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More transparency on motorcycle protective clothing needed says IAM

The Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK recently surveyed 700 motorcyclists to find out their experience of buying protective clothing. 90% of riders say they ride with protective clothing all the time, but 43% of them said that the right information about how protective the equipment was was difficult to find.

Similar to the SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Ratings Program) initiative in the UK which is a separate government organisation that tests helmets, the IAM is suggesting an impartial test for the protective rating of motorcycle clothing.

85% of riders consider the protection the most important factor when purchasing motorcycle clothing, and 48% believed that protective motorcycle clothing should be compulsory (i.e. clothing other than a helmet).

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The industry must introduce a safety labelling for clothing like the SHARP rating for helmets.  Not only will it provide better guidance on the best way to stay safe on the roads, it will give motorcyclists clear and unbiased information and advice that they need.  The current situation is confusing and relies too much on promotional information to be of any real use in making a judgement.”

Roads and Maritime’s Motorcycle Riders’ Handbook recommends that riders wear shatterproof eye protection, gloves with palm and knuckle protection, a jacket and pants with abrasion and tear-resistant material, and boots that provide ankle and shin protection.

How do you choose your motorbike protective clothing? Let us know in the comments.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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Posted in Advice, Motorbike, News