Essential safety gear all dirt bike riders must have
Landing on the two wheels safely after every jump is a dirt bike rider’s dream play. However, the next best thing is landing on the feet. And, the power of a pair of good boots never goes amiss when that happens. Even the nastiest tumble is never as bad as it looks when you are wearing the right helmet. Safety gear is as much as important as the bike and the skills. So, without much ado, let’s see what safety gear dirt bike riders need and how they keep the daredevilry going.
What safety gear do you need?
We cannot overstate how important a good helmet is for dirt bike riding. A full-face helmet is the most vital piece of gear for a dirt bike rider. It is designed to protect your head, face, chin, and eyes. Open-face helmets and three-quarter type helmets cannot offer the same level of protection as a full-face helmet. Look for the ECE 22.5 safety rating, which is the European safety standard for motorcycle helmets. The ACU Gold sticker is an indication that it is approved by the Auto Cycle Union of the UK and is suitable for motorcycle sport.
The speed of a dirt bike can cause a storm of dust and debris. It’s important to protect your eyes from flying stones, sand, and dust particles. You are not just protecting your eyes but also safeguarding your vision, which is crucial to avoid accidents. Dirt bike goggles offer a greater level of eye protection than the standard face shield. These usually go over the face shield of the helmet. Make sure to opt for anti-fogging goggles and tinted lenses that block bright sunlight.
A firm grip is essential to rolling the throttle, pulling the clutch, and squeezing the font brakes effectively. And your hands will be busy performing countless manoeuvres in a single trail run, causing abrasions and blisters if you don’t wear gloves. So, a comfortable pair of dirt bike gloves for maximum grip is essential. To prevent your hands from getting clammy, they should be ventilated.
You should always be prepared to take a fall when riding a dirt bike. Our hands almost always try to break a fall, and when we land, it is our elbows that take the brunt. Elbow guards are designed to protect this vulnerable area. These can be either hard-shell or soft-shell guards. Soft-shell guards are lighter and flexible. Hard-shell ones are a bit heavier and less flexible, but they absorb higher impacts.
Knee pads and knee protectors
Like elbows to the hands, knees are to legs – they are more prone to injuries. Wearing knee guards can prevent serious and life-long injuries. They should have a tough outside and a padded and soft inside. Heavy knee guards can be counter-effective. Always choose vented guards as comfort is key to good leg work in dirt biking. They should be adjustable for a perfect fit. Knee braces are an alternative to knee guards and limit lateral torsion and hyperextension while offering protection for your knees upon impact.
When you are in intensive, competitive riding conditions, minimising injuries is a top priority. Body armour like a chest protector and roost guard protect your vital organs in the event of a crash. They also give you peace of mind to know you are shielded to a greater degree from unexpected collisions. Chest protectors are made from robust material and are often worn over the jersey. Roost protectors are more lightweight and shield you from shooting rocks, mud, and debris on the track.
You cannot ride a dirt bike without boots. Your feet and lower legs are exposed to obstacles, the hot engine, other bikes & their hot engines too close for comfort, and roost. Dirt bike boots protect ankles and calves. A good dirt bike boot is made from heat-resistant material reinforced with steel, polyurethane, and extra padding for defence and comfort.
Jersey and riding pants
These provide another protective layer that prevents scratches and abrasions. Jerseys and pants are almost always full-sleeved and long to protect from wind and sunburn. Always go for a jersey and pants designed for dirt bike racing, as these are more abrasion-resistant than regular ones. Dirt bike pants are made from tear-resistant material while at the same time being flexible enough for greater movement. A leather coating around the knee area provides additional protection and extra grip.
Bright colours are very important in trail riding and racing as you can be easily spotted by other riders and will not take them by surprise. Although freedom of movement is essential, do not wear overly loose or baggy clothing as the chances of them getting caught on something, tangles, and pulled are high. The lesser the skin exposed, the more protected you are. Choose long sleeves, long pants, and wicking material.
How do you select the right gear?
No matter how premium the gear is, if it doesn't fit well, it can’t protect you. Make sure to measure the head size and consult boot sizes. There is no one sizing chart for dirt bike boots. Each size chart differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Always go for the next size if your regular size is too tight. Look for official certification and ratings. Make sure the brand you are opting for is a reputed one, as they are designed with better quality. Dirt bike gear goes through innovation in material, design, and features continuously. Do your research to pick out the latest. If you are a beginner or not competing in races, entry-level gear is more suitable than very expensive pro-racing gear.
Dirt biking is a rugged sport and involves tumbles and tough terrain where landings are always rough. Protective gear is what prevents serious injury. Invest in a quality pair of gloves and boots, and select ACU-approved Gold standard helmets at Mini Bikes Off Road.