A Riders Guide to Choosing a Motocross Neck Brace

A Riders Guide to Choosing a Motocross Neck Brace

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 21, 2019

motocross neck braces

There is a lot of controversy when the subject of wearing a neck brace is brought up. Many people have have "heard stories" about how a neck brace will just break your collarbone, about how you can't look up or down a hill, about how they will break your upper back. Well, let me tell you - you should always be wearing a neck brace. A recent study conducted by Action Sports EMS which is an ambulance service that caters to the amateur motocross industry has published it's statistical findings about injuries related to riders while wearing, and not wearing a neck brace. Read below for more details.

Neck braces are designed to take away some of the forces from the riders head in the riders neck in the event of a crash and disperse them throughout the neck brace itself and also into the bigger more muscular parts of the riders body. Now in the list below we've checked out some of the best motocross neck braces on the market and given you our honest feedback to help you choose the right one. In all honesty, these are all really great options, and I don't think you could go to wrong with any one of them, so pick the one that fits your needs best.

Best Motocross Neck Brace Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace All Round
2. Atlas Air Neck Brace Value for Money
3. Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2 Support
4. Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace Lightweight
5. EVS R4 Koroyd Race Collar Beginners

Top Choice: Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace

You just can't go wrong with the Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace

1. Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace
Best For

All Round

Our Rating
2. Atlas Air Neck Brace
Best For

Value for Money

Our Rating
3. Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2
Best For


Our Rating
4. Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace
Best For


Our Rating
5. EVS R4 Koroyd Race Collar
Best For


Our Rating

Should I Wear A Motocross Neck Brace Debate - Do They Work?

There are now real world statistics proving the motocross neck braces do in fact work. Great Lakes EMS is an ambulance service that caters to the amateur motorsports world. More specifically motocross, and racing in USA. The study of rider injuries and safety gear has been their focus since 2013, since then they have gathered 10 years of data to share with the motorsports industry. The following information is their report on the study of motocross neck brace effectiveness. You can view the full report here.

Over the 10 years of analysis, the EMS group have heard various types of claims have been made against the use of motorcycle neck braces. Whether these be personal opinions, stories heard through the grape vine, or words of "wisdom" past down from father to son. Here are a few that you might be familiar with

  • It will break your collar bone
  • You can't look up towards a jump or hill
  • The Pro's don't wear them
  • It will cause nerve damage or paralysis by breaking your upper back
  • They restrict movement
  • They are stupid looking
  • None of them fit right

Riders need to be educated about what a neck brace can and can't do. Many of the principle's from the points above can be said for seat belts and air bag's many years ago. Great Lakes EMS have set out to disprove many of these myths and have done an outstanding job doing so. The results shared through their studied have shown that manufacturers of neck braces have indeed made Motorsport more safe and are providing the intended results - as they had claimed many years back.

The data collected in the study spans over a period of nearly 10 years (from 2009 until 2018) and includes 9430 patients. Of these patients, 8529 fall into the criteria of wearing (or not wearing) a neck brace, along with Cervical Spine and/or Clavicle injuries, and/or deaths. The remaining subjects were studied prior to the brace or no brace question was implemented - in these cases, subjects were excluded from the study. Data in this study has been collected from January 2009 to October 2018, (nearly 10 years) and includes 9430 total patients, 8529 of which fall into the criteria pertaining to wearing (or not wearing) a neck brace, along with Cervical Spine and/or Clavicle injuries, and/or deaths recorded during this time. The other 901 pre-date the “Yes brace or No brace” question, so data from these instances was excluded.

Out of the 8529 recorded patients, 4726 of them were marked as not wearing a brace during the time or place of injury. The remaining 3803 were all wearing a neck brace during during the time of injury. FYI - for all of you that are not statisticians, this is a very robust sample size for both the "YES" and "NO" subjects. Below are the astonishing results.

1. A Critical Cervical Spine Injury is 89% More Likely Without a Neck Brace.

Neck brace effectiveness

Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 239 recorded cases of Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace, and 26 with a neck brace.

2. Death is 69%+* More Likely (Due to Cervical Spine Injury) Without a Neck Brace.

should i wear a motorcycle neck brace

Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 4 recorded cases of death caused by Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace, and just 1 with a neck brace. *It should be noted that the patient who experienced death with the neck brace had a full Cervical Spine Fusion from a previous injury, and received a blunt force (part of the motorcycle) directly to the back of the neck. Since the injury falls into our report criteria the accident is included in this report, but the circumstances are worth mentioning.

3. A Non-Critical Cervical Spine Injury is 75% More Likely Without a Neck Brace.

should i wear a motorcycle neck brace

Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 702 recorded cases of Non-Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace, and just 109 with a neck brace.

4. A Clavicle (Collarbone) Fracture is 45% More Likely Without a Neck Brace.

neck brace safety

Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 443 recorded Clavicle fractures without a neck brace, and 291 with a neck brace.

5. Cervical Spine Injuries Sustained Without a Neck Brace Are More Severe, Require Greater Care

Motorcycle neck brace statistics

As shown in the left above, of the 239 Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace (Shown in black), 100% (239) of them required a hospital admit (Yellow) and ALS transport (Orange), compared to just 73%, and 42% for neck brace wearers respectively (Right chart, same colors).

Of the 239 Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace, 87% (207) received Spinal Immobilization(Red), where as of the 26 Critical Cervical Spine injuries with a neck brace, 76% (22) were immobilized.

6. A Cervical Spine Injury of Any Kind is 82% More Likely Without a Neck Brace.

Motorcycle neck brace statistics

Over the course of the 10 year study, combining all critical and non critical Cervical Spine injuries, 945 injuries were recorded without a neck brace (20% of 4726 people), and 136 with a neck brace (3.5% of 3803 people).

What to Consider When Choosing a Motocross Neck Protector


First thing to consider when looking for a neck brace is the fitment. A Neck brace will only be able to do it's job if the fit is right. You want to have as much contact between the neck protector with the body, as well as the helmet. The helmet should not sit too high above the neck protector, other wise, in the case of a crash or an impact, the helmet will still have a large distance to move, before it starts to be supported by the brace.


Next you want to be sure that the brace has some adjustable features. This aspect actually ties into fitment above. To achieve optimal fit, you need to be able to adjust the brace according to your body size. Some neck protectors offer back support that is able to move as your body moves. The back support should ideally be able to break off if there is a big impact, preventing a large amount of force being displaced to your upper back and spine.

You also want to look out for adjustable features on the front of the brace where the brace fits underneath your chest protector, or roost guard. If this area is too lose, the neck protector will slip out from underneath the chest protector. You also want to look for adjust shoulder pad's that will enable to raise or lower the neck guard until it fits properly across your shoulders and underneath your helmet.


A lot of riders complain about the comfort when wearing a neck guard. In my opinion, comfort is a small price to pay when your head/neck is on the line. To help with comfort, you can look for a neck guard that comes in at a lower weight which will minimize any irritability during your ride.

Best Motocross Neck Protector Review

1. EVS R4 Koroyd Race Collar

Best Entry Level Motocross Neck Brace

EVS R4 Koroyd Review EVS R4 Koroyd Neck Brace Review

If you're looking for an affordable, lightweight neck brace - this is a great option

Off the bat couple of features that we like about the EVS R4 Koroyd is the weight, it comes in at one pound! One of the lightest neck braces available. The price point is gonna be well under the $200 mark so compared to the other neck braces in our lineup, this is by far going to be the most affordable. Now this neck protector is very light weight.

Weight & Materials

The way that EVS keep the weight down is pretty unique. You can see you've got this red material on the white one and green material on the black one which is called Koroyd. So Koroyd is a unique material that's actually 95% air. they're laser welded tubes so they keep whatever it is very lightweight that they're used in but they also do an incredible job of absorbing impact and energy so it's a cool material that they're utilizing inside here.

Closure System

The neck brace opens and closes with a velcro strap underneath the bottom and a small button tab on the front. Pressing on that that allows it to come apart.


Now in the back you've got your thoracic strut which is the vertical shaft which allows for a little bit of adjustability. By adjusting that you actually change the angle of the back support so it's very important. Like I said, fitment is crucial so make sure that with any neck brace you get, mess around with the adjustability that you're getting to ensure that you do get the best fit possible. So this neck brace is super lightweight and comes in at a very affordable price point.


My only nitpick with the R4 neck brace is with the sizing. This neck brace is built to fit a wide variety of body types, so it fits anywhere over 105 pounds and five foot three and over, is what this is designed to fit. So it's a pretty general, pretty broad spectrum of sizing. So in my opinion you're just not gonna be able to get as much of a customized fit as you are with some of the other neck braces you're not gonna have as much adjustability with the r4k. But this is where you need to weigh up the options of price vs adjustability.

  • Weight
  • Price
  • Minimalistic
  • Sizing
  • Adjustability

2. Atlas Air Neck Brace

Atlas Air Neck Brace Review Atlas Air Neck Protector Review

27% more contact with the riders body than other neck braces

Second up we've got the Atlas Air neck brace. Atlas got to started making neck braces back in 2009 and a rider that for me stands out the most when it comes to this neck brace is Ryan Villopoto. He's been wearing these for years and he was actually one of the riders that helped test and develop this neck brace.


With the Atlas Air right off the line, just like with that EVS it's very lightweight - size large comes in at 1.1 pounds. It's also low-profile, another one of these neck braces where you put on very minimal and that's actually something that Atlas was going for when they made this neck brace. They kind of had that saying, "less is more" and I think they did a great job with this brace. A couple of features about this that I really like.


If you look at the rear back supports you actually have these smart mounts. With these you have six different mounting positions to change the angle of these back support which do a great job of allowing the rider to fine-tune this neck brace. I also really like that with these you can see in the back they have what the call Split Flex Frame Technology which actually allows the neck brace to work its way up and down separately on either side of the riders back, so that way as the rider is wearing it, as he's moving on the bike this allows the brace to work with the rider.

