Impact protection is the most important element in protecting the body in a collision.
Quad-Armor is a new body-protective covering available as an upgrade option from Tri-Armor that is standard in all of Motoport’s motorcycle apparel. The new Quad-Armor provides close to 50% more impact protection compared to the standard Tri-Armor.
Motoport has been manufacturing motorcycle apparel since 1965. Motoport has spent more money on testing motorcycle apparel and the injuries that result in motorcycle crashes, than any other company or country in the world. The most accurate proof of motorcycle apparel’s protection is outcome of the rider after crashing.
During a four-year period in Germany, Motoport performed the largest study of motorcycle crashes in the world. Five hundred serious motorcycle crashes were studied in depth. These crashes occurred on the autobahn, rural areas, and on city streets. Many of these crashes resulted in death to the rider. Four German doctors performed autopsies on the riders that crashed resulting in death and analyzed the bodies of all the riders involved. This, to date, is still by far the most important test to learn how to design protective motorcycle apparel. (See more on this test in Motoport an Evolution).
In November 2007, the motorcycle police in Hong Kong asked Motoport to make jackets that would perform in the extreme hot, humid, cold, and wet weather. A government mandate required the jacket to be EN-Certified. EN-Certification is performed by a company called Satra located in England. Satra tests the jacket’s tear, abrasion, seam strength and armor. Satra has been performing this testing now for about 9 years. If a European motorcycle apparel company makes EN-Certified gear, it is possible to classify the gear as “Safety Apparel.” Up until the Chinese police requested EN-Certification, Motoport had no need to comply with Satra’s testing.
The testing machines Motoport uses are far more advanced compared to the machines Satra is currently using for armor and the tear/abrasion/seam strengths of materials. Motoport’s testing is also confirmed by independent, non-biased companies. It is impossible to create machines that simulate all the different scenarios that occur when crashing a motorcycle.
Motoport has discovered the following problems with Satra and EN-Certification:
- Satra is a privately held, for-profit company. They build and sell the same equipment used for testing the apparel. This creates a conflict of interest.
- The machines Satra uses for testing armor, tear/abrasion, don’t even come close to simulating crashing a motorcycle. This improper testing invalidates the EN-Certification.
- The EN-Certification is not enforced. Any motorcycle apparel company selling gear outside the common European market can claim EN-Certification with no penalty.
- There is no evidence to prove that EN-Certified motorcycle apparel will have a higher level of protection compared to non-approved apparel.
- Thigh and chest armor is not necessary for EN-Certification. Initial impact causes the most damage to the body in a motorcycle crash. The thighs are one of the areas of highest initial impact of to body. Chest armor is also critical.
- No information is available on the outcome of EN-Certified motorcycle apparel that has been crashed. Not enough information is available on the outcome of the riders involved in crashing with EN-Certified motorcycle apparel.
It would be improper to make the claim that EN-Certification has no merit. It would however be even more improper to use the EN-Certification as the sole determination of protection to purchase a certain brand of motorcycle apparel.
How Satra Machine-Tests Armor for EN-Certification
To test armor, Satra places it on top of a steel plate. A metal anvil drops nine times on top of the armor in random locations. Sensors are located underneath the steel plate that Measure the Transfer of Energy from the impact of the anvil striking the armor. Satra concludes that higher ratings of armor are proportional to lower levels of energy transfer through the steel plate.
There are many problems with Satra’s testing of armor:
- Transfer of energy is not the same as impact absorption. Instead of placing the armor on top of the steel plate, if another steel plate was used as armor instead, even less transfer of energy through the steel plate to the sensors below would occur. The armor’s first priority is to ABSORB the impact. The initial majority of rated EN-Certified Level 2 Armor is made from a majority of hard plastic. Motoport has known for over 20 years that hard armor does not protect the body properly when used in motorcycle apparel.
