Motorcyclist Protection Systems

Crash barriers are designed with only cars and heavy vehicles in mind. The European testing standard has made no mention of motorcycles for the last decades even though hitting a road restraint system is a factor in 8-17 per cent of rider deaths. Barrier posts are particularly aggressive, irrespective of the barriers’ other components, causing a five-fold increase in injury severity compared to the average motorcycle crash. Motorcycle-friendly systems have been shown to halve the fatalities and offer high rates of return.

Achieving good protection relies on using a structural design that transforms part of the kinetic energy into deformation energy, avoiding excessive deceleration, while guiding and re-orienting the movements of the motorcyclist to avoid excessive reaction forces.

For motorcycle protection systems three main test protocols are in use in Europe today (LIER, UNE135900, BASt), and a new Technical Specification, CEN TS 1317-8, was introduced in January 2012. All have different characteristics, and as a result, the products complying with these protocols offer different benefits in terms of cost and safety.

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The work presented in this document is supported by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport – Directorate C: Innovative & sustainable mobility (C.4 Road Safety) (Grant agreement MOVE/C4/SUB/2010-125/SI2.603201/RIDERSCAN). The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) and it does not represent the opinion of the European Union and the European Union is not responsible or liable for any use that might be made of information contained herein.