Rider Contact

We mentioned earlier, you want to have as much contact with the riders body as possible. So I really like that that's allowing these back supports to stay in contact with the body. A big claim that Atlas makes with their brace is that even though it might not look like it, they say that it actually has up to 27% more contact with the riders body than the other neck brace. That's a big claim but 27% more means it's gonna do its job even better. Going along with those adjustable back supports you actually do have an extra set of pads that come included. These pad's actually mount underneath the brace above the shoulders if you so if want to adjust the height of the neck brace you can do that as well. To open and close, you've got a button right underneath in the front so you press on that and that allows it to open and it closes right back up.

last thing I want to point out is with these chest mounts on the front, what I like is that they actually do have some give to them. So they actually act more like suspension for the neck brace itself. That is the Atlas Air, designed and developed pro rider, Ryan Villopoto.

  • Adjustability
  • Weight
  • Low Profile
  • Split Flex Frame Technology
  • Upper Price Bracket

3. Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech 2

Alpinestars Neck Brace Alpinestars Neck Protector

The BNS Tech 2 is designed for use in motocross and off-road riding and offers a highly personalized and stable fit.

Next up we've got the BNS Tech 2 coming from Alpinestars. We've seen the BNS version 1 from Alpinestars for many years and it was a great neck brace and very popular and worn by the likes of Justin Barcia. You've seen him rocking that neck brace for a while now, but then in late 2018 they came out the Tech 2.


It looks very similar but they've just refined a couple things to make it a little bit lighter and have a better interface with the riders helmet. It comes in at 1.7 pounds in a size large so it is gonna be a little bit heavier than the Atlas Air or even that EVS that we just looked at.

Closure System

But there are some features about this that we really like. The first thing is with the open and closure system. This is personally my favorite system that there is with any neck brace. It's very easy to operate. You have a pull tab in the front which simply allows you to open and close it very easily. There is a magnet in there as well so you notice that as you close it, when it gets close it literally just kind of locks itself in place. So very easy to operate it.

Support System

I'm a big fan of the thoracic strut in the rear. A couple features I like here are the pivot system in the back which actually allows us to move side-to-side. Just like with that Atlas Air and that Split Flex Frame, same concept, you're just allowing the back support to move with the riders body and to keep that contact.

Also what I like about this thoracic strut is that you've got these supports on the back which are designed to break away if enough force is applied. This is a safety feature that I like in a neck brace. A little bonus if you want to dismantle the neck brace for easy storage you can actually just pop of the back gaurds.


Now with the BNS you are gonna have some good adjustability with what they call it their size adapter system. It has these extra plates that will come included in the box which will just replace the plates that come with the neck brace. Now I'm glad that they're giving you adjustability however my opinion to adjust these plates or acutely swap them out does take a little bit more work than the other neck braces in the lineup. So you're getting that ajustability but it's just a little bit more work to do so. But overall I'm a big fan of neck brace and again I really like that open and closure system.

  • Closure System
  • Thoracic support
  • Weight
  • Ease of Adjustability

4. Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace

Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Brace review Leatt GPX 3.5 Neck Protector Review

Best Motocross Neck Brace For The Money

Next we've got two neck brace offerings from Leatt. A fun fact about Leatt is they were the first company to design a motorcycle specific neck brace. The two braces that we are going to look at are the 3.5 and the 5.5.


I will say that of all the neck braces in the list, I enjoy the fitment of these two the most. I think Leatt did a really good job with the fit with the chest supports and the way the thoracic strut works. It just gives a nice snug fit to my body so I'm a big fan. The Leatt 3.5 neck brace is gonna be the budget-friendly option coming from Leatt.


Aside from the price point and the fitment, some other features that I really like about this is the weight. The Leatt 3.5 neck protector comes in at one pound exactly. Which means it is the lightest neck brace that we have in our lineup.

Closure System

The closure system is also really simple - you've got a red tab up in the front that you're just gonna press on that that allows you to open and close - it very easy.


With the thoracic strut, just like what the Alpinestars, what I like is that this is designed to break off if enough force is applied. You are gonna have some adjustability with this neck gaurd as well. You you have two red tabs one on each side, if you pull those out you have two different mounting positions for that thoracic strut to get that fine-tuned fitment. So that's the 3.5, very lightweight and budget-friendly, but what you are sacrificing is you're not going to have as much adjustability as you're going to get with the 5.5 as you will see below.

  • Lightest weight
  • Price
  • Closure system
  • Adjustability

5. Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace

Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace Neck Brace Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace Review

You just can't go wrong with the Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace

The GPX 5.5 neck brace is the premium offering coming from Leatt. If your fan of Marvin Musquin this is the neckbrace he's been wearing for years.

Closure System

There's a couple of features I want to highlight that I really like about this brace. First the way you open and close it is real simple. There's a tab underneath on the right side. If you press on that, that allows it to open and close. This neck protector is actually a side entrance versus in the front like we see on the other braces. What I really like is that on the left side you got this red screw. In the event of a crash, if you want to get the neck brace off in two pieces, so you don't cause any further injury to the riders head or neck. All you have to do is just undo this red screw and you can actually just pull the neck brace apart into two pieces. So I like that safety feature.


With the thoracic strut, just like the 3.5 this is designed to break off when enough force is applied but the big story here that I like so much about this, and I've talked about this with the fitment earlier is they give you so much adjustability. The Leatt GPX 5.5 is by far the most adjustable neck brace that you're going to get. It actually uses two systems, you got your sure fit adjusters, so that's gonna be with a thoracic strut and the chest supports in the front. If you lift up this red tab in the front it'll actually allow you to slide these chest mounts back or forward and you have four different mounting positions in the front and you have six in the rear. So it's a total of 10 different mounting positions.

Aside from that sure fit adjuster system on the back of the thoracic strut, you've actually got these little rubber pieces that you can interchange. These come included in the box. You have four different positions or angles that you can put with the thoracic strut from 0 up to 20 degrees to align with that Sure Fit adjustment system which moves it forward and back to adjust more or less the width of the neck brace. You can also adjust the angle of that thoracic strut. So overall really a large degree of adjustability.


The Leatt 5.5 GPX neck brace comes in at 1.7 pounds, which is slightly heavier than the other options. But if you're liking the design of this and you like how much adjustable that you're getting but you do want to save some weight, you could bump up to the 6.5 which is the exact same neck brace but the chassis and the thoracic strut, and the chest mounts are all constructed from carbon fiber. Which is gonna save you some weight. That brace actually comes in at 1.4 pounds. You are going to bump up in price but if you want to save some weight you could go that route as well.

  • Safety Features
  • Closure System
  • Adjustability
  • Weight
  • Upper Price Bracket

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! That is our neck brace buyer's guide. Hopefully this has helped you out and given you a good starting point. Some of the best advice that I can give when it comes to shopping for neck braces is to make sure to ask your questions, whether it be right here, or on product pages, or to your friends. You'll get answers from customers that are using these exact neck braces. Now listen, I know with motocross and with motorcycle riding in general, a neck brace is a tricky subject. A lot of riders believe in them and think they do an awesome job and others not so much. So I would love to hear your thoughts on these, so make sure leave your comments below tell us what you think about neck braces if you have one tell us all about it which one you have what you like about it maybe what you don't like about it that's gonna help other riders out there looking to pick one up.

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Sidi Vertigo 2 Boots Review

Sidi Vertigo 2 Boots Review

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 03, 2019

sidi vertigo 2 motorcycle boots

Originally we had the Sidi Vertigo 1 motorcycle boot. That's been around 2009! It's been a classic to any track rider without doubt. I consider it to be a form of intense sport riding full height boot which really stretches beyond the entry level of the track. Sidi have taken a leap an brought out the all new Sidi Vertigo 2 Motorcycle boot, read on for our in-depth review as go over some of the difference and what sets this boot a foot ahead of the pack.

Sidi Vertigo 2 Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Sidi Vertigo 2 All Round

Top Choice: Sidi Vertigo 2

The Vertigo-2 Boot shares the same familiar features as its' predecessor with a whole of technological advancements and tweaks to fit the weekend warrior and knee dragger alike.

1. Sidi Vertigo 2
Best For

All Round

Our Rating

Sidi Vertigo 1 vs Sidi Vertigo 2

The Sidi Vertigo One is a stand alone set of boots and what we know about the vertigo one essentially hasn't changed the cost and now they've kind of taken that leap forward made some refinements and upgrades that allow it to feel more like 2019 which are highly popular at the time of writing.

Now from a cost perspective in 2009 we saw $250 to $275 for the original vertigo one - now the Vertigo 2 comes in around the $300 mark so you're really looking at an incremental cost increase of $20 and getting a bunch of improvements. Considering the cost to add these improvements as well as looking at how the cost of materials has increased over a decade - we actually see a greater rate of improvement than the increase in cost in this boot. So beyond that just doing what they've done and moving forward they could have kept the same older version, increase the price and I would have been fine with it. But the fact that we've now moved into a new vertigo - that gets reflective, it get's a more streamlined approach to the rigidity and this vertebrae system that gives you protection along the Achilles and along the ankle. It's now CE rated - again some refinements and restyling.

I'm a huge fan of that leap forward and remember hardcore sport riding but you can absolutely take you to the track and we sometimes talk about track related products saying - yeah they're entry-level do a track day or two in them if you start doing more track days upgrade your gear - this is one of those products that if you own it you can do a lot of track days in it and the fact that Sidi, one of their philosophies is you see a lot of exposed screws and small parts what that means is that as you start to potentially wear through things depending on how you ride and how you put wear on your gear, you can actually replace these. So you use that base chassis over time and then you kind of just keep it updated, keep it fresh and replace the consumables as you go. I've had no issues on the sizing either. Sidi is a European company and they've been making boots out of northern Italy for a really long time for the American market with a slightly wider foot, which I find to be just perfect.

Sidi Vertigo 2 Boots Review

Sidi Vertigo 2

Sidi Vertigo Boots Sidi Vertigo 2 Motorcycle Boots

The Vertigo-2 Boot shares the same familiar features as its' predecessor with a whole of technological advancements and tweaks to fit the weekend warrior and knee dragger alike.

Diving into the boot itself, Let's work our way from the sole up. It is a sport style sole you're gonna see that flexible enough to give you great tactile response when your toe is on the foot peg but ultimately it's more aggressive more sport it's not an everyday riding boot. You do still have the vent along the side that's gonna produce ventilation even for the non vented or non perforated version streamline the front styling here you can see it's still a DuPont polymer coated shift panel, dual recessed stitching done in TPU to give you wear protection and the whole upper of the boot is really going to be microfiber, it's vegan it is a synthetic layer or it's a synthetic leather rather and they do that for weight savings and a basically a pristine uniformity through the boot when you have natural or full grain leather you're going to have different issues with that leather or different imperfections based on the animal it came from when using microfiber everything is uniform and pristine so it's actually stronger and more consistent. Working our way up now you see some of the changes you can see that the bellows are different - it's just a slightly different layout.

