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Can your pants last between 4 and 7 seconds while sliding on asphalt?

Did you know you have more risk of injury to the legs than to the upper body?

Four out of five casualties have injuries to  their legs and a third suffer fractures.

What is the typical rider likely to wear? You guessed it, Denim jeans.

Denim jeans will last less than one second once you have hit the pavement and offer virtually no protection.

Most riders pay very little attention to the lower body. They might buy a good helmet and leather jacket, maybe even riding boots but they’ll were those confounded denim jeans.

On this note, please do not let anyone you care about ride with shorts.

For the certification minded, the CE EN 13595 label indicates compliance with EU standards for abrasion, impact, cut and burst resistance.

Please note that there are U.S. based companies which sell riding apparel which are not CE certified and in fairness to them, there is no current U.S. standard. You will need to do your homework and ask the right questions.


It should be comfortable in the riding position. This is important because most garments are not tailored in the riding position.

Too tight and it may become distracting and fatiguing or restrict blood flow. Too loose and it may billow and flap.

The smoother the exterior shell the fewer the snags.


Will the seams burst when  you hit the pavement?

Glued and stitched with a single row of stitching won’t hold up on impact. Stitching should be regular with no dropped stitches.

To few stitches indicate a potentially weakened seam. Leather should have 11-14 stitches per 5 cm, fabric 13-16 per 5 cm. Additional layers should have double stitching.


More than one in ten rider casualties (13%) injure their pelvis or hips.

This type of injury is more likely to result from impact with another object rather than hitting the road surface.

Impact protectors for the hips are required under the European Standard for motorcycle protective clothing. Make sure they are marked EN 1621-1.


More than one in ten rider casualties have broken their thigh bone (13%).

The name of the game here is to reduce some injuries and prevent wound contamination.

Impact protectors may not prevent a fracture, but you chances of  sustaining a simple closed fracture rather than a complex fracture, which is more difficult to treat, are better.


Half of all injured riders hurt their knees.

Most knee injuries involve soft tissue damage, usually from contact with the road. This ranges from loss of skin through to dislocation and ligament damage, but rarely fractures.

With these types of injury impact protection can really help.

Lower leg

The lower leg is the part of the body most likely to break.

Eight out of ten rider casualties have leg injuries and three of these will have fractures. Fractures are more likely to be from an impact with a car than from hitting the road.

You want to prevent or reduce the cuts, abrasions and serious skin and muscle loss from sliding across a road surface.

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