Riders will benefit from $13.2 million of Federal Government funding for research into “future fibres”, including next-generation protective clothing. Longtime Australia motorcycle clothing manufacturer Draggin Jeans is one of the partners in the Future Fibres Hub research that will cover four different areas. The exact amount set aside for motorcycle apparel is therefore difficult to assess. However, it’s better than the zero government funding that has been received so far for research into protecting one of the most vulnerable road users. Draggin operations manager Nathan Edwards says their own investment in research and development is pivotal to their company’s success. Draggin Razzo protective motorcycle jeans “Draggin has always been at the forefront of motorcycle clothing technology and this will allow us to remain the global leader,’ he says. “The support of the government to keep achieving that is great for our riders and the motorcycle community.” Future Fibres Hub projects: Developing next generation protective apparel for motorcycle riders in conjunction with Draggin; Researching carbon fibres with tailor-made properties for specific applications and finer, stronger carbon fibres and composites; Developing advanced polymer fibres to enhance the comfort and functionality of textiles; and researching silk-based membranes for eardrum repair. The second and third projects may also have spin-off effects for motorcycle clothing. And with the engine and wine noise on motorcycles, riders may also benefit from the fourth project! Hub director Professor Xungai Wang says the potential of fibre and textile materials is being recognised and realised worldwide. He says Australia has led the way through significant government and private investments which may be a reference to the work Draggin’ has done over the past 20-odd years.