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Armor/protection discussion

1437 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Kojiiro
Hey Guys,
So I've been looking at lots of info relating to protection and armor for street riding. Probably normal to be hyper vigilant about it after a crash. It seems like there's not a lot of good info, but mostly marketing hype and opinions on how comfortable or safe someone feels. I had to do a lot of digging just to find that CE standards had been updated in 2012 to find that EN-1621 had added tests for temperature and wet armor (I believe) as well as level 1 and 2 for all armor rather than just back protectors as it was before 2012. There may not be any experts on this subject on this forum but I thought it might be worth discussing.

My main questions on the effectiveness of certain armor or features of armor are: hard vs soft armor. The jacket I crashed in had hard armor and I still ended up w/ a broken bone. I would think hard armor would dissipate the initial impact over a greater area but soft armor like SAS-Tec claims to get very hard upon impact.

And second is external sliders. I get the main point is to reduce abrasion but would they serve any purpose relating to impacts? It seems like they would so I've limited my leather jacket search to only ones with external sliders. I'm I focused on something that may not matter?

Then theres armor like Dainese has on their nicer leather jackets that they call co-injected. I have no idea what this means nor have I found any explanation other than marketing talk. It looks nice but I just don't trust what a marketer is feeding me to get me to buy their products.

So what are all of your thoughts/experiences/concerns about armor for street riding?
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Hello Wolf,

I am in the process of piecing together gear myself only because I've read enough horror stories to be vigilant, and that I've dropped my share of bikes at low speeds.

This article helped, as well as my own research.


Im currently rocking a helmet, gloves, canvas boots (no serious protection but my pant legs are tucked in), and kevlar pant liners with some Sas Tec Hip armor pieces.

Got some Forcefield Graph Knee Protectors coming in for my knees.

Looking to get Forcefield Graph Elbow protectors as well as a properly fitted EX-K Flite + harness, again from forcefield. (All CE2)

Check their site out just for your own edification. Revzilla is quite a fan of this brand.

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Forcefield rocks. That is my armor of choice. I am a track rider only though so I don't have try to walk around in long periods of time with it on. It is comfortable while riding and walking/sitting for short periods. I wear their back protector and the armored shorts. I also have a pair of their armored pants. I use to wear the chest protector too, but stopped so I could get my Leatt brace to fit.

I have crashed in their stuff and, at least so far, not been injured. Granted I usually have a lot of run off room, no trees, and no oncoming traffic to worry about.

Sizes run big though. Usually I wear a large but I drown in the Forcefield large.

If you get the Dainese, remember it is single use only. I owned a Dainese wave back/chest protector w/ scapula armor. The chest protector was very very thick. At least 1" or more. If I am remembering correctly, it had a type of aluminum hex matrix that would absorb the impact. Once crushed you should throw it away.

No armor can guarantee you will not get hurt though. It can only absorb so much impact so broken bones and bruises can, and will, happen.
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The best armor in the world won't help if it's in your closet. There are a lot of brand whores out there. I prefer A stars but to be honest, my cheap ass Bilt jacket has survived 2 crashes so far, roughly 40-45 mph each and the jacket took rash but no holes in it. My $400 a stars went down at similar speeds at the track and now has a hole. I learned every crash will be different so even with a $1000 jacket, you still won't know how bad it wi get dinged up. In the end what matters the most is you don't get hurt.

The padding is important as the material as well From my crashes, it seems my initial response is fall on forearm, slide and walk away. Padding in the knee and shins helps a lot as well. If it's not practical to wear leather jeans to work, at least get some reinforced jeans with padding.

As far as the actual metal armor like on the shoulder area, none of my jackets have it and I am not sure if t matters to be honest. What I care about the most is padding inside, good leather outside, and stitching that doesn't come undone until an actual crash.
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