August 03, 2023

Why Motorcycle Back Protectors are Essential for Safe Motorcycle Riding

Motorcycle riders wearing a motorcycle spine protector Riderbag

Why Motorcycle Back Protectors are Essential for Safe Motorcycle Riding

Are you riding around with that useless piece of foam in the back of your motorcycle jacket? Do yourself a favor and throw that thing in the trash.


Plain and simple: the thin sheets of padding in the back and chest areas of most motorcycle jackets are little more than placeholders for armor. They aren’t intended to protect you from impact or abrasion, and truth be told, they’re probably doing more harm than good by adding useless bulk and limiting your jacket’s ventilation.


Real armor is what you want here. While coverage in the elbows and shoulders is a great start, we’re of the opinion that protecting your spine is also a project worth undertaking. That’s where a proper CE-rated motorcycle back protector comes into play.


Motorcycles are inherently dangerous. Good fun, but dangerous. Anything you can do to add more safety into the equation is worth doing, and we believe adding a back protector to your gear is one of the smartest ways to go about that.


Here’s why.

motorcycle ce 2 level spine protector by riderbag

Studies Are Lacking, But The Science Is Clear


Unlike motorcycle helmets, boots, and abrasion-resistant clothing like leather jackets and pants, there haven’t been many studies on the effectiveness of motorcycle back protectors. Of the few that have been documented, the information is inconclusive at best, due largely to small sample sizes and questionable data.


That’s a major bummer because we know that motorcycle back protectors work in practice. Essentially every professional motorcycle racer on the planet wears a back protector from MotoGP to Motocross, and there’s plenty of good science out there explaining why.


In fact, you need to look no further than the safety rating on a given back protector to see that science in action. All CE-certified back protectors come with a rating, either the entry-level CE-1 rating or the more protective CE-2 rating found on the back protectors in our Riderbag.


CE certification is achieved in a laboratory following precise scientific standards. A third party does this lab testing, and the procedure itself is pretty rigorous: A standard 11  pounds weight is dropped from a height of one meter (a little over three feet) onto the surface of the motorcycle back protector.

difference between ce 1 and ce 2 spine protector

To successfully earn a CE-1 certification, no more than 18 kN of force can be transmitted through the back protector into the surface below. For the more protective CE-2 certification, the back protector must cut that force in half to just 9kN. Anything that can’t meet these standards fails the test, and cannot legally be labeled as CE-certified.


So What Does This Mean For Motorcyclists?


In short, this means a back protector dramatically reduces the forces transmitted to the rider’s back from impacts like a rear-end accident, or from coming off your bike and landing on your back. It’s important to note that even among CE level 2 back protectors, however, not all armor is made equal.


That’s because there’s another rating that’s specific to back protectors you should be  coverage area.


Coverage area defines the total amount of your back that a given protector shields from impacts. These ratings come in three types: type L/LB, type CB, and type B/FB.


LB back protectors are arguably the least protective of the bunch. That’s because the “L” stands for “lumbar” which means an LB back protector only covers the lower third of your back.

 protection for motorcycle rider

The second rating, CB, is short for “central back.” These protectors can be identified by their long rectangular shape which, as the name suggests, is designed to run the length of your spine straight down the center of your back.


Lastly, we come to B/FB protectors, which are by far the best of the bunch. B and FB ratings signify that a back protector covers the “full back,” which includes both the spine and lumbar regions, as well as the space between your shoulder blades.


A motorcycle back protector is a piece of safety equipment, plain and simple. As such, there’s really no good reason to want anything other than the most protection you can get as far as we’re concerned. That means that the ideal protector will provide CE-2 certified coverage for your entire back, which is exactly why we designed the Riderbag to accommodate a full-sized CE-2 protector.


Motorcycle Back Protectors Aren’t Just For Motorcyclists

You don’t have to be on a motorcycle to reap the benefits of a back protector. This is actually one of the major reasons we decided to design a backpack rather than a traditional piece of standalone safety gear.

 motorcycle back protector ce 2 level

Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and even those nifty little one-wheeled contraptions all share one thing in common with motorcycles: they all operate on public streets, which puts them at the mercy of distracted drivers, bad pavement, construction debris, and the multitude of other hazards we encounter out on the road.


As many of you can likely attest, accidents can happen to anyone. Heck, an accident is what started our company in the first place: long story short, our founder got rear-ended by a car on his moto-commute home one evening, and while he got lucky and walked away injury free, most of us know friends or family members that haven’t been so fortunate.


While we’d never wish an accident on anyone, there’s no better feeling than hearing customers tell us something we made saved a life. Take a look at this message we received from a Riderbag owner earlier this year:


“I bought a Riderbag for my son, who rides his bike to work in North Carolina. He was hit by another bike, knocked off his bike, and hit the ground really hard. The ER doc said this spine protector and his helmet saved his life! He walked away with just a fractured clavicle. I'm so grateful I purchased this. Thank you to infinity and beyond for saving my son!!!!”

 electric bike backpack

Testimonies like this are why we got into the business in the first place, but it’s also first-hand evidence that motorcycle back protectors are essential to safety. These relatively simple armored inserts save lives, and adding one to your routine can be as simple as throwing on a backpack.Riderbag has got your back, whether you ride, pedal, or push your way from A to B.

Ride visible and protected with the Riderbag Reflective backpack and add a ce level 2 protector! (Both sold separately) Click Here to order today, don't risk it!

motorcycle backpack with motorcycle back protector