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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, just thought I'd share some info I've gathered about back protectors. Hope it provides some answers and insight into body armor and the buying process for protective gear in general.

It seems ridiculous to buy gear based on marketing hype, sponsorship deals, rumors, arbitrary crash experience, looks, feel, and name recognition. Real, scientifically derived numbers should be the first reason for buying a piece of protective gear, always. There are currently no standards or testing procedures necessary to call a piece of cardboard "the best protection system on the planet" in the United States.

It can be very confusing, but after some discussions and some simple research I have found a few companies that offer CE certified back protectors and specify compliance with the proper back protector standards. The standard establishes a unified testing procedure to be used by clothing or protector manufacturers who intend to have their products qualified for sale in Europe and who want to offer their protective wear in all countries of the European Union. The result of this testing procedure determines whether manufacturers can market the protective equipment as "protectors" or simply "protective padding".

All of the certified back protectors are only good for a single-use due to the structure and/or crushable materials used to absorb impact, though a few offer better protection for multiple impacts during a crash.

The CE BACK PROTECTOR standard is labeled EN1621-2. The test is performed with a 5kg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In English next time! ;D

No kidding, I read that stuff over and over again, combined with multiple statments from manufacturer's websites and literature to gain a better understanding. My original post is 3 times the length. I got lazy after having to cut my original post to fit the character limits, so here's the rest in pieces:

Here's a list of all of the back protectors I have found, starting with the LEVEL 2 rated protectors, followed by some LEVEL 1 protectors, and finally by those that are NOT RATED and/or offer no performance data or verification of claims:

BKS is the only motorcycle clothing manufacturer that offers back protectors that meet the medically established 4kN energy transmission level with their Astroshock model protector.

BKS also offers limb/joint armor that meets the CE 1621-1 standard's highest rating, the "extreme performance" energy absorption level ([email protected]).

They seem 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 overall protection we need? Nobody else claims suits that are 100% CE approved as a whole (abrasion, tearing, seam burst, and impact) . Why is there only one manufacturer willing to meet the baseline testing requirements and apply for certification? It
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dainese doesn't tout or even mention CE approval anywhere on their own website, but I did manage to find some info on the Dainese protectors from MotoLiberty's website. Dainese makes quite a few different models, not all advertise the same levels of protection, but most appear to be certified. They use an aluminum honeycomb structure, similar to the Knox protectors.

"The new Dainese folding back protector--Paraaschiena Ripegabile, 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." It also has the added convenience of being foldable for storage.

The Dainese Wave 2 protector is CE rated LEVEL 1.

The BAP protectors are also CE approved, LEVEL 1.

The Back Space and Gilet Space models are also CE approved to the LEVEL 1 standard, passing with 15kN of transmitted force in tests.

http://www.dainese.it

http://www.motoliberty.com/prod_detail.asp?ProdID=34


Knox was the first company to apply for CE approval for their KC protectors back in 1997, under the previously established limb/joint protector standards(EN1621-1). For a while, Knox was the only company that offered a certified protector.

All of the Knox protectors are approved to the current and proper 1621-2 standard (Level 1). They claim to surpass the basic requirements, but not higher level compliance. They offer the largest coverage area of any of the protectors available with all of their models.

The Stowaway model is flexible enough to roll-up for convenient storage, and comes with its own storage bag and is still approved to the LEVEL 1 standard.

http://www.planet-knox.com/Knox/index.asp


Alpinestars states that their Tech Protector and RC back pad inserts are EN1621-2 approved (LEVEL 1).

http://www.alpinestars.com/_lp/moto_protection.htm





Spidi offers two families of back protector options, the Airback and Warriors.

The Airback protector is CE Level 1 approved according to the Italian Spidi website. However, SpidiUSA doesn
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Helimot has an interesting theory behind their TLV protector, but makes no claims of protection (Its an American market product). I have heard stories of the owner of Helimot performing "real world" tests with a hammer for skeptics. Uh sorry, I'd rather have repeatable measurements than seat-of my-pants guesses at what crash forces are going to feel like. These dramatic exhibitions should be saved for differentiating the meaning of the data, rather than basing your presumptions of efficacy on them.

http://www.helimot.com/catalog/other_items/tlv_data.shtml

http://www.helimot.com/catalog/other_items/erboback_data.shtml


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 British Motorcycle Federation website 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.

http://www.bmf.co.uk/briefing/index.php?brief24.inc.shtml

Bohn lists the Pro-Racer protectors as being "made to European CE standards", though they have NOT actually been certified. Is Bohn referring to the correct back protector standard when they make this claim? Well, Bohn
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Impact Armor relies on testimonials from unpaid professional racers, but nothing in the way of proven results of crash worthiness or protective levels in their marketing or correspondence.

I 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 or at least in the current form. He focuses on theory and a
 
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