Flak Jackets for Motocross

Ever since I got back into dirt bikes, or at least since my first serious soil sample, which was probably the first day I got back into dirt bikes, I’ve wondered why somebody didn’t sell or market something similar to the flak jaks worn by bull riders. This safety technology has also migrated into horse showing, my buddy’s wife rides dressage, whatever that is, and he says she wears a flak jacket for some parts of the competition.

I’ve cracked a few ribs here and there that I think would not have happened with that type of protection. I even considered buying one, but they are expensive.

Well it appears a company is now selling them for riding dirt bikes. Anybody heard anything about these guys?

Riding Armor

They are selling them for $295, which is a little cheaper than the last one I saw that was meant for a bull rider.

[ February 12, 2002: Message edited by: Hick ]

I have just gone through my second riding partner in a year due to broken collarbones and ribs. From what both of them tell me the ribs are incredably painful.

Trying to learn from their misfortune I have set out to protect myself a little better.

I looked around and ended up with lacrosse rib pads.


Like the side protection on chest protectors they ride down low not really covering your upper rib cage. I have modified them to ride high right under my arms and my chest protector covers the lower ribs.

You can see my other conversation on this at


The price of the rib pads was about $37.

The site is at http://www.lacrossegiant.com/098805155339.html

Hope this helps.

For 1/3 the price of relativly low tech bike riding gear you can get very protective hockey gear.

I too use hockey gear actually after someone here on TT suggested it last year. Here's a few examples of the shoulder/chest protectors. http://www.hockeygiant.com/senhocshoulp.html

Two things to note about these are the price (most are less than any of the big name MX offerings) and the protection provided. These things protect against a hockey puck traveling near 100mph. In comparison, my shoulder pads are much sturdier than the equivelent MX offerings. Notice the name on some of these!? Anyone remember when JOFA was familiar at a MX race?

Also a football item that may fit the bill here.


[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: dirtdad ]

[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: dirtdad ]

Hello all,

A visitor to our site who chatted with one of our online reps told us about this post. Considering our power sports models are new to the market I thought I would stop by and explain how and why our product works and is effective. If there are any other questions just post 'em and I will be glad to answer!

We have been in the protective gear industry for over 7 years, in fact, 80% of the vests you seen worn in the PBR are our vests. Over the years we have saved many lives and prevented countless injuries. It was a natural progression to take this same technology to the power sports arena. I should point out BTW, that this was not simply a marketing move. Our CEO had a ride ending crash from copping more air than he could handle on landing, our VP of Marketing has been a Harley rider for over 30 years, and as for myself (VP of Operations) I ride dirt like the rest of the good folks here. Let there be no mistake, broken ribs HURT! Been there done that...

In any event, the vests have been redesigned and re-tested for the power sport market, in fact, they are 20% more effective than the bull riding version. The technology works like this: There are 3 main internal layers to the vest , two of which are duplicates. The first layer is a ballistic material (SpectraShield to be precise) which is molded to a high density foam. The Kevlar threads of the SpectraShield take the initial impact and transfer that energy around a greater area of the vest, not unlike ripples in a pond. That energy is dampened by the high density foam bound to the SpectraShield layer. That process is repeated through an identical second layer which again spreads the impact energy to an even larger part of the vest. The final and remaining impact energy is then absorbed through a thicker thermo-molded foam. The impact energy transferred to the rider is significantly reduced from what it originally was thus helping to prevent (within reason) broken ribs, shattered organs, etc. This is why the bull riders you see being stomped by a 2000 lb animal get up, brush the dust off, and walk away. The bottom line here is, flak jackets, bullet proof vests, and even to some extent hockey gear, are designed to take a low mass, high velocity impact and prevent penetration. This does not transfer any of the impact energy, which is precisely why people that are shot wearing bullet proof vests have horrendous bruising. Our product takes a high mass, low velocity (in relative terms to say, a bullet) and redistributes the impact energy. It is this type of protection that a rider ultimately needs in avoiding season ending injuries.

I hope this is helpful to anyone that may be interested in our products, and I should also mention that we are shortly going to release a mesh version for wear underneath your race jerseys.

Any place we can look at pictures?

Just my thoughts but it seems like a vest would be hot as .. well, pretty warm. :)

The mesh idea sounds neat though...


Hi Merf,

On our site (www.ridingarmor.com) just click on the Powersports button. There will be more simplistic designs to follow. Personally, I live and ride in Utah, and as you can well imagine it gets a bit warm in the desert in the summertime. Because the vest tends to hold it's form it allows for substantial airflow between the vest and the rider. All things have a trade off, and it is warmer than say your average roost protector but then again I sweat a lot in my helmet too but I don't intend to ride without it LOL..

Nice site, but umm, I'll have to surf from home. The background music is a little obvious for work... thanks for the info..


From what I understand, the vests worn by bull riders arent as much for the protection of the impact of a fall, but form being stomped on by a 1500+ pound bull. I may be worng. One side affect is you have limited moveoment with these vests. I jsut say DONT CRASH! LOL. easier said than done, huh? My intput.


Originally posted by YZ400Court:

For 1/3 the price of relativly low tech bike riding gear you can get very protective hockey gear.

I wouldn't call Kevlar low tech.

I am using a TekVest, well-made and has saved my body many times. highly recommended I don't motor cross but do a lot of trail riding. Plus has room for a water bottle. TEKRIDER.COM

Check these guys out........ Clic Here!!!! :)

or these guys MX SOUTH EVS BJ3 Flack :)


[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: THUMPIN' ROCK HUCKER ]

Originally posted by Hick:

I wouldn't call Kevlar low tech.

Yeah, I have Kevlar patches on my pants and gloves, but my chest protector (Acerbis) is just plastic and nylon. I do ride with a cop, and he wears his bulletproof vest...now thats hi tech :)

Has anybody tried the riding armour or the Evs ballistic jersey? I just started riding again after a bad crash last fall (haha no pun intended!!). I decided that since I have two small children and a wife that depend on me for support, I wont take as many chances while riding and wear some more protective gear (plus I upped my long term disability to age 65!). So far the only piece of protective gear that I added to my every ride inventory is a neck suppot collar. Ive ridden with it twice and so far it has not bothered me. I typically ride with:

Helmet & goggles (of course)

neck support

chest protector

elbo pads

gloves & acerbis rally pro handguards

mx pants

plastic knee pads

mx boots (soon to be tech 8's)

I realize that my fox chest protector is primarily designed as a roost deflector and if the riding armour or the Evs ballistic jersey really does provide superior protection, I would wear one religiously as I have been poked in the ribs by footpegs, tree branches and "side impact roost" while wearing the chest protector. Any info on this gear would be highly appreciated.



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