When looking to buy motorcycle-riding gear, you will
hear a lot about different types of armor. Usually motorcycle jackets
will have armor in the shoulders, collarbone, elbows (often extending
to the forearms) and the spine. Motorcycle riding pants often include
armor in the knees, hips, shin and tailbone. These protective pads
may be removable or permanently sewn into the lining. There are
many different materials and styles of armor that are definitely
not created equal. All motorcycle armor must balance protection
with mobility and comfort. There is currently no governing body
or safety standard for motorcycle armor in the US so buyers should
beware of poor quality pads. The European Commission maintains the
most trusted standard available and approved armor will be marked
CE approved. Here are some popular types of motorcycle armor.
Core-Comp Armor - Armor made up of energy absorbing polystyrene
cells sandwiched between layers of foam rubber then sealed in
an abrasion resistant ballistic nylon. This is a very advanced
style of CE approved armor.
Density Armor - This is the cheapest and most common
form of armor. As the name indicates there are two separate
densities of foam sandwiched together. The difference
in firmness between the two types of foam helps make the
armor more versatile in protecting the rider from different
types of impact.
Hard GP Armor - Comprised of hard plastic shells mounted on foam,
GP Armor is good at resisting hard impacts. It is used mainly
in gear designed for motorcycle racing. Vanson has a derivative
of the GP Armor that is secured with Velcro mounted on elastic
to allow the armor more mobility, which adds comfort for the rider.
Memory Foam Armor - This armor is made from special purpose foam
that is soft and pliable when compressed slowly but on sudden
impact the foam resists compression and is more rigid. This allows
for a more natural and comfortable protection and superior freedom
of movement while still maintaining good crash protection.
Molded Rubber Armor - This armor is often nicknamed "turtle
shell" because of its resemblance to the aquatic creature.
It is generally longer and more oval shaped than other styles
of armor which can make it harder to fit into average armor pockets.
Tri-Armor -The result of a four-year German study, Tri-armor
is CE approved armor made up of a plastic membrane sandwiched
between layers of dual density memory foam. This is an advanced
armor that balances impact resistance, abrasion resistance and
Vanson Street Armor - Soft foam armor that is fixed in the jacket
by velcro instead of slipping into mesh pockets. This armor is
designed to allow greater freedom of movement.