Issue # 3 - The new super materials in MC clothing
Motorcycling has evolved over the years, from being just a mode of transportation to, for many, becoming a passionate lifestyle. As more and more people have taken up motorcycling, the safety of motorcyclists has also become a top priority. Both among near and dear ones but also with the insurance companies who have started to make stricter demands on their customers to wear approved safety garments in order to benefit from lower premiums.
Motorcycle clothing, especially jackets and pants, play a vital role in protecting the motorcyclist from potential hazards while ensuring comfort and style. The integration of cutting-edge materials such as Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), Dyneema and Cordura has revolutionized the design and performance of motorcycle gear. This article delves into the importance, properties and applications of these materials in motorcycle jackets and trousers, highlighting their role in improving the safety and comfort of the motorcyclist.
Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)UHMWPE, a subset of high-performance polyethylene fibers, has won significant recognition for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and remarkable resistance to abrasion. These properties make UHMWPE an ideal choice for motorcycle clothing, where protection against road wear and impact is paramount. UHMWPE fibers are often incorporated into the construction of motorcycle jackets and pants to provide robust reinforcement in critical areas.
Properties of UHMWPE
UHMWPE fibers exhibit remarkable tensile strength, even surpassing steel on a weight-for-weight basis. This property provides superior tear and puncture resistance to motorcycle gear. In addition, UHMWPE's low coefficient of friction minimizes the risk of abrasion damage during sliding impacts. At the same time, its high flexibility ensures optimal mobility for the motorcyclist without compromising on protection.
Applications in motorcycle clothing
In motorcycle jackets and pants, UHMWPE is strategically placed in sensitive areas such as shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. It acts as a strong protection against abrasion, reduces the risk of abrasions and spreads the energy of an impact over a larger area. The integration of UHMWPE improves the overall durability of the garment, extending its life and ensuring reliable performance even over time.
Dyneema and Spectra
Dyneema and Spectra are both brands of UHMWPE fiber and therefore have much the same properties as more anonymous variants of the UHMWPE fiber. In other words, they are known for their exceptional strength and versatility. With their lightweight nature and resistance to chemicals and UV rays, Dyneema and Spectra have found widespread application in various industries, including motorcycle clothing.
Cordura is a versatile high performance fabric that has found its way into motorcycle gear due to its durability and abrasion resistance. It is often used in combination with other materials to create a balanced and effective protective garment.
Characteristics of Cordura
Cordura fabrics are known for their robustness and resistance to wear and tear. The material's abrasion resistance makes it suitable for use in motorcycle jackets and trousers, especially in areas subject to high levels of friction. Cordura textiles also offer excellent color fastness and resistance to fading, ensuring that the equipment retains its aesthetic appeal over time.
Applications in motorcycle clothing
Cordura is often mixed with other materials, such as UHMWPE or Dyneema, to create multi-layer textiles with improved protective properties. Motorcycle jackets and pants may have Cordura reinforced panels in exposed areas such as elbows, shoulders, knees and seat areas. The combination of Cordura's durability and the protective properties of other advanced materials results in equipment that effectively protects the motorcyclist in the event of accidents.
Innovation and future prospects
As technology continues to advance, the motorcycle apparel industry will likely introduce additional innovations in motorcycle apparel material choices. New ways of combining UHMWPE, Dyneema/Spectra, Cordura with other advanced materials will be able to create garments with even higher levels of protection and comfort. But it's also conceivable that research into smart textiles and wearable technology could lead to the development of equipment that not only protects but also improves the overall driving experience.
The use of materials such as UHMWPE, Dyneema and Cordura in motorcycle jackets and trousers has revolutionized rider safety and comfort. These advanced materials, with their exceptional strength, abrasion resistance and flexibility, contribute significantly to reducing the risk of injury in accidents. As technology advances, the motorcycle apparel industry is poised to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, ensuring the rider can enjoy the thrill of the open road with increased confidence in their protective gear.