Abrasion resistance of motorcycle protective clothing worn by Australian motorcyclists

Lauren Meredith, Elizabeth Clarke, Michael Fitzharris, Matthew Baldock, Liz de Rome, Julie Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


Motorcyclists are the fastest growing sector of road users globally and represent an increasing proportion of road crash casualties throughout the world. The most common types of injuries to motorcyclists are soft tissue injuries and these can be associated with longer term disability. Protective clothing can help prevent these injuries, yet the performance of this clothing is seen to be variable. This work investigated the abrasion resistance of clothing worn by Australian motorcycle riders who had been hospitalised after a crash. This study involved an in-depth investigation of 92 crashed motorcyclists in the Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong conurbations. Where possible, clothing worn by the motorcyclists was inspected for damage, and the level of abrasion resistance was measured using the Cambridge Abrasion Resistance method. In total 39 upper garments and 61 lower garments were tested. The results confirm that the quality of protective clothing is variable. Approximately 20% of the clothing damage observed in clothing inspection resulted in failure of the material in the real world crash, leaving the rider’s skin exposed. Testing of the clothing confirmed the validity of the Cambridge Abrasion Test method. Materials found to take longer to hole using this method (i.e. materials with greater resistance to abrasion) were associated with a lower probability of injury. The results of this work highlights the need to implement a mechanism for communicating the quality of protective clothing available to Australian riders, and demonstrates the potential of the Cambridge Abrasion test method to achieve this
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference
EditorsR. H. Grzebieta, K. Armstrong, I. Lewis, L. Tunks, C. Howe, C. Murray
Place of PublicationACT Australia
PublisherAustralasian College of Road Safety
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780958569170
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralasian Road Safety Conference 2015: Taking Action Together - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 14 Oct 201516 Oct 2015


ConferenceAustralasian Road Safety Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleACRS 2015
CityGold Coast
Internet address


  • motorcycle protective clothing
  • Cambridge Abrasion Test method
  • injury
  • crash

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