As my regular readers know, I am an unabashed fan of Knox Armour gear.
I can’t help it. Their contemporary, safety-focused designs and quality construction makes it too easy.
I have to admit, when Knox asked if I’d like to try their new armor, my reaction was pretty reserved. I mean, how much can you really improve motorcycle armor?
Turns out, quite a dang bit.
This armor. Oh, this armor. It’s flexible, lightweight, and incredibly comfortable. Before trying Micro-Lock, I had very few opinions about armor. Adhering to CE standards was good enough for me. But now? I’m not sure I could ever go back to conventional foam armor.
Now, Knox isn’t the first company to launch soft, flexible motorcycle armor. In the US, Icon began using D3O armor in their gear back in 2013.
However, according to Knox, none of that armor is very stable. I’m no expert in material sciences, but basically the effect is that less stable armor doesn’t hold up well when subjected to high or low temperatures, and it may start to crumble after just a few years of use.
So, Knox spent four years developing their Micro-Lock formula, and they’re so confident in the armor’s stability that they have launched it with a five-year guarantee — the maximum length of time they are allowed to guarantee a product per CE regulations.
Oddly, there isn’t a whole lot of information online about how long it is safe to use different types of armor. The only comparison I was able to find was that D3O armor should be expected to last 2-3 years — half the lifespan of Knox’s guarantee.
I think I smell a RIDEWELL research project here…
All the Micro-Lock armor is a breath of fresh air after having worn foam armor for years. But the back protector really shines.
I know a lot of people don’t care for wearing a back protector because it feels bulky. One friend told me it felt like wearing a turtle shell. Personally, I’ve never minded the bulk a back protector, but this one is game-changing.
Not only is the material super-light, but the cut-outs help the protector conform perfectly to my back. I could wear it all day, on or off the bike. In fact, J and I stopped for lunch yesterday and I left it on the entire time. It’s that comfortable.
Along with the armor, Knox sent me a new women’s Action armored shirt (men’s here). I’ve been wearing their original armored shirt for over a year now, and I have to say, this style took care of everything that had bothered me about the original.
The fabric in the Action shirt is much softer than in the original, which makes it more comfortable in that little crook of your elbow. The neckline is now a solid black instead of gray, which I find looks better peeking out from underneath my jackets. And the mesh paneling makes the whole thing that much more comfortable to wear in the summer.
Plus — two front pockets instead of one! I’m a sucker for pockets 🙂
If you don’t have an armored shirt yet, I highly recommend getting one. Not only can they be worn under almost any jacket you like, but they are made to hold the armor tight to your body. So, if you were to crash, there would be much less chance that your armor would slip around and leave you exposed.
Plus, combined with the Micro-Lock armor, the Knox Action Armored Shirt is really a very comfortable, versatile way to stay safe on your bike.
Now that Knox has launched the Micro-Lock armor, they’ve raised the prices on their armored shirts about $20 since I last reviewed them. Nonetheless, a complete Knox system (armored shirt + jacket) is still a pretty competitive price point, especially considering the modern designs and high-quality materials.
Disclaimer: As I mentioned in the review, Knox did send me this gear, but they did so without expectation of reviews, photography or other publicity. All opinions are (unapologetically) my own 😉