Chest protectors aren’t as common as back protectors for most motorcyclists but in the world of MX and off-road, they’re a popular choice.
Most bikers I know find them overkill for road riding, some jackets and leathers come with them fitted as standard. However, if you’re doing a track day, you might want to beef up your protection.
It goes without saying that even the most experienced riders can come off from time to time; that’s why it’s essential to make sure you have the right level of protection.
A lot of riders will immediately think about back protection, but chest protection is just as important. A chest protector can stop a footpeg or bar going through leathers and spread any impact load to prevent more severe injuries.
Chest protectors come in plenty of different styles with some one-size-fits-all and others with using a harness vest which be tightened to your desired fit and go under leathers while others are designed to fit a certain make of leathers and will clip on with poppers.
It’s crucial you know what you’re looking for when choosing protection gear so you can have the best fit to prevent injury. Look for a design that’s thin, flexible and breathable. This allows for the chest protector to fit under leathers comfortably and not restrict your movement.
Here’s a review of our favourite chest protectors at different price points.
CE approved, flexible and lightweight
Armour experts Knox have produced this chest protector which can slide into your leathers or connect with the hook and loop system or by using their harness. The moulded body gives maximum coverage and is flexible to suit a rider’s movement. With added perforations and honeycomb technology, it’s breathable and prevents sweating.
CE approved, flexible and thin
The Warrior Chest is certified as prEn 1621-3 which is the provisional norm for motorcycle chest protectors and for only £46.99, you can’t grumble at that. Tried and tested by the Biker Rated team, and a firm favourite. This chest protector by Spidi is thin and flexible; made with 3 layers and a square block design, the structure spreads the shockwave out to prevent further injuries. Coming in one size, added poppers means you can attach it to Spidi leathers but it can be slipped down the front of any other leathers too.
CE approved, wear with anything
Pushing the boat out further for £64.99, elite is the right word to use for this protector. Fully CE approved with an ultra thin and flexible design, the Forcefield Elite incorporates Repeat Performance Technology (RPT) to ensure its protective performance isn’t lost after an impact. The universal 4-point adjustable harness allows it to fit to any chest shape and to be worn under any jacket or suit.
Is a track vest a better option?
Another great solution is a track vest. Despite the name, they can be used in any application, from trail riding to touring or racing. The vest has built-in chest armour and a back protector. You just zip it up and you’re good to go.
CE Level 2 back and chest protector
Made from a highly vented stretch Cordura fabric, the Kastor from Rukka features a built-in chest and back protector that uses D3O armour – soft, flexible and comfortable. It features adjustable shoulder straps for a closer fit and it also has a connector zip to allow you to easily zip it in to Rukka trousers.
Chest protector FAQs
What does CE approval mean?
It’s a test that ensures that any armour meets a given standard. Any quality motorcycle-specific brand will have fitted armour that meets CE approval. However not all CE approved armour that comes in your jacket is tested for motorcycles. Some of the cheaper brands or eBay cheapies might claim to have CE-approved armour. However, check that any CE protectors have been tested on the correct motorcycling standard.
Can I re-use my chest protector after a crash?
This completely depends on the make and model and whether there’s any damage. Check with your chest protector’s manufacturer and inspect the protector for visual damage.
Should I buy a second-hand back protector?
We wouldn’t advise it, unless you can prove it’s never been in an impact but even so, is it worth taking the risk to save a few quid?