Thank You Leatt!

There is a lot of debate about neck braces these days.  I think that's a good thing.  Turns out I have my own little micro-study of safety equipment going on, which today included another test of the 6D (no concussion, as usual, and no surprise there) and a Leatt GPX Pro Lite.  Big surprise with the Leatt.

 

If any coaches out there would be willing to comment on the crash, it would be welcome (seriously), but that isn't the point here.  I think as kids start getting faster, they start putting themselves in harm's way much more quickly than we can keep up.  There were a couple of crashes today by other kids, and I hope all were OK.  I know my son was fine.  

 

I originally inspected the Leatt after the crash and was kind of annoyed that the clasp broke off.  I figured it was designed to do that, and it probably couldn't be replaced (according to our neighbors at the track) and that was that.  Nothing serious.  Then I looked closer and noticed the whole brace was destroyed.  I put white marker on the two parts of the brace that snapped and took some pics.  I also noticed the thoracic strut was cracked, right where it should be, and the back helmet support was snapped clean.

 

How much force did that thing absorb?  Enough, in this case.  The focus of the crash was on the front top right of the head.  The 6D shows that clearly, and it needs to be sent in.  I will let you know about that.  The Leatt is roasted.  The controlled destruction of that thing is remarkable.  

 

So that's my latest addition to our group knowledge of the subject.  I do wish in some ways (particularly financially, lol) that I did not have as much to add on these subjects, but I also know I am not alone.

 

I lost count of how many parents and riders told me today that the brace did exactly what it was supposed to do.  Others shared similar experiences.  One guy said "Yup, same thing happened to my boy.  Bought him another one and didn't even think about it."

 

I get that.

 

Here is the video of the crash and the pics of the brace.  I also just added this link to YouTube if you can't access the video below:  

 

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Edited by Dragon67

Thanks for posting and I am glad your son is ok and I hope all the other kids are ok as well. I watched the video 4 times and kept going 1 second at a time. That neck brace definitely did its job after watching the video. Your son could have very well broke his neck on that crash. The amount of force he took to his neck was a lot and the brace did it job. I would be examining his Helmet Big Time!! With that much force it could have started a small crack or a crush spot. Safety is cheap when we are talking our kids life's. I Know it is not cheap on the wallet but the more gear the better IMO. One boy is just starting out this year. After buying him a bike, helmet boots, and other riding gear I am about broke. LOL For Christmas he is getting Safety items, Neck brace, back brace/roost guard, and knee protection.

 

We dont ride on the track but we ride in the woods and tree's dont move at all!! Most of our riding is very tight single tracks up to 30 MPH between trees with 3" on each side of the bars so the chance is there. I left a 2" X 1" piece on my skin off my forearm hanging on one tree as I hooked a tree rut going between the tree's. the chance of us hitting one is always there so safety gear is a must!!

That was scary to watch! I am happy your son is ok :thumbsup:

Well I can't pull video. But glad to hear all is well.

That's why we buy the safety gear.

Well we will never know if the brace prevented injury or not, but, damage to brace is in my opinon conclusive that said brace absorbed severe impact forces which may have injured rider. Get that kid set up with  another brace and good luck!!!! Son been racing 6 yrs now, 3 broken helmets /2 broken Leatt's. PS all from large triple jumps, two collisions 1 air/1landing, one overshot. I believe in neck braces!

I can't see the vid. But having the brace designed to break like that (if thats the case) kind of says to me, "whats the point?" I think that the leatt is a bit too restrictive when it comes to left/right, backwards/forwards movement. With a helmet on a rider wont break their neck with that kind of motion. Compression is the real problem, and the Leatt seems like it stops that. Looks like Leatt agrees with that also, considering that they design it to break like that.

I can't see the vid. But having the brace designed to break like that (if thats the case) kind of says to me, "whats the point?" I think that the leatt is a bit too restrictive when it comes to left/right, backwards/forwards movement. With a helmet on a rider wont break their neck with that kind of motion. Compression is the real problem, and the Leatt seems like it stops that. Looks like Leatt agrees with that also, considering that they design it to break like that.

