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Your grips are your main connection to your bike. Sure, there are other contact points, but your grips are your means of control and input. They provide tack for control and absorb vibrations and impacts. The best dirt bike grips do all of these things, continuing to function for as long as possible.
There are many facets to selecting the right grips and installing them. Riding style and motorcycle type dictate much, but there is also the matter of preference. The low cost of most grips allows for some experimentation, but it helps to know which grips are leading the industry. We’ll get into that, but first, let’s learn about grip types of grips and how to install them.
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Off-road motorcycles and most street bikes use 7/8-inch handle-bars. The larger, 1-inch size is almost exclusively for Harley-Davidsons (and some other cruiser motorcycles). There is no need to stress about the size of your bars or which grips you need. Even a 1 1/8-inch oversize bar will taper down to 7/8 of an inch at the grips.
Types of Dirt Bike Grips
Regular Dirt Bike Grips
Dirt bike grips are rubber tubes that go over the handle bar, providing a tacky surface for the rider to grasp. They reduce the vibrations that a running bike sends into the rider’s hands, but they don’t last forever. Grips wear out from use and from age (source).
Once a set of grips no longer provides tack, the rider’s hands will start to slip, which is dangerous. When grips get to this point, it is time to replace them. It’s best to renew the grips before they get to that point.
Lock-On Dirt Bike Grips
Lock-on grips do not look much different than regular dirt bike grips, but they are easier to remove and install. They consist of a plastic sleeve, around which a rubber grip is molded into place. The plastic tube slides over the bar. On the throttle side, the sleeve in the lock-on grip replaces and renews the throttle tube. There will also be a variety of bike-specific throttle-cable cams included, one of which should fit your motorcycle.
Lock-on grip have clamps located on the flanges on the grips’ inward side. The grip will rotate freely until the clamp is tightened, so there is no need to fret about alignment. Once the clamp is tightened, the grip is locked into place. Note that lock-on grips can cost twice as much as regular grips, but that investment pays dividends when it’s time to replace them.
How to Remove Dirt Bike Grips
Method 1: Removing Dirt Bike Grips the Peel it Method
Depending on if the grips were installed with glue, it may be possible to simply peel them from the handlebar. This method reduces damage to the bar and the throttle tube. However, it will require patience as you work the grip off of the bar.
Take hold of the grip at the flange and peel it outward. Work around the circumference of the bar, peeling it toward the bar end. Work the flat part of the grip back with your other hand. The clutch side of dirt bike handlebars is textured to keep the grip in place, so expect to use quite a bit of force to get the grip moving.
If there is glue present, acetone or a lubricating fluid such as WD-40 (available from Amazon here) can help break the adhesive bond (source). Once the grip is moving on the bar, simply twist and pull at the same time to gradually pull the grip off. This is where patience is important. Using too much force can cause blisters on your hands.
Method 2: Removing Dirt Bike Grips the Razor Knife Method
If the grip will not move with force alone, use a utility knife to slice it along its length. It is possible to damage the surface of the bar by cutting too deeply. A cut in this location won’t ruin the bar, but it’s best not to cause unnecessary damage.
Once the grip is sliced, it will be relatively simple to peel it from the bar. If you use a chemical to remove the old glue, be careful not to allow it to drip onto any painted surfaces. Whichever method you use, be sure to completely remove any glue residue from the previous grips.
How to Install Dirt Bike Grips
Method 1: Installing Dirt Bike Grips Using Compressed Air
The first method of grip installation involves the use of compressed air (like in the video below), which requires that you have an air compressor available. Be aware that a set of grips will have two different inside diameters. The larger size goes on the throttle tube.
First, place the grip on the bar and push it as far as it will go without forcing it. Place the tip of a nozzle under the flange and hold the other end with your hand. The compressed air will cause the grip to balloon out, making it simple to slide the grip over the bar.
Method 2: Installing Dirt Bike Grips the Wet Method
If you don’t have an air compressor, the wet method is the way to go. Many people use hair spray or some similar product for this, but the chemicals present may damage your new grips (source). Rubbing alcohol is better, as it leaves no residue behind. Grip glue will also work.
Hold the grip vertically but at a 45-degree angle and apply liquid you to the inside of the grip. It doesn’t need to coat the whole surface. It will spread out as you install the grip. Next, simply slide the grip over the handlebar. It may require a bit of force to slide the grip on, but with persistence it should go. Align the grip how you’d like it to be before allowing the liquid or glue to dry. Wait 12 to 24 hours before riding.
Best Dirt Bike Grips Review
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Now that we know what we are looking for, let's take a look at our top choices currently on the market.
The popularity of Pillow Top grips is owed to their ability to reduce felt vibrations. The grip surface is quite tacky, reducing the need to invoke a vice-like grip on the bars.
ProTaper is one of the most popular and well-known brands in motorcycling. The company’s grips have a reputation for comfort and durability that is hard to equal. Among ProTaper’s lineup, the Pillow Top grips have consistently been the most popular grips in the dirt bike world.
The popularity of Pillow Top grips is owed to their ability to reduce felt vibrations. The grip surface is quite tacky, reducing the need to invoke a vice-like grip on the bars. However, the compound of the inner core is much stiffer, which increases the bond between grip and bar. The ends on Pillow Tops are easy-to-remove, allowing for wrap-around hand protectors or the bar-end weights on older off-road bikes.
Of course, reducing vibrations is useless if the grips leave you hanging on for dear life. Pillow Tops incorporate ample spaces between their raised lugs to help provide better traction. The spaces also help the grips shed dirt and mud, much like a self-cleaning MX tire does. Available in a variety of colorways to match the Big Four’s schemes, Pro Taper Pillow Tops have earned their place as possibly the best dirt bike grips available.
Soft, gel-like compound reduces felt vibrations
Multiple colorways to match manufacturer schemes
Provide unsurpassed traction to help lighten grip pressure
Among the most comfortable grips available
Shortish length can leave gap between grip and controls.
Require replacement sooner than some other (harder) grips
Scott’s Diamond Grips are supremely popular in many off-road riding circles because of their ability to reduce the dreaded arm pump. The secret to their grip comes from the Diamond Grips’ three compound densities.
Scott Sports may have started with a revolutionary new ski pole in the 1950s, but its entrance in the dirt bike market in 1970 put it on the powersports map. Scott grips have consistently pushed the market forward since that time. Scott’s Diamond Grips are supremely popular in many off-road riding circles because of their ability to reduce the dreaded arm pump.
Among many other reasons, arm pump occurs because of riders taking a very firm grip on the bars. The strain backs up blood flow, causing painful swelling and a dangerous lack of grip strength. A common cure is to make sure that your grips provide enough, well, grip. Scott Diamond Grips have that is spades.
The secret to their grip comes from the Diamond Grips’ three compound densities. The full-diamond pattern is a soft compound to help absorb vibrations and provide a tacky base. The grips also incorporate a raised, medium-density, wraparound waffle pattern for added grip. The end caps are firmer still, providing durability and a tactile sense of the hands being on the bar end. It all combines to reduce the rider’s grip pressure, which then reduces fatigue.
Designed to reduce arm fatigue and arm pump
Provides superior tack
Large flanges with included donuts to prevent blisters
Thicker material on clutch side so left and right feel no different
Can deteriorate quickly if left in hot sun too long
Lose their tack (but not vibration dampening) quicker than some
Kevtek Enduro grips maintain their tack for nearly the life of the grip. There is very little of the slow drain in grip that can accompany similarly soft products.
The name of Tolrc1 Racing may not yet be a household word, but that’s changing fast. The company’s quick rise in popularity is thanks almost exclusively to the success of its Kevetec rubber compound. This multi-density ballistic material is earning a stellar reputation for its supreme tack and impressive longevity.
Kevtec grips have raised, squared-off knobs, similar in look and feel to the venerable ProTaper Pillow Top. The dual compound is soft to the touch, helping the grips absorb engine vibrations and the shock of impacts so that your hands don’t have to. The result is a grip that reduces arm pump and hand fatigue, making them perfect for those long and arduous enduro races.
Best of all, the Kevtek Enduro grips maintain their tack for nearly the life of the grip. There is very little of the slow drain in grip that can accompany similarly soft products. Users can expect their Torc1 grips to last throughout a full riding season, and often well into the next. With a channel in the flange for safety wiring and a wide assortment of colorways, these are grips made to satisfy the rigorous demands of the enduro community.
Long-lasting, multi-season enduro grips
Every set of grips comes with tube of grip glue
Available in multiple colorways
Consistently soft across color palette
Glue also dries very quickly, so installer must work fast
Included grip glue can deteriorate inner grip in extreme heat or cold
ODI originated the lock-on grip, and the grip industry will not likely ever be the same again. Long-lasting, comfortable and easy to replace, the EMIG V2 may well be remembered as being as legendary as its namesake
After decades in the off-road market, ODI (oh-dee-eye) has developed a cult-like following. Its success comes from a dedication to R&D in rubber compound tack and longevity. The recent development of the EMIG sister brand (helmed by legendary MX racer Jeff Emig) and the V2 grip has only added to the ODI appeal.
These are the original EMIG V2 grips, which incorporate a diamond base with a medium-density half-waffle overlay. The waffle pattern stops where the thumb grasps the grip, providing relief from blisters. While there is a newer version of this grip, only the original has end caps that are easily removed for use with wraparound hand guards.
Another key feature of the grip is that it is a lock-on type. There is no need for safety wire and an little fuss during installation. ODI originated the lock-on grip, and the grip industry will not likely ever be the same again. Long-lasting, comfortable and easy to replace, the EMIG V2 may well be remembered as being as legendary as its namesake.
Originated the lock-on grip revolution
Soft diamond pattern makes these grips extremely comfortable
Iconic EMIG name
Half waffle design leaves space for thumb, prevents blisters
Not the softest compound on the market
Lock-Ons necessitate thinner rubber, so softness is further compromised
A classic in every sense of the word. These dual-compound grips utilize a half-waffle pattern to improve rider grip.
If you don’t know the Renthal name, you’ve been living under a rock instead of riding over them. Known more for their high-quality handlebars and sprockets, Renthal grips are nevertheless extremely popular in the MX world.
Renthal’s Tapered Half-Waffle grips don’t actually taper in size. Rather, it is the size of the diamonds in the texture pattern that gradually get smaller (larger at flange to smaller at bar end). The intention is to mimic the different ergonomics of a closed fist, and the improvement in grip can take some new users by surprise.
These dual-compound grips also utilize a half-waffle pattern to further improve rider grip. However, unlike some other dual-compound grips, there is no difference in density between the diamonds and the waffle pattern. Instead, the ends and underlying colored rubber are firmer to increase the lifespan of the grip. The gray rubber on top is softer for comfort.
One of the most popular half-waffle grips
Cushy and soft for a noticeable change when renewing grips
Hard underlying layer prevents slippage on handlebar
A classic design from a trusted Brand
Light gray color shows dirt quickly
Only Renthal glue will work with this compound
Without proper grip, you are likely to go flying off your dirt bike in no time. You could even argue that a decent set of grips are as important as your boots when it comes to staying safe.
