We often hear complaints that the standard armour manufacturers include in jeans and jackets is too bulky and heavy, and makes the garment look ugly and like, errr, motorcycle clothing and critically, is uncomfortable.
When we are advising folk on what they should be looking for in riding gear, up there near the top of our list, regardless of the garment, is comfort. Simply, if an item you ride in isn't comfortable it will shorten the amount of time and enjoyment of your ride. Worse, if discomfort is also experienced and an item is putting pressure on parts of your body, say the edge of a hard plastic armour protector, the result can also be fatiguing with loss of concentration, as the mind focuses of the area of discomfort. Not only does this shorten your ride, but can leave you more susceptible to accidents.
So what can you do about this?
In our opinion one of the best upgrades you can make is ripping the old armour out and replacing it with D3O's ultra thin Ghost armour.
At 5mm thick D3O's Ghost Armour is super thin, it is also flat and flexible, meaning it naturally takes it form, when in a garment, from the shape of your limbs. This means gone of the days of bulky pre-shaped armour pads protruding out of your garments, giving that distintive motorcycle garment look!
D3O is a British company that invented a non Newtonian material, that they colour orange, which has revolutionised the impact protection market. It is soft and pliable to the feel, but under force, impact, the molecules in the D3O material lock, firming the material, and absorbing and dispersing the energy. After which the molecules unlock and the materials resumes being soft and pliable. Sounds good hey.
The Ghost Armour is the latest generation of armour pads developed by D3O using this innovative material.
Are they safe?
A very good question to ask!. All armour sold in the UK for motorcycle use has to be tested and certified to CE EU standard EN1621-1 for limbs, backs have a different standard and test requirements. There are two pass grades; Level 1 and Level 2, the difference being the lower the amount of force, energy, the armour pads transmit through to the body, less of course is transmitted with Level 2, which offers greater protection. To pass Level 1 the mean transmitted force, from all its tests, must be below 35kN, and in anyone test, it cannot be greater than 50kN. A pad experience several tests to achieve a pass to ensure the pad works in all positions on it and not just in one sweet spot. For level 2 the transmitted force drops to 20kN that are allowed to pass through to the body.
How are they tested?
This is an explanation from D3O themselves. Basically the material is placed on the anvil, a weight and speed is determined, based on application, for the striker and the Load Cell records the Transmitted Force, Kilonewtons (kN), that pass through the material.
Which Level do I need?
An automatic reaction is to say Level 2 of course! As it offers less transmitted energy to the body therefore it is better and I need this one. But do you? It costs more of course.
Most motorcycle clothing manufacturers include Level 1 armour in their garments, the exception tends to be those manufacturing for off road, track and adventure touring riding, albeit not the rule. If your riding is generally not high speed motorway, off road or track riding, it is more than likely that Level 1 certified armour will give you all of the protection that you need for commuting, round town, across country roads, trips to cafe's, general hooning about etc. Level 2 in most cases won't necessarily give you any greater protection, just a bigger bill to purchase it!
Is Ghost available though as Level 2 armour?
Well, yes it is now, just. We are expecting our first shipment to arrive in the next few weeks, it is new and has just been released by D3O.
The Ghost Level 2 pads differs by being double the thickness, at 10mm, to the Level 1 Ghost armour. All other dimensions are identical to the Level 1 pads. We are currently taking pre orders for D3O Ghost Level 2 armour, click the link below to place your order. Pre orders will ship out as soon as it lands in our warehouse.
Who uses D3O?
A number of names you may recognise put the safety of there limbs in D3O:
- Michael Dunlop - multi TT winner - Lee Johnston - British Supersport rider - Team Troy Lee - Supercross/Motocross - Honda Racing Redmoto Team - World Enduro - Tahnee Seagrave - Downhill Mountain Biker
And some of these guys have had there fair share of spills, so know a thing or two about protecting their limbs!