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Motorcycle Protection

BS EN 13594: 2002
Protective gloves for professional motorcycle riders. Requirements and test methods.

A specialised standard for assessing the level of protection provided by a glove during a potential accident while motorcycle riding. Where possible the standard draws on established tests such as those in EN 388 but in addition includes several particular tests to measure properties such as abrasion resistance following an impact and where applicable, the force transmitted through the gloves protective padding. The impact abrasion test is relevant to incidents when the rider falls from the motorcycle and slides along the road or riding surface. It was developed following studies of real accidents.

The standard also includes a restraint test to assess the likelihood of the glove being pulled or thrown from the riders hand during an accident. The standard is considered by many to be quite difficult to achieve with the requirement for seam strength being one of the more difficult to meet. The standard currently only includes a single performance level but is under revision with the intention of including a second (lower) level which it is hoped will increase usage of the standard.

Design Requirements

Requirements that cover the general design of the glove, such as its overall length.

Whole Glove

Tests on the integrity of the whole glove, which include a measurement of the strength of seams or joints between pieces of material forming the protective layer. Clearly this is important as any failure in these joins may lead to splits in the glove that will expose the rider’s hand to abrasion injuries.

Innocuousness

Tests on the innocuousness of the materials used to construct the glove. These include pH value and Chrome VI content of any leather materials, plus colour fastness to water of all glove materials. The use of hard inclusions such as metal studs or buckles is also restricted and they are onl permitted external to the glove’s protective layer.

Ergonomics

To ensure that the rider can still ride safely while wearing the gloves, a procedure is included to assess the ergonomics of the glove.

Durability

Tests to ensure the glove materials are sufficiently durable include an assessment of cut resistance using a reciprocating circular blade machine and a tear strength test - both of these as defined in EN 388 - plus an assessment of abrasion resistance using an impact abrasion machine which is also used to test material for protective jackets, trousers, suits and boots.

Restraint

A test to assess the restraint of the glove on the wearer’s hand is also included as clearly the glove will not offer any protection to the wearer if it is pulled or thrown off the hand during an accident.

Impact Protection

There is an optional property that can be tested if the manufacturer wishes to make specific claims. This covers impact protection to defined areas of the gloves and involves measuring the product’s ability to reduce forces transmitted to the hand caused by an impact.

BS EN 13594: 2002 is currently being revised to include a second performance level which will be lower than that in the current version of the standard to permit the use of lighter weight and more flexible gloves.