Honda CBR 600RR Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

· Registered
988 Posts
I have the A* Tech Seris Back Protector, same as above. I really like it, I have not used it on the track yet, but I can't notice it when I do street riding. I think that having the "stirup/shoulder" straps are extremely nice and it keeps the back protector from sliding side to side. I picked up mine from New Enough. And if you have any questions, I will try by best to give you my feedback on the A* BP.

· Banned
323 Posts
If you're looking for something smaller, but still want the best protection, the T-Pro Forcefield non-race version(no straps, belt) will probably be the best compromise to place in a jacket pocket.

The Helimot is not certified or proven to any standard. Ask for perfromance results when looking for a protector. Don't spend money on something that hasn't been proven to be effective with hard data.

· Registered
3,496 Posts
The good thing about the A* Tech Protector vs. the Dainese one... is that the A*s one does not rub the back of your neck like my Dainese one. The Dainese one is a great back protector... but damn... I had a nasty cut on the back of my neck. Glad I switched to the A*s one.

Just my opinion.

Helimot stuff is great too!

Nick - MRI

· Registered
988 Posts
When I said "notice it", I mean that I can't tell that is there when I am riding. I can only tell when it is there when I seat straight up. I got the A* back protector in a medium, and I am about 6' and ~175lbs.

Maybe, someone else can recommend a good back protector for racing purposes.

· Registered
2,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all the input guys. Now here is an interesting post from a member on BARF...

It can be very confusing, but after some discussions and some minimal online research I have found very few companies that offer actual CE approved back protectors and SPECIFY compliance with the proper back protector CE standard:


The CE BACK PROTECTOR standard is labeled EN1621-2. It contains two levels of energy transmission performance. 18kN passes LEVEL 1 "basic" compliance and 9kN passes LEVEL 2 "high performance" compliance.

***4kN is the medically recommended level of transmitted force, but it is NOT actually required by the current CE back protector standard EN1621-2 LEVEL 1 or LEVEL 2.

***BKS actually offers back protectors that meet the medically established 4kN energy transmission level, as well as limb armor that meets the CE 1621-1 standard's "extreme performance" of energy absorption for limb/joint armor(see below for an explanation of limb/joint armor standards). BKS seems to have the right attitude and the highest quality merchandise available, but they are also THE most expensive producer of leather motorcycle apparel on the planet. Should we really have to pay $3000.00 for the kind of better overall protection we need, and only have one choice in leathers that meet the baseline testing requirements? Nobody else claims suits that are 100% CE approved in each area(abrasion, tearing, seam burst, and impact) as a whole.

The CE LIMB/JOINT protector standard is labeled EN1621-1, it allows joint/limb armor to transmit no more than 35kN of force. Both of the CE body armor standards(back or limb) use the same amount of energy as a starting point, 50 joules. However, limb/joint armor is rated based on its performance at an initial force of 50 joules, 75 joules, or 100 joules, leading to 3 levels of performance within the standard. They all must allow no more than 35 kN of energy to transmit: LEVEL 1 (50 joules), LEVEL 2 "high performance" (75 joules), and LEVEL 3 "extreme performance" (100 joules). PART%203...20EXPLAINED.htm

Here's an excerpt from the link above with an explanation of the current CE back protector standards:

"Draft standard prEN 1621-2 covers back protectors. This may well have been published as a full standard by the time you read this article. The impact energy is the same as for limb protectors, at 50 Joules, but the transmitted force is lower than for limb protectors at 18 kN for Level 1 products and 9 kN for the higher performance Level 2 products. There has been criticism of the standard from medical experts who consider the transmitted force levels too severe; citing decades of automotive research which indicates 4 kN is the maximum force the brittle bones which form the human ribcage can withstand before they fracture. Four kiloNewtons is the requirement adopted in standards covering, for example, horse riders' body protectors and martial arts equipment.

Attempts to reduce the transmitted force requirement to 4 kN and to correspondingly reduce the 50 Joule impact energy requirement were strongly resisted by industry, who claimed consumers would be confused by different impact energy requirements between EN1621-1 and EN1621-2.

In truth, it was in the industry's commercial interests to test both types of protector at 50J, since they could then extol the efficacy of back protectors which, when struck with the same impact energy as limb protectors, transmitted only 9 or 18 kN compared to 35 kN. The consumer would be unaware that subtle differences in the impactor and anvil were responsible, and still less aware that 9 kN was still more than double the safe limit supported by medical experts. Furthermore, during the late 1990s, some companies had used the wholly inappropriate EN 1621-1 to CE mark their back protectors. Commercial objectives were given priority over consumer safety.

