Tag Archives: motorcycle jacket

Multiple material layers are safer for riders

Riding gear with multiple layers usually rates higher for abrasion safety than comparative gear, according to the MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves.

For example, leather alone provides about four seconds of protection before failure, but backing the leather with foam, 3D mesh or a leather patch can improve resistance up to 10 seconds.

The Doc explains multiple layer protection

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

Dr Chris Hurren who works at MotoCAP’s National Association of Testing Authorities-accredited laboratory at Deakin University, explains:

The reason it works is because when a garment hits a moving surface it is partially damaged by the initial contact with the road. If there is more than one layer and the outer layer is able to withstand bursting open on initial impact. It then protects any further layers from being damaged and the result is that the combination lasts longer.

MotoCAP, which was launched in September last year, has now rated 201 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 61 pairs of gloves.

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

Dr Hurren provides a more scientific explanation for how layers of material offer better rider protection.

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched targetMotoCAP testing equipment at the Deakin Uni Geelong campus

Physics wise, the failure of protective materials is from ripping out of fibres by the macrostructure of the road. This is the same for leather and textiles as leathers are also made up of fibres.

Abrasion damage is affected most by force and area. A small force on a large area will have low abrasion, the same force on a smaller area will have increased abrasion. So considering a glove our body puts a fixed amount of force down the arm on to the ground. If we have the palm of our hand in contact with the ground then the area involved in abrasion is much larger than if we have only the side of the hand and little finger even though the force remains the same.

This is why a little finger in a glove should have a double layer of leather to better protect it than the palm where the force is spread over a larger area. 

Alpinestars GP Plus 2R glovesAlpinestars GP Plus R2 motorcycle gloves are only the second pair of gloves to be awarded a full five stars for safety by MotoCAP.

When we first hit the road the downward force is very high as we are falling from some height to hit the surface either in a low or high side crash. Of course a high-side crash will have more downward momentum than a low side. This results in large initial tearing of fibres from the surface of the outer material that leads to premature failure.

Once our downward momentum is stabilised and turned into forward momentum only the weight of our body is applying force to cause abrasion. When we have two layers the first one is damaged in the initial hit with the road and then the second layer when exposed is pristine and can withstand a longer abrasion time. It may also have sample of the previous layer present at the early stages of the second layer abrasion further helping abrasion resistance. 

Now all of this does not work if the outer material is weak or really stretchy. In both of these cases the outer layer bursts open on impact and the second layer is loaded up and stressed as well. This is why we see a number of the protective layer lined hoodies and ladies leggings performing poorly in MotoCAP. The outer layer bursts open on impact loading the protective layer up to forces it was not designed to be exposed to.

GoGo Gear Kevlar armoured leggings from BikieChicLeggings

An example of this would be a para-aramid liner gets 3 seconds abrasion time under a piece of denim but only 0.8 seconds under a hoodie fleecy fabric. Stretch causes problems because it lengthens the time and force of the initial road impact causing larger forces to be put through the outer fabric. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What is the best wet weather riding gear?

What is the best motorcycle gear for riding in wet weather? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.

It depends on the weather, how far you are riding, where you are going, the type of bike you are riding etc. Click here to read about Murphy’s Law of riding in the rain for a laugh.

Wet weather

If l’m riding on a hot day with the occasional storm I may not even stop to put gear on as the rain just acts as a type of air conditioning.

When the storm stops, the moisture in your gear will dry off in about 5-10 minutes if you keep going, anyway.

Also, if I’m riding a bike with a decent windscreen, I’ll simply huddle up behind the screen and keep going. It’s only when you stop on such a bike that you get wet.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Limited Road Glide Boom Box rain wet infotainment audio technoOnly my knees got wet on this Harley full-dresser!

If I’m on a short ride, I may decide to just stop and have a coffee to wait out the passing weather.

But if I’m on a long trip and will be in the saddle for hours, wet weather, especially in winter, can turn into annoying and fatiguing puddles in your crutch unless you have decent wet weather gear.

There are three main types of wet weather riding gear.

  • Old-fashioned rain coat and wet pants that go over the top of your gear;
  • Waterproof inner liners that zip in and out of your jacket and pants; and
  • Laminated jackets and pants that are both weatherproof and breathable.

