The Importance of Wearing a Back Protector While Riding a Motorcycle

motorcycle back protector

If you’re a passionate motorcyclist, then you know that safety should always be your top priority. One of the most crucial pieces of protective gear, other than a helmet that you can wear while riding a motorcycle is a motorcycle back protector. A motorcycle back protector is a special type of armor designed to help protect your spine and back from impact and abrasion in the event of an accident. In this article, I will cover protection and safety benefits of wearing a motorcycle back protector, different types of motorcycle back protectors available, how to choose the right one for you? and review some of the popular models and answer some frequently asked questions.

What is a Motorcycle Back Protector?

You might ask, “Why do I need a motorcycle back protector? I already have a leather jacket.” Well, while a motorcycle jacket provides some level of protection, it cannot match the protection offered by a dedicated back protector. Motorcycle jackets are designed to protect against abrasion, not heavy impacts. Moreover, a motorcycle back protector is designed to protect the most vulnerable part of your spine – the lumbar region. This is where your body’s weight is concentrated when you’re riding, making it particularly susceptible to injury in an accident. A back protector can absorb the impact, reducing the risk of serious injury.

Motorcycle back protectors have distinct advantages compared to other protective clothing. They are lightweight and comfortable, and can be slipped underneath a motorcycle jacket without making it look bulky or limiting mobility. Additionally, they provide great protection against abrasions and impacts, also can be comfortably worn for extended durations.

Why Wear a Motorcycle Back Protector?

There are numerous reasons why you should think about wearing a motorcycle back protector while riding:

  • Spine and Upper Back Coverage – The most obvious advantage of a motorcycle back protector is the coverage it provides to the spine and the upper torso. In the event of a crash or a fall, the back protector absorbs the impact and decreases the chances of having a severe injury to the spine.
  • Improved Comfort – In addition to protection, a motorcycle back protector can also improve your comfort while riding. It helps in reducing tiredness and strain on the back muscles,. This makes long rides more pleasant.
  • Enhanced Fit and Performance – A back protector that fits well will enhance the fit and performance of your motorcycle jacket. It keeps the jacket in its place, avoiding unwanted movements or shifts while riding. This can upgrade your overall riding experience and make you feel more secure on the motorcycle.
  • Increased Visibility – Some back protectors come with reflective strips, which can increase your visibility to other road users. This is especially useful when riding in low light conditions or at night.

Different Types of Motorcycle Back Protectors

There are several types of back protectors available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Some of the most common types include:

  • Hard Shell Back Protectors – Hard shell back protectors are made of a rigid plastic shell that is designed to absorb and distribute impact forces. They are usually more substantial and less flexible than other types of back protectors, making them ideal for high-speed activities like motorcycling and skiing.
  • Soft Shell Back Protectors – Soft shell back protectors are made of a flexible material, such as foam or gel, that can conform to your body’s shape and provide comfortable support. They are typically less rigid than hard shell back protectors, making them more suitable for low-impact activities like hiking or cycling.
  • Hybrid Back Protectors – Hybrid back protectors combine the features of hard shell and soft shell back protectors, offering both rigidity and flexibility. They are usually made of a hard plastic shell with a soft foam or gel lining, providing excellent protection and comfort.
  • Integrated Back Protectors – Integrated back protectors are built into other safety gear, such as motorcycle jackets or ski suits, providing seamless protection without the need for an additional layer of gear. They are usually more comfortable and convenient than other types of back protectors but may be less versatile.

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Back Protector for You

When choosing a motorcycle back protector, it is important to consider the type of riding you do and the level of protection you need. Here are some tips to help you choose the right back protector:

  • Determine the Level of Protection You Need – The level of protection you need depends on the type of activity you engage in and the risk of injury involved. For high-speed and high-impact activities like motorcycling and skiing, you may need a hard shell back protector that offers maximum protection. For low-impact activities like cycling or hiking, a soft shell or hybrid back protector may be sufficient.
  • Consider Comfort and Fit – A back protector should fit snugly to your body and be comfortable to wear for extended periods. It should also allow for a full range of motion, without restricting your movement. Soft shell and hybrid back protectors are generally more comfortable and flexible than hard shell back protectors, but they may not provide the same level of protection.
  • Check Safety Standards – Make sure the back protector you choose meets the relevant safety standards for your activity. Look for certifications like CE or EN, which indicate that the back protector has been tested and approved for impact protection.
  • Read Reviews and Compare Brands – Before buying a back protector, read reviews and compare different brands and models to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Look for feedback on comfort, fit, protection, and durability.

Top 3 Motorcycle Back Protectors in 2023

The Alpinestars Nucleon KR-Celli

This protector provides superior protection from impact and abrasion. It is lightweight and comfortable, and the adjustable straps help ensure a perfect fit. The cost is also very reasonable, making it an excellent choice for novice riders. Some of the features includes:

  • Nucleon KR-Celli model designed for motorcycle back protection.
  • Hard outer shell for abrasion resistance and impact dispersion.
  • Incorporates energy-absorbing materials to reduce impact forces during accidents or falls.
  • Adjustable straps or fastenings for customization and proper positioning.
  • Ventilation channels or perforations for improved breathability and airflow.
  • CE certified for meeting safety standards and requirements.

You can check the Prices here.

The Dainese Manis Back Protector

This is a Kevlar-based back protector that provides superior protection from impact and abrasion. It is lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable, and the reflective strips help to improve visibility. The price is also quite reasonable, making it a great choice for more experienced riders. Some of the features includes:

  • Offers CE Level 2 certification, which indicates a high level of impact protection.
  • Utilizes Dainese’s proprietary “Manis” technology, designed for both comfort and safety.
  • Flexible and articulated structure, allowing for ease of movement while riding.
  • Made with a combination of rigid external plates and energy-absorbing materials on the inside.
  • The articulated design adapts to the shape of the rider’s back for a secure fit.
  • Adjustable straps or closures to customize the fit and ensure proper positioning.
  • Offers an additional layer of protection for the spine and back during motorcycle accidents or falls.

You can check the Prices here.

Universal-CE-2 Back Armor Protector

This universal back protector provides great protection from impact and abrasion. It is lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable. This is an excellent choice for novice riders as it it quite affordable. Some of the features include:

  • Soft to the touch and conforms to your body, becoming firm on impact.
  • Suitable for both men and women armor pockets; may require trimming for a better fit.
  • Extremely comfortable, lightweight, delicate, and breathable.
  • Shaped for an anatomical and versatile fit, providing maximum safety during the ride.
  • Shock-absorbing material made of a special type of 100% polyester fiber.
  • The hybrid motorcycle back protector insert offers excellent impact resistance while remaining flexible and anatomically shaped.

You can check the Prices here.


Is a motorcycle back protector required by law?

Most states do not require motorcycle riders to wear a back protector, but it is recommended. It is always a good idea to wear a back protector when riding a motorcycle, as it may protect you from harm in the event of a mishap.

How should I care for my motorcycle back protector?

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and caring for your motorcycle back protector. In general, it is best to clean it with a mild soap and water solution and to allow it to air dry. It is also imperative to inspect the back protector regularly for any signs of wear and tear and replace it if necessary.

How often should I replace my motorcycle back protector?

It is recommended that you replace your back protector every few years, depending on how often you use it. It is also a good idea to inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear and change it if required.

Can a back protector prevent all spinal injuries?

While wearing a back protector can significantly reduce the risk of spinal injuries, it cannot guarantee complete protection. It is still essential to engage in safe and responsible behavior and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Mike Thompson
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