As anyone who has read the reviews of my Cycleport and Aerostich motorcycle protective gear knows, I take motorcycle safety seriously. Toward that end, I purchased a TPro Forcefield back protector, which is also sold as the “Joe Rocket Speedmaster” back protector. The purpose of the back protector is to provide additional impact protection (and possibly a little abrasion protection and heat transfer protection in the unfortunate event that a motorcycle and its ride should part company while in motion.)
TPro Back Proector - frontTPro Back Protector - rear

The TPro Forcefield is the most comfortable back protector that I have tried on. It is flexible, yet firm enough that it should spread impact energy well in a crash. The straps and don’t dig into my shoulders, and the Velcro waist strap is comfortable as well. The padding on the inside of the protector allows about as much ventilation as could be hoped for, and fits comfortably against my back. It even fits comfortably below my Cycleport jacket, which has its own back armor built in.

Impact Protection:
It is clear that the back protector wouldn’t save my spine from serious injury if a car were to, say, slam into the back of my motorcycle at 60 MPH while I were stationary, but I could see it helping should I land on my back after a crash. It would be nice if there was a little more coverage in the shoulder area, but it is certainly not deficient in this regard.

Abrasion Protection:
Although it is not designed for abrasion protection, and I rely upon my Kevlar and Cordura riding suits for this, I imagine that it would provide at least some abrasion protection. This could come in handy if I were to slide down the road far enough to wear through my riding suit. I also believe that it would help keep some of the tremendous heat that would be generated while sliding down the pavement from reaching my skin.

Back Protectors in General: Soft Back Protectors vs. Hard Back Protectors:
There is lively debate within the backprotector design community as to whether a hard or soft back protector offer better protection. I believe the soft back protectors, such as the TPro Forcefield are superior for a couple reasons. Firstly, soft back protectors will flex during impacts and transfer the energy more slowly, rather than immediately transmitting the full force of the impact into the rider, much as the foam in a motorcycle helmet does. Secondly, the soft protectors will not form pinch points around which the rider’s body could be bent or cut during a collision. I want my gear to flex and roll with me during a crash, not to jab into me.

The TPro Forcefield (AKA Joe Rocket Speedmaster) back protector is an excellent choice for those who want extra back protection while riding their motorcycles. It is comfortable, doesn’t get too hot, and even fits well underneath other gear. I only wish that it covered a little more of the shoulder area.