Rating system targets motorcycle safety

Testing motorcycle protective clothing for water resistance

Testing motorcycle protective clothing for water resistance

A world first ratings system for motorcycle clothing, developed by IFM researchers, is now being rolled out across Australia and New Zealand. In December 2019 the program won a prestigious international road safety award.

The Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program (MotoCAP), which was developed by Dr Christopher Hurren and Dr Liz de Rome, with funding from Transport for NSW, provides reliable, scientifically-based information to motorcyclists about the safety and comfort of specific items and brands of clothing.

In recognition of its significance, MotoCAP was awarded the 2019 Road Safety Award of the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme in Monaco.

Road safety organisations around Australia and New Zealand joined forces to establish the rating program, recognising that clothing is a key factor in accident outcomes for motorcyclists.

In the past 10 years, more than 10,000 riders and pillion passengers have been seriously injured on Victorian roads alone, which represents 17 per cent of hospitalised vehicle accident claims, while motorcycles represent only four per cent of registered vehicles.

MotoCAP gives clothing two separate star ratings – one for protection and one for comfort.

The team led by Dr Hurren developed a rigorous protocol for random selection and testing of clothing from the market to measure motorcyclist safety and comfort. The team is overseeing the project through a three year development phase, conducting tests on clothing purchased anonymously with the specialised equipment, purpose-built at IFM.

The protection star rating considers performance in abrasion resistance, seam strength and impact protection, while the comfort rating is based on how comfortable the clothing is when it is worn in the Australian climate.

MotoCAP is run by a consortium of government agencies, private organisations and motorcycle stakeholders.

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