Working our way to the side you have this updated vertebrae system that's now reinforced with carbon. You still have screws for replace-ability. If I had to compare this in category to something like the Alpinestars SMX 6 I'm gonna see the SMX 6 protection scheme connect the ankle joint down into the boot, that's something it doesn't do. The other thing in reference to that SMX 6 which would probably be it's closest competitor is gonna be this micro metric ratchet. On the previous version it was a different version of the ratchet that's alongside the back of the boot. On the new Vertigo 2 version it's now on the lateral side of the boot. Moving up towards the top you can see that they've refined the shape of your TPU, that's gonna cover you at the front of the shin. When we look at the back it's slightly more streamlined, it's lighter weight and you still have Achilles protection. They've also added a pop of reflective coating, but beyond that, it just looks cooler, it's now lighter weight, it's lower profile. One of the things that Sidi did 5-10 years ago with some of these boots is they made them almost over engineered you sometimes would see big plastic hard parts that just became beefy and what we saw at the highest level of performance products for the track for your feet is really a streamlining, getting the boot and keeping it protected but getting it out of the way so you get more of a tactile inflection point or a tactile response point from the bike you're getting more surface area so again you have more feel. The new Vertigo 2 is lighter weight and it's going to be more comfortable, less heavy, so less fatigue on your feet as well. You'll also notice the instep here on the medial side, has changed. You still have the expansion panel, it's still a medial side zipper and ultimately you do have a different shaped slider up towards the pop-up area towards the top on the medial side. You get a very similar style sole.

The other thing now is that this boot is fully CE2 rated and that covers four different tests for different categories. So again Alpinestars were the first one we saw bring a CE level 2 boot to the market now we're seeing other competitors out of Italy do the same thing. It's becoming par for the course but it's great that the safety standards beyond just helmets are improving - beyond just armor are improving now we have a safety standard at a level two for just motorcycle boots and this boot the new vertigo 2 is going to carry that.

Now we if we open up the Vertigo 2 boot by pulling down the medial side zipper, you can it's been reinforced and it's protected still that soft mesh liner all the way down which is going to be wicking, it's gonna pull sweat away from your foot and help it get to the outside of the boot and evaporate out of the boot itself. Ultimately if we do see an air version which I'm sure we will - it would be full perforated.

There's not a whole lot I don't like about what they've done and ultimately I look at this boot and I say it probably could have increased the price by 50 or 60 dollars and got away with it if they needed to and one of the things I think that's very smart that Sidi did is said, hey listen there's been a material increase in cost, it's been a decade, It's still a product that is for the hardcore sport rider that's a bit of a gateway drug to get somebody onto the track keep them protected keep it comfortable but also look pretty cool doing it. I applaud the fact that they kept the price as low as humanly possible and they ultimately took a big leap forward in boot protection.

  • Bang for Buck
  • Replace-ability
  • Adjust-ability
  • Comfort
  • Not 100% Track

Sidi Vertigo 2 Final Thoughts

There's not a whole lot I don't like about what they've done and ultimately I look at this boot and I say it probably could have increased the price by 50 or 60 dollars and got away with it if they needed to and one of the things I think that's very smart that Sidi did is said, hey listen there's been a material increase in cost, it's been a decade, It's still a product that is for the hardcore sport rider that's a bit of a gateway drug to get somebody onto the track keep them protected keep it comfortable but also look pretty cool doing it. I applaud the fact that they kept the price as low as humanly possible and they ultimately took a big leap forward in boot protection.

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2019 Moto GP Predictions

2019 Moto GP Predictions

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 21, 2019

2019 motogp predictions

After much anticipation, It's that time of year again folks, FINALLY!

The 2019 MotoGP season is about to kick off. After a number of wheel bumping and elbow rubbing races in the 2018 MotoGP season, 2019 is sure to deliver the good's. I'm no newbie to the world of racing, however when it comes down to putting your money where your mouth is for the top 10 spots, let's just say last year was the first time I competed - and I didn't go home empty handed. If you need tips and suggestions to out-predict our compadre's - you've come to the right place.

Join First Checkpoint MotoGP 2019, my MotoGP league on @Superbru! You can find my pool here: https://www.superbru.com/motogp/pool.php?p=12009416 or by downloading the Superbru app and searching for the pool with code: "mapsgnaw"

Let's make things a little more interesting, join our competition and send your buy in fee of $10 to paypal.me/firstcheckpoint using the same email you use to log into SuperBru. Read below for more information on the game rules - really simple and fun.

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2019 MotoGP Round 3 FP 1 Results

2019 Motogp Round 2 Predictions: Gran Premio Motul De La República Argentina

Last year we saw one of the most controversial MotoGP races in history. Confusing weather conditions saw all riders make tire changes only minutes before the start. The only rider who was prepared for the weather conditions was Jack Miller, who started from pole position with a literal four row head-start. This came as a result of every other rider taking start place penalties from causing a start delay with the last minute tire swaps. Then we have the podium - Cal Crutchlow managed his tyres and fought off a last-lap challenge from Johann Zarco which resulted in his third MotoGP race win, while Alex Rins scored his first podium in and Jack Miller finishing on their tails in fourth.Marquez stalled his bike pulling up to his start position and managed to bump start it and proceeded to return to his start position by riding in the wrong direction of the track - this lead to a drive through penalty. After racing like a mad man to make up positions all the way to 5th potion across the chequered flag, he took out Valentino Rossi which resulted in a 30 second penalty and 19th place overall

It's fair to saw that Marquez would have ran away with the race if he had not incurred multiple penalties so he's definitely the man to beat in 2019. However, Dovi knows this and will do his best to keep him at bay during the opening stages which is why I have my prediction for Dovi to take this one, followed by Marquez and the young gun Quartararo. Rin's and Miller showed very impressive practive times and considering their podium finishes last year, I've got them in 4th and 5th respectively. While I'm presonally not a fan of the arrogant Cal Crutchlow, he has shown both skill and speed at this circuit so I will give him the 6th place. Making up the last few spots are the great Valentino Rossi, who currently holds the fastest race lap at Argentina, Vinales and the ever consistent Petrucci and to round of the top 10 I have another young gun coming in the form of Franco Morbidelli.

So I think I have a somewhat controversial round of predictions, but based on the bizarre nature of the race last year, I think controversial picks are in my favor - and in any case, sometimes you just gotta risk it.

2019 Motogp Round 1 Predictions: Losail International Circuit QATAR

With Maverick Vinales looking to be on peak form through out the Qatar testing as well as free practice rides, it should be no surprise that he's landed himself in first position on the grid for the first race of the 2019 MotoGP season. What was more surprising to me is how Dovi managed to pull of the second spot on the gird. He's been holding back during testing and free practice, focusing on developing and improving the bike set up - he's never lost faith in his ability to pull out some crazy fast laps - and it show's. Marquez pulled a few trick's out the bag too. After giving the fastest time of all riders during FP3 I expected him to drop the hammer and claim pole position. He seemed a bit wary to head out into qualifying in front - pulling out of a few laps until eventually he managed to follow Petrucci around the track and use the slipstream to grab the 3rd spot on the grid.

With the first 3 on the grid all being previous winners here, I think we're in for a great race. I still put my money on Marquez after his fantastic display with the fastest lap. I expect Dovi to struggle in the later lap's as he hasn't been pushing himself for extended periods of time during the practice sessions. Petrucci is looking on top form, delivering the fastest time earlier today during FP4 and I've got him slotted into 3rd place, followed by Dovi and the rookie - Quartararo whose got a point to prove.

Qatar MotoGP predictions

2019 Motogp Pre Season Testing

Monster Yamaha Set to Take the Lead

Maverick Vinales Qatar MotoGP testing 2019

Photo by Autosport / CC BY

It would seem that Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has seriously hit the ground at full speed. Claiming the the fastest test lap in Qatar. His fastest lap puts him ahead of the field by 0.233s. Although I might question his stamina in the later laps as he only put in a maximum of 8 consecutive test laps. I guess time will only tell as the season begins. Although his consistency is on point with his average time for his 10 fastest laps placing him on the top spot during both the Sunday and Monday test day's.

We are ready to fight for the podium, but getting the victory will be more difficult right now

- Maverick Vinales

For the time being Yamaha will be relying on Vinales to bring home the gold as Rossi seem's to be off pace, both from his teammate, as well as the top contenders. The Italian remained positive explaining that it is a result from putting “everything together”. He managed to snatch up 4th place just behind Marquez

Can Rins Bring it Home for Suzuki

Alex Rins MotoGP 2019 testing

Photo by Gold and Goose / LAT Images / CC BY

Alex Rins secured a solid 5th place in the 2018 MotoGP season with impressive results. 12 finishes in the top 10, 5 of which were podium spots and only a 28% DNF. He starts the 2019 testing off with some equally impressive figures, finishing day 2 of testing claiming the fastest lap with a time of 1:54:593s which is the third fastest lap over all test day's.

The improved performance of the GSX-RR in terms of stability when breaking, as well as straight line speed, coupled with the natural talent of Alex Rins is sure to make waves in the 2019 MotoGP season.

I’m very pleased because Suzuki has worked a lot this winter to give me what I had requested and they did it. But in any case, to win [in Qatar] is not an obligation.

- Alex Rins

Marquez Leaves Lorenzo Behind At Repsol Honda

MotoGP test Qatar 2019 Danillo Petrucci

Photo by Gold and Goose / LAT Images / CC BY

After sustaining a heavy shoulder injury last year, Marquez is back. Whether or not the five time MotoGP champ and current MotoGP champ is race fit is still questionable. Similarly to Vinales, Marquez only completed a maximum of 8 consecutive lap's during testing. Despite the set back's, the 26 year old Spaniard returns to the 2019 season as one of, if not the top contender. All in all, Marquez look's strong, claiming third fastest lap of the Qatar testing. Marquez had some insanely impressive figure's last year - of the 14 races he completed, the finished every single on on the podium. If his form continues and his damaged left shoulder holds up, it looks like it could be another great season for the reigning champ.

