I like a good safety standard, don't you? Yes, clearly life is dangerous, and all of us are going to die one day. And we want to have some fun before we do. 

But having reasonable, agreed-upon safety standards about things that we can depend on helps us have a reasonable expectation of some small degree of safety. And thus, we can make more informed choices about how we mitigate the risks we choose to take. Like, say, riding motorcycles or other powersports equipment. You see where I'm going, I'm sure.

In the US, where I live, we require a DOT sticker on helmets (the efficacy of which is up for debate). Helmets sold here may also have ECE or Snell certifications, but they're optional (though ECE certification is a requirement for helmets sold in Europe). Depending on where helmets are sold in the world, they may also have SHARP, JIS, or other certifications that aren't seen in the US.

As far as gear outside of motorcycle helmets is concerned, though, the UK and Europe have several standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) certification that different garments must meet. Since riding is quite popular in Europe, and most motorcycle gear manufacturers sell gear there, as well as in other markets, even those of us in the US can also benefit from those standards as a bit of a bonus for the safety-minded among us.

By now, you're probably well aware that your standard pair of Levis isn't going to do much to protect you if you slide. But a high-quality pair of motorcycle jeans that are reinforced with Kevlar or Dyneema and which also have impact protection at the knees and hips should do quite a bit more, as long as they do what they promise. That's the entire point of safety standards.

And that's exactly what Bennetts BikeSocial's John Milbank continues to rail about in his latest video on the popular UK-based moto YouTube channel. Back in October 2022, he drew all our attention to the shoddy safety of moto gloves that were being advertised all over social media at the time, sold by a brand called Carvenal

Fast-forward to July 2024, and he's back trying to slay the dragon that is sketchy motorcycle gloves with questionable safety tags on them, and which are sold on Amazon. The crux of his argument is this: If Amazon itself is shipping these gloves from its UK warehouses, then the gloves it sells should meet UK safety standard requirements for PPE sold in the UK. Seems reasonable, right?

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But since Amazon also acts as a retail platform for other sellers, it's previously muddied the waters by saying that while it considers safety to be "a top priority," it can't be held responsible for noncompliant items because it's a retail platform.

And while Bennetts can't prove for certain that the brand Cofit, which has its name on the gloves in question in this video, faked its safety certification labels, what Bennetts can say for sure is that the gloves it tested failed the independent safety certification tests that it put them through.

Of the multiple pairs of Cofit gloves that Bennetts paid to have tested by an independent UK testing service, they would not have achieved the EN 13594 Level 1 standards that their labels said they did.

Milbank and Bennetts intend this video as an open letter to Amazon, asking it to address and fix these issues. It's unclear at this point whether it will have the desired result. However, in the meantime, it's also intended to raise awareness among riders about how to choose good quality gear that will hopefully keep us all safe and riding whatever (and wherever) we want for years to come. 

So please, if you have a bit of time, check it out and choose your gear carefully. And coming from someone who's often bought their gear on sale, it is absolutely possible to get good-quality stuff and not pay top dollar for it.

Your funds may be tight, but skimping on safety could make things much worse down the line. This may be anecdotal, but I've crashed and walked away with little more than bruises more than once, and I completely credit wearing quality gear on those unfortunate occasions.

Ride awesome, and keep your eyes out for scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even in 2024 (and maybe especially in 2024).

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