- Skink Motorcycle Over-Gloves
Wind-chill armour for motorcyclists
- When riding in cold weather conditions, motorcycle riders can suffer severe numbing and loss of flexibility in their hands. This is caused by wind chill, as with every 5km/h of wind speed the surface temperature drops 5°. So with motorcyclists traveling on average at 50km/h the effect of wind chill on their extremities can be severe. Not only does it reduce flexibility but, in extreme cases, can cause frostbite. This is a major safety issue for an already vulnerable road user as, due to the small frontal area of the motorcycle, the rider is often not seen by other road users.
Skink Motorcycle Over-Gloves are designed to be worn over motorcycle gloves as a protective layer to prevent wind chill penetrating to the rider’s hand and affecting their mobility. They are designed to move and function like a reptile’s scales, protecting the hand from wind and rain by directing the flow over the hand. Skink Over-Gloves also feature 3 LEDs on each glove, these help to increase the visibility of the rider to other road users.
- Design Process
- Aims · To protect the rider’s hands from cold weather elements
· To maintain hand warmth and dexterity
· To add an extra dimension of road safety via lighting
Objectives · Define the user’s needs and wants
· Understand the user profile
· Understand the affect cold has on the user
· Understand the elevated safety risk associated with cold weather affects
· Examine how existing products function
· Research potential technologies
· Examine how the rider’s hands move to control the levers
· Develop innovative concepts based on the knowledge gained from research
· Choose a final concept that has the maximum potential to answer the aims and objectives while providing for the user’s needs
· Develop the concept through thorough iterations to a finished product that meets the aims and needs as outlined to be a successful product
- Research Results and Conclusions
Defined Problem· Loss of mobility in hands due to riding in cold weather
-Cold weather restricts blood flow to the extremities
· Wind chill factor increases this. 5°C drop in surface temperature for every 5km/h of wind speed 
· Stress and discomfort also affect concentration
· In extreme cases can cause frostbite
· Safety Issue – Without proper hand mobility, a motorcyclist cannot control the bike effectively. Very dangerous for an already vulnerable road user.
Research Results · Riders find hand numbness the most problematic
o Being wet is more stressful but being cold is a dangerous safety issue
· Majority of riders use thick winter gloves
o Most effective are handguards and heated grips used together
o All riders want to wear as thin a glove as possible
· Riders have to improvise ways to keep warm
o Warming hands on exhaust pipes
o Using hand dryers
o Stopping for coffee
· Majority of riders want a wearable product
o Majority don’t want any heating element, just insulation
o Riders do not want wires, too much clutter
Ideation began with brainstorming as well as developing ideas from technology found during research, Such as developing heating systems from body heat, harnessing energy by utilising the wind passing over the rider as well as vibrational energy created from the motorcycle's motor and road surface. Piezoelectric materials were also researched and could be used in further development of this concept.
Ideation developed through hand sketches of ideas and concepts based off the requirements of the user developed from the research phase.