Clothing worn by motorcyclists is often expected to perform a number of different functions. For instance, some wearers may rely on it to keep them warm and dry while other riders may even be looking for the clothing to improve their visibility to other traffic. What should always be important to every rider, however, is that it is capable of providing some protection against physical injury from minor impacts and abrasion in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Some clothing worn by motorcyclists comes under the category of 'fashion' and is not claimed to provide any meaningful protection. However, motorcycle clothing placed on the European Market which is designed to provide protection to the wearer against injury during an accident is generally considered to be covered by the European Directive on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Motorcyclists helmets are excluded from these particular regulations.
Europe is currently taking the lead in the setting of safety standards for motorcyclists protective clothing and there is a technical committee working group within CEN (the European Standards Body) that is devoted to this specialised work. The committee (CEN/TC162/WG9) was formed over fifteen years ago and since then has developed several safety standards for motorcycle rider protection.