shopping guides ● 15 july, 2020
we advise you about…
the hump of a motorcycle suit: have you ever wondered why they have it? we’ll reveal all and we’ll see how it
writings and we refute some false beliefs. keep riding.
in this post we’re going to talk about the hump. no, not the hump we’ve got from so much sitting on the sofa during lockdown, but the hump in your motorcycle suit or sports jacket. have you ever wondered why they have it?
we’ll reveal all and we’ll see how it works and we refute some false beliefs. keep riding.
the hump of motorcycle suit: false beliefs
it’s time to refute the false beliefs. the hump of a suit is a safety element, fake news! we’ve read some absurd theories: if it’s a cushion for when you’re lying down after falling, if it cushions the blow to the neck…well no, none of that.
the right answer is: aerodynamics! the hump is an element devised to improve the aerodynamic profile that the rider presents when coupled with the motorcycle.
how does the aerodynamic hump work in a motorcycle suit
how? when you tuck in behind your motorcycle dome, if you look at the image in profile, the air flows over the dome and passes over our helmet. and when it travels further back, it then comes across a step: the space between your suit and the helmet. the hump is in charge of occupying this space.
why? because in this way the air carries on flowing harmoniously around your suit and then to the back, and doesn’t generate any turbulence. and turbulences must be avoided at all costs as they generate excessive aerodynamic resistance and this also carries with it a loss of maximum velocity.
if we want to get technical, in aerodynamics this effect is called ‘drag’. and any engineer worth their salt will tell you that this has to be minimalized as much as possible.
see how even over the last few years we’re seeing how competition helmets are also incorporating spoilers that help to channel this air towards the hump and also afford stability at high speeds.
when did aerodynamic humps first appear? a little bit of history
just like the back protectors, the competition motorcycle suit humps arrived in the 90s – google it if you like and you’ll see how rossi already wore a hump in 125cc, whilst doohan in 500cc didn’t.
and since then, the hump has become an essential element in a track suit, each time being more and more exaggerated” and bigger. because aerodynamics is more and more important, if not, check out the spoilers in motogp.
Read more: A Beginner’s Guide To Motorcycle Gear
also, the interior of the humps has become a sort of very useful storage space: there you can store the hydration reservoir or the airbag’s software system. because, yes friend, the competition airbags need a space for their electronics and telemetry. if you want to know more about track and road airbags, there’s a very complete video on our channel where we explain all.
motorcycle jackets with aerodynamic humps
now you can also find sports motorcycle jackets devised for the road which incorporate a hump. obviously, they’re not as massive, but they fulfil the same function: to improve the aerodynamics.
do we gain anything off the track? well, evidently, on the road you’re not going to try and add a millisecond to your top speed. but it will always help to create less turbulence and we gain some stability that your neck muscles will always appreciate
and, there’s the look, the aesthetics. it gives it a sports touch that’s cool, full stop.
the suit’s aerodynamic hump and safety
but there’s one thing we want to make clear. as we’ve said, the hump is an aerodynamic element, not a safety one. but i also want to make clear that it doesn’t impede safety. it doesn’t restrict the work of the back protector or of any other protection of the suit. if that was the case, it wouldn’t be used in competition.
this said, we think we’ve resolved the mystery of the aerodynamic hump. you can leave your comments and experiences on this subject in the comments section. you can also say what you’d like our next motorcycle-science video to be. we’ve done glove tests, explained a helmet from the inside, tested airbags…we’ll e expecting your suggestions.