Finding The Right Back Protector For Your Ride

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1M - ActionWhether you’re into sports-riding gear or standard motorcycle jackets, security and protection should still be at the top of the list. According to Cycle World, the majority of jackets and sports-riding gear comes with some sort of back-pad insert or spine armor that could be as simple as one layer of protective foam.

However, to stay protected – no matter what gear you’re wearing – a back protector is going to keep you much safer than any built-in padding on your standard or sport gear. Numerous people invest in back protectors for riding and to stay as safe as possible.

Some of the worst injuries on a motorcycle deal with your head or back. According to Ride Apart, luckily both areas are some of the easiest to protect while riding. No matter what you’re riding or how many miles you collect each year, here are a few back protectors to consider:

Back Protector Armor Upgrade Inserts

Forcefield Pro Back Protector Insert Options

Forcefield Pro Back Protector Inserts

One of the easiest ways to increase your back protection is to upgrade the inserts that come standard with your favorite street bike jacket. Available from many manufactures and in a variety of materials, from standard EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and PA (Polyamide) foam to the high-tech D3O and NitrexEvo materials. You can easily find both level 1 and 2 C.E. rated inserts to fit most any jacket. Ease of use and cost are two major benefits of going the insert upgrade route. With just one piece of equipment you never have to worry about misplacing your protector and you can be assured that it is in place to protect you every time you ride. However, they tend to protect less than a stand alone system and you might need to replace it every time you upgrade your gear, since the insert you already have might not fit your new duds.

Stand Alone Back Protecters

Scott USA Soft CR II Back Protector

Scott USA Soft CR II Back Protector

Scott USA Soft CR II Back Protector

The Soft CR II back protector from Scott USA is a great purchase for those looking for supreme comfort while riding. The Soft CR is extremely soft and has a level 2 CE rating, which is the highest current standard on the market.

This piece of motorcycle equipment is slim, short and covers the main part of your back to keep you safe. According to Visor Down, if you are hesitant to purchase a back protector because you’re afraid it will be too bulky, this is a great first step toward adding protection while you ride. The Soft CR also comes with an adjustable Velcro strap that can be altered for extra comfort.

According to the source, the equipment weighs roughly 1.85 pounds, comes in sizes small to extra large and costs around $150.

Knox Aegis Back Protector

Knox Aegis 8-Plate Back Protector

Knox Aegis 8-Plate Back Protector

For another light and flexible option, consider the Aegis by Knox. According to Bike Track Days Hub, the motorcycle equipment forms to your back and successfully fits to the shape of your body.

This back protector can fit under leather jackets and will certainly increase your confidence while riding. According to the source, the protector survived a 70 mph crash that didn’t leave one scratch on the rider’s back or the equipment, which is mainly what you want. The eight-plate version is around $160, and the newest model is 30 percent lighter than its predecessor.

Forcefield Blade Back Protector

Forcefield Blade Back Protector

Forcefield Blade Back Protector

The Forcefield Blade
is another CE level 2 back protector that is somewhat lightweight but extremely compact. According to Cycle World, the back protector is form-fitting, which makes it easier to fit under leathers and other tight-fitting jackets.

The equipment remains in place while you’re riding and won’t shift around during long rides. The Velcro straps allow you to make it significantly tighter, which would resemble “taking in a deep breath or bending over to buckle your boots,” the source cited.

The Blade is 1 inch thick, comes in sizes from extra small to large and costs $149.

Alpinestars Bionic Air Back Protector

Alpinestars Bionic Air Back Protector

Alpinestars Bionic Air Back Protector

If you are looking for something slim and lightweight for easy riding around town, the Alpinestar Bionic Air could be a great decision. The back protector is extremely lightweight and slim with a perforated design to vent as much as possible. According to Ride Apart, while the design is very breathable and light, it’s only a certified CE level 1 back protector.

However, if you’re looking for something that will keep you from sweating too much but still need protection, this could be the right piece of equipment. It costs $139.95, and its slim design will be able to fit under any jacket or type of riding gear. Also, the Bionic Air protects your entire neck, back and tailbone.