September 16, 2013
Top 5 Motocross Gear Must-Haves And Why
Thinking about getting into motocross? Well before you jump on your bike and hit the dirt, you need to make sure you have the right protective equipment. Wearing the proper protective gear will help keep you safe and on your bike. There are some items that are absolute must-haves such as a helmet, boots and gloves. Other items, such as chest protectors, aren't mandatory but they are a good idea. And there are items like neck braces and knee braces for those who want the added protection.
The most important gear a motocross rider can wear is a properly fitted helmet. Motocross helmets protect a rider's head and face from impact and prevent serious injury. Motocross helmets are typically distinguishable from other motorcycle helmets by a sun visor, an opening for goggles and additional chin protection.
Motocross helmets come with different features such as venting or weight, and usually with very colorful graphics. The most important thing to look for though is safety certification from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Snell Memorial Foundation.
A good motocross helmet should fit your head snugly and not slide around if you push the helmet back and forth on your head. New helmets may feel tight because the liner hasn't been compressed yet but once fully broke in that should change.
Next up you need to find a good pair of motocross goggles that will protect your eyes from debris while offering good vision, after all, if you can't see, you can't ride. Goggles should also have enough ventilation to prevent fogging, and some goggles come with anti-fog treated lenses.
If you do a lot of riding in muddy conditions, you might want to consider tear-offs or roll-offs. Tear-offs are thin layers of film that you attach over your goggle lens. If you get mud sprayed across your goggles and find it hard to see, simply tear off a layer and you'll have a fresh, clear view. Roll-offs are similar, only instead of tearing off each layer, you roll them like photographic film in small canisters mounted on the sides of your goggles.
Next to helmets, motocross boots may be the most important piece of motocross equipment you will need. Boots provide protection for your feet and ankles as well as your shins and calves. Boots are usually constructed from leather with plastic plates, although some models may have steel sole and heel guards.
You may also want to invest in some socks designed for motocross. Like your boots, motocross socks go up over your calves. The extra padding fills in the space in your boot, improving the fit, and they can help prevent blisters from developing.
Motocross gear can be quite fashionable, coming in different colors and styles. But motocross jerseys and pants also serve a practical purpose.
Jerseys and motocross pants are made of rip-resistant materials and protect a rider from cuts and scrapes. They also provide padding around the elbows and knees for extra protection, though it's still a good idea to get additional knee and elbow guards.
Motocross gloves should offer good palm protection and some gloves offer extra padding on the palm or on top of the fingers. Make sure the material doesn't get bunched up in your palm or the seams don't rub awkwardly between your fingers.
Fit is especially important for riding gloves. When trying on gloves, hold your hands in position as if you were gripping your handlebars and see how they feel.
Jerseys, pants, and even gloves can often be bought together for a matching look, but they can also be bought separately if you want to mix and match.
Knee braces and knee pads protect the joint from impact, both from debris, and in the event of a crash landing. For additional protection, you may want to consider a knee brace which helps prevent the knee from being twisted or turned beyond its natural range of motion. Knee braces are pricier than knee guards, but if you want the added protection, or if you have a previous knee injury, the extra cost is worth it.
For added safety, you might want to consider a neck brace. Motocross neck braces are designed to work with helmets as well as body armor. They protect the neck by limiting the range of motion during a crash. Neck braces can also absorb or redirect the force of impact, lessening the strain on your neck and vertebrae. Before you purchase a neck brace make sure it fits properly.