The world’s first rating system for motorcycle clothing protection, MotoCAP, has been criticised for testing only 10 pairs of riding jeans and 10 leather jackets with no new entries for three months.
MotoCAP was launched last week to give riders a guide to the safety standards of their gear, as well as price and comfort.
Despite eight years of independent university testing in the lead-up, MotoCAP has left some riders disappointed that it features only 20 articles of clothing.
It does not include any non-denim trousers, no gloves and no textile jackets.
However, supporters say it’s a good start, raises rider awareness of safety and will eventually be useful to riders in choosing the best mix of safety, comfort and price.
MotoCAP is a partnership of various state transport authorities, automobile clubs and motorcycle representative bodies.
Brian Wood, chair of the Australian Motorcycle Council’s sub-committee on protective clothing and the AMC’s rep on the MotoCAP focus group says it allows riders to make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing and wearing protective gear.
MotoCAP testing schedule
“There is a quarterly schedule for future testing, so the next batch of testing will be available in about three months,” Brian says.
“The gear to be tested is randomly selected from what is available in stores and online.
“The number of items tested is restricted by the available funding.”
Funding is provided by road authorities and CTP agencies from all states and territories as well as New Zealand.
The AMC is the only organisation on the focus group not making a financial contribution.
In addition to gear being randomly selected, the scheme allows for manufacturers, importers and retailers to submit gear for testing for which they pay.
“We should be encouraging manufacturers, importers and retailers to submit gear for testing,” Brian says.
Riders can sign up on the MotoCAP website for an email alert when new products are rated.
Protection and comfort
MotoCAP’s protection star rating considers performance in abrasion resistance, seam strength and impact protection, while the comfort rating is based on how comfortable the clothing is when it is worn in the Australian climate.
Interestingly, none of the leather jackets rates more than two out of five stars which is an indication of how unsuitable leather is for Australian summers.
However, I would dispute at least one of the comfort findings.
One of the best ventilated leather jackets I have worn in summer is Harley-Davidson’s wind-tunnel-tested Triple-Vent jacket which rates only one MotoCAP comfort star.
Meanwhile the classy, but non-vented Indian Motorcycle Classic jacket, which I have also tested, rates two stars.