Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Back protectors

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Kurse, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. After reading the post about the stack up at the Spur in General Discussions and considering I recently had a crash myself, I've deceided to invest in a back protector.

    Anyone know details? Brands, prices and places that sell em?

    Anyone use one regularly?

    Are they comfortable?

    And of course most importantly.......will I still look cool with it on? :p
  2. There has been a couple of recent posts about back protectors...

    But to answer your questions

    Anyone know details? Brands, prices and places that sell em?
    - Almost every bike shop. Prices seem to go from $100 -> lots.
    Dianese, Alpinestars etc. I spent $300 on Alpinestars armour.

    Anyone use one regularly?
    - Yes, every time I ride

    Are they comfortable?
    - Initially I had it too high up and it was stopping me from doing head checks. After a while I don't even realise I'm wearing it.

    And of course most importantly.......will I still look cool with it on?
    -It bulks you up a little, but looking cool is not it's purpose.
  3. you'll look cooler then getting around in a wheelchair
  4. :(
  5. Keeping in mind people, the 'will I still look cool' comment is a joke hence the :p sign
  6. I dunno... some people seem to look cool, even in a wheelchair :wink: But definitely a good point.

    I have a back protector, which I wear every time I'm riding. I had to shorten the big wide elastic bits that go around your waiste, but it's good now. No issues with comfort. If anything, it's very supportive. I've nicknamed mine "my gurdle" :LOL: . When I've been wearing it for a while, then take it off, it feels like my guts flop forwards. So, if anything, depending on your stature, you might look a little more taut! Fortunately I haven't tested mine out for spine protection.

    Just make sure you get one the right length for you. Try it on, put your helmet on, sit on your bike and see if it will restrict what you need to do... such as head checks.
  7. I always wear one, and it only feels funny if I forget to put it on before zipping up my leathers. Kinda the opposite to what you'd expect.

    To be honest, I dont think they do much. Granted, they will spread the impact if you get something like a peg or a handle bar straight into your spine, but I don't believe for a minute that the fancy interlocking back protectors will stop you hyperextending your back or anything like that. They're built to look like they will, but I reckon forget about it.
  8. I've wondered that myself, especially with some of the cheaper ones.
    It's a shame that only helmets have an Australian Standard.
  9. Indeed, but just look at how much debate there is on helmet testing, which comparatively speaking is fairly straight forward. Similarly, there's no certainty that the new neck braces from Leatt are not even going to cause more damage than they will save, but you can only do so much in terms of simulating a human body flying into all sorts of hard and immovable objects.
  10. True, but a few basic standards would be nice to distinguish the stuff genuinely designed to try and protect riders - and the stuff made to look like it does. You just have to look at workplace safety stuff - pretty much everything now has an AS sticker. It's ridiculous that I can buy high-vis socks that have gone through AS testing - but not a back protector, or boots, or gloves, etc. etc.
  11. :LOL: Too true.
  12. My understanding is that the main purpose of back protectors is to offer added protection to the vertebrae during slides and tumbles. If you wrap yourself around a tree or pole at high speed, back first, they're going to be better than nothing at all. They'll likely help stop the vertebrae from breaking, but you will still hyperflex abnormally. You'd need to be wearing half inch thick interlocked steel plating to doing anything serious about preventing hyperflexion with those sorts of forces, and most back protectors are just bits of plastic bound together.

    Better to think of them as "crumple zone" protection for your spine. They'll absorb the nastier lumps and bumps that otherwise could easily fracture vertebrae (think of a Wayne Rainey style accident where all he did was slide over a ripple strip back first), and you're more on the track of what they're meant to achieve.

    Unless you're obscenely obese, the human body offers absolutely next to no fleshy padding to absorb impacts directed at the vertebrae. A back protector gives you that.

    I never ride without mine. I use a zip-up-vest type, mainly because it stops it moving around and riding up. When/if I need it, I want it to stay where it should be, not be moving around as I tumble/slide.
  13. the guy that took my rider training course said he was wearing one in an accident where he came off and got run over etc... and he damaged a few vertebrae but reckons he woulda been in a wheelchair if he didnt have a back protector on.
  14. I'm with flux, basically, there is no gear on the planet that will STOP an impact of significance from injuring you, however, all motorcycle gear is designed to lessen the impact, hopefully till it hits negligible levels. Back protectors work by absorbing energy from impacts and spreading it across the whole area, and if need be, the whole spine. Reducing the levels of single point pressure can easily save vertebrae from otherwise destructive forces. They test back protectors by striking them, and testing residual energy. The less residual energy over points and the whole, the better it is at absorbing impacts.

    However, due to the fact we have no standardized system for testing, there is no way of knowing what works and what doesn't.

    I would suggest getting one anyway, but going out of your way to spend some cash is also important. Try to get one with a certificate. My mate has a BMW protector, and it has a EN 1621-2, Level 2 certificate, meaning it does what it is supposed to fairly well.

    Good Luck!
  15. Thanks heaps for the advice guys. :grin:
  16. I would look to the bigger brands. I trust them a bit more because they would put in the R&D for them to be used by the racers and what not. I would like to believe that its a little like the tyre technology. The big brands develop it and the good stuff slowly filters down to when you and I can purchase it.

    But as it has been said, the level of protection they offer would be better then noting. And if anything, if you start to trust your gear, the mental side of it may help you become more confident and relaxed, meaning better riding.
  17. is it this one? how much did he pay for it?
  18. Just got myself a Dainese G2, about 2 days ago. It can be inserted into the back of my jacket (don't really like the kidney belt). Well I think that for $100 it can make a difference when/if I crash.
  19. Just out of curiosity, which brand/models do you guys wear and recommend? I am looking to get a vest type one soon as the foam one in my suit just doesn't cut it.
  20. I'm wearing UFO. It's comfy, but not tested for how much protection it really has :?