Some big team changes were made in the name of Jorge Lorenzo, moving across to Repsol Honda as the new team mate of Marc Marquez. Similarly to Marquez, Lorenzo is also recovering from an injury on his left wrist - Not good for team Honda.

It's unlikely Lorenzo has had enough time to become properly accustomed to his new Honda machine, although he already feels like he understands the Honda more than he understood his previous ride at Ducati. I suppose we will have to wait and see how long it will take Lorenzo to really feel comfortable and bring out his best, the side of him that earned him his nickname as The Hammer.

The bike has a lot of power, and we will achieve big things when I get used to it

- Jorge Lorenzo

Petrucci Reveals His Plan At Ducati

petrucci moto gp 2019 test qatar

Photo by Gold and Goose / LAT Images / CC BY

Last year's runner up Desmo Dovo takes a conservative approach at Losail testing. Almost as if trying not to reveal his hand and the top speed of the Ducati, while focusing more on bike set up and feeling. He did mention that he did not "feel perfect" with his Ducati. His fastest lap of the three days coming in at 1:55.205s good enough to land him in 14th place over all. Is this a strategic play or he's really not feeling comfortable this time round?

Unlike Dovi, new factory teammate Danillo Petrucci was not messing about. This guy means business. He was one of the only rider's to complete a full race simulation during the final day of testing, despite the tricky conditions. Not only that but his lap times were consistently in the top 10, so consistent that he secured 4th fastest on both day 1 and 2 of testing.

Petrucci's consistency show's in his results last year as well. He has the lowest number of DNF's of the top 10 riders with only 2 failure's to meet the chequered flag. This consistency coupled with his strong performance on the Ducati could set him up as a strong podium contender in 2019.

Now all the rivals know what position I'm in

- Danilo Petrucci

The Rookie's Show Their True Colors

Quartararo Qatar MotoGP test 2019

Photo by Gold and Goose / LAT Images / CC BY

New comer's to MotoGP Joan Mir, Francesco Bagnaia, Miguel Oliveira, and Fabio Quartararo all set themselves up for a tough year of racing trying to establish their position in the competitive set of riders.

It was Bagnaia who showed flames earlier in the Sepang testing when he managed to secure the second fastest test time on his Pramac Ducati. Showing exactly how strong and fiercely competitive the 2018 Moto2 class was, Quartararo follows suit on the Petronas Yamaha and delivers flying lap times in Qatar, snatching up the second fastest lap time of testing, only two tenths off of the fastest rider - Vinales.

This is a remarkable feat considering he is the youngest rider on the grid, and the Petronas Yamaha delivers 500 RPM LESS, than his top contenders. His consistent pace could earn him a top 10 finish in his MotoGP debut at Qatar.

Motogp Qatar Session 3 Test Results

MotoGP qatar session 3 test results

Motogp Qatar Session 2 Test Results

MotoGP qatar session 2 test results

Motogp Qatar Session 1 Test Results

MotoGP Qatar session 1 test results

2018 Motogp Season Summary & Analysis

The 2018 MotoGP season was in fact the 70th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. With Marc Marquez coming into the season as the reigning champion. After sixteen (Out of 18) rounds of intense racing, Marc Marquez reclaimed the title as the season victor.

The king of saves - Marc Marquez finished the 2018 season with a total of 9 race wins. Taking home the silver was Desmo Dovi who brought home 4 race wins, followed by the people's favorite, The Doctor - Valentine Rossi. Despite not having a single race win throughout the season, the pure consistency of #46 was good enough to claim the third spot on the podium. The remaining race victories were snatched up Jorge Lorenzo with 3 victories and Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales sharing the remaining two wins.

MotoGP 2018 Standings

Based on the above results, It looks to me like there are 4 distinct groups.

Marc Marquez

Obviously we have the season victor, Marc Marquez who incredibly finished every single one of his completed races on the podium - how does even do that?? If you were to take a rounded average of his completed race positions it would be top step every time - do you play the safe bet and place Marquez as first every round?

Desmo Dovi

With 4 race wins and 9 podiums, the cool calm and collected Andrea Dovizioso claims the second branch of the prediction board. With 76 points separating himself from first place, I wouldn't go so far as to say this was a close season. When you consider Dovi was actually closer to third place (Only 47 points) than to first, you might begin to question his consistency as a podium predictor.

Of the 14 races he completed, taking a rounded average of his positions puts him at a safe bet for third spot. Although he had three 2nd place finishes and two 3rd's. His average of 3rd is weighed down by the fact that he had 5 races completed without a trophy of any color.. For the nerds - that's 36%. (6th, 5th, 4th, 7th, 6th). Dovi can be an interesting prediction, I'll have to follow him and the team closely as each race day closes before I can give my final say.

The Doctor & Viñales

These guy's seem to be in a pack of their own. Having the third closest point's difference between them out of the top 10 riders - only a 5 point difference - while there was a fair gap between the riders ahead (47 points) and behind (24 points) them.

Viñales finished only 5 points behind Rossi with a potential podium finish for the season if he had not crashed of the final race at Valencia and instead placed in 7th or 8th - assuming Rossi finished where he did, in 13th.

Taking a rounded average of their finishing positions, Rossi claims an average of 5th while Viñales takes 6th. Even the rest of their stat's are wheel for wheel over the finish line. Consider this, Both riders completed 16 races, achieved 15 top 10 finishes, of which 5 were podiums.

I have a feeling these guys will again be in a league of their own come the end of the 2019 season, although Maverick has made some big changes, which might just put him one step ahead. A new engine, new crew chief, and of course a new number - his childhood favorite number - #12.

The Rest of the Pack

The top runner's are often fairly safe predictions - they're the usual suspects mentioned above. The tricky part, and the part that often creates the divide in your SuperBru standings, come down to the final 7 riders. Highly unpredictable, controversial pick's and full of points to prove - this is where you make it or break it.

While Alex Rins finished off in 5th overall, just 11 points ahead of the the Flying Frenchman, Johann Zarco - I've had my eye on Zarco all season long and I'm expecting pure greatness out of him in 2019.

Okay - maybe not expecting, but I'm dam well hoping to see some crazy Sh*t coming from this guy. While he's definitely not the most consistent in terms of placing, he's had only 2 DNF's in 2018. ONLY 2!! Of the top 10 riders, the only others to have such a good race finish record are Rossi, Viñales, and Petrucci - all of whom also had only 2 DNF's. As if that were not enough, let's quickly touch on the number of top 10 finishes. Zarko had more top 10's than both Marquez and Dovi - both had 14, Zarco upped them by 1. The only other riders that were this consistent were again, the Doctor and Viñales.

Are you starting to see what I'm seeing??

Now I won't go into to much detail on each rider in the rest of the top 10, but here's where my head is at.

Cal Crutchlow

I'm not a fan of this guy. He's all over the show, and quite frankly with his 40% DNF rate (The second worst finish rate of all the top 10 riders) he cost me quite a few points last round of SuperBru.

Alex Rins

He'll be in my top 10 every round. Unless of course he's injured.

Danilo Petrucci

Another very consistent rider, I think I'll keep him around.

Jorge Lorenzo

Risky pick, he's either a hit or a miss. Definitely a podium contender, but also definitely the worst DNF rate of the top 10

Andrea Iannone

While he completes races with consistency, he doesn't quite fit in anywhere. He had 4 podium finishes in 2018, but only 10 top 10's...??

Join Our 2019 Motogp Superbru Competition

We're all here because we love this sport and this lifestyle. I'd like to invite you to join the First Checkpoint MotoGP SuperBru competition. If you haven't played before, don't worry it's really simple - all you gotta do is predict the top ten finishers and the order in which they finish. Plus, I'll be sharing my race predictions for every race, the day of qualifying, so you can even copy my predictions.

All in all, this is a fun little game, and to make things slightly more interesting we're introducing a $10 buy in.

3rd place receives 20% of prize pool

2nd place receives 30% of prize pool

1st place receives 50% of prize pool

All you have to do is Join First Checkpoint MotoGP 2019, my MotoGP league on @Superbru! You can find my pool here: https://www.superbru.com/motogp/pool.php?p=12009416 or by downloading the Superbru app and searching for the pool with code: "mapsgnaw"

And send your buy in fee of $10 to paypal.me/firstcheckpoint using the same email you use to log into SuperBru.

Top 3 players will receive their prizes on the day when SuperBru results are finalized - usually within the hour of the race finish.

If you would still like to join the pool but do not want to contribute any prize money, that's perfectly OK, but you will not receive anything should you come in the top 3 =)

Please not First Checkpoint will receive 5% of total prize pool prior to distributing winning's to cover admin and marketing fee's.

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Will a Motorcycle Run Without a Battery?

Will a Motorcycle Run Without a Battery?

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 03, 2019

will a motorcycle run without a battery

Quick question – Will your motorcycle run without a battery? In other words, if I take the battery out of my motorcycle, will it start and keep going.

Quick answer- Yes, it will, depending on your bike Like a lot of motorcycle related topics though, this question has a lot of answers!


The big question is, will your motorcycle run without a battery? It sounds like a no-brainer doesn't it? But just like any baggage handler will tell you, it's not an open and shut case! Whether your bike will function is dependent on a number of factors, so read on to find out more.

If you were asking me this in the heady days of post WW11 euphoria, when the future, although tough, seemed bright, then the answer would be yes. However, you’re not, and with motorcycle technology being what it is, this is one question where one size does not quite fit all.

does a motorcycle work without a battery

Main Content

Before we unpack these answers, we are going to take a look at the rundown of the menu:

  • The Magneto Generation
  • Kicks-Starters Save the Day
  • Battery Eliminators
  • Racing Options
  • The Cost of Technology

So let's dig a bit deeper. Although our quick answer says yes, it depends entirely on what type, and more specifically, the age of motorcycle you own.

Up until the early 1950's, a lot of bikes still sported magnetos for their method of generating electricity. The magneto did without the need for a battery, creating a good belt of current to the spark plugs. You can, however, only run a very rudimentary lighting system. At tick-over you’ll be lucky if you illuminate the inside of your headlight shell.

