Choosing the Right Protective Gear for Motocross Racing

Protective gear for motocross riders is a must. Beyond having the right bike, engine work and tires, no rider should hit the track without the proper clothing, boots, knee braces, chest protection, helmet and goggles – and of course a bag to transport it all around. For many amateur riders, the expense of maintaining proper gear is hard to keep up. But some are fortunate enough to get sponsorships that often cover just the bare minimum of what it takes to suit up appropriately before a ride.
Good riding boots will cost between $200-400. They should be firm with little flexibility around the ankles, and enough shock absorbing material beneath the heels to protect the feet from hard landings. Good brands are Gaerne, Alpinestars, and Sidi. Fox Racing also makes decent boots, but most professional riders prefer Gaerne or Alpinestars.
The right motocross pants should be reinforced with leather or some other heat absorbing fabric around the insides of the knees to protect the rider from the hot exhaust pipes, and also avoid tearing as the rider changes positions often during the ride and clinches the bike between his knees. There should also be some stretch panels behind the knees, in the crotch and lower back area to allow range of motion, and hip pads to add extra protection. The inside of the pants ideally should be lined with mesh or nylon to avoid sticking to the rider’s legs as he perspires. Fox, Thor and Troy Lee Designs are some of the most popular brands.
Motocross jerseys are often chosen based on color and design, but some functional aspects are also important. A good jersey should have reinforced padding around the elbows and shoulders to protect the rider from road rash when they go down. The material should be rip resistant and light weight. The fit should leave enough room to wear protective gear underneath the jersey, if the rider chooses to wear it under, rather than over, his clothing.
Knee braces are often overlooked but possibly one of the most important devices for a rider, next to his helmet. Damage to a rider’s knees can be devastating and career ending in a crash, or simply from landing improperly off a big jump. Two types of braces are chosen according to the rider’s preference – one type is the “rigid frame construction,” where the brace will mimic the front and back hinge of the knee while providing little to no flexibility. The second industrial safety equipment near me type is the “flexible frame construction,” which mimics the motion of the knee hinge, but provides some flexibility as it contours the leg and supports the knee joint. In either case, choosing the right brace with high quality materials is important. A good brace will cost between $300-500, but it will keep the rider going many, many seasons. Manufacturers that make reliable knee support include Asterisk, Dil, XO-Skeleton, Innovation Sports, and EVS.
When it comes to chest protectors, rider preference and comfortability typically dictates the choice. There are hard shell protectors, padded lycra protectors and some with a combination of both. Many also include removable shoulder and elbow pads. One thing to verify with latest machines in technologies chest protectors is that they are well put together at the seams and joints. The straps should be riveted directly onto the plastic and secured properly so that they do not come apart in a crash. Popular brands are EVS, Fly Racing, Fox Racing, Alpinestars and AXO.
The helmet will likely be the most expensive piece of gear on the rider’s body, and for good reason. The helmet must be DOT approved for safety, strong and lightweight (most now are a carbon fiber material), include a venting system, with removable liners and cheek pads, a visor and chin strap. A good helmet will cost between $300-600. The more expensive models have a more sophisticated venting system to keep the head cool and an aerodynamic design style. Manufacturers who make quality helmets are Shoei, Arai, HJC, Troy Lee Designs, Thor and Fox.
Goggles are perhaps the least expensive piece of gear on the rider’s body, but certainly not least important. Riders choose their goggles based on fit, comfortability, visibility, durability, and the tear-off system. Tear-offs are clear strips of plastic film cut into the shape of the goggle that snap onto the goggles and can be torn off one by one as they accumulate dirt, mud and debris. A good pair of goggles will fit snug against the face, with enough foam support to feel secure and accumulate sweat and debris so that it doesn’t interfere with the rider’s line of vision. The rider should have a good range of peripheral vision, and the frame shouldn’t obstruct the rider’s vision when he looks up or down. A good pair will cost between $30-75. Popular brands are Scott, Oakley, Spy Optic, and Smith.
Former pro football player turned crossover motocross athlete Damon J. Smith doesn’t set foot on the track without all the right elements. Coming off the football field and onto the motocross track, Smith knows a thing or two about the importance of protective gear. But he also knows that without the right mindset, all the gear and training are virtually worthless. His sports motivation book , Don’t Stop the Swagger, outlines the essential mental elements needed to win. For his physical body, Smith prefers Gaurne boots, EVS protective gear, a Shoei helmet, Fox clothing and Oakley goggles.
Yet and still, the right gear can go wrong. California motorcycle accident lawyers Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff know that sometimes the rider can do everything right but the bike can fail. If a motorcycle injury occurs due to a manufacturer’s defect, a product liability lawsuit may be necessary to recover financially and physically.