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Does motorcycle gear have to be costly?

Gearbest motorcycle gear

Motorcycle gear is becoming cheaper and cheaper, but there is still a lot of expensive gear that may not offer protection commensurate with the cost.

While we don’t endorse inferior products, companies such as Aldi seem to be able to bring bargain-priced quality items to market.

Senior research project officer at the Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, Dr Liz De Rome, herself a rider since 1969, recently told the NSW Parliament’s Motorcycle Safety Inquiry that there “is no association between the cost of garments and their protective value, when you look across the spectrum of what is available”.

“Cost and brand name is no indicator of whether the garment is fit for purpose,” she told he Inquiry.

“We have to find a market mechanism to force the manufacturers to improve their products, and to enable that through what the riders buy.

“The best quality product in the market in Australia today is probably the stuff in Aldi. I am serious; I have tested it.”

However, that doesn’t mean all cheap motorcycle gear has good protection.

Discount motorcycle gear company GearBest recently sent sent Motorbike Writer a mesh armoured motocross jacket and summer gloves at prices that seem too cheap to believe.

The MX jacket is only $US19.59 and the gloves are $US10.79.

However, riders should be warned that these products have no official safety certification.

The armour in the MX jacket is claimed to be made of “high-density wear-resistant” polyethylene-vinyl acetate which is a non-recyclable plastic. It is also made from lycra and PVC.

While it looks like some of the more expensive armour with all the adjusting straps and padding, without a certification standard it is difficult to know if it will protect you in a crash and I’m not about to test it out.

I lightly dragged a hacksaw blade across the plastic back protector section and it easily bit in, leaving a deep cut mark.

It may be suitable for a low-speed impact on dirt or sand, but nothing more.

Similarly, the gloves look the part with hard knuckle protectors, but they are not certified, so the risk is yours.

Their website claims the knuckle protectors are “carbon fiber hard shell protection”, however they feel like plastic.

I again tried the hacksaw blade on them and got the same result. They are for dirt only and might be suitable for a trials rider.Gearbest motorcycle gear

We’ve tested a wide range of gear here at and found well-known brands such as DriRider a good balance of cost and protection.

On the other hand, we have tested some expensive brands and found that some cheaper brands work just as well.

Just make sure that they are a reputable brand and have proper safety certification such as CE approval.

So, while you don’t need to spend exorbitant amounts on a brand name, remember that real cheap is cheap for a reason. How much do you value your life and limbs?

  1. Interesting and useful article. I guess the one data point that was not addressed was longevity of products. While I acknowledge professional option that some cheaper products will protect you as well as some more expensive pieces, I’d have to say some of those more expensive products will generally last longer and more importantly fit better. Obviously, if you could buy three pairs of cheaper gloves for the price of a more expensive set, then maths is maths. Just depends what your after.

    More broadly, I’m starting to see more pieces that claim to have a CE rating but don’t include the identifying numbers anywhere. I always thought these numbers were required noting the rating evolve over time?

    1. My experience is that just because it’s a brand name product it says nothing about how long it will last or how well it will fit.

      My Aldi jacket from 2014 is not showing any signs of wear, despite daily wear for 9 out of 12 months (and I could not ask for a better fit). The DriRider jacket I also bought in 2014 and wear the remaining 3 months is looking a lot more tired and the DriRider pants that I bought at the same time as the jacket literally fell apart in 6 weeks and had to be returned for a full refund.

      1. OMG, I’m about to be a snob when I suggest that Dririder isn’t really too much of a brand name. I always took it to be on par with Aldi’s — generally good average stuff. Similar to Rjays etc.

        I tend to think that the biggest names are Dainese and Alpinestars for leathers etc, Arai & Shoei for helmets. In my experience this stuff fits and wears very well, though I will certainly admit that there would be just as good a stuff available for a cheaper price. I also note that we pay a pretty decent ‘Oz tax’ on this ‘premium’ kit — Google for European and US prices, and you will see what I mean.

  2. A hacksaw is meant for cutting metal of course it will badly mark plastic! If you had done the same thing to certified armour the result would have probably been similar.
    The armour That is fitted to most riding gear is for impact only not for drag résistance.
    Carbon fibre is a poor choice for armour as it can shatter like glass , fibre glass and Kevlar are far better choices as they are also more abrasion resistant. Even plastic could be a better choice, so the carbon fibre on most things is cosmetic not truly functional. That said I’d love some Aldi gear but unfortunately like most suppliers they stop about four sizes too small for me some of the stuff you see in bike shops as well as Aldi would be a tight fit on a child let alone a full sized adult and then if you do find a store that carries more than just children’s sizes your choices are black black or black and occasionally grey unless you spend more than the cost of a new bike on gear alone you’re not likely to get anything that looks good and fits properly, except from the Internet but then you might be getting quality or rubish.

    1. Hi Al,
      I tried using a hacksaw blade on some genuine armour and found it only left a mark. It didn’t cut in like this.
      Unfortunately, Aldi only does their gear sale once a year. They’re not committed to the motorcycle rider; it’s just a gimmick to get you in the store!

    2. 4 sizes too small…I’m 6’1 and 100kg and the $99 2xl leather jeans I bought from Aldi (they were on the discount table about a month ago) are great. Also the jacket I bought 18months ago is also a great fit. They wouldn’t pass a track day (can’t zip them together) but for a commute they are perfect. A mate of mine complained they were too heavy. That’s where the saving is I’d suggest.

  3. It’s interesting that you only drop a couple of names in this article. Clearly a paid article by those names the names that were dropped.
    I agree with Al, what is with the hacksaw test? We must be vigilant to be on the lookout for hacksaws that jump out from the side of the road while out riding mustn’t we. Totally scientific approach. Might as well test it against power a saw if you want to get fair dink-um. What a crock of shit comparison.

    1. Hi,
      No, I’m afraid the article was not paid for and none of the brands named in the article advertise.
      I think a hacksaw blade is a pretty good comparison with the damage that would be done sliding at 60km/h across coarse-chip bitumen.
      I also hit it with a hammer and it badly deformed.
      By the way, if you pay for the postage, you can have the armour!

    2. A mesh armoured motocross jacket for $20 ?
      I’m bloody pleased motorbikewriter told me about it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
      I can’t afford the other stuff.
      Stop whingeing.

  4. Dont know that cheap is cheap for a reason. There is a fair bit of ‘brand’ snobbery
    Look at the difference in prices of approved helmets. some people just buy for a label

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