We explained about "CE Tested," "CE Certified," and "CE Approved" terms used for the armours in motorcycle jackets and pants in the previous part. But you must have also noticed some codes and numbers on a label stitched into your Alpinestars riding gear. So, let us decode these codes.
Referring to the label above:
1. The standard
The EN 1621 code states, “Motorcyclists protective clothing against mechanical impact.”
2. Impact protector's area
The above label states K+L TYPE A underneath the motorcyclist symbol. The K+L letters denote that the armour in this clothing item is for the knee and shin.
S – Shoulder.
E – Elbow.
H – Hip.
K – Knee.
K + L – Knee, upper and middle tibia.
L – Shin (front of leg) below knee protector.
KP – Knuckle protection.
"TYPE A" here describes the protector's coverage area:
A – reduced coverage area for special applications.
B – normal coverage area.
3. Cold temperature test
The "T-" symbol means the armour has been tested for effectiveness at winter temperatures.
4. Hot temperature test
The "T+" symbol means the armour was tested for effectiveness in hot temperatures.
5. Level of Protection
There are two levels of protection, Level 1 and Level 2. The amount of force transmitted through determines the level. For example:
Level 1 – Maximum transferred force must be below 18 kN, and no single value above 24 kN.
Level 2 – Maximum transferred force must be below 9 kN, and no single value above 12 kN.
This means a certified Level 2 armour is more protective than one that’s certified as Level 1.
Bottom of the label
In this case, EN 1621-1:2012.
EN 1621-1 means protection for those areas in point #2, in this case the knee and shin.
If you see EN 1621-2, the armour is for the back protector. However, there are different codes for different areas of coverage:
B or FB – Full back protector.
CB – Central back.
L or LB – Lumbar only.
EN 1621-3 standard applies to chest protectors.
Do note that gear manufacturers may or may not list the entire code in the garment or armour itself. However, you may find the full information on the cards attached to the piece of new gear.
On this note, certain riding gear manufacturers may also describe the level of protection for other criterias, for example:
Performance Level 1 or 2.
Abrasion resistance Level 1 or 2.
Impact cut resistance Level 1 or 2.
Burst strength Level 1 or 2.
UNI prEN 17092-X:2017
The CE authorization body has implemented a new standard after 2018, although it doesn’t appear as much on riding gears. This new standard encapsulates the level of protection within the code itself, unlike the previous EN1621-X, which only alludes the area of protection.
For example, it means Class AAA (the highest level) if you see the code prEN 17092-2:2019 (2019 being the year the gear was certified).
Class AAA (prEN 17092-2:20XX)
Offers the highest level of protection for highest level of risk.
Class AA (prEN 17092-3:20XX)
Second highest level of protection.
Class A (prEN 17092-4:20XX)
Third highest level of protection. Comfortable for street riding on a daily basis.
Class B (prEN 17092-5:20XX)
Abrasion protection equal to Class A but without impact protection.
Class C (prEN 17092-6:20XX)
The least level of protection. Some armors may fall into this category as they resist impacts but not abrasion.
Do note that the use of the EN 1621 and prEN 17092 standards does not denote the year the protector or garment was made. Also, the above standards only applies to the impact protectors i.e. armour in the garment, not for the entire garment itself. There is another CE standard which applies to the garment, sans the protectors.