Recently I observed a trail rider on Reddit say the following,
“I just really don’t see the need and never really have. However, I am quite a bit older than I was since I last rode, and I don’t really want to get hurt, but really $100 for a plastic protector and $200 for a helmet? Isn’t Dirt Biking about adventure? Then, do I really need these two?”
A chest protector is all about protecting your chest, back, shoulders, and even clavicle (collar bone) from flying rocks and dirt and from injury during a fall. On the other hand, a Helmet will make sure you don’t make a mess of your head in the event of a crash.
Let’s dive deep into Motocross Chest Protector and Helmets and see why riding without these two gear, along with Goggles, Pants, and gloves, is inviting trouble.
Have a look at the dirt biking checklist.
Types of Chest Protectors
Chest protectors are designed to shield you from injury when you crash and from “roost” (flying rocks). As you can imagine, you could get seriously injured if you fell off your bike at speed, fit a tree, or got hit by a flying rock. So, make sure you purchase a chest protector or body armor that covers your whole upper-body area.
Today, most models available are designed to protect your chest, back, shoulders, and clavicle (collar bone) with protective materials such as high-impact plastic and/or nylon. There are two types available:
Plastic Chest Protectors / Deflectors
This type of chest protector is designed to be worn over your jersey or enduro jacket. It consists of an injection-molded durable polycarbonate chassis and shoulders. They include a back protection system and upper arm guards. These models include integrated venting and quick lock buckle closure systems to keep you cool and to make it easy to take on and off. For maximum protection during fast riding or racing, a plastic chest protector is usually the best choice.
Protective Body Armor
This type of chest protector is designed to be worn under your jersey or enduro jacket and fits snug into your body. These are a nice option that doesn’t restrict your movement and offer vented mesh material to flow a lot of air to keep you cool.
These are a little more expensive than the plastic chest protectors but usually include other features like upper arm and elbow protection and built-in kidney belts. Plus, they’re less bulky, and you don’t have to ride around looking like a plastic transformer toy!
Motocross helmets are THE most important protective gear item you need to ensure every dirt bike or motocross ride is a safe one. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before selecting a Motocross Helmet:
DOT & Snell Certification for Safety
The first step to buying a safety helmet is to buy one that is both DOT and Snell certified. Virtually all helmets have the DOT certification, but spend a few extra dollars for one with Snell Foundation certification. It’s your head!
Comfort and Fit
Getting the right fit is critical for your dirt bike helmet. If you buy it too large and get in a wreck, your skull won’t be secured and protected. If you buy it too small, you’ll never be comfortable. To get the correct fit, measure the distance around the widest part of your noggin and know your hat size.
Almost all motocross helmets on the market today are light enough that they do not bother your neck. The more expensive helmets constructed with Kevlar and/or carbon fiber are ultra-light and feel extra comfortable on your head.
It gives us a panic attack every time we see a dirt rider (trust us, there are many) say dirt bike gear takes away all the thrill of “dealing with the danger.”
Remember, you can enjoy unlimited thrills only IF YOU “RE ALIVE. The two protective gear, along with gloves, boots, pants, and Goggles, will make sure you live long enough and keep enjoying the thrills off-road biking has to offer!