Safer Equipment

Rider with full gear
The key issues identified in this area are:

  • The lack of independent, reliable information to consumers about the protective performance of motorcycle clothing and helmets.

  • The lack of systematic monitoring or research into the safety of motorcycle engineering developments.

  • The vehicle regulations and Australia Design Rules systems do not provide adequate protection for road users.

The MCC objectives for Safer Equipment are to:

  1. To increase awareness , acceptance and usage of appropriate personal safety equipment.
  2. To increase awareness of the risks to riders that are associated with the design features of some motorcycles and other vehicles.

Motorcycle Riding Gear

No matter what type of motorcycle you ride, almost everyone falls off sooner or later and protective gear can help prevent or reduce injuries.

Protective gear is most effective in simple falls and slides on the road, as long as you don’t hit any poles, fences or other objects. However there is a limit to what protective clothing can do. If you get hit by a car, or collide with a solid object, nothing you wear will protect you from the impact, but it may still help minimise some injuries and ensure a more speedy recovery by keeping wounds clean. See Protection from injury.

This site aims to inform riders about the value of wearing protective gear. There is a lot of highly specialised and often expensive gear available, but how can a rider tell what is fashion and what is genuine safety equipment?

The MCC Protective Clothing project set out to find some answers. By examining injury data and the performance of different types of protective clothing, we have tried to build a picture of what is useful rather than just fashionable. See Motorcycle protective clothing.

There are no standards in Australia for motorcycle gear apart from helmets. You cannot tell how well a product will perform in a crash just by looking at it in the shop. However there are some design and construction features that help to identify the gear that is more likely to do the job.

Textiles or traditional leather? They all have their place but product tests have shown that even gear made from the best and most expensive material is only as good as its construction. You need seams and fastenings that won’t burst open and impact protectors that stay in place.

Design is important. There are a number of design features to look for. We also provide an "injury risk zones" diagram to assist you in assessing pants and jackets.

Don’t spend all of your money on the helmet. Your protection budget should also include boots, gloves, pants and a jacket to help you keep on riding in safety and comfort. All helmets have to pass the Australian Standard AS 1698. As long as it is in good condition and fits correctly, there is no real difference in protection between a cheap helmet and an expensive one. The difference in cost may be buying you comfort or fashion but not necessarily more protection in a crash.

Safer vehicles

Motorcycle technology has made great advances in the last few years, which has made bikes safer but also more complicated.

In this section we will focus on design features and maintenance issues.

See Safer vehicles.