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Steve Farrell  says:

Learners told: ‘Wear bike kit or test will be cancelled’

Learner motorcyclists not in proper bike kit including boots and gloves face being turned away from their test. The Driving Standards Agency has told examiners they can turn away candidates not ‘appropriately’ dressed in at least heavy denim. Examples of kit deemed inappropriate include skiing gloves, ripped jeans and trainers. A sign in test centres tells examiners: ‘From 1 July, you may...

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  • Posted 4 years ago (11 July 2011 13:12)

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Jan 11

Posts: 38

5LeafClover says:

pick your fights

The law should require greater levels of protection in my opinion and it should be VAT free. A stealth tax id not thought about til today. Also I don't buy the whole "i can afford to buy and run a bike but not the clothing" argument. And MAG could do a better job of picking their fights rather than moaning at every proposed change. Then they might find they get listened to when it really matters. Finally, NO to hi viz. Anything that competes with budgets for quality armour or advanced training is a bad thing

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Dec 05

Posts: 24

bob9t9 says:


Summer, 28 degrees, full textile or leather kit. When it becomes law that all riders need to wear CE approved kit to be legal to ride that's what you'll have to put up with. Your insurance will not cover you when you pop to tescos and get hit by a drunk driver because you weren't in your armour. You'll have to prove you have CE labels in your clothing every time you visit a bike meet 'cos the police will be checking that as well as your pipe, visor, number plate and headlights.

Any thought put into the fact that a hot and bothered rider in full kit on a summer day will react slower due to discomfort or fatigue?

The list goes on, and with all forced legislation it will have a heavy financial penalty attached to it (but nothing permanent as they don't actually care, but are keen to find a buck when they can) so we'll all be out of pocket either over the counter at the clothes shop or the road side check point (probably called 'safety awareness assessment liaison' or something) so we can all look forward to being hotter, poorer, and more uncomfortable.

UNLESS we speak out now!

We almost got leg protectors, 100bhp limit and other 'safety' ideas forced upon us but we spoke out. We have had 'always on headlights' forced on us, and we're getting ABS whether we like it or not. So let's not let this one sneak in under the false title of advisory, proven safety or recommended......

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Jun 10

Posts: 46


When my machine is finished its re-constructive surgergy I have to admit that I will be riding it in shorts and t-shirt!


I am doing this to prove a point. People falsely believe that leathers and gloves and boots and all the other crap makes them safe, it doesn't! Yeah, it'll save some road rash on a low speed slide but anything else and you may as well saved the money for fuel!


I have the gear. Got a lovely carbon Shark helmet that I'll wear when I am out!


Even better idea. I may just ride up the west coast of Scotland right to the very tip and then head down the east coast before ending up back at my house in central Scotland and do it ALL in shorts and t-shirt!


Leathers are good for knee sliders... Keep a bit of heat in and prevent stones bouncing off your shins but COME ON! Compulsory?????????????????????? FFS. Stick this idea for a law up whoevers ass it clearly came from!


PS: Watch out for a guy doing 160+ in shorts and t-shirt. Beep yer horn as it's me!

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Feb 09

Posts: 69

BlackPrince says:

In Canada if you're doing your bike test with a private company you have to wear gloves, boots jeans and a jacket of some sort either denim or leather (this is the test in the carpark). With the MOT however, if you do your test w/ them then you can just wear a lid. I personally dont see the big deal, they're trying to promote safety for young riders and you w@nker libertarians are making it a philosophical issue. Oh, and I'm a doctor and if you don't wear gear when its actually not boiling hot you're just stupid, I'm sorry to say. Its your choice but its a stupid poserish American W@nker one. I get if its >30C, wearing a t-shirt if you're not going on the M-way for example, but why not wear a leather jacket and leave it open? At least your arms and shoulders are protected if not your torso. NOthing is more idiotic-looking than some W@nker on the Mway riding in a t-shirt and showing me his lumbar vertebrae in the wind, w/ his t-shirt flapping about

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Aug 02

Posts: 559


I believe it should be the riders choice, i have Goretex for bad weather, Leathers etc and use what i feel is appropriate at the time.

Sometimes i ride in just a jacket and jeans, on those occasions i ride accordingly, at the end of the day it should be the rider who decides. 

