Circuit design has a major influence on the number and severity of accidents, hence all Riders must meet very high track safety requirements, designed to avoid or minimize impacts in the event of an accident. Run-off zones are carefully placed around the circuit. These are empty spaces directly beside the actual track, designed to passively or actively decelerate an out-of-control bike and prevent a collision with track walls or barriers. To improve motorcycle safety, FMSCI has made it mandatory to wear personal protective equipment such as protective clothing and helmets during all times on the Circuit. Protective clothing may include Leathers and certain types of helmets, jackets, gloves, boots, and pants.
Motorcycle helmet is protective headgear used by motorcycle riders. The primary goal of a motorcycle helmet is to protect the rider’s head during impact, although many helmets provide additional protection such as a face shield. Helmets are made in two main layers: hard and energy-absorbing. The hard shell spreads an impact over a larger area, while deformation of the liner (often polystyrene foam) absorbs energy so less is transferred to the skull and brain. Full-face helmets offer maximum protection and are mandatory on the Circuit. All helmets must be CE marked and must bear the European Safety Standard No ECER22-05.
Leathers are one-piece suits or two-piece jackets and trousers worn by motorcyclists mainly for protection in a crash. The leather used is not fashion leather but protective leather which is thicker and stronger, and only moderately flexible. Leathers have armour on the inside at major impact regions such as shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and back. The European Standards for these protectors are EN 1621-1:2007 and EN 1621-2:2003. The energy absorbers and load spreaders constructed from high density foam, foam backed hard polymers, carbon fiber, titanium, and other materials are designed to prevent or reduce injury by spreading and dampening impact and shear strains to the wearer.
Gloves are generally made of leather or Kevlar and some include carbon fiber knuckle protection. They may have gauntlets to protect the rider’s wrists from injury, and help reduce drafts while riding in colder climates. Motorcycling gloves typically have reinforced palms intended to protect the rider from abrasion injuries in case of an accident. Again, if the manufacturer claims the gloves are protective, then they must be CE marked. European Standard EN 13594:2002 is available for this purpose.
Boots, especially those for sport riding, include reinforcement and plastic caps on the ankle and toe areas. They are designed using materials and seam construction that are impact, abrasion, cut, tear and burst resistant. Tough, strong, moderately flexible boots with stiff soles provide the rider protection from a number of risks. Boots with oil-resistant, rubber-based composite soles give a grip on the pavement and help keep the rider’s feet on the pegs. Boots may also have energy absorbers and load spreaders on the shin, inside and outside of each ankle. A stiff sole working laterally helps prevent or decrease crash injuries caused by crushing and shear strain. For boots, the European Standard is EN 13634:2002.