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How To Understand CE Rating Of Your Motorcycle Gear

In this post, I will share with you why it’s important to understand the New CE Rating set by the EU and how it can help you as a rider.

You bought your motorcycle gear and assumed that it’s a product that is going to protect you, and then you realized that it’s only the pads that are CE tested and not even certified? Yes, that’s the case for the majority of manufacturers globally which is why it’s difficult to enter Europe as a market for them.

For many years now, there have been impacting testing standards for limb, chest, and head specifically. But in 2020 new developments came which also included abrasion resistance. This has been driven by the European Commission. And many products used to get away with some random numbers. But not anymore.

Old standards:

The earlier norms were read through various nomenclatures such as EN 1621, EN 14021. They developed a set of standards that classify abrasion resistance into different buckets. This test was called the Taber test which is done by the Taber abrasion test machine.

While the Performance segment for the motorcycle was always measured through a different lens of EN 13595-1 which was established in 2002 covering not just impact but abrasion resistance as well.

Also in the old standards of EN 1621, there were 4 classes, which many manufacturers used to tell customers by stating classes as levels 1-4. Each class was defined for a specific test.

New standards:

According to the new CE standards, the intended to assess the protection and integrity of the clothing as a group. It has been formatted into six parts. Part 1 describes the test methods, while parts 2 to 6 detail the requirements for garments in classes ‘AAA’, ‘AA’, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’.

A CE AAA rating is pretty difficult to attain. In fact, it’s defined by the European commission as something similar to the standards set for a full leather race suit. That was the context under which the abrasion rating was built by the European Commission.

While the new Level C would be something simple like a shirt or a liner that has armour retention. A Level B is going to be abrasion only with no impact protection. Then you’ve got 3 levels from an A to AAA where they are tested on a new machine at series of kilometres per hour that end up at 120 kilometres per hour for the CE AAA rating. 

So how do they arrive at the different ratings?

They used a new machine for a testing operation called Advanced Abrasion Resistance tester or (AART) made by Darmstadt. There are only a handful of these machines that are available in the world right now that includes places like Satra and Act Labs. They test the products at different kilometres per hour with respect to slip period, slip distance, hole formation and a lot more. They do it both as a completed garment and separate units.

All in the individual fabrics, as well as a completed garment, need to pass to get the different kinds of rating. It’s a huge process that takes a lot of time and money. But with this, the manufacturer is able to know what level of abrasion resistance that the garments are selling. As a part of the test, they also test the zonal areas, like zone 1 which is the high impact area like an elbow or knee.

I hope with this information you will be able to understand that which products are adhering to the old as well as the new norms of protection and help you understand how to navigate with these numbers.