A back protector that grows and dirt gloves with scaphoid protection

Dailies, Galleries -


Little known in the US, Knox has been leading motorcycle safety innovations from the UK for over a decade now. For 2012, this new Meta-Sys back protector promises to boost protection, comfort, convenience and area of coverage while the firm’s innovative Scaphoid Protection System and Boa lacing technology make their way to dirt bike gloves, items that typically offer barely any protection at all.

In white and pale blue, the Knox Meta-Sys looks more like something you’d find in a dentist’s office than a traditional back protector. A six-part plastic outer shell dissipates impacts and provides protection against penetration, while a soft foam inner material provides energy absorption. Overal protection is said to exceed the safest CE2 standard, but by what percentage is unclear. All those articulated section are there to facilitate natural body movement — standing, bending, leaning, twisting — without sacrificing coverage. As you bend into a crouch, the protector can “grow” 1.5 inches to fully envelope your now-lengthened back while all the plates are able to slide around each other, facilitating twisting, as you may do while hanging off a sportsbike. Scapula protectors cover the shoulder blades and the liner detaches so you can wash it.

Bringing scaphoid protection to dirt bike gloves is a good idea. A tiny bone at the base of your thumb, it lacks bloodflow, meaning healing can be a real bitch if you break it. Knox first brought schaphoid armor with its crazy Hand Armor range of sportsbike gloves, now these new Oren, Oryx and Orsa gloves expand that protection to dirt.

It’s the Orsa’s we’re most interested in, also offering gel honeycomb knuckle guards and the Boa lace system you may be familiar with from fancy tennis shoes. That’s basically a ratchet that tightens or loosens a steel cable to “dial in” a perfect fit. With impact protection in the knuckles and now scaphoid, plus that extra retention, these should actually be capable of protecting your hands when you invariably eat shit off-road.


  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    Just a thought, i know they use it in the hand armor range but isn’t there a chance that the steel cable would operate as a nice cuting wire in some case of extreme catastrophic failure?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Generally, if you find yourself in an “extreme catastrophic” situation, you’re probably gonna die regardless.

      • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

        I ment it more in an unforeseen events sense (my “extreme” was a tad too much).
        Like getting your glove caught by a branch at speed…

        Anyway i guess it was the prospect of having a ring of metal around my wrist that made me a bit uncomfortable. Funny how the offroad angle immediatly made me think of that, when the handroid came out it didn’t even cross my mind.

    • nick2ny

      I bet the steel cable doesn’t wrap around anything important. It probably just attaches to a nylon strap and the glove tightens when you reel it in. Edit: I think I’m wrong.

      • Dan

        I have a pair of handroids and that’s exactly how it works: the cable passes through and is used to tighten an elastic strap on both sides of the gauntlet.

        it looks like the cable passes through a similar strap on these- check out the shot of the palm side of the glove. One difference is that when the handloids are laced up, the cable is more or less entirely concealed within the side of the gauntlet – so there’s no way to catch it on anything. Plus the wire is separated from your wrist by layers of plastic and leather. For these, the wire is out in the open, but it would take a truly bizzare hit to catch the wire but not the rest of the glove.

  • contender

    I first read the headline as ‘A back protector that grows dirt’ and was anxious to learn how that was useful.

    • Josh

      See I read it as ‘A back protector that grows dirt gloves’ – I thought it could be handy grow spare gloves…

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Being a rabid anti-dentite, I do not understand why this back protector would resemble something at a dentist office.

    • NickK

      Knowing the English general loathing of dentists, I do not understand how they gathered inspiration for their design.

      (Yes, that had to be done.)

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Movies from America?

        • NickK

          Ha! Hadn’t thought of that. Probably. Fair trade for their Barbours and Triumphs.

  • Will Y

    Good to see Knox getting some coverage, I have the Handroids and they are the best gloves I’ve put my hands into. Plus they are a real conversation starter.

    • Lacubrious

      Agreed, but even more importantly, when I bailed, the scaphoid protector ground down and my hands were fine.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    $200 for the back protector, $90 for the gloves, in case anyone is interested. Via http://www.knoxarmorusa.com .

    • wwalkersd

      Shown as “back ordered”. Which may just mean it’s not yet available because it was just introduced. I’m surprised to see they don’t have a dealer in San Diego County.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Oh wow, didn’t know they had a us importer now.

      • Corey

        Sportbike Track Gear has been carrying Knox for a little while.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Ha, this actually appears to be Sportbike Track Gear too. Same mailing addresses.

          • $Lindz$

            Probably an initiative on STG’s part, as they have been very vocal supporters of Knox armour (see what I did there?) for a pretty long time and support companies they like using.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

            It absolutely is STG. Good folks!

      • rohorn

        Bought a Knox Aegis back protector from a local shop (303 Cycles in Denver CO) recently – love it.

  • Justin [CBR(s):250&F2/3,K6 GSXR1K, XR600]

    Those gloves look nice. I’ve been fortunate enough that all my dirt accidents haven’t involved my hands.

  • 10/10ths

    I’m also not a fan of having a steel cable inside my glove.