Forcefield Pro L2 Back protector
I can’t bang on enough about road safety and the small things we can apply to our riding to make us safer on the roads, this goes for safety clothing as well. Other than the usual documents legally required to ride a motorcycle in the UK the only other legal requirement is a safety helmet. (that’s skid lid, bash hat, crash helmet etc to you and I)
Yup, you could technically go and jump on a bike naked and as long as you had a helmet on, you were legal (ok, you may be breaking some decency laws though…)
For me, apart from the helmet, leathers, gloves and boots were my next priority….
…and a BACK PROTECTOR.
Well, last year I had a nasty ‘off’ at about 70mph whereby black ice spat me off my GSXR and dumped me onto my back, in the process I broke four ribs clean off the spine and punctured my lung as well.
I was wearing a back protector as well and it didn’t help at all, in fact it slipped to one side allowing the injuries to happen, this was due to the fact that for the past year I would hang my leathers on a hanger followed by hanging the protector off a single strap off the hanger, this eventually stretched the elastic on the strap and this in turn offered no ‘snug fit’ and the protector was allowed to move freely under my jacket, on impact it was simply shoved aside…yes, I should have put the protector to one side and not end up stretching the strap but there you go.
So Forcefield offered me a ‘Pro L2’ back protector and I have worn it since through commutes, spirited group riding, and the varying blats I undertake when I’m bored.
Is it any good though?
I opted for a ‘medium’ size and as soon as it came I had no problem in working out what went where in relation to actually doing it up.
The first thing I noticed was how flexible it was, it didn’t have this ‘hard shell’ feel to it making me feel like a teenage mutant turtle, it was supple and you could ‘mould’ it with your hands, it felt a tad lighter than other protectors I have used.
There was ample Velcro adjustment round the waist and good strong elastic straps with good sliding adjustment for the shoulders, once all strapped in the protector wasn’t going anywhere.
This was enforced by what I can only describe as a kind of memory foam like backing, once your jacket was on the protector ‘adopted’ the unique shape of your back and that was it in place. Period.
On the go I forgot I was wearing it, so good was it that many times I forgot to take it off when reaching my destination it was that comfortable.
I was a tad concerned that the ‘moulding’ part of it would cause my back to sweat and prevent it from breathing but the L2 has excellent venting through the protector and I can genuinely confirm that no excessive sweating was bought on whilst wearing it.
One of the key features of the L2 is that it is made of ‘Nitrex’ which is a specialised energy absorbing material which allows protection over the entire surface as you cannot be sure where the impact will strike. Some other protectors hope you land squarely on your spine, this is not always the case.
Unlike some other protectors I was intrigued to understand that the L2 has ‘repeat performance technology’ which , in a nutshell, means it can take repeat impacts which is pretty unique as most protectors should be discarded after an impact (again , something ‘hard shell’ protectors are prone to) so, if you do have an off, the L2 is ready to go again. (this doesn’t mean Forcefield expect you to keep throwing yourself down the road though ok?)
Finally, and as silly as it sounds guess what else it comes with?
A tiny little hoop on the base so you can hang it centrally off a coat hanger with no fear of having to use the straps!! (nice one!)
In conclusion I think it’s a great bit of kit….it retails at £84.99 and they have male and female versions, both the same price.
This is one of a few protectors that Forcefield offer, If the others are as good as the L2 then that’s you spoilt for choice.
Review by PC Del Ingram