Despite these concerns, EN1621-2 represents a starting point from wholly unsafe products should be rendered obsolete and unsellable. It will be important, however, for consumers to ensure back protectors are marked with the correct standard number, if they are not to mistakenly purchase an old stock.

Finally, there are a small number of back protectors on the market which have been dual-tested against the requirements of EN1621-2 and also against a 4 kN transmitted force requirement. Reading the manufacturer's technical information will disclose which are the superior products.(--HaHa, don't we wish that was true.)"

So the EN1621-2 standard contains two levels that are considered passing. One transmits no more than 18kN of force(LEVEL 1), and the other transmits no more than 9kN(LEVEL 2), but both of these levels fall within that 1621-2 back protector standard. For example: Alpinestars states that the Tech Protector is 1621-2 approved but makes no claim of LEVEL 2 compliance, however T-Pro states that their protectors are 1621-2 LEVEL 2 approved.

Knox doesn't specify the level that any of there back protectors comply with, just that they are approved to the appropriate 1621-2 standard.

Knox makes reference to improper use of CE claims by other companies. They don't name names, but it appears to be in response to Bohn's non-certified CE labeling practice. Bohn uses a CE label without actually being certified. Bohn also does not specify which standard they are referring to in their marketing statements of "exceeding CE specs" or "built to European CE standards". An article on the Knox site implies that unnamed companies are being sued for improperly using the CE mark and not complying with the proper specs for back protectors. I cannot find any actual information that directly refers to Bohn or the standards that Bohn allegedly meets or exceeds.

Bohn's website offers no specific information regarding which CE specs are being met and how it is being proven. I find this claim to be blatantly deceptive and deceitful. Such claims should be backed-up. Any company that tries to tag-on to safety standards and markings without actually providing open evidence or paying for the right to market its products using the standard is not selling in good faith.

But they do offer-up such gems as this quote from Eric Bostrom. After testing at the Jan 2000 Laguna Shakedown Eric reported:

"...really comfortable, and made me feel safe on the bike "

Boy that was convincing, lol. Yes, that is the entire testimonial.

The most interesting piece of info from the T-Pro Body Armor site:

"Back Protection for Motorcyclists--Only a few motorcyclists receive a direct blow to the spine causing serious injury; more spine injuries are probably due to direct blows to the shoulders and hips. The products commonly known as motorcyclists back protectors, if correctly designed and constructed may alleviate some minor direct impacts on the back, but will not prevent skeletal or neurological injuries to the spine in motorcycle accidents."

T-Pro's Forcefield back protector is CE certified to the 1621-2 LEVEL 2 standards, making it one of the few that advertises meeting this higher level. T-Pro appears to have a similar attitude to BKS, their products appear to be similar, their site is full of good info.

Spidi offers two families of CE approved back protector options the Airback and Warrior. I noticed a difference in information and the photos of the Spidi Warrior protectors on the Spidi US website vs. the Italian(English version). The mid and lower back versions of the new Warrior protectors are listed only on the Italian site, and are CE 1621-2 LEVEL 1 approved. The full-coverage version of the Warrior keeps disappearing from the Italian site, but the original literature stated that it was LEVEL 2 compliant, a much better option.

The US Spidi website shows a Warrior protector that looks different than the Warrior protectors on the Italian site, and the literature about these protectors is very different as well. The US site does not state that the Warrior protectors are compliant with the CE back protector standard 1621-2, just that the they are compliant with the CE Directives for PPE(Personal Protective Equipment), which have nothing to do with the actual standards and testing performance of the equipment. The Directives are simply an ethics code and basis for testing procedures and standards operations. Fishy? It certainly appears that way, and the price of the US version leads to that assumption as well.

Dainese doesn't tout or even mention CE approval anywhere on their website that I could find, but I did manage to find some info on the Dainese protectors.

Folding Back Protector Paraaschiena Ripegabile:

The new Dainese folding back protector is made with a hard plastic tortoise shell type construction. It has an optimum shock absorption capacity which easily superceded the tough test at the highest level, EN1621-2 LEVEL 2.

Impact Armor protectors make no claims of protection. They offer testimonials from unpaid professional racers, but nothing in the way of proven results of crash worthiness or protective levels.

