CHANGES TO THE EUROPEAN STANDARDS
For motorcyclist's protective clothing
Standards ordinarily undergo review and if circumstances require, revision, every five years. This enables the documents to represent “the state of the art” by maintaining pace with, for example, changes in risk and advances in materials and manufacturing technology.
Since the first versions of the European Standards for motorcyclists’ protective clothing and equipment were published, they have also been through the revision process, although generally at in excess of the normal, five-year period.
- EN 1621-1:1997 (limb impact protectors) was revised and reissued as EN 1621-1:2012
- EN 1621-2:2003 (back protectors) was revised and reissued as EN 1621-2:2014
- EN 13594:2002 (gloves) is now available as EN 13594:2015
- EN 13595:2002 (clothing) unchanged, with a development in March 2020 explained below
- EN 13634:2002 (footwear) has gone through three revisions: in 2010, 2014 and 2017 (this standard is administered by the protective footwear standards committee, rather than the committee responsible for motorcycle clothing)
- EN 1621-4:2013 (inflatable protectors i.e. “airbags”)
- EN 1621-3:2018 (chest protectors)
The standard for protective clothing (jackets, trousers and one-piece or divided suits) – EN 13595, Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 – first published in 2002, was due to continue as a current standard until at least 2023, when the expectation was that it would be merged with the first revision of new standard EN 17092:2020; but due to policy issues combined with an administrative error on the part of European Standards agency CEN, it was mistakenly withdrawn upon the publication of EN 17092 in March 2020 and at time of writing that error is undergoing correction. EN 13595 Parts 2 and 4 are referenced in standards for other products (and not only motorcyclists’ apparel), so the continuation of these two documents in particular is essential, but as experience with EN 17092:2020 grows, it is becoming increasingly evident that EN 13595 still has a very important role to play in specifying and testing motorcyclists’ clothing.
With limited time to respond to the introduction of the PPE Regulation, manufacturers whose product development programmes are seldom shorter than two years found themselves in a situation where they needed to have products certified by 21st April 2018, when the revised standard would not be available until after that date.
The draft European Standard prEN 17092 therefore took on the appearance of a document based on the test performance garments currently in development could achieve – a “rubber stamp standard” – rather than a set of requirements to which those garments should aspire (as represented by EN 13595). This is understandable, given the fast-approaching legislative deadline, as it was expected to enable manufacturers to label garments mid-production.
There are several steps still to go before the proposed European Standard prEN 17092 can be finalised. Contact the PVA-PPE Group for details of the prevailing situation.
EN 13595 sets significantly higher performance requirements than EN 17092 – the minimum tear strength requirement specified by EN 13595 is double that of the maximum requirement set by EN 17092, plus the abrasion resistance requirements of EN 17092 represent reductions in test severity of up to 75%. EN 13595 represents the “state of the art” and reliance purely on EN 17092 to specify and assess motorcyclists’ clothing represents a retrograde step both in terms of safety and in terms of rider choice.
The Australasian MotoCAP star rating scheme for motorcyclists’ clothing and gloves continues to use EN 13595 as the basis for its testing programme. Further details at www.motocap.co.au.