Institute of Advanced Motorists Calls for Riding Gear Safety Ratings

Royal Enfield cafe racer with rider wearing leathers 1 photo
UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) conducted a nationwide survey which revealed that important safety information on the riding gear is hardly accessible to customers. As a result of this research, IAM suggests that such information should be made available in a more accessible manner, and the motorcycle clothing should receive a safety rating system, much as helmets do.
According to IAM’s survey, 85% of the respondents agreed that protection is the most important factor when it comes to buying new riding gear, while 67 percent declared that comfort and fit was also a very important factor. Almost all the questioned riders said they have been looking for safety and protection-related information before buying clothing, and 43% of them said that relevant, “right information was only available if you look hard enough.”

With only 30 percent of the riders who took part in this survey saying that price is a priority, most of them declared that they were willing to pay for top-quality riding gear, and 71% said that the brand usually corresponds to the effectiveness of the protective clothes. When it came to wearing riding gear, other than helmets, 48% said that it should be mandatory.

“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,” IAM chief executive Simon Best declared.

Riding gear safety rating systems are increasingly popular, as Australia has already put up CRASH, a helmet rating system inspired by the UK’s SHARP program, and France started to evaluate the effectiveness of rider airbags.

The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.
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