As motorcycle design evolved, the electrical system became more advanced, and the triumvirate of alternator, rectifier, and battery, became the norm. So can we ditch the battery on an alternator set-up? Yes, we can, but only for a particular number of reasons.

Leg Gives Way to Thumb

Think back to 1969, or preferably, enter ‘first Honda 750' in your search engine. This bike was important for a whole host of reasons. As far as we’re concerned though, it was the first mass-produced motorcycle to feature an electric start.

It’s important to note, that for another decade after its launch most bike manufacturers still fitted both kick and an electric starter. It is the retention of the kick-start that marks the defining line between being able to run your bike without a battery or not.

To fog the answer still further, even if you don't have a kick starter you can get the engine running by bump-starting. Before this turns into a free-for-all though, let's get back to basics and clear up a few things.

On an electric start only bike, the battery is needed to start the engine. After that, it is the alternator that takes over and provides the power. Therefore, it's possible to start the bike via a bump-start.

The electrical system, such as lights, horn, etc., will only work when the revs are high enough. Slow down or tick-over and they’ll dim to nothing. Some motorcycles will also be able to run, but have no lights at all as a battery (whether dead or not) is needed to complete the circuit for the electrical system.

will a motorcycle run without a battery

This method is advisable only as a last resort. One of the battery’s more important jobs is to handle the massive charge punched out by the alternator at high revs. Without it, you can fry your electrics.

The Spark of Life

Now, back to the kick-start option. Deploying the kick-starter rotates the engine and along with everything else, turns the alternator. This method creates sufficient power to light up the spark plugs, which in turn ignites the fuel/air mixture.

If the wiring on your bike doesn’t feed off the battery, for example, as with a mid-seventies Triumph Bonneville, you can start and ride your bike, no problem. This method is possible because this particular model has capacitors.

A capacitor facilitates running without a battery and in earlier models, was even offered as an optional extra for production racing.

Process of Elimination

Talking of capacitors, these form the primary part of battery eliminator kits, which are very popular with custom builders and old school minimalists.

Some customizers prefer an ultra clean look, and for those that go rigid, the added vibration can play havoc with a conventional lead-acid battery.

In these circumstances, a large capacitor can replace the battery. The capacitor is a way of storing just enough voltage to let you start your battery-less bike and also helps to reduce the dreaded light flicker on tick-over. You will, however, need a kick-starter and either a magneto, generator or permanently magnetized alternator.

Race to the Finish

As all racers know, weight is the enemy. With a battery tipping the scales at anything up to 10lbs, together with the relative electronic components pushing this further, being able to run without them is advantageous.

This slimming down can be done comparatively easily because you're not running all the road-legal stuff like lights, horn or have a load of battery draining entertainment on board. This method goes doubly so for vintage bikes too, due to the simplicity of the electrical system.

For those more serious about losing weight, it is even possible to dump the alternator altogether. This diet regimen can account for up to 4lbs from losing the stator alone. In some cases, it's also possible to leave out the alternator casing.

Remove the rotor and not only do you save weight, but you’re removing mass from the crankshaft, which means it can rotate faster for less effort.

This method goes by the name of the total loss ignition system. It does rely on needing a battery, but the size and weight of the battery can be drastically reduced (as in a Lithium battery).

The ‘total loss’ element comes from the ignition spark being reliant on the power from the battery only. With no alternator topping it up, the battery can only produce a finite amount of power.

Back to the Future

Ask the question, can you run a modern motorcycle without a battery, and the answer is most definitely, no. So why the sudden turn-around?

To clarify, a ‘modern bike’ is generally a bike that has switched to electronic fuel injection to comply with emission laws. Add to this the number of electronic components, sensors, and computers you require to start the bike, and the need for a fully-charged power source is essential from the outset.

Although once running, the motorcycle will be fitted with a charging system more than capable of generating enough juice for the job, without a battery, play time’s over.

To make sense of our article and to summarize the answer, will your motorcycle run without a battery? It depends entirely on the type and age of your bike. For older/vintage bikes and for those building a custom, it is possible as long as you have a kick-starter. If you're running something more modern, your bike is too reliant on that initial power source, unless of course, you're racing it, in which case it's open house. Simple? Of course it is.

does a motorcycle work without a battery

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Are Motocross Helmets Road Legal?

Are Motocross Helmets Road Legal?

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Mar 20, 2019

are motocross helmets road legal?

Are motocross Helmets road legal?

In short, yes. Motocross helmets are different than street motorcycle helmets because of the unpredictable riding conditions riders will experience on the trail. Street motorcycle helmets offer a sealed refuge from the elements while motocross helmets need airflow and protection from roost, ruts, and rocks. The vision required on street is necessarily based on the flow of traffic and the planned route of an upcoming freeway exit. A motocross rider glides from inside to outside line, where a wider spectrum of vision is needed to execute. What they do have in common is that a helmet’s main prerogative is to protect the rider from head injuries during a crash and/or collision on a ride.


Whether you are riding on the street or in the dirt, two-wheel enthusiasts love being atop their motorcycle with a hand full of throttle. Motocross riders take on the unpredictable dirt trails off the beaten path while a street motorcycle rider loves the open road leading to the next destination. Motorcycles that are purpose-built for the environment they are ridden in stand out from one another. Sleek aerodynamics for street and open fenders for moto is just one differentiating factor; let’s not even get started with the suspension, tires, and ride height. Protecting the motorcycle rider’s noggin from head injuries is a concern throughout the industry.

Motocross Helmet Assembly

Both street and dirt bike motorcycle helmets will be constructed of similar impact resistant materials. Ranging from the outside composition of polycarbonate to carbon fiber, to the inside with expanding polystyrene foam that is built to absorb the energy from an impact to the helmet. Mutually the helmets attach to the rider by slipping it over their head and strapping down by a D-ring under the chin.

difference between motocross and street helmets

Motocross helmets are purpose built in ventilation and visibility, not aerodynamics like its street cousin. One distinct quality of these helmets are the protruding chin guards. The chin guard is made specifically for increasing ventilation to the rider while also giving an advanced line of protection in a front-facing crash. Watch any motocross video and you will see that a lot of impacts include the rider falling forward. With their hands preoccupied hanging onto the handlebars, the reaction time of getting their hands in front of them to brace the impact in a crash is reduced. The chin guard is going to be the impact point when the rider’s head is going to hit an obstruction. Having it project out from the face protects the riders face and eyes with less chance of the helmet crushing inward. It can also be noted that the chin guard allows for my air flow up to the rider without irritating the eyes, which are covered by goggles.

Another distinctive feature of the motocross helmet is the visor. This is attached to the helmet specifically for vision. Roost from a leading dirt bike rider will inevitably hit the rider behind so the visor is a great tool to deflect rocks and mud away from the line of sight. Tilting the head down will allow the visor to shade away from the sun from the rider’s vision. One thing to note is that the motocross visor is not for collisions and will not brace the impact of a crash. A light crash can result in a broken visor.

Street Style

Street motorcycle helmets allow the rider to close the visor to create a closed system, free from the wind. Their spherical shape is great for aerodynamics so the motorcycle rider’s neck can hold up the extra weight against wind resistance, easier. In most cases, motocross dirt bikes will not reach the speeds capable of a street motorcycle. On a ride, the operator needs to be protected from the noise and wind in order to properly operate the machine. Think about getting a bug in the eye at 80 mph!

If a street motorcycle helmet is not constructed with aerodynamics in mind, the excessive drag caused by wind resistance can fatigue the rider on a long ride while also not allowing him or her to move freely with the motorcycle.

In the scenario of a street crash, the sleek design of the motorcycle helmet is also going to be favored as it moves quickly over an abrasive surface for long distances. Having extended features like a chin guard and visor on a motocross helmet, can place the rider at risk of a roll or hyperextending their neck. Almost all street gear is made specifically to slide in a road crash, resulting in less injury. Now there is a rumor that street motorcycle helmets are constructed to be more “durable” than motocross helmet because the rides run the risk of crashes at a higher speed, but I can’t find that information to be true especially when both helmets are constructed of the same abrasion-resistant materials.

Eye Protection

The closed system of a street motorcycle is activated by pulling down a visor in front of the eyes or by pulling down the entire front assembly that includes a fixed visor. Motocross helmets do not have a visor and eye protection is accomplished only by sliding over a pair of goggles over the helmet to fit snuggly against the rider’s face.

Goggles are worn around a moto rider to eliminate all possibilities of debris compromising the rider’s eyesight. Dust is a necessary evil in a dirt bike ride. Motocross goggles are stretched over the helmet to squeeze in the foam sealing of the lenses to create a closed system just around the eyes. Simply sliding over a lens over the helmet opening would not be advantageous to a dusty trail ride as dirt could easily reach the eyes, causing the rider to slow down or stop.

The wide opening of a motocross helmet allows goggles to slide over the helmet and also to open the range of sight for the rider. Motocross riders are constantly keeping their head on a swivel as they cross race lines, look for obstacles, and maneuver around the course. A street rider does not necessarily have to be focused about what is behind them (of course you should be aware) and their line of sight is usually always forward.

are motocross helmets road legal?

Long Distance Riding

Ask any dirt bike rider on how to get back to camp the fastest and they will dread on riding back fifth gear tapped across a flat access road. Motocross dirt bikes are not intended to be comfortable so sitting on the seat for 20 miles is a big strain on the bike and on the rider’s neck due to the style of a motocross helmet. The composition of a dirt bike helmet includes an extended visor that is going to create wind drag and an exposed chin-neck area from the elongated mouth guard, is perfect to send a nice wind chill up to the rider.

Safety: DOT and NHTSA and SNELL

Eliminating the risk of head injuries is the number one priority for both motocross and street motorcycle helmets. As discussed above, the outer shells of motorcycle helmets are made of materials such as polycarbonate, carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar. These materials will vary the overall weight of the helmet but are your first impact point in a collision.

Now when it comes to choosing a dirt or street motorcycle helmet, pay attention to the acronyms. The Department of Transportation, DOT, is going to be your most familiar safety certification that comes straight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA. The DOT creates a series of standards that each helmet must pass in order to be sold for on-highway use in the United States. These tests include impact tests in acceleration, penetration, and retention; among others. Now the NHTSA does not specifically test each helmet to be up to the DOT’s safety requirements, but it upholds a set of requirements and requires a helmet manufacturer to self-certify each model in order to place a DOT certified sticker on the back of their helmets.

