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Looking to upgrade my protective gear - Please help with suggestions!

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Hi everyone!  Brand-new rider here, 31 yrs old, with 10 hours on my YZ250FX.  I'm loving riding motos.  Strictly trails in SoCal so far (Gorman/Hungry Valley SVRA), looking forward to riding at Mammoth Lakes area and the veteran track at LACR MX this summer during red sticker season.  I've ridden almost every trail at Gorman and I'm feeling pretty comfortable and I ride with a group of long-time expert riders.

I purchased basic gear to start, and just went and bought better stuff once I realized how much I'm enjoying this sport.  I'd like to try to ride once a week at least all summer at the vet track.  Not really interested in jumping but as I get more confident on the bike, I'm sure it might happen.  Just need to stay in one piece because I surf and dive and work construction.

Just Upgraded to:

Troy Lee SE4 Helmet

Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots

I want to upgrade the following:

Fox Titan Pro Protection Jacket - love this for riding trails, and the secure feeling it gives me, but think it's going to be way too hot for summer riding, and I wonder if a leatt or alpinestars jacket (hard or soft) will be superior in general and/or for summer/track?

Fox Titan Sport Knee Guards - Don't have knee problems, don't want any, but these things are cheap and not comfortable, would like a better option.

Wrist guards? Thoughts?

FYI - I'm 5'8", 160#, skinny build.  Happy to spend the dough for the proper protection, not interested in cutting corners.

 

Thanks for all of your help!!!

Edited by 7raptor

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Hinged knee guards are great for comfort and protection. I have the EVS EPIC knee/shin guards and like them. There are other brands available that are similar. 

For warm/hot conditions, I don't recommend the "jacket" style chest protection. Check out something like the TLD 5955. I ride with it, keeps me fairly cool in the summer (over the jersey) and warm in the winter (under the jersey) offers great impact protection and, of course, there are other brands available that are similar. 

Also, consider a neck brace. I use the Atlas, there is of course Leatt as well. They both work well. If you buy a neck brace (or consider one) you need to think of which one you are buying when purchasing a chest protector. The TLD works with both brands and all styles, not sure if other CPs work with both brands and all styles.

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Find what works for you/your riding style.  I went through a *LOT* of gear before I figured out what I liked and what worked for me. 

Buy/try used gear first - get it cheap, if it doesn't work, sell it cheap.  Won't be out a ton of $ that way.  Forum classifieds/flea-markets are good for this. 

Also don't limit yourself to "just" motorcycle gear.  A lot of the equipment I wear on my motorcycle is for snowmobile/hockey/paintball/street-bike.

 

P9250162-L.jpg

MX helmet (also worn on snow)

Usually sunglasses on the moto, have a bunch of snowmobile goggles (dual-pane lens is really the only difference) if I decide to wear those. 

Tekvest/shoulder pads - snowmobile gear, but hands down the best (and most comfortable) chest protection i've worn

Paintball elbow pads - thin/light enough to prevent rock-rash in most tip-overs, comfortable enough to wear all day. 

Gloves are mesh street bike gloves.  These are nice on the sled too.

Hockey referee shorts - thinner/lighter than players pants, recommended by someone right here on TT

Knee pro - got a bunch of these... I like the bigger hinged-style pads.  Wearing Leatt Dual-Axis now, don't really care for them.  Used Thor Force in the past and liked them - heard they have a new design out that fixed some of the complaints with the older style.  Raced wearing hockey knee pads yesterday. 

Forma Enduro boots - hinged boot with ATV/work-boot-style soles. 

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8 hours ago, 6 Riders said:

Hinged knee guards are great for comfort and protection. I have the EVS EPIC knee/shin guards and like them. There are other brands available that are similar. 

For warm/hot conditions, I don't recommend the "jacket" style chest protection. Check out something like the TLD 5955. I ride with it, keeps me fairly cool in the summer (over the jersey) and warm in the winter (under the jersey) offers great impact protection and, of course, there are other brands available that are similar. 

Also, consider a neck brace. I use the Atlas, there is of course Leatt as well. They both work well. If you buy a neck brace (or consider one) you need to think of which one you are buying when purchasing a chest protector. The TLD works with both brands and all styles, not sure if other CPs work with both brands and all styles.

If you wear 3 pieces of equipment, helmet, neck brace and boots should be those 3. I have an Atlas, too, never ever get on the bike without it. Atlas makes 2 body protectors that integrate seamlessly with their neck brace, the Defender and the Guardian.

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Yes, the jacket style protectors can get hot if you wear them under your jersey.  I don't really know why but I feel the over the jersey protectors don't trap as much heat.  I also think having good shoulder protection is important because things like separated shoulders and broken collar bones are very common. I am going to get the Acerbis Cosmo.

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8 minutes ago, Vegemite_luva said:

Yes, the jacket style protectors can get hot if you wear them under your jersey.  I don't really know why but I feel the over the jersey protectors don't trap as much heat.  I also think having good shoulder protection is important because things like separated shoulders and broken collar bones are very common. I am going to get the Acerbis Cosmo.

Shoulder protection is maybe going to protect you from a bruised shoulder, but nothing will protect you from a broken clavicle.  You could have a suit of armor on and get a broken clavicle.  Its how you hit, no amount of protection short of a carload of bubble wrap will help, and that probably won't either.

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11 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Shoulder protection is maybe going to protect you from a bruised shoulder, but nothing will protect you from a broken clavicle.  You could have a suit of armor on and get a broken clavicle.  Its how you hit, no amount of protection short of a carload of bubble wrap will help, and that probably won't either.

but a neck brace can almost guarantee a broken collarbone...

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7 minutes ago, 7raptor said:

but a neck brace can almost guarantee a broken collarbone...

Lol nope. The only one that rests on the clavicles is the cheapo EVS. The Leatt and the Atlas rest on the pectoral muscles and the upper back muscles. Go to their websites and see for yourself.

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2 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Lol nope. The only one that rests on the clavicles is the cheapo EVS. The Leatt and the Atlas rest on the pectoral muscles and the upper back muscles. Go to their websites and see for yourself.

I think the debate is older styles vs newer. There sure have been some advances in the products which were delivered by some broken clavicles and, apparently, spines. I like my older (and first of its type) Omega.

OP, I think you are on the right track. I ride fast and take chances wearing pretty much what you have described. I've had to replace my pressure suit and knee protection after breaking the plastic guards (separate crashes) without lasting injury. Separated my shoulder before too but that is difficult to avoid when you crash wrong. Try to protect the parts that are hard to fix: spine, neck, head. Joints are hard to protect and soft tissue injuries are worse than broken bones by far but are tough to avoid. You didn't skimp on boots and that is good--feet and ankles take a beating. If you are a beginner you are probably already about as safe as you can make the sport. Sweat it out in your pressure suit--it will help avoid the small dings and dents. Get the neck brace if you want but spend most of your disposable income on fuel, tires, and sprockets. Learn to fall and you will avoid lots of injuries--eg: I have no use for wrist guards--don't fall on your hands.

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