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Australian Motorcycle Council welcomes ratings system for protective clothing

Motorcyclists around Australia and New Zealand will soon have access to more information about the safety of protective clothing with the formation of a working group and commencement of a pilot program at Deakin University.

In an historic collaboration, the Australian Motorcycle Council has joined with road agencies, motoring clubs and other stakeholders from across Australia and New Zealand to develop a ratings system for the protective clothing worn by riders.

“The Australian Motorcycle Council has backed this plan for eight years and it’s great news that it’s now underway,” AMC chairman Shaun Lennard said.

“Importantly, the AMC is at the table as a member of the working group as this ground-breaking project progresses.”

Alpinestars Tech-Air
Alpinestars Tech-Air jacket is available in both street and race versions and is an example of how technology can improve rider safety

With more than 10,500 motorcycle riders admitted to hospital with serious injuries over the past five years in New South Wales alone, improving the quality of the protective equipment and clothing could have a significant impact on this trauma.

A 12-month pilot program has started with Deakin University, where some of the clothing currently available to riders is being tested at its Waurn Ponds campus.

The clothing being tested has been selected randomly and is being tested blindly – university staff who are carrying out the tests do not know what brand they are testing.

The gear is being purchased anonymously from retail shops, and thus the research is not aligned with any brand or outlet. 

“I recently had the opportunity to visit the testing facility at Geelong for a run-down on the testing processes. It’s pretty comprehensive. This project is great news for riders,” Mr Lennard added.

This is what the BMW Street Guard suit looks like when modeled by people older and less attractive than Trev, LOL. There are long or standard versions of the jacket, these models wear the long version, Trev wore the standard length
This is what the BMW Street Guard suit looks like when modeled by people older and less attractive than Trev, LOL. There are long or standard versions of the jacket, these models wear the long version

Brian Wood from the Australian Motorcycle Council said the council welcomed the opportunity to be working with stakeholders from around Australia and New Zealand on the project.

“Once the working group has the results from these tests, they will be provided to the relevant manufacturers or importers before the launch of an official ratings system,” Mr Wood said.

“We’re very happy to be involved in the working group so that we can provide input on this important safety initiative.”

“The testing of clothing and the eventual development of a ratings system will give riders more information and help them to make an informed choice when selecting their protective clothing.”

“Riders need to be clear that the ratings system is different to having a mandated standard. The AMC would never support introduction of a standard as this would be inappropriate with Australia’s diverse climate. We much prefer a system that provides a market incentive for manufacturers to improve the quality of their gear, and helps riders make informed decisions about what is best for them.”

“The Australian Motorcycle Council supports providing riders with information about protective clothing that will allow them to make informed choices about the level of protection and thermal comfort they are purchasing.”

“The AMC hopes that the pilot program will lead to the introduction of a 5-star rating scheme in Australia,” Mr Wood concluded.

Trevor Hedge shows off DriRider's adventure kit while getting up amongst the snow behind Mount Torbreck last weekend on Honda's new Africa Twin
Trevor Hedge shows off DriRider’s adventure kit while getting up amongst the snow behind Mount Torbreck on Honda’s new Africa Twin

The motorcycle clothing rating system is a partnership between the Australian Motorcycle Council and stakeholders from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand.

Partners are: 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.