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

Posted: 1 July 2013
by Tim Skilton

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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Discuss this story

If you're buying a new jacket, fit a decent protector at the time of purchase - it saves finding out later that the jacket's too tight once you've fitted proper protection!

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 14:50


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 14:55


AC

Marv - what is it with these Newbies?


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 14:57

Cheeky coonts. I could be virtually pissed if id had a pint from all todays newbies.. And i need it today.. this place winds me up at times

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:00

Tosser!


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:12

how do you know!! You've been watching me havnt you  I feel so ashamed, i should have shut the door


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:17

Good comeback!

Semi serious post, But i've got a Snowboarding back protector, made my dianese (i think), i bought it while doing a ski season but with the aim to use it when i got home on my bike but on closer inspection, it has a 'not suitable for motorcycling' label in it.

Does anyone have any experience? It certainly protected my spine a good numer of times while in the alps! Its the type that has individual moving plates, sits perfectly over my coxix and doesn't dig in. Nice and comfortable and heavily padded on the inside. Any idea why i shouldn't wear this on a bike? fits under my jacket fine!

I should point out, speed and the fact that snow is softer than concrete is an issue but anyone who has been snowboarding will realise that you can go pretty fast! A data logger i saw recorded a skiiers speed of over 72mph, and ice tends to be fairly hard. 


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:19

Ive had my clover Back protector for about 3 years. Its comfy it works (first hand experience) and you cant tell its there. I dont leave home without it.

The standard ones you get in Jackets is just a peice of sponge. If there "adequate" then id think your snowboarding one was.

If it hasnt been tested for motorcycling they'll put a "not suitable for MC'ing! label in it to cover there arse, doesnt mean it wont be effective.

Id still reccomend a decent Dianese or Clover one though.


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:22

Well, like i say, this is a good protector, it cost about £80, I have a foam one in my jacket, i don't even consider it as protection!

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:28


AC
Andrew Tyrtania wrote (see)
If you're buying a new jacket, fit a decent protector at the time of purchase - it saves finding out later that the jacket's too tight once you've fitted proper protection!

Andrew Tyrtania wrote (see)

Tosser!


What a nice chap - his opening post could have been quite useful, if it hadn't already said that in the article. Still, it never helps to reinforce good advice.  ... and then be rude in your second post.

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:34

http://www.visordown.com/members/images/180324/Gallery/Tim_Nice_But_Dim.jpg

What a bloody nice chap!


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:38

Read the article again! - and you were rude straight off. Oh god! bless me, now I'm argueing with the supplier of the safest fuel cans available. Available since WW2!

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:47

Im not arguing.. Your arguing Im being sarcastic. Its the lowest form of wit you know..

Do you want a fuel can? I can do you a special price if you like? I'll even fill it for you before i send it, hows that for service!

Basically. You have no sense of humour or anything. You seem a bit up yourself. Im sorry you havnt had a good welcoming to VD. Never mind, try TRC im sure you'll fit in just fine.


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 15:51

I did have a great welcome to VD - but the clinic sorted it for me!

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 16:02

Having seen the results of a old work collegue being put in a wheelchair after being knocked off his bike (By a scoolboy pushing a bycycle into his way) A proper back protector is imo as important as a good quality crash helmet & Leathers

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 16:09

Ask for a 10 litre can full of Shell V-Max when he gets to you! Maths aint his strong point.

Posted: 01/07/2008 at 16:11

Druidor wrote (see)
Having seen the results of a old work collegue being put in a wheelchair after being knocked off his bike (By a scoolboy pushing a bycycle into his way) A proper back protector is imo as important as a good quality crash helmet & Leathers


Gotta agree with that. It saved my back a few times!

Glad you got to the clinic and got your mess sorted, was starting to smell a bit.


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 16:12

Andrew Tyrtania wrote (see)
Ask for a 10 litre can full of Shell V-Max when he gets to you! Maths aint his strong point.

why would i get to him..? He hasnt been watching me tossing off


Posted: 01/07/2008 at 16:13

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