"The point" is that the brace is taking some of the force of the crash away from the rider...  That's like saying whats the point of water barrels on freeway exits if they break when someone crashes into them.

Edited by Steel Panther

I can't see the vid. But having the brace designed to break like that (if thats the case) kind of says to me, "whats the point?" I think that the leatt is a bit too restrictive when it comes to left/right, backwards/forwards movement. With a helmet on a rider wont break their neck with that kind of motion. Compression is the real problem, and the Leatt seems like it stops that. Looks like Leatt agrees with that also, considering that they design it to break like that.

Sorry you can't see the video. Is this unique to this video, or have you had issues with other videos as well? I want to fix it if people can't pull it down because this seems to be a type of crash that helps to put the utility of the brace in context. It seems to me that bending and ultimately breaking in the manner it did absorbed and spread out energy that would have been concentrated on the neck. I will post another version of the crash this morning.

with all due respect, this is why i wont let my kids follow there father into this sport.... too dangerous..

Can't view the video but looks like it did what it's supposed to! Hope everyone's okay!

Can't view the video but looks like it did what it's supposed to! Hope everyone's okay!

 

Just posted a link to YouTube to make it easier to see.  Thank you very much, and Liam is physically OK.  His equipment and bike are another story though, lol.

Just posted a link to YouTube to make it easier to see. Thank you very much, and Liam is physically OK. His equipment and bike are another story though, lol.

looked like it could if been alot worse! How's the bike? What's all the damage?

Just posted a link to YouTube to make it easier to see. Thank you very much, and Liam is physically OK. His equipment and bike are another story though, lol.

also I hate seeing these threads cuz I have two boys.. They both ride and the lest will begin racing next year! Just hope he can get confiden before going down so he doesn't give up!

with all due respect, this is why i wont let my kids follow there father into this sport.... too dangerous..

 

That is a monumental decision to make.  One I have been thinking about a lot for this past year.  The increase in capability (or perceived capability) is exponential.  

 

Liam got his first bike, a CRF100 on 8/29/2010.  Since then he has gone through a KX85, then a CRF150R/B, then a YZ125, and now a KX250F.  I had to double check to be sure that all happened in the last three years.  He didn't even race until last year.  Even if he had not been leading yesterday, there was no need for him to be on the gas so hard.  My advice is always safety first, keep it on two, and the goal is to have fun.  Winning is incidental.  Liam is a strong competitor in every sport he participates in, including football where he is a team captain, but there is a lot more room for error in football than there is on the track.  We all know this.  

 

I have been mostly lucky to identify and purchase what I consider to be top-of-the-line safety gear, and my son has been lucky to be wearing that gear in at least two potentially catastrophic crashes.  Both times he walked away without as much as a broken bone, and no concussions, but as I said to my wife last night when she asked why I was talking in my sleep, I just don't know how long his luck can hold out.  It wasn't until I saw what you see in the video that I was fully aware of the dynamics of that crash.  I was ready to put myself between him and the next bike, which is why the shot ends abruptly.  I know you shouldn't do that, but I was 10 yards away, so if he hadn't gotten up, it would have happened.

 

Of course he did get up, but his hand was bruised and his forks are twisted in the clamps, the rear fender is cracked in half and I don't even know what the sub-frame looks like.  

 

So this is the second shout out on TT for safety gear doing its job in my estimation.  I have documented two crashes that could have been a lot worse.  Not because I have a lot of time on my hands, and not because it's cool to talk about crashes, but because, like you, my title is Dad, first, and that title requires one ultimate primary responsibility for all of us.  My kids will all answer the question when I ask them:  "What is my #1 job?" each of them will say "To keep me alive."  Of course, my second job is to help them live, and nowhere is that balance tested more than in our sport.  There are huge benefits to motocross that would take pages to fill, as well as serious risks.