As was mentioned at the start, grip choice is subjective. What works for one person may feel alien and just plain wrong to another. Still, the ProTaper Pillow Top takes our top spot as one of the best dirt bike grips because it does the most things well for the most riders. Soft, tacky and long lasting, it remains one of the most popular grips in dirt.
It also scores high marks for easy installation (wet or dry), even if it may leave a bit more bar exposed than some of its competitors. Yet, though they may compete in a few areas, not every grip represents the complete package that the Pillow Top does. It’s been the leader for a while, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. With your helmet, boots and chest protector, another piece of armor seems a fair compromise when we consider what's at stake. 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.
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. The way that EVS do this 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.
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 but 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.
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 - you're getting good adjustability - 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 Let 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upper Price Bracket
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, but for my money my choice for the best motocross neck brace would be the Leatt - the build quality is unquestionable at a price much less than neck surgery.
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.
After market foot pegs probably one of the most common upgrades that riders like to make to their bikes, myself included. I like a big platform, I like as much grip as possible when I'm riding so if you fall into that boat well you're gonna really like this article. So let’s take a closer look at the top 5 best dirt bike foot pegs and most popular foot pegs on the market.
Two things to keep in mind as you reading this. One – the first section will summarize each of the foot pegs, the second section will be a more in depth analysis. So if you know which foot peg you’re interested in, feel free to jump into that section for the details. Two, Keep in mind this is just five of the many foot pegs that are offered so if you have a foot peg that you don't see on this list, I would love to hear your thoughts about it so please comment below and let us know what you liked about it and what you don't like about it. That's going to help other riders out and same goes for you riders out there that have one of the foot pegs in my list, leave a comment let us know what do you like so much about it.
Unfortunately there a very few dirt bike foot pegs on the market that are interchangeable, most of them are brand/model specific, although sometimes you can find a pair that can be swapped accross different bikes and models but this is usually by chance rather than design. Be sure to look for the foot pegs for your specific bike and model.
How to Sharpen Dirt Bike Foot Pegs?
When it comes to sharpening your foot peg teeth, there are a few things to consider. Obviously sharper teeth will give you much greater boot grip, but sharper teeth can also wear down the soles of your boots really quickly and also gives rise to possible injuries if they were to make contact with your or someone else's body. The simplest way to sharpen the teeth of your foot pegs is to use a triangle file to sharpen the sides of the teeth until the reach a nice point at the top. You might consider rounding the points slightly as you don't want them to be too sharp. A triangle file works well, but you can also use a dremel or a sand paper disc on a high speed sanding machine if you have these tools available.
How to Change/Install Dirt Bike Foot Pegs?
You have five components: 1.Collar pin 2.Washer 3.Pin 4.Spring 5.Foot Peg First remove the collar pin and the washer, then wiggle the foot peg will pulling our the pin that holds the foot peg in place (The spring will come out at the same time). At this point, it's a good idea to clean the reusable parts. To install the new foot peg, first place the spring onto the foot peg, pop the peg into the mounting bracket, the spring should also slide into the bracket. Next slide the pin through the mounting bracket and the foot peg, slide the washer onto the end of the pin and finally pop the new collar pin through the foot peg pin.
How to Lower Foot Pegs On Dirt Bike?
There's two ways to do this. I highly suggest taking the second alternative. The first is a more technical hands on approach that requires modification to your existing foot pegs. To do this, you would need to use an ultra thin cutting disc, knock the lug of the underside of the peg and putting that on the higherside, however the springs will then be out of place and will need to be swapped from left to right to compensate. You will then need to use the mounting pin to line up the holes as you will need to have the peg welded back together. This will result in a drop of nearly 15mm downwards but also a small shift backwards of about 5mm. The second method, the far simpler method is to purchase a new set of foot pegs that offer this adjustability feature. I would highly recommend the Fast Way pegs as you will read about below in the review.
Summary: Tusk Billet Race Foot Peg Review
The first foot peg that is the billet race foot peg coming from tusk. I'm just gonna go out right now and say that when it comes to bang for your buck, this is one of the best values and foot pegs that is on the market. These are made from 6061 t6 aluminum so they're very lightweight and they're very strong. They also have an anodized finish to them that's not going to wear out which keeps the peg looking good. What I really like is a big platform, so front to back you’re 2.25 inches and then the length is going to be 3.25 inches. So it’s a nice big platform to stand on. The teeth go all the way around the outside. I've used this foot peg a lot, and it has a lot of grip, but what I really like as well is that these teeth will slowly wear out over time. That's what foot pegs do, but these are replaceable so you can actually get a tooth replacement kit for these foot pegs when those do start to wear out so you can just put some new ones in, instead of buying a whole new foot peg.
Fast way is a great company out of Idaho, they make a lot of really good foot pegs. If you're looking for a foot peg that is absolutely bomb-proof, this will be one that I would say you should go with because these are made from stainless steel, although this does make them a little bit heavier. When it comes to durability, this is going to be hard to beat. With the EVO there are some cool features I want to highlight. First the very large platform just like with Tusk foot peg you have 2.25 inches front to back but the length is 3.5 inches, so even larger than the pegs from Tusk. What's cool about these is that you have three different points of adjustability. You can adjust the traction - so what I mean by that is the foot peg right out of the package comes with no cleats attached, but they have included two sets of cleats for you. One that are 10mm and the other that's 12mm. So you can actually put the cleats in and put the different heights where you want them so it just allows you to adjust where that traction is. The other point of adjustability is the camber, so you can actually have these tilted up just a little bit to help you kind of squeeze the bike better. The third point is that for some bikes you can actually adjust the height, so depending on the bike that you have, you're going to have a little kit that comes included, so you can actually lower these 8 to 10 millimeters. For taller riders that would be a great advantage.
These have a very unique design, and what's so unique is that they have a center point where this foot peg actually pivots front to back to allow this to work with the riders ankle. So as your ankle is flexing front to back, the pivot is working with you and the reason that they designed it to do that is that way you just have a good contact point consistently with the foot peg that's going to give you more control, more grip, and also more comfort. So if you’re a rider that feels like there is some strain happening to the ankles, this set of foot pegs would be a really good pick to try out. These are made from steel, so very good and very durable construction. You're going to see that the teeth are multi-directional, so they did that just to optimize the grip at the bottom the boot. One feature that I really like with these is the lifetime warranty. So when it comes to durability and that peace of mind you're going to get with Pivot Pegz foot pegs.
These are another great foot peg coming from Fast WAY. So just like we saw with the EVO 4, you're going to get the same adjustability with the cleats, the height, and also the camber. But two big standout features that really make these unique is one; 2024 aluminum which is a different construction than the EVO 4 which makes them very lightweight. They're actually 0.85 pounds per set. As far as front to back they're gonna be the same as with the EVO 4, so 2.25 inches and a little bit shorter though, they're going to be just over three inches long. The big feature here you're going to notice is that they have the ankle saver technology. They have this extension that comes off the back that is there just to give a little bit of support for the rider’s ankle. So let's say you over jump, or under-jump and case something really hard, it's just gonna give a little bit of added support. I know a common concern that riders get with these is if it is going to interfere? Is it annoying? For me personally, I can tell you that you don't even realize that this ankle saver is there until you actually need it, so it's a really cool design and very unique feature coming from the Air EXT foot peg by fast way.
These are made from aerospace grade titanium which makes them very strong and also very lightweight. They come in at just 0.7 pounds per set which makes for some the lightest foot pegs in the best dirt bike foot peg spotlight. What I like too is that they are welded by hand and they are a really cool looking foot peg. These are 2.4 inches front to back, making them be widest peg in my selection and then there's gonna be a little bit over 3 inches long. The one drawback to these is that they are pricey, I'll admit that, but I've used these personally and I will say that these give the most grip of any foot peg that I have ever used. So if that's what you are looking for this would definitely be a foot peg that I would consider. They have 30 teeth on there and they are very sharp, what I like too is that I've put a lot of time on these foot pegs and they stay sharp for a very long time. If you want to you could actually take a file and then just sharpen those right back up if they do start to wear out a little bit.
One of the best value for money, light weight, and durable foot pegs on the market
The Billet Race Foot Peg from Tusk is without a doubt one of my favorite aftermarket parts for any motorcycle. Upgrading to an oversized foot peg is exactly what you're getting here with these Billet Race Foot Pegs from Tusk. The width on these is 2.25 inches and the length is going to be 3.25 inches, so they're gonna be much bigger than most of your stock foot pegs that are out there. Now why would you want a bigger foot peg is to give you a bigger platform, which is going to offer a lot more grip. The more control you have over the bike, the more confident you're gonna be as a rider. These foot pegs are CNC machine from 6061 t6 aluminum. What's nice about it, is it's very very lightweight but also very strong. In the center are a lot of cutouts. That's really important when it comes to a foot peg that's gonna help it be really good at self-cleaning. So if you do ride in muddy conditions you're not gonna get a lot of mud pack inside there.
Now the teeth are actually gonna be made from stainless steel and what's great about the teeth is not only do they give a really good grip but they're also replaceable, so over time if they start to wear out and start to round off a little bit, you can actually just replace the teeth. Now one thing you do want to keep in mind is that if you are replacing the teeth, you're going to need to pick up two kits if you're gonna replace all the teeth on both foot pegs but if you want to do just one foot peg, one kits gonna have enough teeth to get that fully replaced. When it comes to mounting, it’s very simple to do. Literally replace your stock foot peg and mount the exact same way. So again, an awesome product with an oversized bigger platform to give lots of grip, and in my opinion a lot more confidence. Remember that foot pegs are machine specific so when you're picking yours up you want to make sure you enter the make and the model of the year of your bike and you will be good to go.
If you're looking for a foot peg that is absolutely bomb-proof - look no further
Now I don't know about you, but for me on any motorcycle that I have, one of my favorite aftermarket upgrades is going to an oversized foot peg. I just like as much grip as I can get on the bike as possible. I like to have that planted feel, so if that's what you're looking for an oversized foot peg is going to get you there. Fast Way have a reputation for making some of the best in the business. What's cool about the EVO 4 foot pegs is, first of all these things are massive, so they've got a very large platform. They're actually 2.25 inches wide and they're 3.5 inches long.
The big standout feature with these is going to be how much adjustability that you have. Before we get into that too much, first thing I want to talk about are the cleats. Now what's cool about these is you're actually gonna get two baggies with this product and bag is gonna have different length cleats. You're gonna get a 10mm and a 12mm, so depending on where you want the height of the cleat and how much grip you want on your boots, you have that adjustability. So you can kind of tinker with it and figure out what combination works best for you, you just want to make sure that before you install these, you use the Loctite that is included with the pegs.
