As a rider, buying quality motorcycle gear is one of the best investments you can make. But the manufacture of counterfeit goods isn’t confined to designer handbags: there’s a cynical and dangerous trade in fake motorcycle gear ranging from leathers to helmets.
The BBC has a programme called Fake Britain, and if you click on the Youtube link you can watch a segment all about counterfeit gear being open sold in the UK via internet sites:
If anything, the show underplays the potential hazards, particularly on the leathers. They took samples to Dainese in Italy for testing and the reporting concentrates on patch testing for abrasion resistance. From the look of the construction, the biggest weak spot of all is the stitching. Unless seams are double-folded and reverse stitched using super-strong thread, the stitching can be worn through in a fraction of a second and the garment will just fall apart.
The helmet test was particularly unnerving, with an end result that could be pulled apart by hand.
We’d love to think this sort of thing doesn’t happen here, but there are no guarantees. And of course buying online doesn’t give you the chance to inspect the stuff before you part with your cash. Not that some fakes are easy to determine. While the leathers looked dodgy to even an untrained eye, this examination of fake vs. genuine Alpinestars gloves shows the lengths counterfeiters will go to fool the unwary. Or greedy:
So, buyer beware. Going via a reputable motorcycle dealer is your best protection from fake equipment, but if you do buy online don’t be tempted by anything suspiciously cheap.