General

CE marking for all bike kit

Europe decides that anything intended for bikes should meet standards

THE European Parliament has taken the decision to include motorcycle kit in proposed new legislation covering ‘personal protective equipment.’

Although there’s no immediate impact – it may take years to get the regulation into law -  when it does make its way through the grinding process of legislation the new rules will mean that anything sold as protective equipment, including stuff branded as motorcycle kit, will have to pass tests and carry CE marks to prove it.

At the moment, CE marking already exists for gloves, boots and armour, and there are separate rules governing helmets and visors that will not be altered by the new ‘PPE’ regulation.

However, it will mean that other kit intended to be protective will have to prove that it does what it says on the tin.

Since the regulation is purely about the standards of protective kit, and ensuring claims of protection are backed up with fact, it has no scope to mandate what you choose to wear, so there doesn’t appear to be an immediate downside. It could be argued that once standards exist and are enforced, it would arguably become easier for governments (at a national level) to impose their own rules about what riders must or must not wear, but there doesn’t appear to be any intention in that direction at the moment.

FEMA General Secretary Dolf Willigers said: 'When all motorcycle gear meets the standard you know what amount of protection you can expect. This is consumer protection we don’t have now. Of course the new standards will have to meet the needs of the riders, but with the information we have now I have all confidence that this will be the case. As long as the European authorities will not use these standards to force riders to wear only approved motorcycle gear, and we will see to it that this will not happen, standardization of motorcycle gear is a good thing for riders.'

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