Now aside from the cleats and having two different lengths, there's two more adjustments that can be made with these foot pegs. The first one is going to be the height. So what's really cool that Fast Way does is that allows you to adjust the height of the foot peg. So you're gonna have a standard position and for most bikes you're gonna be able to have it lowered 8 to 10mm. The way you do it is really simple. You will have a collar that comes included with the pegs, if you have the collar on the bottom that's gonna put your foot peg in a standard position. But if you were to take that collar and reverse the orientation and have it on top, that's gonna drop the foot pegs again 8 to 10 millimeters. If you're a taller rider, that can be really beneficial having the foot peg sit down a little bit lower. The other adjustment is with the camber. Now when I say camber, what I'm actually talking about is the tilt of the foot peg. The way you adjust that is also really simple. You're gonna get what Fast Way call their "fit kit", that comes included. At the base of the foot peg you're gonna have a bolt system, but all that does, is allow you to adjust the foot peg when it is completely resting against the bike, you're just gonna change the tilt or the camber of the foot peg, so you can actually have the peg coming up a little bit. Now the reason you would want to do that, well, for some riders it's just a it's a comfort thing and has to do with the anatomy of your body, which might feel a little bit more comfortable to have that camber. Also what I hear is that having that added tilt actually will help you squeeze the bike better. So if you're looking for better riding technique and more control of the bike you want to be able to squeeze the bike. so if your foot pegs are tilted up just a little bit it can actually help with that.
The last thing I want to talk about are some durability factors. If you're worried about these foot pegs not being durable, well, take that worry and throw it out the window. These are made from stainless steel, so pretty much built to endure anything that you can throw at these. And that wraps it up for the foot pegs coming from fast way.
The pivot works with your ankle to provide more control and comfort
These are another great product if you're in the market for an oversize aftermarket foot peg. These are definitely a pair you should check out. The unique feature about these is their pivoting design. These are popular for dirt bikes but also for a lot of ATV bikes as well.
So with the Pivot Pegz, first let's talk about construction. They're made from heat treated stainless steel. So these things are meant to take an absolute beating. They also have a lifetime warranty. On the top of the pegs you can see a lot of cutout, so that's gonna help prevent mud from packing in. I'm also a big fan of the cleat design. The teeth on these are actually multi-directional, so they're not just straight up and down, and they've done that to just help optimize the amount of grip that you get with the riders boot.
The other feature is just the size of these. I'm a big fan of aftermarket foot pegs or oversized foot pegs. I like having a bigger platform, a more planted feel on the bike. These are very long, but also the width, probably the biggest foot pegs that I've seen - they're 60mm or 2.36 inches wide, so just a nice big platform for the rider.
Now with that pivoting design, this is really what makes these stand out and makes them very unique. These will pivot forwards and backwards, I could actually turn it with my hand, now it's not a ton of motion you're gonna get - about 5 millimeters of pivoting action front and back, but what it does is when you're working hard on the bike, we all know that our ankles are constantly flexing back and forward to try and work with the bike, our foot pegs are always staying flat, so what these are doing is they're working with you, so as your ankles are flexing, the peg is rotating, so it just helps keep a good contact with the foot peg. They say it helps with grip as well as comfort, and control. So kind of three elements that you're getting with that pivoting design, and I know a lot riders talked about it when they first put these on. They notice it it might feel a little bit weird at first but the more you ride with it the more you get used to it and then after a while you don't even realize that it's doing that. So it's working with you, it's just giving you those added benefits. So this is a really cool foot peg, I really like the design coming from Pivot Pegz
You don't even realize that this ankle saver is there, until you actually need it.
Fast Way is a company that is known for making very high-quality aftermarket parts and accessories and they make a lot of cool foot pegs. What I like about them is that they're all adjustable, you can adjust the height, the traction, and the camber of all the foot pegs and obviously with the Air EXT, the big stand-up feature that everyone's gonna be looking at is gonna be their ankle saver technology.
Let's talk about construction, these are made from CNC machine 2024 billet aluminum - so a very high quality aluminum, also very very lightweight. The set total weighs less than a pound, so really nice, also bigger platform. With these, front to back they're 2.25 inches and then the width is gonna be 3.25 inches, so it's gonna be bigger than just about all your stock foot pegs that are on the market.
I mentioned earlier they have a lot of adjustability, which is something that Fast Way are known for. First adjustability features comes down to traction. So with each set of foot pegs, you also get a pair of cleats. The cleats are not going to come installed, rather they're going to give you two sets and if you want to, you can install them yourself. You're gonna have a set of 12mm cleats and 10mm. So what this allows you to do is adjust the traction and put it where you want it. So for example you could adjust the height of the cleats or teeth in the front,back and sides of the pegs to different heights. You could do the 10mm on the inside and do the 12mm on the outside if you want a little more grip on the outside of the boot. It's totally just rider preference but it's cool that they give you that ability.
The other adjustability feature is gonna be with height. So what they actually have is when you go to install these you're gonna have these pins and they're gonna have these collars, and with this you have the option to either have it the collar up or you can have the collar facing down when you install the foot peg. With the collar on top, that's gonna put it in pretty much a standard position, it's gonna be a little bit different per bike. With the collar down, that will actually lower the foot peg about 8 to 10 millimeters. So for taller riders that's a big bonus.
The third adjustability feature that you have is with the camber, and by camber I mean the tilt of the foot peg. Typically when you have a foot peg on the bike it's gonna be completely level with the ground, but with these you can have it to where it actually tilts up just a little bit. The reason that riders like that is it gives them a little bit better feeling of being able to grip the bike and squeeze with their knees. Again that's rider preference, but you do have that option. To adjust that is really simple. They have what they call their "fit kit" and this comes included with every set of foot pegs. It will have a bolt that screws into the bottom of the foot peg and this bolt is really what's gonna be interfacing and touching the frame with a bike and you're also gonna see you have these washers so depending on how many washes you put on here, that will adjust the tilt or the camber of the foot peg. So you can play with that and kind of see what setting you think is best. So again you can have it just to a base standard setting that you're gonna have with any foot peg or again you can have it tilt up just a little bit, so really cool that Fast Way is giving all that adjustability.
The last feature that to mention for this really cool and very unique foot peg is obviously going to be this ankle saver technology. With the ankle saver, you can see it's just an extension that comes off the back of the foot peg and it is tilted down just a little bit. The whole reason it's there is just like the name says to help save your ankles. So if you were to overshoot or overjump it's just going to give you some added support to the back so you're not hinging so much in the ankle joint you're just gonna take away a lot of that load. Now I know a lot of riders ask the question well, what happens if you're trying to go through a big set of whoops or you're going through a deeper rut do these get in the way? Do you notice it? Well, I can tell you that you honestly don't even really notice that this is here until you need it. If I'm at a track and I'm riding, I really don't even know it's there unless there's a big set of whoops and I'm gonna start pounding through those and I'm really leaning off the back of the bike that's when I notice it because I can get a little bit more leverage and just a little bit more support in the back of the boot, so I'm a big fan of it. Or if you're an off-road rider you like to go out and hit some big hills and rocks or any sort of that riding, I think it really does come in handy and yes on those bigger landings if you overshoot or undershoot something is going to help take away that impact and give some more support to the ankle. The last thing because I know this is a concern that a lot of riders talk about is well what happens in a rut if you know it's a real deep rut is it gonna drag? I personally I never even notice it. I never had any issues with the back of this dragging in or getting in the way, honestly like I said you don't even know it's there but in those times when you need it, it's there and that's why people like these foot pegs so much.
So overall, a really cool design, good-looking foot peg, very lightweight and again if you're looking for some added support for your ankles, well, I would definitely put these at the top of your list. These do come in different colorways like silver and also a black, please keep in mind that they are machine specific! So when you are making a purchase, just make sure you get the right model to match your bike.
The lightest dirt bike foot pegs in the foot peg spotlight
When I ride a motorcycle I like to feel like I'm stuck to the bike as much as possible. I like to have a lot of traction and a lot of grip on my feet and that's why I always upgrade to an oversized aftermarket foot peg. There's a lot of different foot pegs that are out there.
These Pro Pegs are made out of titanium, so they're super lightweight, and honestly if you look at them you just can't beat how cool these things look. I mean they have that rainbow look to them, they're super thin low-profile and what I like is that they're 2.4 inches wide. The teeth on these things are just really sharp and for me they give a lot of good grip, a lot of great traction. Now a lot of people look at these Pro Pegs and the first thing they look at is the price tag, and yeah they are expensive and I'll completely agree with that. I've tried a lot of different foot pegs that are oversized, and a lot of guys ask the question, well is it worth the investment to spend that much money on a foot peg? For me after riding with them for a couple months, I can say that I've been really happy with them and really impressed with how much grip I have. One thing I've noticed too is that the teeth haven't really worn out or they haven't dulled. That's something that I've noticed happen with a lot of other pegs, is that people start to round off. These haven't done that with all the hours that I've put on the bike. So if you ask yourself is it worth the investment, for me, if you have the money and you want to get a really good set of oversized foot pegs I would definitely put these on the list because like I said the look the weight savings and also with just how much grip I get on my feet I think these are an awesome investment to have on your bike.
Thoughts About Dirt Bike Foot Pegs
Keep in mind this is just five of the best dirt bike foot pegs out of the many that are offered. So if you ride with a set of foot pegs that you don't see on this list, I would love to hear your thoughts about it so please comment below and let us know what you liked about them and what you don't like about them. That's going to help other riders out and same goes for you riders out there that have one of the foot pegs in my list, leave a comment let us know what you like and don't like so much about it.
In this article wer’re taking a closer look at the F5 Koroyd helmet from Klim. So for those of you familiar with Klim, they come out of Idaho and are definitely known for making very high quality, very technical gear and that really does show in the F5 Koroyd. The biggest feature about this that I want to point out right off the bat is you're getting the Koroyd material inside, in conjunction with the EPS liner. This is the first helmet that I have seen using Koroyd and what's great about this material is that it's super lightweight and does a great job of absorbing impact. It also breathes extremely well so props to Klim for taking this newer technology and putting it into the helmet and we'll talk more about that in depth in just a bit.
Before we get into some of the technical, that let's talk about fitment. With the F5 Koroyd make sure you are use the sizing guide on the product page that's going to tell you what size you will want. I've tried the helmet on I feel like it fits true to size and find it very comfortable with the Drylex comfort inner liner which is removable and it's washable. Something that I really noticed with the fitment that stood out to me is when I put it on, I feel like the cheek pads really kind of wrapped around underneath my jaw and it gave a nice snug fit to the helmet. It wasn't too tight I kind of like the way it fit the contour of my face.
Klim F5 Koroyd Helmet: Construction
When we talking about the construction of the Klim F5 MX helmet, you got multiple shell sizes that's going to give a better fit depending on the size of the riders. The shell is full carbon fiber and this helps to keep the helmet lightweight and very rigid. The carbon fiber also does a great job of absorbing impact. One thing I really like about this helmet is the weight. In fact I went and weighed the size Large myself which comes in at 3.07 pounds which is EXTREMELY light. That is the lightest size large helmet that I've ever weighed. So if you're looking for a helmet that's lightweight and that’s going to be very breathable - this would be a helmet that you'd definitely want to consider. What I also quite like about the look of the shell is carbon fiber that you can actually see. The Klim F5 helmet Koroyd helmet is both DOT and ECE certified. A small watch out if you looking at the non Koroyd version – this is only ECE certified. So overall, I'd say it’s a pretty unique shell design coming from Klim with a nice aggressive look to it.
