell off.

“This was obviously a problem that the manufacturer knew about as the garment came with a spare metal button however in reality should the product have been in the market place in the first place,” he says.

“This failure before even leaving the store should be a quick indicator of the build product of a garment.”

It’s not Dr Hurren’s only personal encounter with a wear failure.

After spending $700 on a leather jacket, he found the zip failed after two years.

“I have since observed new jackets hanging in store from the same manufacturer with a zip that was corroded and already causing trouble during use,” he says.

“The addition of a low-cost zip to a high-cost jacket significantly reduces its working life.

“Closures like zips, buttons and clips often have higher loading due to body size and may be strained to failure during impact grip with the road in a crash.”

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris HurrenDr Chris Hurren

Rider error

However, some complaints about protective clothing failures can be due to rider error, not product failure.

Waterproof claims are a classic example, says Link International product manager Ron Grant.

“You can have the best jacket in the world, but if you don’t get all the closures correctly positioned, ensure your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t exposed (which creates a wicking point for water entry) you will still get wet,” he says.

“The majority of wet claims I believe are mainly due to incorrect usage or fitment.

“If you wear gloves over your cuff, water penetrates through the jacket stitching in the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the outside of the waterproof liner (so the rider is still dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This is not a glove issue but a rider fitment issue.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders buy ‘shorty’ waterproof boots and then complain they get wet feet.

Draggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pantsDraggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pants

“If you have a look at their rain pants when their feet are on the pegs, the rain pants may ride up just enough to allow water into the boots.”

Riders also have a duty to maintain and treat their gear appropriately.

For example, zippers can get dry from dust and bugs etc. An occasional rub over with a candle or an appropriate wax on the zipper teeth will help the zipper slide smoothly and last longer.

Likewise, screwing up a zip in waterproof liner and securing it under a couple of Occy straps can damage the waterproof coating allowing water to enter the jacket. 

Warranty

If your riding gear has experienced a genuine product failure, you may be due a replacement or repair under warranty.

Click here to find out more about warranties.

Have you ever had motorcycle gear fail a basic wear test? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com