If you’re considering a track day, there’s no better experience than pushing yourself to achieve the ultimate performance from your bike and your riding skills.
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. They 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.
For under £20, this Knox Upgrade Chest protector is lightweight to make it more comfortable while in use. The hook and loop system allows it to be fixed to other shirts and vests in the Knox collection for added protection but you could just slip it down the front of your leathers like any other chest protector 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. Available in 2 sizes, small (up to 40”) and large (42”+).
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.
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.
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.
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.
What does CE approval mean?
It’s a test that ensures that any armour meets a given standard. Not all CE approved armour that comes in your jacket is tested for motorcycles, so 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.
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?