Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP motorcycle gear safety ratings service has now performed testing and issued safety and comfort ratings ratings for 340 items of rider jackets, gloves and pants.
It has now added 16 more products to its online ratings of 165 jackets, 83 pairs of pants and 92 pairs of gloves.
The new safety ratings for 13 jackets and three pairs of pants range from one to three out of five stars for safety.
All pairs of pants from DriRider (Titan and Xena ladies pants) and Macna (transfer) tested were rated at just one star.
The Dainese Prima72 leather jacket was the top jacket performer with three stars.
Riders are urged to consider checking the safety and comfort ratings of gear before they buy.
While some have disputed the veracity or usefulness of the tests, rider representative groups and road safety experts say MotoCAP at least makes riders more aware of wearing protective gear.
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), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, 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.
All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.
Company spokesman Elijah Weir says that since launching their motorcycle helmets they have had “tons of requests from our community asking ‘what jacket is that’ every time we put a post out on social media”.
“We’ve made some serious waves in the helmet industry and the aim is to do the same in the motorcycle gear market,” he says.
“The aim is to revolutionise the motorcycle industry and redefine safety-approved gear.
“Our mission is to help save lives and re-invent what motorcycle gear can be and we believe with the help of people like yourself we can most definitely make this happen.”
The company has launched their Enginehawk Instagram pagewith photos of the Predator jacket which is the first of their range of 10 leather and textile jackets and a thermal vest that will be unveiled over coming days:
The brand will be officially launched on 27 April 2021 with full details and pricing.
The company make the following promises about their jackets:
We strive for perfect fit. Gear that doesn’t restrict you. Gear that looks great on all body shapes and sizes. Gear that makes you look like a f*king bad ass.
We only use the highest grade materials that will hold up in a slide. We will only use premium impact armours.
We make gear that looks great on and off the bike. The goal is to make garments riders to want to wear even when they aren’t riding, because that’s the only way to make sure they are when they do.
We keep our prices accessible despite using the most premium materials and manufacturing processes available. We will do this by selling direct to the rider through our website. Our customer is the rider, not the store.
Just in time for Christmas, Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP motorcycle gear safety ratings service has added 16 new items.
The addition of safety and comfort ratings for ten jackets and six pairs of pants brings the total number of items of clothing to 239, comprised of 115 jackets, 56 pairs of pants and 73 pairs of gloves.
In the latest round of testing, the Alpinestars GP Plus R V3 leather jacket performed well, receiving four stars for safety.
Importantly as we start summer, the RJays Samurai 3 leather jacket also performed well for both safety and breathability, scoring three out of five stars in both categories. That comfort rating is pretty good for a leather jacket.
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.
“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 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!”
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.
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.
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 ($A949)
The Black Steel helmet is based on the Arai Renegade V and designed by Drudi.
The outer shell is made of SFL fibre while the inner shell is made of EPS with differentiated density.
Its interior is made of antibacterial and washable fabric, the VAS visor has a wide field of view and the ventilation system is able to circulate about 14 litres of air per minute.
All Terrain Touring Boots ($A569)
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 eVentmembrane 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)
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.
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 fromLiberta 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”
“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.
She started with theSugar 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
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, themen’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.
But a men’s line isn’t the only new project Karolina has been working on, with Liberta Moto recently launching a range ofwomen’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.”
These Indian-made jackets come in a Hakkit Forever touring andHakkit V2city version, both suitable for the hot Indian climate.
Prices are quoted in Indian rupee and translate to about $A170 to $A210 plus postage.
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.
“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.”
Hakka 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.
Hakkit 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.