Klim F5 Koroyd Helmet: Ventilation
Now venting was a big emphasis that Klim put on this helmet. It has 18 intake vents and 8 exhaust vents. You’ll find intake vents along the mouth guard and couple more down along the chin bar, as well as underneath the visor above the eye port you have these massive intakes. On the top of the helmet you actually have these long grooved ports which vent into your EPS liner, which is the green Koroyd material you can see through the top vents which I’ll talk about in just a bit. But what I like about these channels on the top of the helmet is they go directly to the EPS liner, straight to the riders head. So Klim wanted to make sure that even when you're riding at slower speeds that this helmet could still get rid of that hot air. They did some wind tunnel testing to make sure that this helmet is gonna be aerodynamic so you're not gonna go out buffeting. On the back you have those exhaust vents on the top and along the crown of the head as well a few more down along the bottom as well. So overall venting I think Klim nailed it with this helmet.
Klim F5 Koroyd Helmet: Visor & Eye Port
The visor is adjustable, you've got one screw on each side including a screw underneath, like you would typically see. What I do like though is that the visor does sit flush with the top of the helmet, so I think it gives a nice sleek look. The Eye Port is nice and large. I really don't see any issues as far as fitment goes with any pair of goggles, so props to Klim for leaving that nice and open.
Klim F5 Koroyd Helmet: A Look On the Inside
Now let’s take a look on the inside because that's honestly where all the features are gonna be packed into this helmet. Starting with the chinstrap, first thing I want to point out is they have what they call their FID chinstrap. So this is actually pretty cool, you have this red tab which is magnetic to undo the chinstrap. All you have to do is just pull on this red tab and that allows the chinstrap to open up. When you go to shut it, all you got to do is just let it magnetically snap in. This magnetic feature makes it super easy to put on and take off. A lot of riders might be concerned with if that is gonna hold up if you do have a crash. I tested this, although not with a crash, but I can pull on it, honestly, as hard as I can, and it's not going to break free. But when it's time to release, just pull the tab out to the side and it comes off nice and easy. And trust me for this helmet to be DOT and ECE certified they've got to test that chinstrap as well, so you got nothing to worry about there.
So you've got that Drylex comfort liner on the inside, this sits underneath the cheak pads, which as I mentioned, kind of wrap around underneath the riders jaw, so I'm a big fan of that. After removing those, you get your comfort liner, which is basically the part that sits flush with the top of your head. What I like about this comfort liner is just how many cutouts they have included to help with breathing. Underneath the comfort liner you’ll notice right off the bat, you've got the MIPS liner system built into this helmet as well. We're starting to see MIPS in a lot of helmets nowadays. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and what the MIPS liner system does - it creates a slip zone inside the helmet. Remember not all crashes are straight up and down you're gonna be moving front to back or side to side so that MIPS liner system will essentially just allow the riders head to rotate just enough inside the helmet to help disperse a lot of that energy. It's very popular and you can see on a lot of premium helmets using it. Underneath that you're going to find your dual multi density EPS liner. The EPS liner which stands for Expanded Polystyrene is what we see in just about all helmets. But you can also see a lot of different cutouts and a lot of channels in the Klim F5 helmet. All those channels are designed to help move as much air throughout the helmet and get it out the back. Now underneath that MIPS liner system you're gonna see the next big feature which I mentioned earlier. That is Koroyd material. So Koroyd is is actually a new material created by thermally welding miniature tubes together to form a whole that crushes on impact, absorbing energy in a measurable, effective way. There's hundreds of these small tubes in there and Koroyd is known for being super lightweight and it breathes extremely well, but also it absorbs impact incredibly well. In fact, the makers of Koroyd say that it actually absorbs up to 48 percent more impact than your traditional EPS liner so that's a big statement but that's really cool. So you will see that the way Klim has utilized it inside the helmet by actually cutting out a lot of the EPS liner. So it runs from the top of the helmet by the crown of the head, all the way around to the back. So they're doing that to keep the helmet lightweight, help it breathe better and also absorb as much energy as possible.
Klim F5 Koroyd MX Helmet Review
The Koroyd technology offers better protection, ventilation and weight than a standard EPS liner
Still a really good helmet at a much lower price. However, this lacks features such as the MIPS technology as well as the new Koroyd material. Other points to mention is that this version of the helmet is not DOT rated, only ECE certified.The other thing to note is the difference in weight. A DOT helmet requires a thicker shell, which means the non DOT version weighs in at even less than the Koroyd version at 2.6 pounds or 1.2KG.
The Final Say
Lastly what I like to mention is at this price point you're making a big investment and so Klim do include some extra goodies that come with this helmet. If you're gonna be doing any riding in cold weather, Klim include a breath box and they also have this gore-tex wind stopper liner, so if you don't want to get the airflow coming through the helmet you actually take this liner and put it between the EPS and that Koroyd inner comfort liner and that's gonna help block the wind which is really going to make a big difference if you are riding in colder weather. Klim do also include an extra advisor as well – which is always nice.
So that’s it for the Klim F5 helmet review. A lot of technology and a lot of cool features that are built into this Klim F5 helmet. Plenty of venting with lots of intake and a great exhaust system, along with that carbon fiber shell and new Koroyd technology helping to make this one of the safest and super lightweight helmets on the market. If you guys have any other questions about this helmet leave your comments, and I’ll do my best to get the answered.
Motorcycle helmet companies over the last few years have been big making big leaps when it comes to helmet technology making them safer for riders so if that's what you're in the market for this article should give you a really good starting point. First I'm gonna briefly cover some of the key features and the highlights that each one of these helmets has and what makes them unique and when you find one that you're interested in you want to learn more about – jump down to the in depth section where I break each helmet down in a full detail.
We'll start off with our 2019 best premium off-road motorcycle helmet summary. Then we'll move on to the next best options that are bit more pocket friendly. I’ll be highlighting my top picks and the best-selling offers of motocross helmets. There's a lot of great options out there so it can be difficult choosing which one's going to be best for you but the good news is that they're all really good options and honestly I don't think you could go wrong with any one of the helmets that I’ve chosen.
At the outset of the MX helmet project, Alpinestars product philosophy was applied and a set of specific objectives set: - Create the most advanced, protective and performance enhancing helmet possible. - Primary objective: protection – to create the most high performance protection possible. - Secondary objective: to give excellent ventilation, comfort and reduced weight.
The first motocross helmet in our lineup is the super tech m10 coming from Alpinestars. Alpinestars debut this helmet in 2018. It's their first go at a premium helmet and I think they did a fantastic job. It’s a very comfortable helmet and it fits true to size with the size Large coming in at three pounds on the dot.This is just one of two helmets in our premium lineup that comes in three pounds or less. If you're looking for a lightweight helmet, this one will not disappoint. It will be DOT and ECE certified. It’s got a carbon fiber composite shell that's what's keeping it so lightweight but what is unique and one thing I love that Alpinestars did with this helmet - they did a lot of research and a lot of development that even the shape of the shell has a very unique shell shape in my opinion is designed to help absorb and disperse as much impact as possible. You have a breakaway visor that's gonna break away regardless of the angle as long as enough force is applied which is a big safety feature there but internally there's a lot of great features you're gonna have. A four piece EPS liner so there's four separate pieces inside this shell and they're different densities and they put those different densities in the areas that are gonna help protect the head the most. Also what I like is the built in MIPS liner system which stands for a Multi-directional Impact Protection System. So the MIPS liner is a feature that we see in a lot of premium helmets but what is unique to Alpinestars is that they actually have an exclusive MIPS liner system that's two pieces instead of one which is just gonna help get a little bit more airflow throughout the helmet. With that MIPS liner you're also going to be eject helmet ready so if you want to run the helmet eject removable system it does come ready for that, however, it doesn't come included. The last feature that I like about this Alpinestars is that they’ve thought about all riding disciplines, not just motocross and off-road riders. They actually have pockets cut out into the liner on the inside if you want to run a Bluetooth communication headset. So if that's something you like to use so maybe you're doing some adventure riding from dual-sport you want to run that bluetooth comms device, this helmet will allow you to run those speakers inside the helmet. That is the super tech m10 coming from Alpinestars.
Next up we've got the Fox V3 Motocross helmet coming from Fox Racing. If you're a rider that likes to match his gear sets with his helmet well, fox is gonna be a really good brand to choose because they always have really good riding gear and they always have color styles in their helmets to match the rest of the gear. Now with this Fox V3 dirt bike helmet, size large comes in at 3.2 pounds, so it’s a very lightweight helmet. Keep in mind with fitment with the v3 I feel it runs just a little bit small so if you're right between sizes I would recommend going up one size with the helmet but the liner on the inside in my opinion is very, very comfortable. Now the way they keep the helmet lightweight and also very strong is through their multi-composite shell technology. The Fox V3 helmet has four different shell sizes of four different EPS liners which I like. On the inside you have dual density EPS liner, the MIPS liner system comes with the helmet. What I like about the MIPS liner again, is that it's got a slip zone between the riders head and the shell to help mitigate those rotational forces. Another really cool feature that Fox is using in their V3 with MIPS and the MVRS that MVRS stands for Magnetic Visor Release System - they've designed the visor on the V3 with a magnetic clip on system which enables it to breakaway - so when enough force is applied it's not going to add any additional forces to the riders head or to the neck when the visor breaks off, and the way they do that is actually with a magnetic system which i think is pretty cool. That way, if you do have a crash and the visor pops off, you can take the visor and actually just pop it back on. It's a really cool system. Again a lot of cool safety features built in with really cool color scheme’s to match the gear. That is the summary for the Fox V3 motocross helmet with MIPS and MVRS from Fox Racing.
Next up we've got the Bell Moto 9 carbon flex motocross helmet. Bell have been making helmets since the 1950s so it's easy to say that these guys definitely know what they're doing. They know how to make a premium helmet with some really cool features built in. Size large comes in at three and a half pounds. The Bell Moto 9 dirt bike helmet is both DOT and Snell certified. This is one of three helmets in the lineup that is Snell certified. For those not familiar with that well Snell, they are a nonprofit organization known for having some of the most rigorous standards when it comes to helmet safety and is not cheap to get your helmet Snell certified. The helmet manufacturer like Bell has to send their helmet off to them and ask that they run their helmet through their tests to make sure that it meets their standards and that's what a lot of riders look for in a helmet is that Snell certification. With the Bell Moto 9 you get a carbon fiber composite shell, it keeps a light weight and keeps it strong. I like the aggressive look of the Moto 9 Carbon Flex. There's a lot of cool features on the inside that I really like too, I love the magnetic cheek pads called MERS very easy to take in and out just a convenience thing that I'm a big fan of but what's unique about Bell is that they are the only company doing this, they have a three layer liner impact protection system, so on the inside of the helmet you have three separate liners and the reason for those is they're different densities and they help absorb impacts that your low, medium and high speeds. For example, you can still have a bad brain injury or head injury at a lower impact or a lower speed and that's why they have those three different densities, to help absorb shocks at different speeds. The other feature I like is they have their slip zone which means it's kind of like the MIPS liner system - in other words it's just gonna help that liner or slip just a little bit to help mitigate those rotational forces and just like we see with some of the other helmets, this is going to be eject helmet removal ready. This feature does not come included. That’s the summary of the Bell Moto 9 carbon flex motocross helmet.
