The raining season is around the corner and lots of us motorcyclists think about new motorcycle gloves. But how do we know we buy good ones and what does CE-marking mean? 'Conformité Européene' – or just CE means that the item has met European safety requirements, in our case, to keep your hands safe. Since 1995, anything claiming to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Europe has been subject to regulation.
Motorcycle kits are split into three categories: clothing, armor and protective. Clothing isn't covered by CE until the manufacturer makes claim for protection. 'Armored' covers armor at the shoulder, elbow, knee or back. 'Protective' covers anything claimed to reduce risk and requires the whole garment to be tested at a CE-approved laboratory. Manufacture and contamination: checks that no harmful manufacturing residue remains in the materials. Mechanical tests: the palm resits simulated tarmac abrasion for 2.5 seconds. The glove must not fall or slide off the hand under duress. Impact protection is tested to a high standard. Metal, carbon fiber or plastic inserts, sliders or suds fitted to the outside layer cannot protrude into the glove.
Materials and construction of the products are tested for shear and tear strength. Dexterity and use: rated to ensure the required control and feel are retained.
Currently the CE-approved mark can be found in motorcycle protective products around the world and is often used as a sales-pitch by bike shops outside the European Union.