New European rules for motorcycle gear
Until now only protective (motorcycle) gloves, boots and impact protectors were categorized by the EU as being “protective gear” and as such needing to meet certain standards.
However, the European Parliament has now decided to include all motorcycle gear in new protective personal equipment (PPE) regulations. This means that in a few years’ time, all motorcycle gear sold in Europe will have to meet the same safety standards as other items categorized as “personal protective gear.” They will have to provide a minimum amount of protection against abrasion and impact.
Just like with boots and gloves now, there will have to be a label inside the gear that confirms that it meets the European standards and what level of protection is provided. Also, information about maintenance, storage and use of the product must be given to the buyer. The exact standards and date by when all motorcycle gear in shops in Europe must meet the standards are not known yet - and it might take some years yet.
However, this new regulation does not mean that riders are obliged to wear only approved clothing. This regulation is about selling approved protective clothing, but not about wearing it. As far as FEMA (The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations) say, as of now, the Commission has no plans to make the wear of approved motorcycle gear mandatory.
FEMA’s General Secretary Dolf Willigers commented: “When all motorcycle gear meets the standard, you know what amount of protection you can expect. This is consumer protection we don’t have now. Of course the new standards will have to meet the needs of riders, but with the information available to us at this time, I have all confidence that this will be the case.
“As long as the European authorities will not use these standards to force riders to wear only approved motorcycle gear (and we intend to campaign that this will not happen), standardization of motorcycle gear is a good thing for riders.”
Helmets and visors are outside the scope of this regulation: they are covered by UN ECE Regulation no. 22.