Choosing a back protector
In a survey completed at one of the RideSafe Rendezvous, 69% of bikers told us that they did not wear a back protector; some confessed that they owned one but never wore it.
So we recently spoke to Geoff Travell, Managing Director at Planet Knox, for some sound advice about choosing a back protector . . .
“ After a helmet, a back protector is widely recognised as the most important piece of safety equipment for a motorcyclist to invest in.
Like a helmet, a back protector absorbs energy from an impact, helping to prevent damage to the spine and ribs as well as to internal organs such as the kidneys, liver and spleen, which can all be harmed by a heavy external blow.
It is vital that a back protector is the correct size for you – if it is too small, it won’t protect the vulnerable lumbar region of the lower back and if it is too big, it won’t fit comfortably under your riding gear. Label sizes will refer to torso length and this can be confusing, so Knox have produced a measurement chart that you can download from our website at www.planet-knox.com/chart.pdf If you are not completely confident in taking your own measurements, the best advice is to visit a reputable dealer and ask them to measure and fit a back protector for you. Ask the sales person if they have been properly trained on how to do this. Knox show their distributing dealers how to measure and advise about our products and other manufacturers may do the same; but ask the question to be sure.”
“ When buying a back protector, take your usual motorcycle clothing with you and try the armour underneath this to ensure that everything fits well together. Ideally, you should sit on your own bike – or on one with a similar riding position in the show room – to establish that you will be comfortable when you are out on the road. Any discomfort can be a dangerous distraction; fit and comfort are both crucial.
Make sure that the back protector meets the latest standards. By law, all back protectors must be independently tested and approved to European standard EN1621-2 (Level 1 for regular use and Level 2 for sport/track) and carry the CE mark “.
Thank you to Geoff at Planet Knox.
One final thought from the RideSafe BackSafe team is this;- in a car, wearing a seatbelt is mandatory, but airbags are an effective, additional safety device that everybody now looks for in a new vehicle. On your bike, wearing a crash helmet is mandatory and you should consider a back protector as a crucial, additional safety device. It could save your life.