Waterproof versus weatherproofWet weather riding

Before we go into the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above, let’s first talk about “waterproof” and “weatherproof”.

Don’t be fooled into thinking something that is claimed to be weatherproof will keep you dry.

It will only protect you from light rain for a short period of time. 

To check waterproof ability, check the label for an “IP rating” which stands for “Ingress Protection”.

It 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.

If you pour a bit of water over an item of clothing it may bead, rather than saturating the material.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it is waterproof. It could just have a waxy or water-resistant coating.

This will have little or no waterproofing effect when you are riding. A good example is waxed cotton gear. It works for a short time, then almost draws water in like a sponge!

Furthermore, it will gradually wear out and need reapplication, especially after a ride in the rain or after washing.

Draggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pantsDraggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pants

I’ve also tested some gear by wearing it and being hosed at close quarters. While I stayed dry, the same gear did not work when I was riding as the pressure and duration of rain on a ride is much higher than a quick hose-down.

To be truly waterproof on a motorcycle where rain is hitting you at speed, you need a moisture IP rating of 6 and above.

Rain coating

Nelson-Rigg waterproof Aston rain suitNelson-Rigg waterproof Aston rain suit

The main advantage of wearing a rain coat or pants is that they are usually made of plastic or rubber which are “virtually” waterproof.

I say “virtually”, because you need to ensure the jacket and pants overlap and there are secure cuffs, pant bottoms and collar closures to stop the water getting in. Obviously you need waterproof gloves and boots as well.

Covers are also the cheapest option and can be worn over just about any type of gear. Even MotoGP racers will sometimes wear them.

When the wet weather stops, take them off, flick them out to dry and pack them away. Easy!

But there are several disadvantages with this gear, the first of which is that they are bulky and take up valuable luggage space.

They are often difficult to pull on over your gear and require you to take off your boots while standing in puddles of water at the side of the road.

Murphy's Law of riding in the rainMrs MBW has struggled into her wet gear with her handbag tucked underneath.

Make sure you get pants that have long waterproof zips up the legs so you can put them on without having to remove your boots.

Since they are waterproof, they also don’t breathe and in summer storms, you will sweat and boil.

On the flip side, as they are windproof, they create an extra layer of warmth in winter even when it’s not raining.

They are also fairy loose and flap around a lot which can be annoying, tiring and the flapping bits can get caught in footpegs, etc. Some come with tabs to pull them tighter.

Many modern rain coats and pants feature a mesh lining that not only makes them easier to pull on and off, but also creates an air layer that helps prevent sweating.


garbage bag wet liner - hacksHow about a cheap garbage bag wet liner!

Many modern motorcycle jackets and pants come with zip-in liners for both thermal comfort and moisture protection.

The liners don’t have to withstand the exposure of an outer rain coat, so they can be lighter and thinner material which makes them more comfortable and easier to pack away when not in use.

Gear with these liners can be reasonably expensive and you will find you only get what you pay for.

Check the IP rating and look for waterproof zips and tape over seams to ensure no leaks.

Some will have their own internal pockets. Otherwise, they will prevent you from accessing the pockets in your main jacket which can be a nuisance.

The biggest disadvantage is that the outer jacket and pants still get wet.wet mud water crossing adventure forget

This not only makes your gear heavy but will also introduce substantial windchill on a wintry day.

And when you get to your digs for the night, you will have a saturated jacket and pants to try to dry overnight before the next day’s adventures.

You can probably tell that I am not a fan of liners.

Manufacturers often claim the liner makes them suitable for all seasons.

However, I reckon anything that claims to be suitable in all conditions is usually a compromise.

Laminated gear

Five reasons to go riding in the rain Ducati GT1000 waterproof wet rainLaminated suit

These jackets and pants are super-hi-tech with material that not only keeps out water, but allows your skin underneath to breathe and not sweat.

They have tiny holes that are small enough to prevent water coming in but still allow body heat and vapour to escape.

Some even have vents to keep you cool in summer with a storm flap over the top to keep the wet weather out. Clever!

However, I’ve found that in areas where the material is pulled tight against your body, such as at the elbow, knee or your backside, the moisture can still get in.