Next up making its way into our premium helmet guide for the first time is is the VFX Evo coming from SHOEI. SHOEI is a Japanese company and like Bell Helmets, they've been making quality helmets since the 1950s. SHOE first had the VFX Dubby which was a premium home for a lot of years but they updated the styling of the shell as well as the visor for the VFX Evo and now a big new safety feature is their M.E.D.S. liner system that I'll talk more about below. The VFX EVO motocross helmet fits true to size, it’s a very comfortable helmet which is both DOT and Snell certified. Now my only nitpick with the VFX Evo is that a size large comes in at three point seven pounds so it is the heaviest helmet that we have in our premium lineup. For me, three point seven pounds just a little bit heavy for a premium helmet but there's some cool safety features built in you're gonna get, like their AIM plush technology when it comes to their shell which is a six ply matrix shell, which they say keeps the helmet rigid but also does a very good job of absorbing impact. The other big feature that I like so much about it is that M.E.D.S liner system and what it is, is a separate insert inside the helmet at the top of the riders head which is strategically connected to the helmet by four columns and the purpose for that is to allow it to absorb both impacts, but also because it can move freely inside the helmet it helps mitigate those rotational forces and those impacts. I think it's a really cool system also I just have to say with the VFX Evo one of my favorite looking helmets, very aggressive lines and really cool colors to choose.
Moving on we've got the Troy Lee designs SE 4 Carbon motocross helmet. Just like with the Alpinestars helmet, if you're looking for a superlight helmet this would be another one that I would consider. Size large weighs three pounds exactly, so very lightweight and very comfortable on the head. What's impressive about that weight in a size large is that it's gonna be DOT and Snell certified. Typically with Snell certified helmets they tend to be a little bit heavier because they have to meet those rigorous standards from Snell, so the fact that Troy Lee Designs kept this at three pounds in a size large and it's Snell certified, to me that's really impressive. You've got a carbon fiber Kevlar shell which is what makes it lightweight and rigid. On the inside I really like the comfort liner, it’s a very comfortable helmet, but some of the other safety features about this I'm gonna really like. You're gonna get the MIPS liner system on the inside, so we've already covered that great safety feature built in but what's unique about the SE 4 Carbon, is you have a three-piece EPS liner system and each piece is a different density and they strategically put those in the areas to help protect the riders head the most. Troy Lee Designs say that compared to all the other helmets in the market that they've added 13% more EPS liner up in the front in the headband area to help with impacts as well as 8% percent more in the back of the helmet up at the top as well as the bottom in the back as well, so that added extra EPS liner helps to absorb as much impact as possible. So again, a very lightweight helmet with MIPS liner system to gain that multi piece EPS liner included.
Next we've got the ATR 2 motocross helmet - coming from 6D. Now a few years back when 6D came out, the ATR one in my opinion, really changed the game, and how helmet manufactures we were looking at helmet safety and how they were building their helmets. I'll explain why but it has to do their ODS or Omni Directional Suspension technology, but the ATR 2 I found to be a very comfortable helmet. Fitment is true to size and size large comes in at 3.1 pounds so a very lightweight helmet. It’s also DOT and ECE certified with a tri-composite shell. This helmet in my opinion does vent very well, but the big standout features that make this helmet so awesome is there ODS technology on the inside which stands for Omni Directional Suspension. On the inside of the ATR - you have two separate liners. You have an outer liner connected to the shell that is a PP which is expanded polypropylene and then you have a separate liner which is EPS - Expanded Polystyrene and those 2 EPS liners are separated by 11 isolation dampeners and the reason for those dampeners is they compress - so they absorb impact but they also can move in six degrees of motion hence the name 6D. By allowing those to move in those six degrees of motion it helps mitigate and limit those rotational forces so it was very innovative from 6D when they came out with those isolation dampeners and on top of that you've got their low friction discs between those two liners that act similar to a MIPS liner system where it's allowing those two liner systems to move freely of each other and to mitigate and help reduce those rotational forces. So there's just a lot of cool technology that's built into the ATR dirt bike helmet from 6D. So overall, a very cool helmet, again very lightweight, very comfortable and I love that Omnidirectional Suspension Technology that is built within.
At the outset of the MX helmet project, Alpinestars product philosophy was applied and a set of specific objectives set: - Create the most advanced, protective and performance enhancing helmet possible. - Primary objective: protection – to create the most high performance protection possible. - Secondary objective: to give excellent ventilation, comfort and reduced weight.
Let's take a closer look at the Alpinestars Super Tech M10 motocross helmet. This helmet is over five years in the making, they debuted it in the 2018 Supercross season and I have to admit the Alpinestars guys came out swinging. This helmet is packed full of features so hunker down, we've got a lot to go over. There's a lot of rigorous testing in their own race development center. They want to make obviously the most protective advanced helmet on the market but also keep it very lightweight, comfortable and have a very good venting design. So we're gonna go through all those features, but before we do that, let's talk about fitment real quick. It's a very comfortable helmet, I've tried it on and it fits true to size so make sure you use the sizing guide on the product page that'll ensure that you know what size you are going to need. This helmet has something that is very unique that only Alpinestars is doing right now, they have what they call their A-Head fitment system and I'll take you through that more in-depth in just a little bit. But what it allows you to do as the rider, is actually chang the location of where the upper part of the comfort liner sits inside the helmet to adjust the angle of the helmet. Every rider's head is gonna be shaped a little bit different so if you put this helmet on initially you have a hot spot on the front of the head you can adjust that liner to get the fitment exactly how you want. So it's a very cool system that Alpinestars is doing. So again, very comfortable helmet. You have four different shell sizes so what's nice about those different shell sizes is that allows you to have a better fit for each sized rider or each riders head. Also what's cool is that with those different shell sizes, is that the EPS liner and the comfort liner is going to be the same in all the different helmets so it doesn't matter if you have a large, extra large or small the EPS liner is going to be the same thickness and that goes for the cheek pads and the comfort liner as well. They're trying to optimize the fit and make it as good as possible.
Now with the helmet shell sizes and construction, The Alpinestars Supertech M10 motocross helmet is both DOT and ECE certified. You're getting a multi composite carbon fiber shell, so it's actually a three layer shell construction and like I mentioned earlier they want to make this helmet very lightweight which they have done. A size large comes in at three pounds right on the dot - that is a very lightweight helmet for a size large. So if you have even a medium or a small obviously that's gonna be even lighter so props to Alpinestars for making this helmet extremely lightweight.
With the shell design it's a very unique shell design, I will admit when I first saw this helmet I was kind of on the fence. I couldn't decide if I liked it or if I didn't like it, but after seeing it in person I'm actually a big fan of the lines and the curves of this helmet has. It has a nice sleek, aggressive look to it. What is also cool that Alpinestars has done, is that with the shape of the helmet you're gonna notice that the sides of the helmet are pretty flat, when you look at the top it's pretty flat on the top as well. So everything has been optimized to help mitigate and reduce forces as much as possible. We've seen a big emphasis over the years on angular rotation and mitigating those with helmets so by having these flatter surfaces on the helmet. Alpinestars say that's going help to get more surface area to help absorb and dissipate more energy that's also going to help slow down those rotational forces so everything that the way this helmet is constructed is just to help make it more safe for the rider.
The visor sits right here flush with the top of the helmet, but what's cool is that the visor is designed to break off when enough force is applied. So if needed with enough force this will break off, that way you're not adding any additional forces or any additional twisting to the riders head or to the riders neck.
Now with venting, this was a big emphasis that Alpinestars put on this helmet. They have a lot of it, on the chin bar you've got these vents on the side of the chin and lots of vents on the mouth guard itself. I really like the giant vents that you have in the front and get a lot of airflow through. At the top of the helmet, just above the eye port, you've got multiple vents and you've got a couple more underneath the visor. At the top you've got a coupling, on here in the top couple here on these sides and then when you flip it on look at the back you can see you've got a lot of exhaust vents that are going to take that warm air through the EPS liner which has a lot of different cutouts and a lot of channels to get that air through and then it comes out the back of the helmet. Also with that venting, you're going to notice that all the cutouts in the visor are working in conjunction with those vents, so it's going to channel that air through the visor, you will find that they go directly into those vents so needless to say you're gonna get a lot of airflow with this helmet.
The Alpinestars Supertech M10 helmet comes hydration ready. In other words, If you wear a hydration pack, or camelbak, there is a channel that when you take the comfort liner out allows your sip tube to slide inside with a route inside the helmet to help hold it secure so you don't have to drill or modify your helmet. On the inside of the chin bar on that expanded polypropylene liner or for simplicity sake let's call it padding, is a groove that is built-in inside the helmet on both sides, so you can run the sip tube on either side of the helmet. So what you do is basically, you just take your sip tube, route it up through the helmet and then the sip tube will just sit right in the groove. What's really cool about this is that when you look at the cheek pads, they also have a groove that is built-in. So essentially what it does it just sandwiches that sip tube between the cheek pad and the helmet and that's going to hold it in place so if you have a sip tube they've giving you that channel to help keep that in place - very cool.
Another interesting feature I'd like to mention is that on the sides they actually have a kind of collar bone cutout which gives you a lot of space underneath the helmet. This comes in handy for riders that are wearing neck braces. Allowing to optimize the fit with the neck brace so it's not going to mitigate your range of motion as much as some other helmets would. You will also notice that the shell of the helmet actually stops a little short of the edges of the helmet. There is actually a type of lining along the bottom of the shell of the helmet which is called expanded polypropylene. It's a different material than EPS, it's a soft material and by having it there along the edge of the helmet, if it were to come in contact with the rider's collarbone it's just gonna be softer so it's gonna be more absorbent and much less likely to injure the rider's collarbone. You can just see Alpinestars have thought just about everything when it comes to construction.
Now let's take a look inside. There's a lot of features to mention. One of the first things you are going to notice is that you've got an “eject” inflatable helmet removal system and emergency response cheek pads. I'm a big fan of these. So in the event of a crash it makes it much easier to get these cheek pads out without removing the helmet and the way you do it is really simple. You simply have to pull on the padding tabs and they just pop right out of the helmet. So very simple to do. As far as your chinstrap goes, you get a pretty typical chinstrap you're going to have that standard D-ring.
Opening the helmet up you're going to see you've got your comfort liner in there, but now this is where you're getting a lot of crazy features, a lot of cool sets of technology and safety built in. It is a two-piece comfort liner, so if you remove the first part of the comfort liner you will see you got a big cutout, inside there that is your second piece of the comfort liner that fits at the top of the helmet around the crown area, and like I said that is adjustable to get a more customized fit. So the way it works, you've got the four corners, each corner has little tabs and these just pop right in and out, so what you can do is actually take this comfort liner move it around and each corner has three different locations that you can snap it in. If you adjust that it will allow you to adjust the tilt of the helmet where the comfort liner is making contact with the riders head. You can also even adjust the height of the helmet if you want to. So make sure to utilize that, and take advantage of that system - move it around to see where it's changing the fitment for you - find what's going to be best for you, and you are good to go.
