CE, EN, ratings, protection levels..Are these a few terms that create confusion when it comes to armor certification? I am going to help clear the confusion and help make an informed purchase decision with this article.
We all know how important riding gear is and we also know that it is even more important to have quality protective armor at the impact points like the shoulders, elbows, knees and back. To ensure the quality standards are adhered to, certain certifications were introduced. The most common heard term is CE certified where CE stands for certified European. Let us now look at the various nomenclatures and what they denote:
EN1621-1: This particular nomenclature must be present on any limb protector that is claimed to be CE certified. By limb I mean shoulders, elbows and knees. The first two letters, that is “CE” denote Certified European. The next four digits, that is “1621” mean that this limb protector is made for motorcycle riding, and the last number “1” denotes the fact that this is a limb protector. Do not mistake the “1” as Level 1. We will come to that later.
EN1621-2: This particular nomenclature must be present on any back protector that is claimed to be CE certified. Again, the first two letters, that is “CE” denote Certified European. The next four digits, that is “1621” mean that this back protector is made for motorcycle riding, and the last number “2” denotes the fact that this is a back protector. Once again, do not mistake the “2” as Level 2.
The next piece of information that may or may not be engraved on the protectors is the certification year. For example, if an armor says EN1621-1:2013, it means this protector meets the minimum safety requirements that were set by CE in 2013. Note that these standards keep changing every couple of years, but 2013 is the last year the standards were changed.
Now coming to the levels of safety: The most common standard we see is the Level 1 standard. Unless mentioned otherwise, a “CE-certified” armor is always certified to meet the minimum safety standards to satisfy Level 1 certification. Level 2 certified armor meets level 2 safety standards and is usually explicitly mentioned on the armor. Level 2 standards provide maximum safety in case of a fall.
In short, when buying protective gear, check the armors and ensure they have the above certifications marked on them correctly. There are various armor manufacturers like Knox, Sastec and D3O but what you mainly need to keep in mind is the CE level 1 or level 2 certification.
To also know about helmet certifications, click here.
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