Since you don’t need to carry extra layers and liners, there is no impact on your luggage space and they are the most convenient option as you don’t have to stop and zip in a liner or pull on a covering.

They are often quick drying and usually coated with an extra moisture repellent.

Although if you get off your bike after a ride in the rain and walk into a cafe, you will still leave a small puddle of water on the floor!

There are three big disadvantages with laminated gear: fashion, cost and effectiveness.

Ok, ok, I know. You don’t care about fashion.

KTM rally suit jacket textileWould you?

But do you really want to look like you are about to participate in a military band parade?

Most of these laminated jackets and pants simply look ridiculous.

If you don’t care what you look like, you may still care about the cost as laminated gear is the most expensive option.

In this case, cost and effectiveness against wet weather go hand in hand.

There is a vast difference in effectiveness related to cost.

While laminated suits are getting cheaper each year, a bargain outfit will not protect you from anything more than light showers.

If you want decent ingress protection, you can pay several thousand dollars for a full suit. And the more effective it is, the stiffer the material which makes them quite uncomfortable on a long trip.


Murphy's Law of riding in the rainSomewhere over the rainbow … it’s not raining.

It really depends on the type of wet weather, duration of your ride and your style of bike, but I still reckon a rain coat and pants is the best option.

If you can’t fit it in your luggage, put it in a plastic bag and tape it to your tank!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Biker Jacket the only one you’ll ever need?

An American motorcycle clothing company is about to launch the Biker Jacket that they claim is the only motorcycle jacket you will ever need.

The Biker Jacket, from Rybak Riding Gear & Apparel in Brooklyn, incorporates innovations such as fingerless gloves and magnetic drawstrings plus converts to a vest.

This video explains it all.

The company has almost doubled its $US10,000 Kickstarter goal with more than two weeks to go, so the Biker Jacket should come to market mid-year.

It will cost from $US238 for the textile hoodie version to $US524 for the leather/textile combo version. There are early bird discounts for Kickstarter backers.

You can also buy  just the vest section ($US174) and a cap ($US49) that converts to a face mask.

Biker Jacket features

Biker Jacket features include a detachable and collapsible hood, retractable sleeve cups, detachable sleeves, an interchangeable face panel, built-in ventilation, two-way zipper, magnetic catch plates so pull strings don’t dangle and flap around.

We often criticise motorcycle jackets for not having enough pockets, but this has 10!

They also have pockets or pouches to place CE armour. It doesn’t say if it comes with the jacket, but we think you can buy it as an option or fit your own. 

Customers have the option of jacket materials: abrasion-resistant Dyneema denim, cotton or leather.

The Dyneema and leather jackets have water-resistant properties, but are not waterproof.

And you can mix and match, such as having leather sleeves with a Dyneema vest section or vice versa.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP adds 15 safety and comfort ratings

The internationally awarded MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing has added 15 more items to its list of tested gear.

The Australian safety intitiative, launched in September last year, is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 186 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 46 pairs of gloves.

Safety and comfort

Macna Vosges Nighteye comfortMacna Vosges Nighteye

Of the newly rated jackets, two were leather which scored two stars for safety. All the others were textile and scored just one star for safety except the Alpinestars T-Core Air Drystar and Macna Vosges Nighteye which scored two stars.

The best of the newly added jackets  for beating the current heatwave was the $500 Spidi Ventamax (top image on this page) which scored three stars for thermal comfort. The others scored from half a star to two stars.

Best of the newly rated pants are the Bull-It Covert Blue which scored two stars for safety and three for comfort and the BMW City denim trousers which only scored one safety star but four for comfort.

International award

Last month, 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

Ventz seeks new business owner

The Australian distributor for Ventz, the ingenious device that sends cooling air up your motorcycle jacket sleeves, is seeking a new owner.

In 2016, Aussie rider Annie Wolff decided to distribute the UK invention in Australia where it is much hotter and in more demand.

Ventz allows you to experience cool airflow without having dangerously loose sleeves.

Over the past four years, we have sold many Ventz devices through our online store for $34.99 to many happy and satisfied customers.

Check out our comprehensive review here.

New ownerVentz owner

However, Annie has now decided to sell the Ventz Australia business to concentrate on her jewellery business and doing the books for her partner’s handyman business.

“I simply don’t have time for it with running two other businesses,” she says.

