: Do You Remember This Article?

Randy Singer
19th March 2013, 09:36 AM
A number of years ago a motorcycle magazine tested different motorcycle safety apparel materials by attaching them to a weighted board and dragging them behind a car to see how long they lasted before wearing through.

I think that the magazine was Cycle World. Anyone remember that article, or, even better, have a copy of the magazine with the article in it?

19th March 2013, 12:49 PM
I believe it was Cycle magazine, back in the late '70's. I remember the lead photo was a rider sitting on the ground, pretending to be dragged by a motorcycle. They tested many fabrics, from denim to ballistic nylon. I will look for it, I know I still have it.

19th March 2013, 01:55 PM
Was it about "Draggin Jeans"?

Chainsaw Willie!
19th March 2013, 02:25 PM
I remember it being early '80s. What did we have back then? Cycle, Cycle World, Cycle Guide? It seems like the kind of thing Motorcycle Consumer News woulda done.

They pulled a trailer that would drop a hinged arm. On the end of the arm was a hay bale. The hay bale was smeared with chalk, then the test material covered it, then another layer of chalk. They drove at 50 MPH and lowered the hay bale. The arm hinged to the trailer kept the bale from tumbling and the same surface dragged the whole time. Later they would measure the distance between the chalk spots.

Leather had the greatest distance, with the heavy nylon (which were new at the time) a distant second. Ski jackets, denim, were WAY off, as in a few inches of protection. They were unable to tell a difference between the start and stop chalk spots for a cotton sweat shirt.

Of course, I may have some creative memory, this was at least 30 years ago...

Chainsaw Willie!
19th March 2013, 03:44 PM
A quick Google came up with Cycle magazine, September 1988, having such an article "Abrasion Testing: Torn in the USA". I'm not sure if it is the same article, but it has the results I remember.

Race leathers last a long time,
Kevlar/Cordura last about 1/4 to 1/2 as long,
lightweight leather, common nylon, denim are not protective at all.

Good quality thick leather wins by a BIG margin.

I can't find the article online but here are otherpeoples quotes and paraphrases.

Because most injuries are caused from skidding along the ground, abrasion resistance is vital. One of the best sources on abrasion is the famed "Torn in the U.S.A." drag test conducted almost 20 years ago by now-defunct Cycle magazine. For that test, clothing samples were stitched to a 75-pound sandbag and thrown out of the back of a pickup truck to see how long they'd take to disintegrate. Competition-weight leather (1.5-1.7 mm thick) lasted longest -- about four times longer than Kevlar, five times longer than 440 denier Cordura nylon and 20 times longer than denim jeans, which take about half a second to give out in a 30 mph crash.

Regardless of a material's abrasion resistance, how well a garment holds up on impact depends on an array of variables that are rarely cited on a garment tag.

In the case of leather, there are wildly different grades and thicknesses -- from beefy competition weights to thinner, buttery soft "fashion" leathers that offer less than 5% the protection of their weightier counterparts. That issue is complicated by the caliber of the hide from which the leather is cut. A natural hide is more consistent in its thickness than a hide that has been corrected.

In the case of textiles, it isn't just the caliber of the material but its construction. Kevlar ranks second overall for its abrasion resistance, but it's more protective when it's knitted, rather than woven. Cordura nylon ranks third, but it needs to be at least 440 denier and should also be coated.

Abrasion test from Cycle Sept 1988

Reprint from a
Sept 88 "Cycle" magazine article "Abrasion Testing: Torn in the USA".

Drag Test

"For the Drag Test, samples were stitched to a bag that held a 75-pound
sandbag inside a milk crate, then dragged behind a pickup truck..."

New, 100% Cotton Denim Jeans ----------------------- 3' 10"
Senior Balistic Nylon ----------------------------------- 3' 10"
Leather, Lightweight, Nude Finish, 2.25 oz/sq. ft. --- 4' 3"
Leather, Fashion Weight, 1.75 oz/sq ft. ------------- 4' 4"
Two-year-old 100% Cotton Denim Jeans ------------ 4' 5"
Cordura Nylon Type 440 ----------------------------- 18' 3"
Kevlar 29 Aramid Fiber, Style 713 ------------------ 22' 1"
Leather, Competition Weight, 3 oz/sq. ft. -------- 86' 0"

Taber Test

"For the Taber Test, the specimen was mounted on a rotating platform and
scuffed by two rubber-emery grinding wheels." The numbers represent the
number of revolutions until the fabric totally fails. A vacuum clears

Two-year-old 100% Cotton Denim Jeans 168
New 100% Cotton Denim Jeans 225
Kevlar 29 Aramid Fiber, Style 713 506
Cordura Nylon, Type 440 559
Leather, Lightweight, Nude Finish, 2.25 oz./sq. ft. 564
Leather, Fashion Weight, 1.75 oz./sq. ft. 750
Senior Ballistic Nylon 817
Leather, Competition Weight, 3 oz./sq. ft. 2600

More to consider...

"Finally, protection from road abrasion cannot be guaranteed by a
materials abrasion resistance alone. A jacket may have panels of
highly abrasion-resistant materials, yet if low-quality stitching joins
those panels and the seams come apart upon impact or during a slide, then
the abrasion resistance of the panels could count for nothing.
Furthermore, an ill-fitting garment may ride up in a slide, contorting
the body and exposing the skin. And the best jacket in the world, left
unzipped and/or unsnapped, won't give riders the protection they pay
for. When it comes to safety, the issues are more complex than just the
abrasion resistance of materials."

Randy Singer
20th March 2013, 02:02 AM
I believe it was Cycle magazine, back in the late '70's. I remember the lead photo was a rider sitting on the ground, pretending to be dragged by a motorcycle. They tested many fabrics, from denim to ballistic nylon. I will look for it, I know I still have it.

If you could xerox it, that would be stupendous!

Thanks everyone!

Randy Singer
20th March 2013, 08:01 AM
If you could xerox it, that would be stupendous!

Did I say "xerox"? Sorry, I'm showing my age. I meant to say, if you could scan it for me, that would be great of you.


Chainsaw Willie!
24th March 2013, 03:50 PM
Perhaps there is a problem with the mimeograph machine?

24th March 2013, 05:37 PM
Dragon jeans had an advert about 8 years ago which they may still run of there motorbike jeans being dragged along behind a car at a certain speed to prove how good they were.

they didn't compair them to any other material as far as I know though.

Anyway, the advert worked for me as I got myself a pair and still have them, though they've never been tested yet !!

heres a video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSwf6-QaIKo&list=UUIzFgUjPB1rw9z6zTYZOrRg&index=1

Quote " the cows aren't getting any better at growing leather but what with new fibre technology we are making progress with new materials "

HAAAA !!! heres an even better one where they use REAL LIVE TEST DUMMIES http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO5lGbEmlNM&list=UUIzFgUjPB1rw9z6zTYZOrRg

25th March 2013, 12:32 AM
Here's a youtube clip of a test for Draggon Jeans


plus one of the NZ outlets for Draggon Jeans repeated the test last year at the Paeroa Street races during the lunch break - yep, they do what they say they will

23rd May 2013, 07:40 AM
This is the first time am hearing about such an article