- One of the highest priorities of armor is the comfort level. Many riders will remove the armor if it is not comfortable. Hard armor is not comfortable to wear and decreases mobility.
- Hard armor should always be strapped directly on the body. If the armor is in pockets inside the jacket or pant, it can move upon impact. With the hard armor strapped directly to the body it can still move in a crash. Very few riders will take the extra time strapping armor directly on the body, especially when riding short distances.
- Even if hard armor is perforated it will be hot in the warmer months.
- When hard armor is directly under the outer suit material, the material will tear/abrade much sooner in a tumble.
- All of the hard plastics used in the current EN-Certified Level 2 armor is heavy. This excess weight causes more fatigue to the rider and makes is very difficult to move on the bike or walk with the gear on.
- This is not the same impact that occurs when crashing a motorcycle.
- Direct vertical drop is extremely rare when in a crash.
- This same impact does not occur nine times on the same piece of armor.
- If sensors were also placed on the metal anvil along with full encapsulation around the outside edges of the armor, more impact would be measured. Even with more sensors the impact would not be measured the same as crashing a motorcycle.
- Hard areas such as an elbow along with soft areas such as the buttocks will have a far different reaction to impact. The human body is far different from a metal anvil.
- Dropping a metal anvil on top of a steel plate does not accurately simulate the speeds in crashes, weights of the riders, or the surfaces of impact.
- The three main benefits hard armor provides:
- Hard armor spreads the impact over the entire surface of the armor.
- Hard armor helps to protect the bones from breaking.
- Hard armor can help protect the body from sharp object punctures.
The last benefit of the hard armor’s puncture protection is included with both the Tri- and Quad-Armor construction. Not only does the thin dense Closed-cell EVA Foam in the center of the Tri-Armor help prevent punctures, the blended materials used in Motoport’s gear has far more tear/puncture strength than leather or any other synthetic materials. Remember bulletproof vests are made from Kevlar®.
In almost all current EN-Certified Level 2 armor, the thick hard plastic is the highest percentage of material used. This thick hard plastic eliminates two of the benefits listed above in both a and b.
Note: As time goes on you will see more EN-Certified armor using different types of foam and less hard plastics.
Just recently a Motoport customer was wearing a new BMW Jacket with added EN-Certified Level 2 armor. In a crash, he went over the bars in first gear. The initial impact was to his shoulder. The entire shoulder bone was shattered. The impact was spread over the entire shoulder with the hard armor, but the actual impact to the entire shoulder was not absorbed. Instead of absorbing the impact in this case, it shows that the impact was transferred by the hard plastic armor. The attempt to protect the bones failed. Spreading the impact, in this case, was not beneficial. Using the hard armor created a negative effect.
How Motoport Created Quad Armor from Tri-Armor
The latest Tri-Armor provides incredible impact protection. It is also very comfortable to wear. After just 30 minutes the Tri-Armor molds to the body and it is difficult to even feel. The entire jacket/pant or one-piece suit set of Tri-Armor, that covers more of the body than any other motorcycle apparel, weighs less than one pound.Many riders have crashed wearing Motoport’s pant with the Tri-Armor, and another brand jacket with EN-Certified armor. Even when the initial impact was to the lower body, the rider’s lower body was not injured. The upper body using the EN-Certified armor was injured.
For many years, Motoport has endeavored to improve Tri-Armor. The main problem we encountered was the armor’s discomfort from either being too thick or heavy. Motoport tested different types of dense Closed-Cell Foam with the same machine Satra is using. Motoport increased the armor to a one inch-thick dense Closed-Cell Foam. Foam this thick would be too heavy/bulky to wear, but it would provide incredible protection. Surprisingly, this armor failed Satra’s requirements. Motoport knew at that point to pass the testing machine Satra uses, something hard would have to be used. Motoport will not build apparel that doesn’t protect the body, and we will never build armor simply to pass a machine test.