What I also want to emphasize on the inside of this helmet is that you have a four piece EPS liner system. So inside this helmet you have four different pieces of EPS liner made of four different densities and they have put those there to optimize the amount of absorption that you're going to need in different parts of the helmet. Alpinestars along with the development of this helmet, are using the MIPS liner system, if you've never heard of that, it stands for a Multi-directional Impact Protection System, and what it essentially is, is a slip liner between the riders head of the comfort liner and the actual EPS liner of the helmet. Like I mentioned earlier, rotational forces are a big emphasis with helmets nowadays because you want to mitigate how much the riders head rotates. So what the MIPS liner system is, is essentially a slip zone that allows the riders head to slip a little bit inside the helmet to help mitigate those rotational forces, but it's actually an exclusive MIPS liner system that alpinestars is using so you're not going to see this in any other helmet and the way it works is pretty slick. You've got this A-HEAD adjustment system that we just talked about but you will see on the top of it you've got a hard plastic, kind of the skeleton for that whole liner system but in between that and the comfort liner you've got what they call a lycra sock and inside there is actually where that MIPS liner is going to be. So when that MIPS liner contacts the hard plastic skeleton on the outside, that's what's allowing to have that slip zone there. So it's very cool that Alpinestars is doing that, it's very innovative and also they're one of the reasons behind this lycra sock. A lot of riders have talked about with the MIPS liner system from other helmets saying that when it starts to get moisture or sweat built up it starts to squeak a little bit. So the lycra sock helps to mitigate that - so you don't have that squeaky noise.
There's a few more things on the inside I want to highlight. First you will notice in the top of the liner you've got the eject helmet removal system ready to go. That generally does not come included with the helmet but you can buy it separately. But if you're not familiar with that, it is a little baggie called a balloon but in the event of a crash the rider needs to get the helmet off safely you'd actually just pump that balloon up with air and it will help push the helmet off the riders head safely. So a very good safety feature that is built in.
last thing I want to mention and you can tell that with this feature, Alpinestars has really thought this through. They thought about all different riding applications. You now have speaker pockets that are cut into this helmet which is ideal If you run a Bluetooth communication setup and you have speakers that you want to run in your motocross helmet. Perhaps even for touring and enduro riders or maybe even side by side riding. I know a lot of riders nowadays like to utilize those. The helmet has pockets that are pre-cut so all you'd have to do is just take remove the little foam insert and put your Bluetooth communication speakers snugly inside.
So again like I said, a lot of features built into this helmet. That wraps up my analysis of the Alpinestars M10 or the Super Tech M10 motocross helmet. I know I just gave you a lot of information and it might be a lot to digest so make sure if you have any other questions about this helmet leave your comments below. I'll help get those answered.
"While there is still no concussion proof helmet, and very likely never will be, the reduction of energy transfer to the brain is everyone’s goal; and nothing does that more comprehensively than our advanced Omni-Directional Suspension system"
Taking a closer look at the ATR 2 off-road helmet from 6D, I'm rather excited to talk about this helmet. A few years ago 6D came out with the ATR 1 which in my opinion, kind of revolutionized the helmet market. I think it changed the way how helmets were being built and they did that by using their 27 isolation dampers inside their helmets, and they're really the first company I saw using 2 separate EPS liners to really help mitigate those angular and rotational forces. That was an awesome helmet from 6D and now it's new and improved. Looking at the new ATR 2 helmet it has a new aggressive look to it, a new styling. I think they did a really good job. It looks a little bit smaller than the ATR one. For a lot of guys they thought that the ATR 1 just looked a little, big in my opinion it kind of made you feel like you are a bobble head. They've also brought the chin bar or the mouth guard in just a little bit, so overall it's got a compact design with very aggressive good lines.
I think they did a killer job when it comes to the new design of the helmet itself so we'll talk about the construction and then we'll talk about the exterior and about the inner liner and then we'll jump into what really makes this stand out and separates it from the rest - which is going to be with their liner system - the ODS technology.
So first let's talk about fit. The helmet is very comfortable with very soft moisture wicking antimicrobial liner. It's gonna fit true to size. So as I mentioned earlier it's got an all new design with a nice aggressive look to it. Now the shell of the helmet is going to be made from a tri composite construction so it makes it lightweight and also very strong. You're also find on the back of the helmet is the DOT and ECE certified sticker. What I like is that they shaved about a hundred grams off the weight from the ATR one, so it's about three and a half ounces. So it doesn't sound like a lot but what they did, and the reason it feels so light (because in my opinion I think this helmet does feel a lot lighter than ATR one) is they lowered the center of gravity. So anytime you can take that mass and make it closer to the riders body it's gonna make the helmet feel lighter so even though they didn't shave off say a half pound it still feels much lighter when you're wearing this helmet - so good job. Then you're gonna find a lot of cool features, lots of good venting. You're gonna have nine intakes on the helmet which means you're going to get a lot of air flow through. You have multiple cutouts in the EPS liner which I'll touch on in a bit. There are also plenty of vents on the mouth guard along the chin bar. It has multiple multiple vents in the eye port and a few underneath the visor. At the back you're gonna have six exhaust ports so plenty of rear vents for that warm air to go through and then make its way out the back of the helmet.
The visor system - It has an adjustable visor with your typical adjustable bolts on the side and underneath the visor. Those are designed to shear away so in the event of a crash those are gonna break away so that the visor is not gonna add any of those additional angular or rotational forces to the riders head.
Now another cool feature I want to point out is if we look at the mouth guard, underneath it, they have what they call their sternum pad. So they're thinking of just about every possible scenario in the event of a crash. So you have this shock absorbing padding so if you were to go down, you know your chin goes down to your chest that's going to help protect the sternum of the rider. On the side of the chin bar they have their clavicular cutouts for your collarbone area. These are gonna help add some protection for your collarbones and also in the back. What I really like along the bottom of the shell of the helmet, it almost ends a bit short with a bit of softer padding at the bottom that's gonna contact your cervical spine. So we've all heard of the Scorpion when your legs come up over your head or maybe your head comes back well this contact point with the back of your neck and the spine has just been made a little bit softer so again they're just thinking of every crash scenario that could possibly happen - they're saying how can we make this better - how can we make it safer for the rider so props to you 6D.
Now the last thing we need to talk about before moving to the inside is along the eye port. Just above the intakes they actually placed a rib along the entire eye port. The reason they did that was to strengthen this part of the helmet. Think about it, anytime you have any round shape (your helmet) with an entrance cut out (the goggle slot), the weakest point is gonna be where it's cut out. So 6D realize that obviously if you come up short maybe you over jump something, you can smash your face or your helmet on your handlebars or maybe even on the ground. So they said, you know what, how can we strengthen this part of the helmet as well? So this rib above the goggle hole is just to add some strength and rigidity to that part of the helmet.
Moving to the inside of the helmet. As I mentioned earlier, you are gonna have antimicrobial removable washable liner on the inside which is very comfortable. You are gonna have titanium D-ring chin strap so that helps with the weight of the helmet. Also you're gonna have an emergency cheek pad removal system - so with these cheek pads, in the event of a crash, if you need to get the helmet off the riders head you want to be able to get these cheek pads out first, it helps the helmet slide off a whole lot easier. So with these you would just grab the tab's on the side and you're gonna pull towards the chin bar or away from the riders head and those cheek pad's just pop out nice and easy. Then the rest of the liner is just gonna have some snaps that hold it in place. If you remove the washable material liner you will find the EPS liner on the inside, where you can see channels or grooves cut away and that's for ventilation. So as the air comes in it moves through those channels and then work this way out the back.
Now we're really gonna dive into the the special features the ODS technology that absolutely sets the ATR two apart. With the ATR 1 you had a similar design but a whole lot has changed at the same time. Now you're gonna have two liners on the inside. The outer liner which is contacting the shell of the helmet is made from EPP, it's expanded polypropylene. The properties of expanded polypropylene allow it to do a great job of absorbing impact, but it also retains its shape. So if you were to crush this - have a big impact - it will go back to its original form and it will be able to do that multiple times. Then you have a a gap between that and the second liner which is your EPS liner. Now EPS stands for expanded polystyrene and the property of this is it's a lower density. It's softer so it absorbs impact extremely well. That's what we've seen helmet manufacturers use for many many years and the reason being that they haven't gone away from that is because it does absorb energy extremely well. In the gap between the two liners, there is a lot going on. The 6D ODS technology - this is what we saw in the ATR one and it stands for Omni-Directional Suspension. The ATR 1 had 27 of these suspension points, they have reduced that now to 11. 6D say that each of these suspension points move in six degrees of motion hence the name 6D. So these are allowing the two liners to move freely and that's going to really help mitigate the rotational and angular forces in the event of a crash. So that's the reason for those isolation dampers. But now like I mentioned earlier they got rid of 16 of their dampers - well you're asking why would they do that? Well what they did is they're still getting the impact absorption from these as well as those liners moving freely but now they use what they call their low friction disks and what these are designed to do is work in conjunction with these isolation dampers. How they work is simple, they're just allowing the liners to basically just slip and move freely with each other.
On top of the EPS liner they have this hard plastic almost skeleton looking design which adds strength and rigidity to the EPS liner, but it's also adding a low friction surface for these discs to move on. Now along with these low friction discs you're gonna get what they call their EPP progressive damping towers. Which are designed to help with the shock absorption and disperse that energy so that's what they've done they've really just designed this helmet to disperse as much angular and rotational energy as possible and they say that by going to this design, having just 11 isolation dampers and also having these low friction discs that they have added up to 30% more movement with the liner. So they're helping mitigate those forces a tremendous amount.
Now last thing I want to talk about that I really like that 6D is doing - helmets are a big investment, you're gonna be in for around $700 (at the time of writing) but because they're using EPP as that outer liner which can remember and retains its shape - if you have a bad crash and if you damage the EPS liner (remember with any helmet if you damage the EPS liner - EPS does not retain its shape, it's going to stay compacted and degrade so if that were the case you'd want to get rid of that helmet because it loses those properties of absorbing that impact) so what 6D is able to do, because they have the two liners separated, well if you damage the inside of the EPS liner, you can send it back to them and they will inspect the helmet for you! They'll look at the shell to make sure that it's still intact and make sure the integrity is still good and if they're able to, for around $100 they will actually just replace the EPS liner. You're making a big investment, so if you have a bad crash send it in to them and you can get essentially a brand new helmet with a brand new EPS liner. You don't have to go out and buy an all new helmet. So I think is absolutely fantastic that 6D is doing that, they understand the investment you're making so I think it's really cool that they can just literally swap out one of the liners and give you essentially a brand new helmet. Plus they do have a three-year limited warranty on these helmets so even more peace of mind when you are making this investment.
