Traveling by motorbike has many advantages and it can be a real pleasure if you are passionate about this mode of transport. However, when it comes to road safety, the motorcycle does not offer the same level of passive protection as a car: seat belt, airbag or headrest. For this reason, wearing the appropriate safety equipment when riding a two-wheeler is essential to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident or fall.
Motorcycle insurance: what guarantee for motorcycle equipment?
In France, wearing an approved motorcycle helmet has become an obligation since 1973, whether for the pilot or for the passenger. In addition to this essential motorcycle equipment, wear motorcycle gloves CE certified also became mandatory from January 2016. Also, although it is not mandatory to wear it to ride a motorcycle on the roads, wearing a fluorescent vest is necessary in case of emergency.
Since motorcycle insurance is essential for driving a two-wheeler on public roads, having the right motorcycle equipment and accessories (helmet, gloves, pants, boots, jacket and airbag vest) is very important to reduce injuries, fractures and skin burns in the event of the unexpected. In the same spirit, it should be noted that it is also possible to include a motorcycle equipment guarantee in your motorcycle insurance contract.
With a motorcycle equipment guarantee, your motorcycle insurance allows you to benefit from adequate cover in the event of theft or accident for your gloves, helmet, jacket, pants and boots. Most insurers set more or less strict conditions to be able to benefit from the equipment guarantee. In this sense, some insurance companies only guarantee accessories certified NF (French certification) or CE (European certification).
Motorcycle safety levels established in France
According to established standards, the use of motorcycle equipment and accessories can be classified into four levels:
- Level 1: in addition to the mandatory homologated helmet and gloves, riders who use their motorcycle occasionally must wear a motorcycle jacket with appropriate protection.
- Level 2: for regular drivers, motorcycle boots must be added in addition to the equipment recommended for the first level.
- Level 3: Motorcyclists who drive actively must wear trousers with adequate protection.
- Level 4: riders of this rank ride their motorcycles intensively, the level of protection includes the use of airbags.
Wearing approved motorcycle equipment provides you with double protection in the event of a fall or accident. Indeed, driving a motorcycle with an unapproved helmet exposes you to two risks. The first and most serious is the possibility of sustaining more serious injuries. The second risk is that your motorcycle insurance is entitled to advance the non-compliance of the helmet to lower the amount of compensation.
The protection factors of motorcycle accessories
By comparing the levels with data from European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (ACEM), a denim or nylon jacket has a protection factor of 69%, while a motorcycle jacket reaches 92%. For foot protection, sneakers have a protection factor of 46%, while motorcycle boots (recommended at level 2) reach 93%. As for the pants recommended for level 3, the models designed for motorcyclists have a protection factor of 96%, compared to 65% for normal pants.
Finally, it is important to talk about jackets that include an airbag (recommended at level 4) to protect motorcycle riders. Moreover, airbag vests are also available in the market. As with all motorcycle accessories and equipment mentioned, it is possible to find products for all budgets.