Over the last 25 years two different strategies have evolved for protecting the motorcycle rider in an accident. The first, exemplified by the safety helmet, has been to put the protection on the rider's body. The second strategy, derived from automobile crashworthiness, has been to mount the protection system on the motorcycle. However, the precrash and collision motions of the motorcycle, and the freedom of the unrestrained rider to move about during impact, combine to severely limit the effectiveness of motorcycle mounted protection systems. This paper reviews crash test and accident investigation studies to illustrate the successes and problems, and to suggest that effective injury prevention will come from protection systems that can be worn by the rider.