That wraps it up for our review of the 6D ATR-2 motocross helmet - again a lot of Technology built into this helmet something that 6D is absolutely known for. To getting those isolation dampers with their ODS technology, their low friction discs and everything is built to just absorb and disperse energy especially those angular and rotational forces. If you have any questions about anything I've mentioned (because I know I just gave you a lot of knowledge) comment below and someone from our team will get your questions answered.
No more "screwing" about. Awesome screwless magnetic visor system
Time to dig a little deeper into the V3 helmet with MIPS and MVRS from Fox Racing. So you know what I really love? I love to see helmet companies really just continuously improving their helmets and making them better and making them safer for riders. I really feel like fox has done that with the new V3 so this is the same helmet that Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen - some of your best riders in the world have all worn. So with this helmet there's a couple big updates that you're going to see. It's going to be similar as far as construction goes to the previous V3, but the two big updates are going to be a fourth shell size that they've added to the lineup and the MVRS technology which stands for Magnetic Visor Release System.
First thing let's talk about fitment. So myself including a few of my riding buddies have all tried this helmet on. We used the sizing guide, we measured our heads with the tape measures and the conclusion is that this helmet does run small. If you're right at the bottom of the window for a specific size you might be okay but if you're anywhere in the middle or at the top of the window I highly recommend going up to a larger size. Speaking of size, that's one of the big updates that you're getting with the new V3. Fox added a fourth shell size so with the previous version the medium and the large both shared the same shell size. What Fox did is kept the large to stay the same, but now the medium has its own shell size being a little bit smaller along with that EPS liner as well. So you have four sizes as a small, medium, large and extra large. So for the medium, the nice thing that Fox did is lightened it up a little bit and provides that smaller head size so the helmets not going to look so big. The large helmet weighs in at around 3.2 pounds, so it a pretty lightweight helmet.
So a few nice features with the construction remain the same. You have a multi composite shell so you're going to have material like carbon fiber and Kevlar which is very strong and very lightweight. On the inside you have a dual density EPS liner. That's going to help absorb impacts and it's going to be DOT and ECE certified. With the venting, it's going to have 14 intake. So you have 14 intakes on the front at the top of the helmet and also a couple underneath the visor and multiple chin vents. At the back you have four exhaust vents, so it's going to take all that hot air and it's going to push it out to the back. Before taking a look inside, I will just say I really like the colorways the Fox does, I love the Matt to gloss finish that you have on these helmets. I think it just looks really really good.
On the inside you're going to have the dry liner which is removable antimicrobial and it is washable so if you need to take it out after getting hot and sweaty you can do that and throw it through the washer and then you can simply clip it back in and you're going to be good to go. Two big features that I want to highlight with the V3 is going to be their MIPS liner system and that MVRS which is Magnetic Visor Release System. Over the years we've seen a lot of helmet companies making a big emphasis on rotational impacts and managing that rotational energy is absolutely critical when it comes to the riders safety. You need to remember, not all crashes are straight up and down. You're going to be moving either forward or side to side, so you want to manage that rotational impact and the way Fox does that is with two systems. Internally you're going to have the MIPS liner system, which stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. That is it is a liner that goes between the EPS liner and the riders head and what that does is allows the riders head to slip or move just a little bit inside the helmet to help disperse some of that energy. What's new that Fox has just done is this MVRS, and I'm really excited to talk about this. Like I said, it stands for Magnetic Visor Release System. So the idea behind the MVRS is that in the event of a crash they want the visor to release from the helmet so that it does not add additional rotational forces to the riders head. The way they do that is by getting rid of the screws that normally would hold on the visor on the sides and under the visor. Instead, they've gone to magnets so that way if you do have a crash this visor is going to release easier and it's going to reduce any of those rotational forces. Now one question that riders will have is, well what if I just take roots to the visor is that going to be enough to pop it off? Well what Fox have made sure that doesn't happen. Underneath the visor there are supports, so as you're riding and your heads meet a downward angle so if you're taking roost or tree branches at the top of the visor, the supports will prevent it from popping off. But as soon as the same amount of force hit's the sides, the visor pops right off. So it's very simple and that's the safety feature you want. You want the visor to come off and give into the crash to reduce those rotational forces. To put it back on it's also very simple. Put the center magnet on first, pop it on, and then the two sides are going to pop into place. The magnets are actually really strong. Now one thing you do want to keep in mind with this is, with the magnets it's not an adjustable visor so you can't move this up or down it's going to stay in the position that it comes in so just keep that in mind, but if you ask me that is a very small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things because I really like the safety aspect and the innovation that Fox has put into the V3 motocross helmet.
I really like what fox is doing, I like that they're pushing the limits coming out with new innovation to make their helmets safer for us riders. Be sure to check out the different color styles, I think they're some of the best looking helmets on the market. If you have any questions comment below and we'll get them answered.
"The Moto-9 Flex is the most advanced helmet we have ever made, and is setting the standard for rider protection in motocross and off-road racing"
Now let's talk about the Moto 9 carbon flex from Bell helmets. Bell took the already extremely popular and very awesome helmet the Moto 9 and they added some key safety updates to this helmet that are gonna make it one of the best and most protective helmets on the market.
First thing we're going to talk about is the all-new three layer impact liner from Bell helmets. When we look at a high-end helmet like this Moto 9 flex you want to think of it as something like an off-road trophy truck. You're gonna have a very very premium suspension that's gonna be built to absorb the small the medium and the large bumps. So taking that idea, they put that into this Bell helmet. What they have is a three layer liner that's going to be built to absorb the low impact the medium and the high-speed impacts. So you're gonna be protected in any range or any speed that you're riding at. Traditionally helmets or rather these days, lower tier helmets, just have one liner inside which is really only meant to absorb hard high impacts, but doing their research Bell know that you can sustain significant injury even at the lower speeds. So whether it's just a tip over just cruising around or if you're on the track going high speeds or in the desert, this helmets gonna protect you in a much wider variety.
When we look at the bottom of this helmet you can actually see the three layers that you have for the inside liner. The inside liner is going to be your EPP that's going to be your softest liner that's going to be meant for taking your lower speed impacts. All three liners are made from a different material and have a different density, so that's where you get that impact resistance. The middle liner is your EPO liner. So that's for your medium range impacts. The very most outer layer you're is your EPS liner, so that's gonna be for those high-speed impacts. Like I said, just like with the trophy truck you want to be able to have very good progression from the slow all the way up to the hardest impacts that you're gonna get in this helmet. One thing that I really like that Bell has done is they actually have what's called a segmented liner that's gonna allow this helmet to really fit to the contour of just about anybody's head. They wanted to make this thing adaptable. So depending on what size head you have or if you have a different shaped head this helmets going to still be able to fit very comfortably.
Another awesome thing that I really like that bell has incorporated with this helmet is they've actually made the liner help protect against rotational impact. So you know that not all your crashes are going to be vertical straight down the ground it's possible, but most of the time you are going to be traveling forward or to the side when you crash so you're gonna have that rotational impact as you're moving. Bell has designed the inner most liner to actually flex and move with your head which is going to help disperse a lot of that energy with that initial impact so you're gonna have better dispersion of energy it's gonna result in less impact and less trauma to the head. Now if you're unfortunate and you do have a hard impact and you are on the ground, it is very very important that a first responder is gonna be able to remove your helmet without causing any further damage to you. Bell has what I feel is one of the best ways to do that, with the what they call their MER (Magnetic Emergency Removal) system. So on the cheek pad, most of your cheek pads are actually snapped into place, what Bell have is actually magnetic cheek pads that make it very easy to pull these out. The cheeck pads are basically held in place by magnets in three locations so it's gonna snap in and it's gonna pull out extremely easy - it's gonna make for very easy removal for a first responder to easily slide the helmet off your head. Along with the MER system that Bell has, these helmets are actually made to be compatible with the eject helmet removal system. So if you pull these cheek pads out and pull the liner out, what you'll see on the bottom of the helmet is the eject helmet removal system. Keep in mind this system is sold separately. Basically what that does is, when the first responder is there it's gonna allow them to actually pump air into the helmet that's gonna loosen and widen the helmet so it slides off the riders head extremely easy. That's very important if you do have a bad head injury they want to make sure your head can stay as still as possible while still sliding the helmet off.
On the outside of the helmet you are gonna have a carbon fiber composite shell that's gonna make the helmet very strong but also help keep it light as well. One of the things I like to point out is Bell has made these things awesome to look at. You can actually see the carbon fiber weave underneath that shell so it's just a cool thing from Bell that they're doing to make the helmets that much better. On the back you are gonna get DOT and Snell approved ratings on these I mean you're gonna get the best possible safety rating with this helmet. It's one of the few helmets in our premium line up that is Snell certified. With the Moto 9 Carbon Flex you're still gonna have that great aggressive look that you're used to from the Moto 9. It's gonna be very aggressive and it's one of my favorite looking helmets. Along with that you are gonna have excellent ventilation with great intakes along the chin bar and you're also going to have excellent intakes along the eye port making sure you get plenty of air passing through this helmet. On the back you're gonna have seven exhaust ports and on the liner, like I mentioned, it's that segmented liner they've actually designed that so it's gonna suck air through the entire helmet extremely well. It's gonna make sure it breathes and it stays cool extremely well during your rides.
A size large that weighs in at 3.4 pounds, so it's not going to be your lightest helmet but for all the added safety benefits and features that they put into this helmet it's definitely not gonna be one of the heaviest helmets either. Generally Snell approved helmets do tend to weigh a little more, so at 3.4 pounds you're still getting a light and extremely durable helmet with some of the best safety features available today.
The world’s most evolved motocross helmet has evolved. Long overdue? Perhaps. But world-class engineering and quality take time.
For those of you that are unfamiliar the VFX EVO, it is a new premium dirt helmet from Shoei and this is going to replace its predecessor the VF X W. What I want to do is kind of break down the comparisons of what you're getting with this new evolution. There's two main changes that we're going to see in addition to some other small tweaks.
One of the things that I really want to start off with is just getting some of the items out of the way first so this is gonna be an AIM Plus shell. There are four different shell sizes available for this and it is gonna be Snell and DOT rated. One of the things to note when we're talking about the weight, it is 3.5 pounds or 1.6 KG in a large. That's a three ounce increase over the predecessor. Some of that's gonna have to do with the fact that we're gonna see some new changes to the EPS on this, but some of it just has to do with the fact that they've made the new one more aggressive looking. But because of that you're getting more plastic added to it, so the new helmet is going to be slightly heavier than the previous version.
It's still going to be that intermediate oval head shape so for those of you out there you know trying to figure out the fitment for this it is gonna be a little bit longer front to back and little narrower down the side of the head which is exactly what you'd expect of SHOEI. This is the first change we've seen to the VFX line since around 2010 so it's definitely going to be a change that we welcome but when you look at all the other helmets that are on the market now in this premium world of dirt, you know the SHOEI is gonna have a lot to keep up with and this is now going to be one of the most expensive dirt helmets in the market around the $530 price point for solid colors and then up past the $700 mark for graphics. So it's definitely going to be a more expensive premium buy and the question becomes - do you know what are you getting for this?
