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Why buy quality motorcycle protective gear? | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

Used and abused

There’s no denying the hip-pocket pain felt when you part with your hard-earned cash for quality riding gear, but that’s nothing compared to the real pain you will feel if the budget gear you purchased does not live up to the promises on the label when your day turns to shit.

Thankfully, most of the gear we feature in these pages is not put to the ultimate test, however, things do not always go according to plan. I recently discovered this, and because my Shark Helmet, Berik leather suit and Ixon gloves did exactly what they were designed to do, I was able to walk away with nothing worse than a bit of a headache and a few bruises.

Shark Race R Pro

Tested: AMCN Vol 65 No 07

Price: $759.95

As you can see from the damaged shell, my head took quite a whack when it hit the ground and I certainly felt the impact. The shell is made of a carbon-aramid material so it’s light, yet retains a SHARP five-star impact resistance performance rating. Sure, it will hurt financially to say goodbye to an $800 helmet, but do not be tempted to put your faith in a lid that has already taken a knock.

Before this helmet went into the bin I took the opportunity to pull it apart and inspect the components. The shell is incredibly light and thin, yet there was no evidence that the impact had damaged anything other than the outer layer. The high-density EPS liner was also unmarked.

A well-designed and snug-fitting liner meant the helmet remained securely on my head. The Shark Race R Pro has been developed with the assistance of champion MotoGP and WSBK riders, and it shows in the safety features and comfort.

Berik Force Race Suit

Tested: AMCN Vol 65 No 20

Price: $1249.95

As I slid down the track I discovered that the quality of the material separating your hide from the flesh-ripping tarmac is just one thing you need in a good suit. In my initial test of the Berik suit I remarked that the longer arm length overlapped my glove well. Even with this overlap, my wrist was exposed during the crash and I copped bit of road rash, but it could have been much worse. The CE-approved protectors in the elbows, shoulders and knees did exactly as intended, and looking at the multi-coloured bruise on my elbow, in the perfect shape of the protector, I’m thankful it was in the right place at the right time.

As for the slip-and-slide protection, the outer layer of the 1.1-1.3mm premium full-grain cow leather suit had worn through in a couple of places but the inner layer still had me covered.

Unlike helmets, leather suits can be used again after a crash – up to a point – so I’m off to OZMC Leathers. Look for a guide to having your race leathers repaired in an upcoming issue of AMCN.

Ixon RS Circuit HP Gloves

Price: $149.95

Fingers are great for all sorts of cool stuff, like picking your nose, so you really want to keep them in good working order. I don’t remember my hands coming into contact with the road, but my gloves revealed otherwise – even the cuff has a graze mark. Like my helmet, the gloves are soon to be landfill.

All items from Ficeda

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