DOT and NHTSA certification is going to the basic guarantee that you will want to look for on a motocross and street motorcycle helmet. For those looking for a second line of safety testing, the SNELL Memorial Foundation provides advanced helmet testing in what they verify as more “real life situations”. SNELL certifications are going to be found in street and dirt racing as another minimum requirement for a rider in their helmet choice.

In one last similarity for both street and motocross helmet safety is the implementation of modern impact technology into each brain bucket. Multi-Directional Impact Protection Systems, MIPS, is a low friction layer in between the outer and inner shell of a helmet that is allowed to move just a couple millimeters during an impact. The impact energy is differed away from the skull in order to minimize the blunt force, minimizing the risk of a head injury. This technology is scientifically proven to lower the rotational movement of the brain. This feature can be found in both motocross and street helmets and is one you should pay attention to.

Top Choices in Street and Dirt

To both compare and help you choose a great option for both types of motorcycle riding, here are two helmets made specifically for their environment.


Bell Moto 9 MIPS Off-Road Helmet

Ultra-lightweight with a mixed carbon fiber shell, the moto helmet is both SNELL and DOT approved with a MIPS safety system. A uniform shape that connects the chin guard to the entire helmet shell, its open eyesight allows for a set of goggles to be slipped over and extra ventilation ports to keep the rider cool. This helmet only weighs roughly three pounds which helps with not having the rider’s neck becoming fatigued. Another added safety feature is magnetic cheek pads that allow for emergency responders ease in removing the helmet in a crucial situation.


Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet

A complete closed system does not have to include lack of communication, this street helmet is pre-wired for Bluetooth headsets. Sleek design with a MIPS safety system which has just been introduced to the pavement world. Although not made of a lighter material like carbon fiber, this polycarbonate shell helmet comes in at 3.4 pounds. The shield is also transitional. A rider does not have to wear sunglasses in the day under the helmet as the visor is anti-scratch, anti-fog, and changes with the sunlight.

Does it Matter to Wear a Sport Specific Helmet?

Well, as both the street and dirt helmets come with the same certifications and safety checks as the other, you could wear one helmet for one sport. But as many may think reading this, you run the risk of looking like the squirrel.

Motocross helmets are made specifically for keeping the dirt out of your sight and a crash from smashing up your pretty face. Riding at 100mph (slow it down now) over a long distance is going to require the sleek design of a street motorcycle helmet. Since each helmet is made specifically for your sport’s environment, I think its best to keep it in the family.

difference between motocross and street helmets

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What is Special About Motorcycle Shoes?

What is Special About Motorcycle Shoes?

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 03, 2019

what is special about motorcycle shoes

What is special about motorcycle shoes?

For those who are looking for the style and all-day/every-day comfort of a sneaker with at least some of the protection offered from a pair of legit riding boots, riding shoes offer a solution. They often have many of the same safety features knowledgeable riders look for in boots, but they also offer the relaxed styling of a sneaker.

Style Vs. Safety

Let’s face it, most boots are downright uncomfortable. They may not seem so at first, but after a few hours in the saddle, most of us are fighting sore dogs. For most of motorcycling history, all we could do was grin and bear it. Athletic shoes were for squids. Real riders wore boots.

Today is a new day. Many of the top riding boot makers now offer riding shoes that are practically indistinguishable from high-top sneakers. So why not just wear a pair of athletic shoes to ride? The answer is that riding shoes offer a level of safety between most boots and sneakers.


The main reason to opt for riding shoes rather than simple athletic shoes is because they protect your feet better. It really is that simple. A lot can go wrong in an accident, and our breakable bits can easily end up in harm’s way. Riding shoes do much more than sneakers in the event of a fall. Here are a few things that a pair of riding shoes may offer.

why motorcycle shoes

CE Rating

You may see this listed as EN (European Norm) or CE (Conformité Européene). Either way, it is the standard of testing in Europe for motorcycle protective gear. The protectors in the shoes may be listed as Category I or Category II, with level II transmitting half the force of impact to your body as level I. Not all motorcycle shoes will carry a CE rating, but if it’s there you can be sure the shoes offer peak protection for this category of gear.

Ankle Protection

Any pair of riding shoes on the market should extend above the ankles. Commonly referred to as high tops, shoes of this height offer resistance against twisting. It isn’t to the level of most boots, but there is at least a modicum of protection from a sprained ankle. Most motorcycle shoes also protect the bony part of the ankle from impact. Ankle cups are normally visible as small domes protruding over the ankle area of the shoes.

Toe Protection

Whereas athletic shoes normally have soft, pliable toe areas. Riding shoes though often have reinforced toe boxes, which gives them two advantages. First, reinforcement gives you abrasion resistance, and it may provide protection against a foot getting crushed under a falling bike. Second, it protects against the abrasion from operating the controls, especially on upshifts. Regular athletic shoes will always shoe this wear quickly.

Protection from Bending

The soles on riding shoes are often stiffer than those on athletic shoes. Many have a steel or composite shank to protect against a foot bending areas that are not necessary for riding. The shank is a rod or plate that is normally in the midsole section of the shoe, an especially common area of injuries in off-road riding. Not all riding shoes offer a midsole shank, but it is an option that is prevalent on the market and one that is worth looking for in a riding shoe.

Heel Reinforcement

Heel protection in riding shoes takes a couple different forms. There is often padding on rear of the shoe’s upper to protect from impact. Another feature is a heel counter, which is a box of rubber or harder plastic that cradles the heel. The midsole of the heel is often more contoured than those on athletic shoes as well, giving riding shoes a more snug fit.


Riding shoes often come in either waterproof or warm-weather varieties. The waterproof types may be lined with a membrane, sprayed with a waterproofing chemical, made with waterproof material or use some combination of the above. They also often have a waterproof gaiter on the sides of the tongue and will be waterproof only to this point.

Warm-weather riding shoes will often be sheathed in a tough textile material. Others may be leather, but will have perforated panels to allow air flow. Obviously, these shoes won’t stay dry in the rain, but sweaty feet on hot days may get just as wet.


If you are choosing between riding boots and riding shoes, do so carefully. Riding shoes seldom offer the impact protection and abrasion resistance of a quality riding boot. They also usually have laces, which may get tangled in controls. Most riding shoes bend much more easily than boots as well, introducing the possibility of breaking or hyperextending a foot.


Riding shoes may not provide the protection of boots, but they perform considerably better than the average athletic shoe in the event of a crash. Some have the look of a riding boot – but in miniature. Others look for all the world like some of the most common athletic shoes on the market, and with comparable comfort levels. There really is no need to sacrifice safety for fashion if boots just aren’t your thing.

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By Wesley Pestana | Updated Apr 03, 2019

when should i use the front brake

When Should I Use My Motorcycle's Front Brake?

Every motorcycle, from the humblest 50cc scooter to the most ferocious 1400cc hyperbike, has both front and rear brakes, and on almost every machine the front brakes provide the bulk of the bike's stopping power. But when you have both front and rear brakes, often operated independently of one another (except in bikes with ABS), which ones do you use, and when? Read on and find out when to use your front brakes.

Your Front Brakes Are Potent Stopping Tools

Take a look at virtually any motorcycle's braking system, and you're almost guaranteed to find either one or two huge brake discs mounted on the front wheel, and a single, much smaller brake disc (or, sometimes, on smaller motorcycles or scooters a drum brake) on the rear wheel. Brake discs are more powerful and reliable stopping tools than drum brakes (especially in wet conditions, or when the brakes get hot from excessive use). The bigger the disc, the more force can be applied to it in terms of pressing the brake pads across a larger surface area, thus stopping the bike faster – and twin discs up front effectively double that stopping power.

Ease of Access to Controls Usually Equals Important

when should i use the front brake on a motorcycle

The (much bigger) front brakes are pretty much universally operated by the lever on the right hand side of the handlebars, just in front of the throttle, regardless of the type of motorcycle or the manufacturer. Rear brakes are usually operated by foot pedals on the right of the bike, or, on a scooter, the left hand lever in front of the handlebars.

The positioning of these controls tells you just how important they are; seeing as most people are right handed, a motorcycle's most crucial safety controls (the throttle and brake) are positioned for use with your right (dominant) hand. In almost every situation on the street, you're going to want to use your front brake (often exclusively) to slow down or stop your motorcycle.

On A Motorcycle, Your Front Brake Should Be Your Primary Brake

Most of us remember learning to ride a bicycle for the first time as kids – and an important lesson we learned was not to grab the front brake, or you'd be sent on a very rapid and painful journey over the handlebars to the ground. Now, while riding a bicycle and a motorcycle share some similarities, there are actually many differences, and how you use the brakes is an important one.

Compared to a motorcycle, even a small scooter, a bicycle weighs very little. Even a 50cc scooter will tip the scales at close to two hundred pounds, while larger motorcycles can easily weigh five hundred pounds and over. This huge difference in weight means that bicycles and motorcycles behave very differently when brakes are applied to their wheels.

The more weight a wheel bears while in motion, the more difficult it is to lock – and the instant you begin braking on a motorcycle, you start shifting most of the weight and momentum of the bike to the front wheel. The rear wheel, however, bears comparatively little weight under deceleration, and is therefore a lot easier to lock up – and unless you're a professional stunt rider of some sort, locking up your rear wheel on the road is not a good thing, and could lead to a loss of control and you and your bike kissing the asphalt at speed … which is never a pleasant experience.

Don't Lock the Front Brake!

when should i use the front brake

Of course, while the front is a lot harder to lock than the rear, this doesn't mean it can't be done – and if you lock the front, it's almost guaranteed that you'll go down pretty fast and pretty hard. This is where one of the lessons we learned as kids riding bicycles does transfer across to motorcycling. Use your front brake as your major brake, and apply as much force as is needed to the lever to bring yourself to a stop – but apply this force progressively. Squeeze the lever closed; don't ever snatch at it and try to slam the brakes on, the way you might stomp on a car's brake pedal in an emergency. Just as stomping with sudden, vicious force on a car's brake pedal (or grabbing a bicycle's front brake lever) will lock the wheels and send you skidding and fishtailing all over the road, aggressively snatching and clamping your front brake lever shut will lock up your motorcycle's front wheel, and in almost every case of a locked up front wheel, unless you're a rider of exceptional skill (with a hefty dollop of luck on your side), you'll go down. Steady, progressive pressure on the lever, even when emergency braking is required; this is the key to safe stopping, and keeping you and your bike upright on the street.

