What Makes The Best Protective Motorcycle Clothing?
Dyneema, D3O, Kevlar, Armalith, Cordura, Dynatec, Forcefield… when it rains it pours. For those stepping out of their leathers for the first time, no doubt your head will be swimming with the various types of abrasive resistant fabrics and armour inserts used in protective motorcycle clothing. For those well versed in the options available, we'd wager that the claims made against each have now blended into a low hum… we should all be paying better attention but let's be honest, we'd all rather be planning the next trip.
To cut through it all, we thought it'd be helpful to explain the thought process we went through when we choose which combination would provide both the highest level of protection on the bike, and the greatest level of comfort off the bike. Fortunately for us, the process was really simple.
Protection : Abrasion Resistant Fabrics
Our goal is to produce the World's best protective motorcycle clothing and so when selecting an abrasive resistant fabric, regardless of costs, we knew that we were searching for the World's strongest, most durable yarn. For twenty-five years, that has been Dyneema®. On a weight basis, it's fifteen times stronger than steel and 40% stronger than Kevlar.
Being the lightest of all of the abrasive resistant yarns, it can be woven into a lighter fabric without having to compromise on strength. In terms of design, this allows us to engineer a product of unparalleled protection without producing a garment that feels heavy when worn.
Having tested a variety of the options, we found that aramid-based fibres trap heat and can become clammy when worn for any length of time, especially when close to the skin. As a thermally conductive fibre, Dyneema® moves heat away from your body and so the fabric stays cool against the skin - ideal for riding in the summer months.
The one concern that's been levelled at Dyneema® is that with a melting point of 145°C, during a crash the fibre would melt. Having done our research, we learnt that Dyneema® has been used in protective motorcycle apparel for almost ten years - worn by thousands of people, in different climates, across the world. To our knowledge, there have been no cases of the melting point being an issue. For us, the weight of these numbers was enough to dispel any concerns.
Protection : Armour Inserts
Equally important to abrasion resistance is impact protection. When we began our search, of the options available on the market, by far and away the best was D3O.
Based on non-Newtonian principles, during normal use, the D3O® compound bends and flexes allowing for free movement. On impact, the molecules lock together to absorb and dissipate energy, reducing the transmitted force before instantly returning to their original state. The high levels of performance achieved by this technology mean that the armour can deliver the same level of protection as other armour alternatives whilst having a much lower profile.
Stepping out of the lab for a moment, less bulk and the ability to mould to the shape of your body makes for an armour that's more comfortable and less noticeable when worn on and off the bike. For us, this ticks all the boxes.
We currently have two products that incorporate both D3O® and Dyneema® - the Eversholt Jacket & Hockliffe Overshirt. For more information on these, please follow the links below.