I hope everyone is finding this series of blogs informative and helps them to make the right choice when it comes to gear for their ride and style. As promised I will be talking about the different types of armor that come in jackets and the different ratings that are out there.
There are two main types of rated armor that you find in jackets; reactive (like D30 armor) and nonreactive (like foam padding). Reactive armor has taken the industry by storm. You are seeing it in more mid and high end jackets. This armor uses special compounds that absorb more impact force than your standard armor of the same thickness. The molecules become more rigid when struck and is very soft and bendable at rest. Nonreactive armor uses its current density to absorb the impact but is far less effective at it then reactive armor of the same thickness. This is why nonreactive armor tends to be more bulky than reactive armor. There are some jackets that come with a thin foam pad as a back protector that is not rated. Replace this armor asap as it will not offer much if any protection. You can upgrade and get better armor for your jacket if you want to. This is nice since you can find the perfect jacket for you and make sure you have proper protection.
Now that we talked about the types of rated armor out there we can talk about the different ratings and what they mean. There are 3 levels of armor out there. I will talk about Level 1 and 2 since those are the most common road use types. Level 3 is more for competition use. CE rated level 1 armor is your most common armor. It is allowed a max of 18 kN(4 ftlbs) of force in the test. CE rated level 2 armor allows a max of 9 kN(2 ftlbs) of force in the test. More info about the test and ratings can be found here. You can always stop by Richmond Honda House and see Erik or Wade if you would like to know more.
In my next blog I will talk about different types of gloves for riding and what you should look for in a glove. Until then stay safe and keep the shiny side up.