Enter XRD Poron by Rogers Corporation
PORON® XRDTM extreme impact Protection Material is a breakthrough technology that has been tested to absorb up to 90 percent of energy when impacted at high strain rates. The extreme impact protection developed by the Rogers Corporation High Performance Foams Research and Development Team is ideal for use in sporting goods, outdoor industry products and other applications where protection, comfort, and consistent performance are required.
- Consistent repeated impact absorption for dependable protection throughout the life of the product.
- A multi-purpose foam that outperforms the competition in a variety of markets and test methods.
Wearable Protection Advantage
- The PORON XRD design difference offers a thin and flexible alternative to traditional padding, so your customers can say good bye to uncomfortable, bulky protection
- Microban® antimicrobial protection to help prevent the growth of bacteria that causes stains, odors and product deterioration.
- When things heat up, keeping cool is crucial. Breathable PORON XRD Technology fits like a second skin, ensuring ease of motion and air flow.
- Contouring, soft and flexible to the touch, PORON XRD Material offers the wearer a customized fit.
- Lightweight and low profile material technology that adds a powerful advantage to any product with virtually no trade-offs in design.
- Soft to the touch, but firm on impact, PORON XRD Material conforms to your body’s every move, yet upon impact, forms a comfortable shell that protects the body.
- Maintains all the standard PORON Cushioning properties that you’ve come to rely on: open-cell, breathable technology, excellent compression-set resistance, antifungal and does not contain latex, PVCs, VOCs or heavy metals.
Benefits of Quad-Armor
Quad-Armor is sewn on top of the Tri-Armor. The Tri-Armor has a thin, dense, Closed-Cell EVA Foam in the middle, similar to hard plastic. The stiff foam spreads the impact over the entire surface of the Quad-Armor. Using only layers of pure XRD hitting sharp objects would isolate and transfer impact, not spread it over the entire armor.
- Absorbs close to 50% more impact than Tri-Armor.
- Is comfortable to wear. On average, it takes 1.5 hours for Quad-Armor to mold to the individual’s body the first time it is worn. After this initial break in the armor fits each individual’s body custom.
- Is fully perforated and breathes, allowing air flow.
- Increases overall weight of the jacket and pant by an approximate 2.7 pounds in jacket/pant sizes large and up. Quad-Armor in the smaller sizes will weigh less. Hundreds of Motoport’s current customers wearing Quad-Armor have commented that they can feel the extra weight when lifting the gear but can’t feel any extra weight when riding.
- Can be worn inside the jacket and pant in Velcro secured pockets. It does not need to be strapped on the body. Quad-Armor will not move upon impact.
Quad-Armor, the Best Impact Protection in the World
This statement is guaranteed. It is possible for you to test it, here at Motoport, or at your home. Take a piece of armor out of any other motorcycle apparel. Put your fist up against the armor and punch a concrete wall, metal pole or any sharp hard object. Now perform the same experiment with Quad-Armor. This is a primitive test but, in reality, it is better than the impact testing Satra performs. Motoport performs this same test with customers at Motoport’s store. Currently the highest rated EN-Certified Back Protector is called the T-Pro Force Field. Motoport has this T-Pro here in the showroom. After customers punch a sharp aluminum door frame it is evident that the Quad-Armor outperforms the T-Pro considerably. Most customers comment that Motoport’s Tri-Armor feels more protective than the T-Pro.
If you have any doubts about the new Quad-Armor, Motoport has a guarantee. If for any reason you are not 100% Satisfied with the Quad-Armor, it can be returned for a full refund. You would be responsible to pay shipping charges only.
Quad-Armor is for riders that want the ultimate in impact protection. It is necessary to compromise initial discomfort when first breaking in the armor. It is also necessary to compromise on the extra weight over the Tri-Armor. Finally, the cost of the new Quad-Armor is higher than some others. If you compare the cost of spending just one hour in a hospital along with the pain and loss of work that can accompany injuries, the Quad-Armor is a bargain.