These winter motorcycle gloves promise CE-approval to Level 2 KP, and are said to be suitable for use on the bike in 5°C to 20°C. Priced at $11.88 (£9.44 at the time of writing), they’re available on AliExpress, with others plastered all over Facebook and we DO NOT recommend you buy them.
This article will help you AVOID SCAMS and show you how to buy genuine kit at a decent price.
If you’re suspicious of any motorcycle product being advertised, join the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook group and let us know.
In the UK, apart from a correctly-certified helmet, you can wear what you like when riding a motorcycle. But it is ILLEGAL to sell any motorcycle riding kit – so helmets, jackets, trousers, boots, one- and two-piece leathers as well as gloves – that have not been certified as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) unless they entered the market before 21 April 2018.
Put simply, this legislation keeps YOU safer, and ensures you don’t waste your money on riding kit that has not proven its protective performance.
Nobody’s trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear; we just want you to be able to spend your hard-earned money wisely, so recent adverts for winter gloves on Facebook by Speedy Rider and Thermo Grip have prompted this article, which will help YOU spot the scams.
The old adage that if it looks too good to be true it probably is still stands, but there are several things you can check before handing over your payment details to a company that might be trying to sell you something that isn’t what it claims to be, or even scam you…
On their own these don’t mean that something is definitely a scam, but combined, they’re useful red flags to be aware of…
Yes, Speedy Rider is selling motorcycle PPE illegally into the UK, with the most obvious being DOT-approved lids, but let’s use the above checklist to find out whether you should trust the adverts it’s been putting out on Facebook…
Is it too good to be true? The advert on Facebook isn’t really making any unbelievable claims, so besides being from a completely unknown brand, there are no obvious red flags. In the comments though, someone asked about the claims of CE certification, and were told that the gloves “meet CE and 2KP standards.” This would be very surprising as there aren’t many gloves that do achieve Level 2 KP under EN 13594. We’ll come back to this, but it’s a red flag.
Is the product being sold with an implied deadline? Yes – ‘Only a few left! Hurry up.’ Of course, limited offers are very common, but pressure tactics are one of the big red flags in scams like phishing emails. It might be real, but be on your guard…
Are the products advertised portrayed consistently? The images on the Speedy Rider site for the Winter Gloves are – besides an issue with logo colour – pretty consistent, so nothing here has us too worried.
How does the company react to questions on social media? Within minutes of asking Speedy Rider about its claims of the gloves being Level 2 KP (the highest achievable under current standards) I was blocked from its Facebook page. Other people have commented about this company on the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook group, and were also blocked when they asked about the legally-required certification. Red flag number two.
Remember – the comments and replies you see on the advert might be just the ones that the company hasn’t blocked, so ask your own questions. Also, if your comment is only hidden (not blocked), you won’t know about it unless you can view the post with an account that isn’t friends with your own. Also watch out for what might be fake accounts saying how “I just got mine and love them”.
If the number of posts listed doesn’t match how many you can see when viewing ‘all’, that means some have been hidden or blocked. That can be hard to work out on an advert with hundreds of comments, but it can be useful…
Is there a geographical location that checks out on Google? The Speedy Rider website makes no mention of a geographical address on its website, even under the ‘contact us’ page, which is a red flag. Digging deeper though, Speedy Rider’s terms of service page looks to have been copied and pasted onto the site as a set template, with the final section blank where the address should be.
However, I started an order to check that the DOT helmets would ship to the UK, and an auto-generated email reminding me to checkout did include an address: 7 Coronation Road, Dephna House, Launchese #105, London, United Kingdom, NW10 7PQ.
On Google maps, this still shows the site as being Dephna Cold Rooms and Kitchens, but the company may have moved since Google took that photo. Still, it’s a red flag, and one that makes digging into Companies House worthwhile.
Is there a phone number on the site? Some companies are very small and can’t afford to spend time on the phone so this could be legitimate, but not having a phone number is another red flag to us.
Look at the pic used on the Speedy Rider website that shows the types of activities its gloves can be worn in. Now look at the Shutterstock image we found with a little digging. The Reusch name has been removed from the picture that promotes Speedy Rider’s gloves…
Does the website use stock photography? Stock photos purchased from companies like Shutterstock can save on potentially expensive photoshoots, but in eCommerce sites they can also be a warning that investment hasn’t been made into the business.