The new owner will have the sole rights to all of Australia and New Zealand.

It includes four domain names, website, social media, banners and a “good supply of current stock”.

She is selling for $6500 which is the cost of the stock.

If you’re interested in becoming a motorcycle parts and accessories distributor, contact Annie on 0417 183 545 or via email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Alpinestars airbag vest fits any jacket

Alpinestars has joined Dainese and Furygan in making an airbag vest that fits underneath any jacket.

Airbags were first included with a leather jacket or suit usually for racing where it is now mandatory in some categories.

They were followed by airbag vests that could be worn over the top of a jacket, or vests that were only suitable with a particular jacket.

Now this new age of airbag vests can be worn under any jacket, making them suitable for everyday riding protection.

We’re not sure exactly what happens when you wear one of these new vests underneath a tight motorcycle jacket. When it explodes, does it rip your jacket open like the Incredible Hulk?

The manufacturers say they work just fine if you zip out a thermal liner. They also say these vests provide thermal protection.

So in an Aussie summer, they could be awfully hot and uncomfortable, even with a flow-through ventilated jacket!

Alpinestars Tech-Air 5Alpinestars airbag vest

Alpinestars will unveil their Tech-Air 5 airbag at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on 7 January 2020. 

It works via accelerometers that detect a crash.

The vest connects via Bluetooth to the Alpinestars Tech-Air smartphone app which shows whether the vest is armed, unarmed or triggered. Not sure why you need that because surely you will know when it’s been triggered!

There are no more details such as price or how much it costs to have the airbag re-armed after it’s been triggered.

The most important detail is whether you can re-arm it yourself like the Furygan or you have to send it back to the manufacturer like the Dainese vest.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP rates 160 jackets, pants, gloves

MotoCAP has added eight more jackets and two more pairs of pants to its safety and thermal comfort ratings, bringing the total to 160.

The world’s first safety and comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing began in August last year.

It has now rated 160 items of clothing, including 43 pairs of pants, 47 pairs of gloves and 70 jackets.

This release adds a third well-performing women’s jacket to the range of dedicated female gear rated on their website.

The DriRider Paris leather jacket (pictured above) scored three out of five stars for protection, and two out of five stars for thermal comfort, matching the rating of the current highest performing ladies jacket, the Dainese Mike.

Dainese Mike Lady jacket
Dainese Mike Lady jacket

Ratings system

While some claim the ratings system is flawed, it at least now has a decent amount of clothing rated and provides a guide for buyers.

Click here for the full list of 160 motorcycle jackets, pants and glove ratings.

Transport for NSW says there has been “interest from some manufacturers to have their items rated”.

However, all gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

MotoCAP chief scientist Chris Hurren says urban and country riders need different levels of abrasion, impact and seam-bursting protection in their riding gear.

He explains the differences in this video.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

  • 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.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP now rates 150 jackets, gloves, pants

MotoCAP has rated six more jackets to reach 150 safety and thermal comfort ratings for jackets, pants and gloves, including only their second women’s jacket.

The world’s first safety and comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing began in August last year.

It has now rated 150 items of clothing, including 41 pairs of pants, 47 pairs of gloves and now 62 jackets, including their second women’s jacket.

While some claim the ratings system is flawed, it at least now has a decent amount of clothing rated and provides a guide for buyers.

Women’s jackets

The first women’s jacket was the Dainese Mike Lady jacket which only joined the list last August.

It scored a protection rating of three out of five stars while this round the women’s Macna Freeride textile jacket scored only one star.

However, it rated three out of five stars for thermal comfort.Jackets women's Macna Freeride

Click here for the full list of 150 motorcycle jackets, pants and glove ratings.

Transport for NSW says there has been “interest from some manufacturers to have their items rated”.

However, all gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

  • 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.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Komine mesh vest for long hot summer

This Komine JK-084 3D mesh inner vest will take the heat out of your riding this long, hot summer.

We’ve already had a few days riding in almost 40C heat, so we’ve been able to give this vest a good test under both a leather jacket and a flow-through mesh summer jacket.

While it may seem strange that adding more clothing will make you cooler, this vest actually works.

At least, it does with the leather jacket. It actually makes the mesh jacket feel a little warmer, but does stop your back from sweating and sticking to the back protector.

