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Brands helping YOU choose safer motorcycle kit

Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial



Safer motorcycle clothing bennetts awards_01

13 motorcycle kit brands received awards in 2023, and there’s a LOT more to come…


All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe has to be certified as protective. That’s the law. The trouble is, there are different certifications and levels for every piece of kit, and some brands and sellers try to make your choice even more confusing.

That’s why Bennetts launched the High Performance Awards



Brands that want to help YOU make informed choices

At Motorcycle Live in 2023, Bennetts presented 13 brands with awards in recognition of their dedication to proving riders with a choice of provably protective clothing:

Products and manufacturers are constantly being added to the HPA, so the list above relates only to what was live when we had the awards made. However, Hideout has just been added with a huge range of made-to-measure textiles and leathers for men and women, while Arn Race Leathers also deserves credit for the work its done around its one-piece leathers, and we hope to hear more from them soon. Keep an eye on the HPA database as even while putting this together more products were coming through from RST.

Congratulations to these great motorcycle clothing brands for ensuring that the products they sell are all properly certified AND for using the Bennetts High Performance Awards to help riders make informed choices when looking for the provably highest levels of safety.


How the High Performance Awards recognise the highest standards

Riding a bike is all about freedom of choice, and at Bennetts BikeSocial we want YOU to choose what YOU want to wear. But we want you to make informed choices, and to do that you have to cut through not just a confusing array of certification standards, but also marketing hype.

The only thing you must wear is a helmet, and as all legitimate UK sellers only stock properly certified lids, and the new ECE 22.06 standard is so good, the High Performance Awards don’t cover them. SHARP will be resuming testing soon, and we’ll be highlighting those results as soon as we can.

Gloves, boots and jackets, trousers and one- and two-piece leathers are all tested to separate standards with their own performance levels or classifications, which we’ve explained in this guide.

However, the Bennetts High Performance Awards is a database of gear that meets the highest levels of protection under these existing standards, so you don’t need to worry about all the different codes and levels: just look for the logo. There are already many products in there to choose from, and the list is only getting bigger.

It doesn’t cost any brand anything to be included, but they do have to PROVE they’re eligible by letting us see the type-examination certificates. This is your confirmation that the kit is legitimately certified and can indeed offer you the best protection.



The existing test standard for garments (jackets, trousers and one and two-piece leathers) is EN17092, and looks at abrasion resistance, impact protection of the armour and its location and size, fit and ergonomics, chemical innocuousness, seam strength, performance of structural closures like zips and tear strength.

Basically, a lot is tested, and level AAA is the highest achievable. In gloves the best is Level 2 KP and in boots it’s a series of four digits – 1 2 2 2 for short boots or 2 2 2 2 for taller ones.

The Bennetts High Performance Gold awards covers all of these and is your guarantee that the manufacturer has achieved the highest levels under those various different standards.

Looking for the safest? Look for the logo.


Is there anything provably safer than High Performance Gold?

In garments, yes.

If a garment has been awarded Gold and if it has level two armour, then it offers better impact protection than that which only has Level 1. This isn’t an ideal situation but it’s how the existing standards work. The limb and chest armour standards also specify two fixed sizes, which might not be big enough for some wearers, but you can also look for larger armour, and brands like Klim, Rukka and others include this, which can offer extremely valuable impact protection and is a vital part of safety. But it’s just part of the story.

Don’t be misled by claims that the A-ratings are irrelevant – we’ve seen above how much is tested, so even the best armour is no good if it fell out due to poor abrasion resistance, or if it flaps around rather than being in the right place on your body and staying there: we’re aware of riders sustaining fractures when armour in loose-fitting garments moved out of place and failed to adequately protect them.

Look also for back protection and chest protection, but remember – comfort is important too, so find the right balance for YOU.



However, there IS a way to prove that garments are even safer, and that’s with the Bennetts High Performance Platinum and Diamond awards.

These PROVE the highest levels of protection against abrasion and impact, as well as demanding top performance in seam and tear strength. Level 2 armour must be fitted to the knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and back, and it must be of a minimum size that’s based on the size of the wearer.

There’s also Platinum Plus and Diamond Plus, which demand the addition of chest protection and/or a certified airbag.

Any brand, importer or distributor can have an independent test house like SATRA, Intertek or Eurofins certify to these higher levels, and the cost is kept to an absolute minimum. Again, Bennetts takes no money for this – the manufacturers or importers only have to pay the test house for the limited amount of extra testing involved.


Why 2024 is going to be a great year for rider safety

As this article is published, some brands have already submitted products for certification to the Bennetts High Performance Platinum and Diamond standards, which means at the end of the process they could be joining BKS Made to Measure in offering the PROVABLY safest riding kit.

When you buy your next gear, you can judge for yourself whether it’s comfortable or not and how easily you can move around in it. You can have a look at how the armour fits, and obviously you’ll know if you can afford it, but remember that safety does NOT have to be expensive.

What you can’t judge just by looking at a product is how likely it will be to stay in one piece during a crash, and whether it will protect you from abrasion injuries. So, keep the test standards in mind when you buy, and make them part of your decision-making process.

If the highest levels of protection are important to you, look for the Bennetts High Performance Award to make for a quicker, easier and safer purchase, getting you out on the road sooner.

Here’s to a great – and safe – ride in 2024.

If you’d like to chat about this article or anything else biking related, join us and thousands of other riders at the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook page.