I also had email correspondence with Michael Braxton, owner of Impact Armor. He seemed friendly, but unwilling to divulge any real information about how his Impact Armor protectors have performed in tests. In fact I got the gist that they haven't been tested at all. He focuses on theory, which is fine, but the theory varies from a final product in practical terms. I inferred that his theories were tested in the early '90s while working with T-Pro. I don't know the complete history of T-Pro and Impact Armor or Michael Braxton, but I am leery of his evasiveness and lip service to safety and standards in our correspondence, though his intentions did sound sincere. However when it comes to my safety, somebody's sincere intentions won't buy a cup of coffee.

Fieldsheer claims in their marketing copy that the X20 back protector exceeds all CE standards leaving the specifics to the imagination but do not directly refer to the actual certification or standard that their protector has passed.

"The X20 back protector provides protection internally using a new "honey comb" plastic core, proved to exceed all European CE standards."

Maybe I'm over-analyzing, but if you read it carefully, what is that really saying? Has it been certified? Has it been tested as a whole? Is the design or the final product proven to CE levels? All CE standards?

I have recently received confirmation from an X20 owner that it is properly rated to the 1621-2 LEVEL 1 standard. Not the best, as they make it sound, but properly rated and certified nonetheless.

Kobe back protectors claim CE approval as well, but no mention of which standard is being referred to.

Joe Rocket's website says very little about their GPX back protector. It is not shown to be CE certified. It is however made with the same material that BKS uses, "Astrosorb", the highest-rated foam used in body armor, but makes no reference to the thickness used or performance results, just that it is one-piece. The BKS back protector uses 20mm of two specs of Astrosorb, which has been certified to reach the medically recommended amount of energy dissipation([email protected]).

Helimot makes no claims, but has an intersting theory behinf their TLV protector. Its an American product so of course it has not been tested, proven, or certified. I have heard stories of the owner of Helimot performing "real world" tests with a hammer for skeptics, but sorry, I'd rather have repeatable measurements than seat-of my-pants guesses at what crash forces are going to feel like. The dramatic exhibitions should be saved for differentiating the meaning of the data, rather than basing your presumptions of efficacy on it.

Teknic(though they also sell Knox products) make no specific claims of protective levels, performance results.

The NJK, another American model that offers nothing about protection levels or certifications:

The Giali protector claims CE approval. No mention of level. It is a European model, so it is probably properly approved to the LEVEL 1 standard.

The Italian made UFO back protectors don't specify protection levels or performance data either. Don't know about their availablility in the U.S.

The Clover back protector, another European brand, is specified to meet LEVEL 1 standards, no word of availability of Clover protectors in the U.S.

There are plenty more out there, the important thing is to know what to look for before you spend any more money thinking you have the safest possible piece of equipment. In the end you must ask yourself how much limited personal experience, limited arbitrary crash experience, limited knowledge of the real forces at work in any crash story, and the beliefs of others in what they have heard through the grapevine. Is any of this specualation going to satisfy your motivation to part with your money? What information will provide you with the safety expectations you have decided are appropriate? The problem with decisions made with any of that information is that it is never complete or accurate, no matter how well-intentioned it may be.

Trying to figure-out safety and protective differences, which are the only qualities that truly matter in the end, is WAY too complicated. You and I should not have to go to great lengths to find or understand the safety differences in any piece of so-called "protective equipment", whether that title is explicit or implied. The need for a Snell-type standard in the US that is clear, comprehensive, and concise is the only solution. And we need to make it happen now. We have no standards for motorcycle gear in the United States, which means somebody can slap a piece of cardboard together, and call it the world's best protection system ever, and it may even look the part. I'm also sure that you could find some racers or average Joe's to swear by it as well. Perpetuation of poor information and marketing hype leaves too much to our own speculation as the basis for our protective measures.

Sorry for the length. Hope this can help in your decisions though. I also hope the entire motorcycling community can make it a point to be more thorough in the buying process when it comes to so-called protective gear. All of these questions, and any misinformation, marketing hype, and rumors can be avoided with a simple testing procedure.

Snell labeling for helmets has been successful and we need to demand something similar for the rest of our body. Maybe an email to the AMA, ABATE, NHTSA, MSF, Snell, or any other organization that might have our true interests at heart will make a difference, and gain us some respect in the marketplace. If "something is better than nothing" then "something better" can be just that.

· Registered
988 Posts
Kensaku, looks like you did a "little" bit of research. Anyway, thanks for all the information.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.