Don't Neglect Your Rear Brake

Just because your front brake is your primary stopping tool, it doesn't mean that you should ignore your rear brake completely. Instead, think of it as a supplementary tool that will greatly increase your braking efficiency. Operate the pedal (or lever, in the case of a scooter) in the same way you would operate the front brake lever – with evenly-applied, progressive force. While you can get by slowing down with just your front brake, it's not a good idea to get into a habit of using the front exclusively, especially when bringing your bike to complete stop. It's much more efficient (and will extend the life of your brake pads) to use both brakes when stopping your motorcycle.


So, remember that while your front brakes are your motorcycle's most potent tools for slowing you down or bringing you to a stop, your rear brakes are there to add to your machine's braking efficiency and will greatly assist your braking performance. Now that you know when to use your front brakes, always remember the golden rule: progressive force on the lever!

when should i use the front brake on a motorcycle

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How to Choose the Best Dirt Bike Tire

How to Choose the Best Dirt Bike Tire

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Dec 02, 2018

best dirt bike tires

Off-road riding is an individualized activity. Some people spend half their riding time – or more – on pavement, while others ferry their machines to motocross tracks and ride exclusively on dirt. There are also inherent differences between the topography of locations to consider.

The differences in how and what we ride limits our choices in gear, especially when it comes to tires. To get the best dirt bike tires, you have to be realistic about what you intend to do on your machine. Let’s look more closely at what differentiates one off-road tire from another and see if we can get the right skins spooned onto your bike for your next adventure.

Quick Review Keyword Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Hard Terrain Sedona – MX907HP (Rear) And (Front) Blue-groove and rock hopping
2. Motocross (Intermediate) Maxxis - Maxxcross IT M7305 (Rear) / M7304 (Front) Various conditions
3. Motocross (Soft) Kenda – K785 Millville II (Rear) And (Front) Changing track conditions

Top Choice: Hard Terrain Sedona – MX907HP (Rear) And (Front)

The MX907HP is the type of sticky tire that blue-groove terrain calls for. High-tech sipes and dimples give it functionality to go with a purpose-built appearance.

1. Hard Terrain Sedona – MX907HP (Rear) And (Front)
Best For

Blue-groove and rock hopping

Our Rating
3. Motocross (Soft) Kenda – K785 Millville II (Rear) And (Front)
Best For

Changing track conditions

Our Rating

A Quick Guide to Dirt Bike Tires

Tread Designs

There are three different types of dirt bike tire, each intended to be ridden on a different type of terrain: hard, intermediate and soft. The hardness refers to the quality of the terrain, not the hardness of the tire itself. So soft dirt bike tires are for soft terrain and so on.

While there is a difference in rubber compounds, the key difference between the three types is the tread pattern and the lug height. Let’s look at each type a little closer.

Hard Terrain

These tires are intended for use on packed tracks and other hard surfaces. The rubber compounds of these tend to be softer than they are on other types of tires. The lugs will be shorter than they are on the other types as well, and they will typically be closer together. This combination helps give the tire the most possible grip on hard, slick surfaces. If you have sections of trail facing you like in this video, you need hard-terrain tires.

It is possible to ride hard-terrain tires on softer materials, but the fun factor will go down dramatically. The lack of space between the lugs will prevent them from getting a firm grip on loose materials and the lugs can actually rip from the tire carcass. As a result you will have to reduce your speed to keep from slipping or damaging the tire. Airing down is another option to improve traction, though not always a safe one on every tire. This Dirt Rider article explains the art of air pressure adjustment.

Soft Terrain

Soft terrain includes mud, gravel, sand and other loose materials. If you’re just starting out in the soft stuff, this Cycle World article will help you learn to stay upright. And a good set of soft-terrain tires will too. These tires will have the tallest lugs with the most space between them. The intention is for the lugs to dig deep into the soft terrain and bite into it. The spread out lugs also enable constant traction by discouraging the mud or dirt from clogging the tread.

Riding soft tires on other terrains is a recipe for a damaged tire. The rubber compounds in these tires tend to run harder than they do on tires meant for the other terrain types. When ridden on harder surfaces, the lugs on soft tires may break off of the tire.

Intermediate Terrain

As the name implies, intermediate tires are intended for use on a variety of terrains. The rubber compound is usually neither soft nor hard. The lugs are also spaced farther apart than they are on hard-terrain tires but closer than those on soft tires. The height of the lugs is between the other two types as well.

Intermediate tires are the choice for riders who enjoy riding on a variety of terrains and surfaces. They obviously won’t shine on either very soft or very hard surfaces, but they allow you to ride practically anywhere without forcing a tire change.

best mx tires

Type of Riding

Dual Sport

Dual sport riding is utilizing a combination of both on- and off-road terrain. Manufacturers of tires for these purposes typically use a percentage to tell the customer how much off each riding the tires are designed to handle. So, a 50/50 tire is meant for half on- and half off-road use. The first number is always the road-use percentage.


If you spend all of your riding time on prepared tracks, you should be looking for motocross tires. These skins will have the most aggressive knobs. Don’t expect a DOT rating, either. Even if they were used on pavement, you could expect a lot of chunking (broken lugs) and a short tire life. If your tracks are a little more extreme, a trials tire may better suit your needs.

Trail Riding

Trail riding offers the most diverse terrains. One trail may be highly technical, traversing wooded areas and streams, while another may allow for wide-open throttles for extended periods of time. As such, the tires meant for trail riding show the most diversity in design.

What You Can Learn from the Sidewall

best intermediate dirt bike tire

Tire Size

Manufacturers give the size of the tires with three numbers in a string. The first number (110, 120, etc.) is the section width, or the width from sidewall to sidewall. The second number is the aspect ratio, which is the height of the tire. The aspect ratio is given as a percentage of the section width. The last number is the inside diameter of the tire, which corresponds to the outside diameter of the rim of the wheel.

Some manufacturers give the tire size in SAE units instead of metric. In this case, there will be only two numbers. The first number is the section width, which is given in inches. The second number is the inside diameter of the tire. The aspect ratio is not normally given in this case.

DOT Rating

If you plan to operate a dirt bike on a public road, its tires must be approved by the Department of Transportation. Approved tires will have a DOT stamp located on the sidewall. The tread on DOT-approved tires is not normally very aggressive, and the compounds tend to run soft so the tires will grip pavement well.

DOT-Rated Enduro Dirt Bike Tires

Continental - TKC80 Twinduro

Continental’s Twinduro TKC80 might be the best dirt bike tire for trail riding for on large-bore dirt bikes and ADVs, but a pure dirt bike tire it is not. These tires are designed for the larger machines out there, such as a Kawasaki KLR650 or Honda XR650L. They are suitable for highway use, but the TKC80s are a true 40/60 tire.

The lug profile and spacing on the TKC80s is aggressive for such a capable road tire. These self-cleaning tires throw off dirt and mud, maintaining superior grip in soft terrains. They also boast some of the most confidence-inspiring corner grip of any off-road tire. Constructing a knobby that hooks up in the dirt is one thing, but these Continentals also provide excellent grip on pavement as well. It’s no wonder they’re OEM equipment on many of today’s best-selling ADVs.

Much of the Twinduro’s tacky traction comes from its soft compound. That softness makes these skins well-suited for firm terrains and roads. Unfortunately, it also means the lugs wear away relatively quickly. Four thousand miles is a good lifespan for the TKC80s, but they’ll be 4000 miles spent in hooked up bliss.

  • Excellent off-road tire for heavier bikes
  • Proven performance on large-bore machines
  • 40/60 tire that shines on pavement
  • Superior cornering grip on road or off
  • Not for small to midsize dirt bikes
  • Lacks the mileage of harder compounds

Continental Block Quote

These knobbies will up the aggressiveness of your ADV’s looks and abilities. More than just a mean face, the Continental TKC80 is synonymous with dual-sport riding in tough conditions.

Best for big-bore dual sports and ADVs (4.3 Stars)

Kenda – K270 (Front) And (Rear)

Knobbies are notoriously unstable on pavement, yet enduros make great commuter bikes. So what are riders who spend half their time on dirt and the other half on roads to do? The answer is to invest in a 50-50 tire like Kenda’s K270.

The evenly and tightly spaced lugs on the K270 encourage smooth wear on hard surfaces. They have a rounded profile, similar to that of a sport tire. The result is tire that sticks to pavement, allowing harder cornering on the street than many other dual-sport tires can offer. Extended ranges of 6000 miles are possible, but hard riding will drop that range down to about 4000 miles.

Off road, the K270 is a capable trail tire. Tubes add a bit of peace of mind, and the lugs can take extended hours of semi-hard riding. They will cake in the soft stuff, especially muddy conditions, but these skins shrug off hard terrain. Grip and stability improves with wear, though you can expect some squirreliness for the first hundred miles or so.

  • Extended mileage (up to 6000 miles)
  • Round profile makes road riding super-moto-like
  • A capable trail tire
  • Tends to cost less than many competitors
  • Unpredictable response during break-in
  • Not the best in soft terrain

Kenda Block Quote

When cement links the trails you ride (think back-canyon fire roads), a tire like Kenda’s K270 is a necessity. Able to grip-n-slip at will, it can also handle pretty impressive road speeds as well.

Best for pavement-linked trails (4.2 Stars)

Main Review Keyword Review

Motocross (Intermediate) Maxxis - Maxxcross IT M7305 (Rear) / M7304 (Front)

best dirt bike tires best dirt bike tire for trail riding

The Maxxcross IT handles moderately soft or hard terrain with precision. A dual-compound carcass takes street tire tech to the dirt for a true multi-tasking skin.

The beauty of the Maxxcross IT is its ability to multitask. This is the perfect skin for the rider who hits the track one weekend and the trails the next. Dual-compound lugs give these tires the ability to not just transition to different surfaces, but to dominate them all. Wide spaces between lugs enables self-cleaning, but traction on hard surfaces is still impressive thanks to soft center patches.