There’s not a lot of stock photography on the Speedy Rider gloves page, though the four examples of winter riding looked unlikely to be its own, so I checked and the motorcyclist in the snow image also appears on this Hungarian advice site, which by then dragging that one off showed this photo to be from Shutterstock. Not a guarantee of dishonesty, but you won’t find any legitimate motorcycle clothing brands using stock photos to illustrate its products like this. Definitely a big red flag.
Alarm bells are also ringing with images like the above showing a Royal HO1 helmet (a Vietnamese brand) that isn’t sold by Speedy Rider. Using photos of products that the company doesn’t sell is another red flag.
Using Google to search for duplicates is the best way to find these, so we’ll cover it in more detail below…
Are the legally-required certification levels obvious and correct? UK riders are generally fairly well aware now that all riding kit must have been tested and certified to a minimum level to be legally sold, but it can be confusing. This feature covers all the motorcycle clothing standards and what to look for, but not all manufacturers or sellers make it clear.
Of course, anyone could put made-up results on a page, but it’s not uncommon for them to be incorrect, like Carvenal, which was stating that its gloves were certified to EN17092… the standard for jackets and trousers.
More and more trustworthy stores are stating the certification levels for the products they sell, and almost all decent manufacturers make it clear on their own websites too.
Are other products for sale on the site that are being illegally sold? Where the most obvious red flags come up with Speedy Rider is the helmets being offered on the site with clear DOT certification being claimed.
In Britain, you can only ride a helmet meeting one of the following standards:
Here’s is the UK Government’s ruling on what motorcycle helmets are legally required, though at the time of writing it hadn’t been updated to include ECE 22.06.
The first page of Speedy Rider’s helmet section is full of blatantly illegal DOT helmets (assuming they are actually certified to DOT) that CANNOT be worn in the UK on a motorcycle.
Another red flag is the Café Racer Motorcycle Helmet for instance, which looks a lot like a fake Arai (check out the visor catch), and more worryingly uses language unique to Arai, like ‘R75 shape’, ‘PB e-clc shell’ and ‘Vas-V’ visor. Speedy Rider is charging £184 for it, and a Google reverse image search also found it on AliExpress for £43.64. We strongly recommend that you don’t buy either.
What does Companies House tell you? Companies House can help you find more details on the business you’re looking into, but there are simply too many listed at Dephna House – we found a total of 124,843 listings related to the address. While this isn’t unusual when searching by address only, there was nothing to be found when looking for ‘Speedy Rider’.
Narrowing the search down to only those that include “Launchese #105” still gave far too many results, with directors from locations including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Vietnam. The closest we found was SPD Rider Ltd, with the CEO being Lieu Tran Thi from Vietnam, but we’ve been unable to confirm if that is Speedy Rider.
According to the Companies House Data website, there are 503 companies at 7 Coronation Road, Dephna House NW10 7PQ. This also isn’t necessarily a bad sign as many companies use PO Box addresses. However, that ‘Launchese #105’ part of the address we found on the email points towards Launchese.com, a company offering a UK ecommerce business that can be set up from anywhere in the world and with its address at Dephna House.
For just $25, anyone from anywhere can set up a private limited UK company.
Overall, this is a red flag as we were unable to track down a solid address or company director for Speedy Rider. We did email Launchese to ask if it will help a consumer get in touch with a company director that used the services to set up a UK business, which raised a support ticket. However, this ticket was closed by Launchese 12 hours later, with no reply.
Taking this helmet’s image from the Speedy Rider site and running it through Google Lens found many sellers offering the same thing with exactly the same image. Interesting, while Speedy Rider says it’s a leather helmet, Ali Express describes it as being ABS and PU leather (plastic).
Using Google reverse image search is easy. Download a picture that you want to check, then upload it to Google Lens on your phone, or via the web browser on your computer by clicking the little camera icon in the right of the search bar. In the case of many products we’ve investigated, the same items appear to be available on AliExpress in China.
