I recently spent a weekend on the coast of the Great Lakes, enjoying the summer weather. As the thermostat ticked past 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with sauna-like humidity suffocating beach goers, I was not shocked to see people wearing only swimsuits and flip flops. What I didn’t expect was to see motorcyclists wearing the same beach-fairing getup on the roadways, yet there they were.
It is quite obvious that motorcycle gear offers protection from the elements, like the sun, wind, snow and rain, while also providing impact protection and abrasion resistance in the event of a crash. Although the effort to get more riders in proper gear is a constant battle, deciphering what the safety codes on apparel might be a way to influence customers to wear more than just their bare skin while out on the road.
For jackets and apparel with armor, you will frequently see the CE (Conformité Européene/European Conformity) or EN (European Norm) ratings. While the standards in Europe are a bit more complex, the overall meaning of the ratings remain the same; the product is made to a specific level of quality that adheres to standards of safety and protection legislation. While required on the racetrack in the United States, CE ratings still influence buyers based on the advanced testing standards for apparel.
According to the American Society for Quality, there are three levels of ratings.
CE Tested: The manufacturer has tested the whole or piece of garment within their own facility to meet certain standards. The garment is not necessarily tested in a certified testing facility to meet accredited standards.
CE Certified: The garment samples were tested in a certified testing facility.
CE Approved: Several parts of the garment were tested in a certified facility and are accredited to meet or surpass the required standards.
There are code levels for the CE rating system: CE Level 1 and CE Level 2, where Level 2 offers the best impact protection available.
Apparel made after 2018 will typically have a “class” listing on the CE label, varying from Class AAA (highest level of protection to take on the highest level of risk) to Class C (least protective and offers impact but not abrasion resistance).
Offering a variety of apparel with different levels of protection will cater to more customers who enter your dealership. Hopefully, we can convince those beachgoers to wear a vented jacket and a pair of boots the next time they take their motorcycle out on a humid summer day.