So let's take take it apart, the shell that we're gonna have on the new VFX EVO definitely has more aggressive lines with the new helmet it's gonna be more pronounced around the goggles. At the back you're gonna have just more of an aggressive look to it overall. One of the things that I actually really like about this is that the visor is gonna be a little bit firmer. One of the problems that I have on the older model is if I use it as a dual sport style helmet is that when I'm on the street the peak has a tendency to really pull aggressively. I'm interested to see how this new design plays out as far as a little bit more of a rigid design to this.The other thing you'll notice is that there's a little bit of an indentation around the top screw of the visor which the old one doesn't have. That little indentation really helps to hold the peak in place once you're in that full upright position.
You'll also notice some other changes to the way that the goggle surrounds are done. This is gonna be more of a rubberized feel to it so it has a little bit more stick than the old version. You'll also notice rubber that's gonna encompass the entire bottom of the helmet. There is a little bit more ventilation too, at the top you'll notice that the vents on the new one have three additional vents and at the back are four exhaust vents so better venting and especially when you're looking at a dirt helmet that's gonna be a key consideration. But the venting hasn't been drastically increased so we're not looking at something like the Leat 5.5 for example which has massive air vents - you're just looking at a slight refinement over the old one.
Touching on two significant changes that you're gonna find on the new SHOE VFX EVO. Now one is really gonna be the aggressive lines, so there's no getting around that this is gonna be slightly more aggressive and it's gonna be more aggressive in its look but like we said earlier that is gonna get you a little bit more weight. But the real story here is gonna be the changes that they've made to the internal parts of this helmet. So one of the things that we've seen from a lot of manufacturers is, whether we're talking about MIPS technology that Fox and Bell utilize or if we're looking at the turbine technology that Leatt uses, you you know one of the things that a lot of manufacturers are trying to do is trying to figure out how to slow rotational impact, especially when you're off-road because if you're off-road you know the main hit that you're going to take is low speed impact that tends to rotate your head. So everyone's taking a different approaches to how to fix this. So for the first time in as long as I can remember SHOEI's change their actual EPS liner makeup to help reduce rotational impact. What you'll find in the top outer liner is a kind of orange ring which is what they're calling their M.E.D.S technology - Motion Energy Distribution System. What this is supposed to do is, help to reduce rotational impact. SHOEI's claiming this helps to reduce rotational impact by up to 15%. I'm glad to see that they're innovating and they're bringing this technology forward. I'm excited to see how it works because lord knows I've crashed more times than not - usually at lower speeds sub 30 miles an hour and I tend to usually bounce my head off of something. So I'm excited to see how this works. The one thing that I would note is if you look at this compared to other manufacturers one of the things that you'll see if you're looking at MIPS where they have an entire slip liner design on the inside or you're looking at Leatt with its turbine technology which has those little turbines in there and they're gonna encompass the entire thing is that SHOEI's only sits in the very top of the head. It's backed by a rubberized gasket but I was kind of interested to see that SHOEI didn't actually create the entire plane on the inside. But again they're claiming 15% reduction in rotational forces.
One of the things to to note when we're looking at the liner on the cheek pads - of the claims that SHOEI makes for their liner is that it is a revised liner contour to the cheek pads, but it is going to be able to hold two times its weight in sweat. Which if you're anything like me, if you're riding off-road you tend to pour just a massive amount of sweat into these helmets so the fact that they're making the cheek pads more absorbent to absorb more sweat before it starts squishing down is going to be a big deal. I don't know if you're anything like me and the fact that after a full day's ride if you go to pull the helmet off and all of a sudden the sweat just kind of like squishes out of the foam and it's all over your goggles which never helps. So the fact that this can be a little bit more absorbent is another plus.
So while SHOEI has brought the new VFX EVO to the table, the real changes are gonna be the internals of this. So when you look at it from the outside yes it's slightly more aggressive there's a few little key components here with small revisions to the vent scheme, like I said that one vent up front and you do have those two new exhaust vents down at the bottom, but really the main changes I'm gonna see with this is the fact that they've included that new M.E.D System at the top. Like I said it's gonna be interesting to see how it plays out, I am excited to get my hands on this from the standpoint that the old version, the VFX W has been my go-to. I've used other helmets over the past couple years but that's the one that I really gravitate back to. It's gonna be interesting to get to ride with this and really kind of put it through its paces.
Troy Lee Designs SE4 moto helmets were developed and competition tested by professional supercross racers like Cole Seely and Shane McElrath. TLD is out to create the lightest, most comfortable and visually striking helmets in motocross.
Another top contender for the spotlight as the best premium off road helmet is the Troy Lee Designs SE4. Troy Lee got started over 30 years ago. He actually started out painting his buddy's helmets out of his parents garage and now Troy Lee Designs has become one of the most recognizable names in the motorcycle industry.
So let's talk about the new and improved SE4. if I could describe this helmet in two words they would be safety and light-weight. But I'm not going to stop there, I'm going to dissect this helmet and describe all the new design and safety features that make this new and improved from the SE3 and why this helmet really is a front-runner as far as safety and innovation goes when it comes to the offroad helmet market.
The first thing we're talking about is sizing. In my opinion they do fit true to size and they are very comfortable, but you always want to make sure you check the sizing guide and measure your head so you know what size you are going to need. With this helmet you're going to have extra small all the way up to double XL and within those sizes there's actually three different shell sizes. With this helmet you can have a medium in a large shell size and the reason for that is it makes it easier to get a better fit for every rider no matter what size head you have.
Now with the construction of the helmet it's going to be a carbon fiber Kevlar composite mix. This helmet is going to be DOT and Snell rated and it is very light weight. The medium came in at 3.1 pounds and the small came in at 2.8 - so very light weight compared to some of the other high-end helmets that are on the market today.
With this helmet if we look at the profile of it, it's a very aggressive design but there are a couple differences between the SE4 that I do want to point out. The first is the old SE3 had a hood scoop up on the top to help vent air and push it through the helmet. They've done away with that and you no longer have that removable chin guard or mouth guard on the chin bar. Now with that hood scoop being gone it really adds functionality to the helmet, they've left it nice and flat up on the top and it's nice because it's very friendly for your action cameras. We know a lot of guys rock those and this makes it very easy to mount those. With the chin or the mouth guard being removed it's still going to vent plenty but not having that hood scoop or removable mouth guard comes from Troy's less is more approach, so now you just have less parts that could potentially break up if you did heavy crash. So a great design aspect, a lot of forward thinking with that new construction.
Next up let's talk about ventilation on this helmet. Now obviously you want the helmet to breathe well, Troy Lee I feel has really accomplished that here. You have over 20 vents. They're going to pull air through the helmet, you got multiple vents down along the chin bar and up along the eye port. What I like is that these vents up by the chimney eye port actually pull air through and it pushes it down into your goggle area so when it's hot if your goggles are fogging up that's going to help keep that to a minimum. Uderneath the visor we have more vents and also on the top of the helmet just behind the visor. Speaking of the visor, these screws are plastic and they will sheer away so if you did have a crash they're designed to break off. The SE4 helmet actually has nine internal channels built into the liner that are going to pull air through the helmet, it's going to take that hot air and push it through the six exhaust vents that you're going to have at the rear. So again, a great design of the helmet which is definitely going to breathe extremely well.
On the inside we're going to start out with the liner, now it's going to be a CoolMax and Dri-lex liner. It's moisture wicking, fully removable and you're going to be able to wash it easilly. On the cheek pads, first thing to point out are going to be emergency removal cheek pads. That is a huge safety benefit with this helmet if an EMT or a first responder needs to remove the helmet, these make it much easier and safer. To use them you're just going to take your finger, put it on the tab and you're going to pull up and out. I also like the neck strap, that they have titanium D loops, it just helps keep the helmet lightweight.
When you remove the inner liner you'll find a big yellow contraption going on in the inside. This is called MIPS. now MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. We're seeing this system used in a lot of the high-end helmets now. It's for angular impacts, so we know that most crashes they don't go straight up and down you're usually going at a high speed and so you're going to crash at an angle so what that MIPS system does it allows the riders head to rotate just enough inside the helmet that's going to slow down that impact. It's going to help disperse energy better so it's a very good safety feature that you're getting with that MIPS system. If you look at the top at that MIPS liner you are going to see a sticker that says eject approved design. So this helmet is also built to take the eject helmet removal system. If you're not familiar with that it allows a first responder or an EMT to pump air into the helmet and that will expand the helmet making it easier to remove from the riders head. Now just keep in mind though that is sold separate. But I love the design that Troy Lee has done with that system. Normally you'll see a cutout in the EPS liner where you put that ejection removal system, but Troy Lee didn't want to take away any of the EPS liner because that's what absorbs the impact. Instead they took your comfort liner and instead of putting padding on the top they've left that and that is where that eject helmet removal system would go. So they've thought forward, they said - hey we don't want to take away any of the safety from the helmet let's do it to the liner so it just goes right on top your comfort liner, it still works great, you don't notice it when it's inside the helmet. So again, you're getting that MIPS system along with that eject helmet removal system.
Moving on with safety, we are going to talk about the EPS liner inside this helmet. Troy Lee Designs have put 13% more EPS liner in the frontal headband area here and then 8% more in the rear, in the bottom of the helmet that's going to help absorb impacts. They say those numbers are 13% and 8% percent more than the next closest competitor. Now, EPS if you don't know what that stands for it stands for expanded polystyrene. It's a very dense foam that absorbs impact extremely well. Now the EPS liner on this helmet is actually three pieces and those three pieces are two different densities. The upper region is going to be a softer density then you're going to have a harder density in the lower rear region that's going to be for your slow, your mid, and your high speed impact. They want to make sure that you're going to have great protection regardless of the speed that you're traveling. In the chin bar here this is another great design and safety aspect to the helmet. They've used EPP lining instead of EPS. EPP stands for expanded polypropylene which is a dense foam that's going to absorb impact and flex very well, but it actually has some memory to it, so it's going to retain its shape much better. So if you'd like to carry your helmet by your hand if you want to hang it on your handlebars you're not going to damage that foam and it's going to keep its shape extremely well.
So they've thought about just about everything when it comes to this helmet as far as safety and functionality. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this helmet so make sure you comment below.
No magnetic visor system
No internal camelback channel
The Best Premium Motocross Helmet
So that wraps up my in depth review of the best dirt bike helmets on the market that meet your requirements. It's really tough to decide on a clear winner as there's not much that separates these premium helmets apart. You're guaranteed great safety with all these helmets so for me, at the end of the day it comes down to rider preference. Whether that be based on look or feel, the choose is yours. I love the look of the Fox range of helmets but the Alpinestars Super Tech M10 just has a few more bell's and whistles that I really enjoy.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 2 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.
Based on the above results, It looks to me like there are 4 distinct groups.
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?
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.
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.
He'll be in my top 10 every round. Unless of course he's injured.
Another very consistent rider, I think I'll keep him around.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 a 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.