Learn to ride with Visordown: Back protectors

Barry Sheene was one of the first racers to wear a back protector back in 1975 - here's why you should wear one too

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By Tim Skilton on Mon, 1 Jul 2013 - 10:07

A decent back protector's an absolute must

WHETHER YOU ride a scooter or a sportsbike, everyone should wear a back protector. Most of us know how vital a decent helmet is for protecting our head, but how many of us have given any real thought about protecting our spine?

Back injuries are a common and often serious consequence of many motorcycle accidents but the wearing a decent back protector can massively reduce the chances of a damaged spine if you're unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.

Many modern leather or textile suits already house and in-built protector but we strongly recommend spending a little extra cash to give yourself maximum protection with a dedicated back protector. They're usually much stronger and absorb an impact far better than the flimsy stuff you find stuffed down the back of most jackets.

So what should we be looking for when we buy a dedicated back protector? Here are a few simple tips to bear in mind when buying:

Try on the protector with the kit you'll be wearing and make sure it doesn't dig into your neck. If it does try a smaller one.

Check the shoulder straps are adjustable for maximum comfort.

It may cost a little more but articulated protectors (made from moving separate plates) often give you the best flexibility.

Most have an adjustable velcro waistband. Make sure it's a suitable size for you.

Make sure the protector covers your coccyx (the tailbone at the bottom of your spine).

If in doubt ask the shop assistant to help you get the right fit.

Useful back protector contacts

Spyke 01384 413841

Forcefield 01933 410818

Knox 01900 825825

Hein Gericke 0800 165165

WHETHER YOU ride a scooter or a sportsbike, everyone should wear a back protector. Most of us know how vital a decent helmet is for protecting our head, but how many of us have given any real thought about protecting our spine?

Article originally published September 2009, updated July 2013

Back injuries are a common and often serious consequence of many motorcycle accidents but the wearing a decent back protector can massively reduce the chances of a damaged spine if you're unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.

Many modern leather or textile suits already house and in-built protector but we strongly recommend spending a little extra cash to give yourself maximum protection with a dedicated back protector. They're usually much stronger and absorb an impact far better than the flimsy stuff you find stuffed down the back of most jackets.

So what should we be looking for when we buy a dedicated back protector? Here are a few simple tips to bear in mind when buying:

Try on the protector with the kit you'll be wearing and make sure it doesn't dig into your neck. If it does try a smaller one.

Check the shoulder straps are adjustable for maximum comfort.

It may cost a little more but articulated protectors (made from moving separate plates) often give you the best flexibility.

Most have an adjustable velcro waistband. Make sure it's a suitable size for you.

Make sure the protector covers your coccyx (the tailbone at the bottom of your spine).

If in doubt ask the shop assistant to help you get the right fit.

Useful back protector contacts

  • Spyke 01384 413841
  • Forcefield 01933 410818
  • Knox 01900 825825
  • Hein Gericke 0800 165165

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