The 10 critical pieces of motorcycle body armor include the chest protector, neck collar, gloves, leg guards, boots, hip armor, jacket, back protector, helmet, and elbow and knee padding. Although the helmet is not technically body armor, it is the most important piece of motorcycle equipment. Body armor is used to protect the rider and lower the risk of injury and death during a motorcycle crash.
The elbows and knees are the first points on the body to poke into the ground when a rider falls off the motorcycle. These areas require armor or outerwear that reinforces the areas. A chest protector protects the chest from bending motions and is designed to absorb force during impact. Quality chest protectors distribute the force of the impact throughout the padding underneath.
The neck collar protects the collarbone and the neck during a motorcycle crash. The collarbone is the most commonly broken bone, because when a rider extends an arm to break a fall, the force is channeled into this bone.
Gloves that combine Kevlar or leather or incorporate carbon-fiber reinforcements are useful for protection during a crash. Boots should incorporate plastic rather than leather.
The leg armor should consist of a material such as leather or Kevlar that offers protection from sliding and road rash. Lower-body protection requires a reinforced shell that distributes force and has padding. The jacket is one of the pieces of body armor most riders own and wear for fashion purposes. The jacket should incorporate elbow patches or reinforced carbon-fiber supports. It should also include support for the spine, especially the thoracic spine, as this area is the most frequently injured part of the spine.