Oftentimes, the shoulder knobs on a motocross tire will feel markedly different from the center patch lugs. Transitions into lean angles can feel like a jolt, leaving riders uneasy about cornering. Not so on the Maxxcross IT. These tires encourage steep lean angles, with seamless transitions that instill confidence.

Part of that seamlessness stems from the smooth lug geometry, but the dual compounds also play a role. The center lugs on both the front and rear feature a softer compound than the shoulders, though the front tire’s soft compound is a crown over harder lugs. Front brakes are more effective with the extra grip up front. The soft center patch on the rear enables hookup on hole shots, while the stiffer shoulder knobs prevent chunking.

  • Dual-compound lugs are a leap forward in tech
  • A true jack-of-all-trades motocross tire
  • Perfectly capable of competition on multiple surfaces
  • A weekend warrior’s first choice
  • Soft center tread leads to worn center patches
  • Will pack up in mud and wet sand

Motocross (Soft) Kenda – K785 Millville II (Rear) And (Front)

enduro dirt bike tires best mx tires

The K785’s handling changes dramatically with a direction switch. It is a tough intermediate tire in one direction and a mud slinger in the other, making it great for tracks that rut up during heats.

Searching for the best intermediate dirt bike tire is all well and good, but in the loosest terrains, only a soft tire will do. But what if it were possible to have the best of both worlds? The answer to that conundrum comes in the form of Kenda’s do-it-all Millville II.

The key to the K785’s versatility is a reversible direction. In one direction, you have a superior intermediate tire. The lug edges bite into semi-packed soils, while raised bars between the knobs prevent things from getting squirrely. Flip the tire in the other direction and you have one of the best skins available for loose, loamy tracks.

Tire longevity for the Millville II is phenomenal, with chunking practically nonexistent even after several weekends of racing. Riders rave about the K785’s ability to handle deep ruts when oriented toward the soft side, though the intermediate side handles everything but loose desert sand. MX racers who don’t want to swap tires between heats need look no further.

  • Directional lugs (soft one way, intermediate the other)
  • Outstanding longevity without chunking
  • Raised bars between lugs provide pronounced stability
  • Excellent cornering traction in the loosest materials
  • Disintegrates on hard surfaces
  • Wears quicker than medium tires on intermediate surfaces

Hard Terrain Sedona – MX907HP (Rear) And (Front)

best dirt bike tire for trail riding best motocross tires

The MX907HP is the type of sticky tire that blue-groove terrain calls for. High-tech sipes and dimples give it functionality to go with a purpose-built appearance.

Hard-packed dirt is one thing, but if you ride on blue-groove terrain, you need a tire built to purpose. Sedona’s MX907HP tire is a proven hard-pack warrior.

On smooth surfaces a wide footprint becomes critical to maintaining traction, especially when diving on the brakes. The MX907’s knobs have indentations and sipes that bite onto surfaces as the soft-compound knobs spread under a load. Those knobs are laid out diagonally along the cross section to maximize cornering grip, getting gradually more sever at more drastic lean angles.

Of course, riding on hard pack isn’t just about grip. The tire must also absorb the serious forces involved with motocross riding – jumps, whoops, triples, etc. Sedona uses a four-ply carcass to absorb those blows, remaining rigid where possible and compliant where necessary. And while chunking is an ever-present on any terrain, the MX907HP holds onto its lugs better than most when used exclusively on the hard stuff.

  • A sticky skin on bare surfaces
  • Quad-ply carcass is tough and resilient
  • Dimples and sipes in lugs increase traction
  • Knob layout maximizes cornering grip
  • Will chunk lugs if ridden on soft terrain
  • Front tire not quite the marvel of engineering that rear tire is


Dual-sport and motocross riders are a hard lot to please, mainly because everyone’s needs are so individualized. Still, the most people will find the most happiness with a tire like the Maxxis Maxxcross IT. The dual compounds meant for intermediate terrain make it the most versatile and longest lasting off-road tire on this list. Bang for the buck with the ability to handle a variety of changing track conditions – What more could anyone want?

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Why Does My Motorcycle Battery Keep Dying

Why Does My Motorcycle Battery Keep Dying

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Nov 25, 2018

why motorcycle battery keeps dying

So why does your battery keep dying?

Your battery has a finite amount of stored power, and if it doesn't get replenished, it quickly becomes nothing more than a glorified paperweight.

Is there anything worse than the party-pooping ‘click’ when a battery fails to excite your starter motor? Put enough miles under your wheels and one day you’ll know exactly how it feels.

Batteries aren’t that prone to committing random acts of hari-kari though. The new generation of batteries are solid pieces of kit with proven stability and are generally sealed and maintenance-free.

So let's look at what's going on behind the scenes to turn your bike into a two-wheeled vampire and sucking the life out of your power pack?

So Why Does Your Battery Keep Dying?

So let’s dive straight into the nitty-gritty of the matter. These days, when you buy a new battery, the chances are it will arrive already sealed, carrying a full charge and ready to rock. Now the battery is imbued with many superpowers, but what it isn't, is a miracle worker.

This diminutive power supply has three main jobs; to store energy, release that energy on demand, and lastly, to act as a bouncer, showing unwanted power spikes the door. I used to think that it was the job of the battery to pretty much run the whole bike with the alternator purely there to top it back-up when needed.

What happens though is that the alternator, which in modern bikes generates AC current and can kick out more than 70 watts, is feeding the bike’s power demands. The battery is a secondary operation to this.

However, if you’re stuck in traffic for instance, listening to your fave tunes while the satnav is recalculating your route, then the alternator at tick-over speed just can’t cope. This point is precisely when the battery kicks back in to keep the good times rolling.

Serve and Protect

The third part of the equation, which I mentioned earlier, is its role as a protector of the electrical system. At full belt, an alternator is designed to kick out far more power than your bike needs, and when on occasion that power outage spikes, it can fry the electrics.

why does my motorcycle battery keep dying

The battery, therefore, throws itself in front of the spike preventing an inevitable meltdown. Now with all this in mind, we can reverse engineer this equation to analyze why the battery keeps on dying.

Let's throw a proverbial spanner in the works. The reason for your limp battery may be something else entirely, and the most common reasons for a persistently dying battery are as follows:

  • Faulty Battery
  • Faulty Charging System
  • Parasitic Draw
  • Damaged Wiring

The chain of command for your electrical supply and storage system looks like this. The alternator (consisting of a rotor and stator producing AC current), the rectifier (which converts the AC to DC, the regulator (which governs the maximum amount of charge passed on to the battery) and finally, the battery.

If your battery feels plenty perky but the day after a ride is as feeble as your great grandpa’s handshake, it can be tricky as to where to point the finger. Thethe best thing to do in this case is to use a process of illumination. The first thing is to throw the spotlight on the battery and give it the third degree.

Don't Take it for Granted

How old is the battery? Is it showing any signs of wear as in cracks or lack of acid? Check the connectors too, a loose one can prevent the charge from taking hold. Also, bear in mind that even a brand new battery can malfunction, so don't count it out of the equation just because it’s new.

So, to start the process your battery needs to be holding a full charge, you can check this with a multimeter, which is a smallish rectangular box with an analog or digital readout. This instrument measures electrical current and voltage amongst other things and even the most basic will give you the info you need.

The multimeter comes with negative and positive leads, and these attach to the corresponding battery leads. Do this test with the ignition off, and the meter switched to DC to see what charge the battery is holding. If your 12v battery reads 12 volts on the meter, that's good, right?

Wrong, that means it’s almost too low to breathe life back into, so put the battery on a slow trickle charge and try again. Ideally, a resting battery that's in good useable condition should read above 12.4 volts, if it comes in between 12.6 to 12.8, then its considered to be ready to rock.

This step is crucial as it establishes a baseline, in other words, if the battery is good you can work your way down the list. Next, we're going to see what kind of charge is reaching the battery, if any.

To test this, fire up your bike and clip-on the multimeter leads at tick over speed. A decent charging system should show around 13.5 volts DC. Now, with the engine warmed-up nail the throttle and keep it around 3000 rpm, you should see a rise in volts to around 14.5.

Don’t worry if the reading is not identical, a plus or minus reading of around 0.2 volts is perfectly acceptable. Next, try blipping the throttle; this should see the readout peak at approximately 14.8 volts.

why motorbike battery keeps dying

How Low Can You Go

Similar readouts to those above mean that everything from the alternator onward is doing its job. If you get no reading or significantly lower, then you will need to check the output of the alternator followed by the rectifier and regulator. (Note, most modern bikes combine both of these components in one unit).

Now to item three on our list, the parasitic draw which has nothing to do with artistic tapeworm, and everything to do with voltage sapping from the battery. Simply put, all of the electrical components on your bike, including the lights, horn, radar detector, starter and all the other assorted paraphernalia you have wired up, draw legitimate energy from the battery.

A parasitic draw is, therefore, a discharge of power that occurs when the ignition is switched off. This very common phenomenon used to happen a lot in the bad old days when it was possible to leave your lights on. Modern electrical circuitry has thankfully pretty much sorted this problem.

Wear is the Problem

It is, however, linked to number four on the list; damaged wiring. In certain areas of our bike, like under or around the seat, at the steering head or close to an exhaust system, wiring can rub or melt. When this happens and the exposed wiring contacts with the frame, power can be leached away from the battery leaving it flatter than a pancake.

Checking your wiring harness for breaks can be a pain in the butt, but if you have to do it, do it methodically and start with the most obvious areas like those mentioned.

Don’t forget, even those components on your bike such as a digital clock and especially an alarm system, will suck the marrow out of your battery. So don’t leave it parked up for any length of time without a battery tender wired to it whenever possible. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that Harley-Davidson alarms and immobilizers are particularly fond of leaving you clicking.

In Conclusion

When your motorcycle battery keeps dying, in the majority of cases the above checks will reveal the problem. But even if they don’t, these basic steps still have to be ticked off the list. Electrical issues on your motorcycle can leave you pulling your hair out, so remember the four golden rules:

  • Remain calm
  • Be methodical
  • Follow the chain of command in your charging system and
  • Remain calm! Good hunting.
motorcycle battery dying

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