Unfortunately there also seem to be fakes of legitimate brands on this platform – indeed, images were bring stolen from high-end UK manufacturer Evotech Performance to sell fakes (watch the video below), so be aware that some items on AliExpress could be copies of legitimate products (and you won’t receive what’s pictured in these cases).
More relevant to checking brands you’ve never heard of – especially those sold through Facebook advertising – is that the company could be ‘drop-shipping’, where it simply facilitates the sale of a product direct from an overseas manufacturer. Customer support becomes very questionable here, not to mention honest value, and in some cases these sales will evade UK import duties and taxes too – something that’s a key part of funding things like the NHS and Police.
When we bought a pair of Carvenal gloves they were shipped direct from China, and were the low-quality product we expected, being inferior to cheaper, legitimate gloves sold in the UK. To be fair to that company, it did stop selling into the UK and Europe after our investigation, and now only sells into the USA, where are there are no requirements for motorcycle clothing to be protective.
We emailed Speedy Rider for a comment, but have had no reply. We’ll update this article if we get one.
We’ve made a judgement on this company based on red flags, but it could be that the products are all legitimate. Except the DOT certified helmets, which should not be sold or worn in the UK... What do you think though?
If the gloves really do meet EN 13594:2015 Level 2 KP, then we’ll be happy to discuss including them on the Bennetts High Performance Award, which highlights the provably safest riding kit. But Speedy Rider will need to #ProveIt.
If you’ve already bought a pair of Speedy Rider winter gloves, please do join the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook group and let us all know about your experience. There are thousands of riders on there, and it’s a great way to find new places to go, ask advice and of course to help others get more from motorcycling.
There are lots of sellers out there that raise red flags. Have a look at the above Thermo Grip website and ask yourself if its products seem legitimate. Oh, and that timer at the top... it resets to one day and one hour remaining when it runs out!
I’ve emailed to ask for details of the certification, but have yet to get a reply. Another red flag here was the email address listed in the terms of service: email@example.com. How many legitimate motorcycle clothing manufacturers and sellers do you think use a Gmail account rather than their own domain name?
If you’ve seen this company’s adverts on Facebook, you should also take a close look at how the gloves – at least in the video we’ve seen – keep changing brand, and how they don’t match what’s sold on the site.
Interestingly, besides the IronRide branding (made to look a lot like Dainese) the gloves also appear similar to those offered by Speedy Rider. Coincidence, or drop-shipping of a generic product? That’s what you need to decide before buying.
Until online marketplaces like Facebook and Amazon stop facilitating the sale of uncertified and potentially dangerous motorcycle clothing (including airbags that wouldn’t have inflated before you hit the ground), we strongly recommend that you only buy your riding kit from well-known, trusted stores here in the UK.
You could also buy from European shops with an established history (like Louis Moto for instance) as these have to abide by the same laws as the UK, but the major advantage that UK-based stores have is bricks-and-mortar outlets that you can visit to try kit on, as well as support from them and (if needed) the UK importer should you have any problems.
But that doesn’t mean you have to spend more.
For instance, the DXR Brace gloves are waterproof with a goatskin outer, and are genuinely approved to CE standards. A quick search on Sportsbikeshop showed them for £26.99, as well as the Merlin Titans – which include D3O knuckle armour – for £32.99. That’s less than the Speedy Rider gloves and they come with a real warranty. ALL the gloves listed there are properly CE certified.
If you want to buy gloves that have been proven to reach the highest Level 2 KP under EN13594, check out the Bennetts High Performance Awards.
We shouldn’t need to put so much work into checking if products for sale on social media are scams or not, but unfortunately OFCOM has little reach here, and in our experience Facebook has no interest in the fact that it’s facilitating illegally-sold and potentially dangerous PPE. We have repeatedly tried to get in touch with Facebook, but have not yet had a reply, so the message remains of buyer beware.
Ultimately, you’re free to buy whatever motorcycle clothing you want, but it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to spend MORE on kit that’s being sold illegally and has no proof of the protection it can offer, than something that has.
Decent motorcycle gear is easily available – often for less than these Facebook-advertised items – from hundreds of legitimate shops that also support the UK economy.
It’s your choice what you buy, but when it comes to motorcycle clothing’s level of protection, sellers have a legal responsibility to #ProveIt.
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.