 

I am no prude thestuz, as I bet you aren't, either.  Crashes like my son had and worse happened all over the country this weekend.  At least one on the same track on the same day in my neighborhood, and I don't consider that track to be particularly risky.  I think it's OK for parents to say "no thanks!"  I also think it is imperative to think carefully about safety equipment as the FIRST budgetary consideration before buying a bike for a teenager, not an afterthought.  In other words, I did it the wrong way for a while and came around just in time.  Offering these posts is just a way to maybe pay it forward.  As for your decision and observation, you will get no argument from me.

Edited by Dragon67

I am glad to hear he is ok..When I was racing these neck braces were just coming out but nobody was wearing them so I dismissed them when buying all my saftey gear. I now will be purchasing one thank you for sharing. I started this sport when i was 8 and took my share of spills and of course parents would freak out, but am grateful they let me continue. My greatest memories are from my young track days.

 

Hope there are many safe races ahead :thumbsup:

Edited by suplol

Can't view the video but looks like it did what it's supposed to! Hope everyone's okay!

 

Thanks bud.  I appreciate your note.  I know Liam is OK.  As for the bike, it is broken in ways we could expect.  It did a few flips, so the front end is out and the rear fender is snapped in half.  Haven't done a full evaluation yet.  Those KXFs are robust machines, so I doubt it will be too expensive to fix.  

Glad Liam is ok, looks like he just caught that kicker at the top of the hill wrong and it spit him. I'm always an advocate for wearing as much safety equipment as you can. Whether it's pushing hard in a race or just cruising around, there can always be a surprise that pops up and gets you when you don't expect it. It's always good when you can walk away with only damaged equipment and not a damaged body.

Glad Liam is ok, looks like he just caught that kicker at the top of the hill wrong and it spit him. I'm always an advocate for wearing as much safety equipment as you can. Whether it's pushing hard in a race or just cruising around, there can always be a surprise that pops up and gets you when you don't expect it. It's always good when you can walk away with only damaged equipment and not a damaged body.

 

Thanks KJ.  I was looking froward to your review of the tape.  You experts make this stuff look so easy.  I hope to get your perspective on going forward at some point.  As I said at the track, Liam is beyond where I can teach him now.  Looked like you were having fun out there, by the way!  Turned out to be a great day.  Always appreciate your advice.  His performance in he whoop section is a direct result of that, BTW.  Thank you!

Dragon this is the 2nd time since I have been a TT member that I have seen you with well documented, personal crash reports. Thanks again for providing first hand technical and documented information for the community. 

When I was searching for neck braces (bought it initially with all my gear when I started riding this year) it was quite difficult to make the choice. There was tons of negative info about various brands, or braces in general. I have to come to realize there are pros and cons to them, but I would much rather ride with it. Seeing the way your Leatt gave way is a clear sign to me that a good idea. Not being a big jumper yet, it probably has less use to me....but you never know when I do something newbie and silly and get myself in trouble and it will come in handy.

 

Glad your son is safe and thanks for sharing again.

Dragon this is the 2nd time since I have been a TT member that I have seen you with well documented, personal crash reports. Thanks again for providing first hand technical and documented information for the community. 

When I was searching for neck braces (bought it initially with all my gear when I started riding this year) it was quite difficult to make the choice. There was tons of negative info about various brands, or braces in general. I have to come to realize there are pros and cons to them, but I would much rather ride with it. Seeing the way your Leatt gave way is a clear sign to me that a good idea. Not being a big jumper yet, it probably has less use to me....but you never know when I do something newbie and silly and get myself in trouble and it will come in handy.

 

Glad your son is safe and thanks for sharing again.

 

Thanks very much for that.  Glad you got a brace.  I hope to get a break from documenting crash experiences for a while, lol, but I hope others continue to do so if they have experiences to share.  No question we can help each other with anecdotal experiences.  Your comment means a lot.  Thanks again!

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