Tag Archives: rider protection

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

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

D30 Ghost armour protects and comforts

Motorcycle clothing armour can be stiff, hot and make your gear tight, but new, thin Ghost limb protection armour from D30 is expected to cage all that.

The CE-approved armour was unveiled by motorcycle clothing companies Furygan and Richa at the recent EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

D30 brand manager Blanche Maass says their protectors will be “integrated by D3O brand partners starting (northern hemisphere) Spring ’20 as part of their collections”.

Problems with traditional armour

Traditional armour is often stiff and creates sweaty patches on your body.

Some riders I know hate it so much they even pull it out of their gear.

In fact, many manufacturers don’t supply armour, just the pockets where it can be placed.

However, this D30 armour could change all that.D30 Ghost armour protects and comforts

GM Mostyn Thomas says their Ghost range is the “most lightweight and flexible armour” they make.

“When you’re riding we know that comfort and flexibility is of the utmost importance,” he says.

“You want to ride with freedom and confidence – knowing that you’re protected without being inhibited by armour.

“The D3O Ghost range allows for just that – world-class impact protection, coupled with superior comfort.”

How it is madeD30 Ghost armour protects and comforts

It is produced using Impact Print technology, a new process for imprinting D3O material directly on to fabrics and substrates.

D3O Ghost limb protectors are printed on to a lightweight black lycra fabric so it is ultra-flexible.

They say their knee/elbow and shoulder/hip protectors are designed for use as “fit and forget armour”.

So, instead of pockets to put the armour in, it is already part of the article of clothing.D30 Ghost armour protects and comforts

A safety feature of this would be that it doesn’t shift out of position in a slide.

D30 also claim it is breathable so it is comfortable even on a hot day.

There are no technical details on weight or thickness, but it looks pretty light and thin.D30 Ghost armour protects and comforts

D30 is a design and technology company with offices in the UK, US and China.

They have partnered with brands such as 3M, ZAGG, Schutt Sports, Under Armour, Furygan and Richa.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Varied protection for country and urban riders

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

He explains the differences in this video from MotoCAP, the world’s first safety and comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing which launched on 18 September 2018.

Jackets and pants tested

Almost a year after launching, the Australian testing facility has now rated 146 items.

The latest inclusion is comfort and safety ratings for four jackets and seven pairs of pants.

Alpinestars SP-X perforated leather pants four stars for thermal comfort, the highest rating for leather pants in this category yet.

The pants also obtained three out of five stars in protection.Chris Hurren Varied protection for country and urban riders MotoCAP

The MotoDry Advent Tour textile pants received the maximum score of 10 for water resistance, only the second pair of pants so far to earn the highest score.

The pants only scored half a star for protection, but were awarded three stars for comfort.

The Merlin Hamlin Zip-up Hoodie jacket was awarded the highest rating for thermal comfort in this release, scoring three out of five stars, and one out of five stars for protection.Chris Hurren Varied protection for country and urban riders MotoCAP

MotoCAP ratings explained

The brief MotoCAP video follows recent seminars across the country by MotoCAP researchers from the Deakin University.

If you are interested in having a MotoCAP researcher talk to your riders group, click here to contact them.

Chris says he briefs riders on MotoCAP aims, how a rider can use the service to select the right gear, what is tested and why, plus “some of the science that we do to back up our work”.

Typical rider questions are:

  • Q: Who funds the program?
  • A: MotoCAP is a not-for-profit organisation in partnership with and funded by: from NSW – Transport for NSW, SIRA and the NRMA; from Victoria – VicRoads, TAC and RACV; from South Australia – DPTI, MAC and RAA; from Queensland – TMR and RACQ; from Western Australia – the Western Australian Road Safety Commission; plus the Australian Motorcycle Council and the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation.
  • Q: How many garments are tested a year?
  • A: It was launched in September 2018 and has so far tested 146 articles of clothing.
  • Q: Are any companies getting on board with the program?
  • A: Despite invitations, no manufacturer has yet come forward to have their gear tested. Instead, they use a system of secret buying.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Why does riding gear fail abrasion tests?

Motorcycle jackets and pants tested in the MotoCAP safety and comfort ratings have failed in the abrasion tests, but could easily be made safer, says a technical expert.

Back in 2015, Deakin University fibre science and technology senior researcher Chris Hurren warned that eight out of 10 of the most commonly worn motorcycle suits in Australia had failed their abrasion tests.

These tests were the precursor for the development of MotoCAP, the world’s first safety ratings for motorcycle protective gear which launched in September 2018.

Over the past few years, motorcycle clothing does not appear to have improved.

In recent MotoCAP ratings, leather and textile pants and jackets have failed dismally in abrasion tests.

Textile abrasion fail

Chris says textile pants and jackets are typically made of 600 denier woven nylon or polyester fabrics.

“These have relatively low abrasion resistance when tested on the Cambridge impact abrasion tester,” he says.

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched target abrasion tests
MotoCAP testing equipment at the Deakin Uni Geelong campus

“Where these fabrics are used as the shell fabric in important protection areas such as the elbow and shoulder of a jacket they generally do not provide the levels of protection desired in a protective motorcycle garment.

“These jackets could be improved in their protective performance by manufacturers by adding further protective layers or by use of a heavy shell fabric in these critical protection areas. 

“These garments are still capable of providing better protection to a rider than if they were to ride in normal clothing especially when they are worn with their shoulder and elbow impact protectors in place. This is the class of garment that will benefit the most from improvement in protection levels into the future.”

Leather abrasion tests 

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched The world’s first motorcycle clothing safety ratings program, MotoCAP, has given only half a star to two stars to eight more pair of textile pants. abrasion tests
A dummy dressed in riding gear is tested for abrasion resistance

More interestingly, leather appears to be not much better than textile gear.

“A number of the leather garments reported in (the latest tests) were made from thinner, supple leather,” Chris says.

“While this is more comfortable for the wearer, these leathers typically do not provide the same level of abrasion protection of a thicker leather.

“Where a thinner leather is used there needs to be additional protection put into the critical abrasion risk areas.

“The high level of impact protection seen in some of these garments was quite encouraging.”

Motorbike Writer publishes every new release of gear tested by MotoCAP, so stay tuned for more updates.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com