It's new, it's high-tech and it's generally not cheap. But motorcycle body armor just might save your life. How much do you know about staying safe when riding? Take this quiz, and you may be surprised by what you learn!
The goal of any body armor is to block force and then absorb it, so many of the best systems use a hard shell backed by force-absorbing padding.
This is an oldie but a goody -- helmets are still the most important piece of safety equipment in a biker's closet.
Body armor is generally not considered effective in protecting against the massive trauma of high-speed crashes.
The report known as the Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study (MAIDS) found that protection against skidding is of prime importance, since so many accidents result in skidding.
The three states completely without helmet laws are New Hampshire, Illinois and Iowa; however, 27 states have only partial helmet laws, covering only riders 17 or 20 years old and younger.
Currently, there's no certification in the U.S. However, Europe certifies motorcycle protective clothing. Look for "CE-certified" armor to ensure it meets the best available standards.
Due partly to your skeleton channeling force into your clavicle (collarbone) and pelvis, these are the most commonly broken bones in motorcycle crashes.
It seems as if leather was designed specifically to protect bikers -- even at only 1.2 millimeters thick, it can protect against the abrasion of a skidding fall.
In fact, the median crash speed is only 21.5 miles per hour (34.6 kilometers per hour), well within the speeds at which body armor is effective.
The influential Hurt report found that "no element of accident causation was related to helmet use."