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Test bench development of a neck protector for motorcycle riders saves lives

Leatt Corporation, South Africa


Severe injuries in motorcycle accidents frequently involve the cervical spine. The Leatt Corporation developed a special neck protector, the Leatt Brace, for this reason. SoMat eDAQlite and nCode GlyphWorks® from HBK are used in the tests and experiments for this neck protector. The weakest point of every motorcycle rider is the cervical spine area which is frequently injured in many motorcycle accidents. In order to protect this area better, the South African doctor Chris Leatt developed a special neck protector called the Leatt Brace. As with all safety devices, comprehensive tests and experiments were essential beforehand. The device needed to be able to reduce bending moments, shearing forces and axial forces acting on the cervical spine.


Test bench simulates accidents

After initial testing together with BMW, the experts at the Leatt Corporation developed their own test structures with which they could simulate the forces acting on bike riders during an accident. “There were no test bench standards for this device, so we needed to set them ourselves” said Cornel de Jongh, biomedical engineer. During an accident, compressive, tensile and shear forces occur together with strain and bending moments, and these need to be evaluated in combination. “Besides the mechanics, we use the SoMat eDAQlite data acquisition unit from HBK to acquire the signals from our 23 dummy and other sensor channels”, explained Cornel. This extremely rugged amplifier can be used to acquire a wide range of parameters, making SoMat eDAQlite the ‘heart’ of this test bench as Cornel emphasized. The Leatt Corporation uses HBK's nCode GlyphWorks® software for post-processing the measurement data – powerful software for processing test data in engineering with the focus on structural durability and lifetime analyses.

Leatt Corporation

Leatt Corporation is renowned for the award-winning Leatt-Brace®, and have since extended our range to include Leatt® helmets, body armor, knee braces, elbow guards, hydration systems and other cutting-edge products that are redefining protection and inspiring confidence in the world of extreme sports. Independently backed by science and testing and trusted by some of the fastest riders in the world, Leatt® protects athletes who constantly push the limits.

More about Leatt Corporation

Technology used