Last updated: July 3rd, 2023
What is CE Certification?
If you are a rider, you may have heard about the CE certification that is given to motorcycle gear, but what does it mean, and why is it important?
PPE Regulation 2016/425
Firstly, to understand CE certification, we must talk about the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) regulation. The PPE regulation was introduced to ensure that any personal protective equipment that is sold in the EU provides a high level of protection for users. This is particularly important for motorcycle clothing given the dangerous nature of riding a motorbike.
What does ‘CE’ stand for?
CE stands for Conformité Européene, which is French for European Conformity. CE certification is an EU-wide system that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).
How are CE-standards and PPE related?
CE-standards and PPE regulations are closely linked. The CE-standards provide a means for manufacturers to demonstrate that their products comply with the PPE regulations. The PPE regulations set out the legal requirements that products must meet before they can be sold in the EU.
Which clothing elements get tested?
In order to receive CE certification for motorcycle clothing standard EN17092, certain elements of the garments are tested to ensure that they meet specific safety standards. The following are some of the elements that are typically tested:
Abrasion resistance: This refers to the garment's ability to withstand friction and resist abrading. Each fabric is tested on a Darmstadt machine, which simulates the abrasion of motorcycle clothing on concrete, and the amount of damage is measured. Fabric is mounted at 120 degree spacing.
Tear resistance: This refers to the garment's ability to resist tearing. The garment is subjected to a tear test, where a force is applied to the cut to see how far it will tear.
Seam strength: This refers to the strength of the seams that hold the garment together. The seams are tested to see how much force they can withstand before they break.
Chemicals: EN17092 ensures all fabrics are tested for any chemicals which may cause harm to the user or the environment. This can include Azo Dyes, Chrome VI Etc.
Fit: The fit of the garment is also important in terms of safety. The garment should fit snugly but not be too tight, and should not restrict movement or impede the rider's ability to control the motorcycle. All RST protective clothing is provided with adjustment systems intended to provide fine adjustment to conform to the user’s individual body shape.
These are only some of the elements that are typically tested in EN17092 CE testing for motorcycle garments. Garments that pass the tests and meet the required standards are then given a CE certification.
Zoning and classification
CE-certified motorcycle clothing is categorised into different zones. Zone 1 is the most vulnerable, and Zone 3 is the least vulnerable. The zones are determined by the level of protection that the garment provides to the rider in the event of an impact. Motorcycle clothing that is CE-certified is labelled with a pictogram indicating the level of protection that it provides.
The CE-standards for motorcycle clothing are divided into several classes, which indicate the level of protection the garment provides. The technical specification comprises the below performance levels.
Level AAA offers the highest level of protection.
Level AA offers a balance between the level of protection available and any ergonomic or weight penalties associated with its use.
Level A offers a lower level of protection and is designed to reduce any ergonomic or weight penalties associated with its use to the lowest level.
Level B is only designed to provide abrasion protection. It does not provide impact protection unless worn with EN 1621 impact protectors. It is recommended CLASS B garment shall be worn with, at least, EN 1621 impact protectors, in order to offer complete minimum protection.
Level C Offers additional impact protection only. It is recommended that these garments are worn with Level AAA / AA / A / B garments for more complete protection. It does not offer minimum abrasion protection.
Each level of certification has specific requirements for abrasion resistance, seam strength, and impact protection. The standards are regularly updated to reflect advances in technology and changes in riding conditions. Riders should carefully research the safety features of their gear before making a purchase.
How can you check if a garment is CE-certified?
If a garment is CE-certified, it will have a label attached that displays the CE-mark, pictogram, the standard number, the level of protection. If a garment does not have a CE-label, it may not be CE-certified.
Is wearing a CE-certified garment mandatory?
Wearing a CE-certified garment is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Motorcycle clothing that is CE-certified provides a level of protection that non-CE-certified clothing may not offer. As a rider, it is essential to protect yourself in the event of an accident, and CE-certified clothing is designed to do just that.
In conclusion, CE-certification is a vital aspect of motorcycle gear. By ensuring that your motorcycle clothing is CE-certified, you can be confident that it provides the necessary level of protection in the event of an accident. Always check for the CE-label and the certification class before purchasing motorcycle gear.