If there’s one thing the motorcycle world needs it is more lycra, and thanks to protective equipment D3O, we’re getting it. D3O’s spookily thin Ghost series is a cool new range of armor that is thin enough to slide under a pair of jeans, and more breathable than armor that came before it.
D3O was able to build the ultra-thin armor using appropriately named Impact Print technology. It allows the company to print the impact material directly on to a lycra backing. The lycra allows for freedom of movement but also helps maintain the shape of the armor pieces. That means that the armor is able to concentrate on its main job: protecting against impact, while the lycra backing maintains the general shape.
Current armor is restricted in how thin or flexible it can be as the armor itself has to be rigid and robust enough to keep its shape. Thinner armor provides less opportunity for limbs to catch, snag or be kicked into a tumble than thicker armor, which makes for better protection in sliding crashes.
Ghost armor could make motorcycle gear more adjustable, with interchangeable width padding. I have an oddly shaped body and the fitment of my leathers is contingent on me maintaining a narrow window of weight. My love of Doritos has a negative impact on that fitment, one which I might be able to mitigate with some thinner available armor.
Ghost armor is rated at the EN 1621-2:2012 (Level 1) safety standard, which means it is good for most motocross, mountain bike and track applications as limb protection. Chest and back protectors require the higher EN 1621-2:2014 (Level 2) standard of impact protection.
Building thinner, better ventilated, easier to fit armor is critical if we want to increase the number of people riding with proper gear and protection. Heat, discomfort, and bulk are all regular pain points that riders point to when justifying why they don’t wear gear. A thin piece of armor that fits well under jeans is a welcome addition in our quest to make a more ATGATT world.