Komine vestKomine JK-084 3D mesh inner vest

The Japanese-made Komine vest is available for $55 through Melbourne-based zarkie.com.au.

It is made of polyester in a wide, three-dimensional honeycomb pattern and is worn under your jacket.

The idea is that it creates a mesh cavity around your torso to allow cooling air to pass around your body.Komine JK-084 3D mesh inner vest

Most ventilated summer jackets fit snug against your body in various places, especially where there is armour. This prevents the airflow from cooling you down.

However, the mesh cavity created by this vest makes sure the air has somewhere to flow.

It’s great when worn under jackets that only have a few vents.

However, it is kind of superfluous with mesh jackets, although it does provide an air passage between your skin and the back protector so your back doesn’t sweat.

It’s not all that soft to the touch, yet it is flexible and feels quite comfortable when worn under a jacket and over a t-shirt.

FittingKomine JK-084 3D mesh inner vest

It is fairly thick, so it could make your jacket quite tight.

I wore it under a leather Merlin Chase leather jacket which has only a couple of vents.

It improved the airflow and since I had removed the thermal liner, it wasn’t a snug fit.

They also say it adds some impact absorption but we think that would be fairly minimal.

While we reckon it’s useful with certain jackets, we would like to see a full jacket version with sleeves.

Because you often bend your arms when riding, air can’t effectively flow up your sleeves. A jacket version of this mesh vest might solve that problem.

It comes in sizes SX to 5XL in black only.Komine JK-084 3D mesh inner vest

I normally take large size, but I got the European XL (Japanese 2XL) and it fit me quite well.

A larger colleague was also able to zip up the stretchy jacket, but then the zip burst! We were able to get the zip working again.


Scott from Zarkie says they launched the Japanese Komine brand in Australia in May.

“We are still in the processes of determining the best lines to commit to the market so we can bring them in larger volumes and set up partners in all the major cities,” he says.

“We hope to have this done by the end of the year, so for now Komine can only be purchased from us.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW heritage fashion suits R 18 cruiser

BMW Motorrad has launched a 2020 heritage collection of rider gear to appeal to riders of their R nineT models as well as the upcoming R 18 cruiser.

“BMW Motorrad has announced the launch of a serial-production motorcycle for the second half of 2020, which will mark its entry into the cruiser segment,” their press release says.

BMW Concept R8 cruiser r 18 heritage
BMW R 18 cruiser concept

R 18 cruiser

While BMW Motorrad Australia can’t confirm pricing or arrival of the cruiser nor the heritage gear, they have incorporated a website page for the cool cruiser collection. It should start arriving in shops next year.

It’s obviously designed to appeal to younger riders with its casual look and feel rather than sports riders.

Their heritage clothing segment was started in 2014 to coincide with the launch of the R nineT models.

The return to cruiser models will give the company a new market niche.

We expect to see the R 18 cruiser unveiled at the ECMA Motorcycle Show in Milan next month.

BMW Motorrad Australia recently confirmed they are already taking orders for the big, 1800cc, retro cruiser.

Heritage styleBMW R 18 heritage

The BMW Motorrad Heritage Collection 2020 features a wide range of new items, from leather jackets to denim outfits, as well as motorcycle gloves and signature boots.

BMW says their early classic motorcycle colours and graphics are incorporated into the designs, such as black metal parts with fine white “TwinStripes” and the original BMW metal emblem.BMW R 18 heritage

“The copper-coloured details and visual accents displayed in these garments hark back to the materials used in classic BMW motorcycles,” they say.

There are also old-style engineer boots and open-face cruiser helmets in the heritage collection.

The first BMW motorcycle was the 1923 R32 with an air-cooled, two-cylinder flat-twin boxer engine.

In 1978, BMW Motorrad was one of the first serial-production manufacturers in the world to introduce a rider equipment range.

SafetyBMW R 18 heritage

“All the materials and textiles used are robust and long-lasting and they fulfil the highest standards of safety and functionality,” BMW says.

All items will be European-approved.

None of the gear has yet been tested by Australia’s MotoCAP, the world’s first rider gear safety and comfort rating system.

However, other BMW jackets, pants and gloves have been rated. Click here for more details.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com