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Sep 10

Posts: 30

Histy says:

Keep It Safe

Its not the law to wear bike gloves and motorcycle trousers etc but its common sense. Right from the very start in the CBT instructors should be stressing that wearing appropriate kit is essential and doesn’t have to be expensive. I would not be confortable taking someone out on a 600cc+ bike with shell suit and trainers on, especially a nervous inexperienced rider.

Histy -

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Jul 08

Posts: 190

zephyrdave says:


The riders I know who wear proper kit every time are those who've been in a bad crash and are still here partly because of what they were wearing. Experience speaks volumes.

There was an interesting point about good kit only making a difference in a small spill - and there's the issue. Every low speed get off where the rider was wearing shorts or a shell suit (?!) gets recorded as a serious casualty rather than a slight because it ends up in a trip to hospital and potentially skin grafts etc etc so it adds to the stats which lead to legislation like making kit or hi-viz compulsory. The minor spills where the rider gets up, dusts off the scratched leathers or fabrics swears at the idiot driver and goes to sort his bike out tend not to get reported to the official stats at all, or at least only as a minor casualty so don't lead to oppressive legislation. 

And of course wearing decent kit in a high speed spill means that at least all your organs stay in roughly the right place rather than being smeared along the road ;-) 

The DSA and examiners unions are scared of getting sued by some idiot who turns up to do their test in shorts and a T shirt and bins it out on the road then blames the examiner for allowing them to do it under 'duty of care'. Compensation culture has a lot to answer for.  

It is, currently, your choice what you wear but it's worth remembering that roads aren't designed to be slippery (well not all of 'em) and if some muppet knocks you off in town at 30 mph on the way back from your 160 mph blast you'll still lose a lot of skin off your legs and arms if you're in shorts and a T Shirt and not be riding for a while regardless of the state of the bike.

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Mar 10

Posts: 119

MudDoctor says:

I think that an important point

is being missed here. Most of you arguing for freedom of choice already have your licences, and may even be experienced bikers. The problem for the test candidates is that they, by definition, are not experienced. (With the exception of those from outside the UK who already have a licence from their own country).

An inexperienced rider is probably the most vulnerable, and possibly the most likeley to crash. We need to encourage more bikers to take to the roads, so losing one to road rash from the outset is counterproductive.

Striking the right balance  is important here. Why spend thousands on the latest leather and carbon gear only to find out that you somehow can't pass your test? It happens.

Equally , why risk permanent scarring and possibly being put off biking for life by not wearing some kind of protection for your test?

Read through the article again. It isn't suggesting that anyone turn up in full leathers. I would even suspect that most riders already have some of the gear, as I would expect that their tutors have already ensured or at least advised  that they have it prior to the test.

This whole thing is designed to start riders off with the right approach to rider safety. What you choose to wear after you have your licence is up to you, and I would even go so far to say that it is far less draconian than the Health and Safety Act for work gear. Turn up at a building site and refuse to wear a hard hat or safety boots and see how long you last. Where's the outcry about that?

No one likes compulsion, so it is understandable that some might find this advice the thin end of the wedge.

However, if people continue to ignore well meant advice, it could easily turn into a compulsory requirement for ALL of us, not just test candidates. You all know how government works!

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Aug 09

Posts: 28

fryatuck says:


When you go for your Test they are testing you on your riding ability Not your Dress sense. But the Highway code dose say that they recommend that boots, (not bike boots) gloves (what would you do if you didn't have hands), jeans and a jacket that covers your arms. most people have a jacket even if its a hoodie. So why wouldn't someone want to try & protect their self's with at least the minimum, Lets face it what it would cost would be less than what you might lose from being off work. Someone has justified the wearing of shorts & T-shirt because that they read the road, but that is not always possible now days with the invention of the POT-HOLE, I know someone that hit a pot-hole on a blind corner at 20mph and was off work for 6 weeks because of injuries if he had been wearing boots his ankle would of been protected. Motorcycling is fun so be safe & enjoy !!!!!! :)

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Feb 09

Posts: 541

jon66 says:


Although they supplied jackets and gloves , i was advised by the centre i did my lessons /test with to get all my bike gear before doing my test as the first thing you want to do when you pass is get on a bike n ride ! i know that a lid is the only regulatory piece of gear you need but start with the good habits , there will be plenty bad habits picked up over the years

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