COMMUTING into central London has taught me two things: one – I need to get better acquainted with my horn and; two – there’s no such thing as too much protection.
On roads where HGVs will routinely change lane without looking and taxi drivers don’t think twice of making emergency U-turns, I’m just a drop in the vast ocean of traffic.
And as the adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, I’ve ditched the meagre excuse for back protection my jacket offers, and gone for Furygan’s XP1 back protector, in the smaller of the two sizes the French manufacturer offers.
The XP1 consists of a slab of bright orange D30 impact protection inside a black harness, with adjustable straps to hold the armour close to your body.
The malleable D30 material is soft until impact, when the free-flowing molecules will lock together to
absorb the impact energy and reduce the force transmitted.
Holes throughout promise breathability and the protector is approved to the highest form of European motorcycling conformity – CE level 2.
I have worn this back protector both on track and on the road and under a variety of textile and leather suits. Thanks to its low profile, it fitted under each with ease, with the tapered base tucking into the waistband of my trousers on most occasions.
This low profile means that the protector does not distort your silhouette either. Under many jackets it’s barely noticeable.
The soft armour moulds to your back and allows complete freedom of movement while riding, and it’s easy to forget that you’re wearing a protector. It also serves as cushioning if you’re riding with a heavy backpack.
In the month since I swapped inbuilt armour for a back protector, I haven’t seemed to be any sweatier. Although, whether this is down to the back protector’s ‘breathability’ or the fact that Britain is already deep into winter is unclear.
We don’t like:
Furygan is not the most female-friendly manufacturer in that its products are generally on the large side of things.
While this is the smallest size the XP1 is offered in, it’s still too big.
The armour across the shoulder region is too wide, and gets in the way when putting on, or taking off a jacket. Equally, the shoulder straps don’t go short enough, and have a habit of loosening by a couple of inches.
The Velcro waist belt – which unfortunately doesn’t offer any kidney protection – is also too long, and I find that it rides up to around my ribcage while I’m riding.
Another thing the XP1 doesn’t have compared to some (more expensive) competitor models is tailbone protection.
The XP1 is a comfortable, low profile and affordable option when it comes to back protection. For £64.99, it offers many of the same features as more expensive models.
Unfortunately, as seems to be the case across Furygan’s range, the sizing is a bit off for me.
For more information or to purchase the protector, visit www.nevis.co.uk.