Chest protectors and kidney belts?

i wam planning on buying a chest protector and a kidney belt. what are the best most comfortable models of each? how much do they cost. i was also wondering if chest protectors and kidney belts are that important? i have seen lots of people riding with them and without them. any thoughts?

I have had several kidney belts over the years. The one I own now is similiar to the Kevco-Stubs. It is the kind many stores supply their employees with for back support. It does not use the plastic plate which digs into my back. As for chest protectors, I wear an Acerbis. I know HRP is supposed to be good, but I personally don't like the fit. I would recommend the clear type. You can show off your jersey then.

On a Saturday before a motocross race, I changed the oil on my CR250. With shorts and a t-shirt, I started it just for a quick jaunt to make sure everything was OK. I got carried away with the throtttle and ended up laying the bike down. I thought I broke my collarbone. I didn't. My acerbis would have prevented anything from happening. Yes, I swear by them. If nothing else, they make me feel more secure.

[This message has been edited by Kevin in New Hampshire (edited 04-09-2000).]

Ray, Personally I can tell you that I too would never ride with out a chest protector. I would consider a kidney belt optional. But as far as the chst protectors go I used to wear a MSR system 6. I loved that thing untill i went under a tree stretched across a river bed. Ripped it right off. The next one was a Acrebis Zoom plus (these are for large fellows) Although it has excellent protection, its too large for me...too restrictive. I just bought a Answer stylus and it seems very small, but very un-restrictive. Has floating shoulder pads (as most do nowdays) and you hardly notice its even on.

Ive only owned 3 chest protectors but I would go with the MSR, then the Answer, and then the Acerbis. Probably nothing wrong with the acerbis as long as you dont get the plus model. (that is if youre not a big guy)


Darin from Missouri WR400F Pro-Tapers, Applied TC, Clarke 3.3, YZ seat, Scotts Shark Fin, FMF PC IV S.A., One Industries Hannah Retro Kit, WER Steering Dampner,Pacemaker Computer, Andrews Powder Coating-painted gloss black

I have the Answer Edge protector. Well put togethor, and looks good. Saved my butt a few times. I like the mesh shoulder floating idea, it keeps me a little cooler. Good deal, and good protector. Just wear whatver you buy every time you go riding.

I where both anytime I ride or race.

I have an MSR system 6 kidney belt, it seems fine.

I have a Thor "After Shock" chest protector, I forget I have it on, unless I crash :) I think any of them are fine as long as they FIT YOU. So try before you buy :D


Chris in the Mojave

'98 YZ400F

Ray, I have a Thor chest protector and consider it mandatory gear. Example: Last month I went over the bars on a nightmare of a downhill. First, I landed on my head in nice soft rocks and gravel. Then, bounced onto my back and ribs further down the hill.

The gear is all scuffed up but it saved my skin and bones. Ribs still a little bit sore. Try all of them on before you buy one, many have pressure points and feel like they could be uncomfortable on a long ride.

I've got a kidney belt but never feel the need to wear it. Most guys ride with elbow guards, but I don't care for them.

I have a Thor kidney belt (most of my gear is Thor btw) and a MX-Fox chest protector of some kind. I chose it because I thought the webbing under the shoulder pads would allow it to cusion better in a fall than the others I looked at.


As already said, try different ones in motorcycle shops. Some fit bigger people, some smaller.

For my compact 5'8 frame the Fox Airframe is definitely the most comfortable. It is adjustable for bigger people also, so you might consider it whatever your size. Very comfy and well made.

Whatever you choose, wear it. Even on smaller crashes when you have rocks around, the chest protector can prevent a lot of pain.

BR Pasi

I use the FOX Yamaha Team chest protector. I have never ridin with one in my 30 years of riding. But now that I'm 40+ and have the mortgage and dependents. I have always used a kidney belt. I have a Gold Belt that is probably 20 yrs old, works fine. I've heard of people peeing blood after extended and rough riding.

Some say that it is hard to breath with a kidney belt, I don't and think that the alternative (wearing Depends before my time) sounds very good.

Sorry for being so graphic.

Knee pads are also cheap and offer excellent protection.

Bill in NC

I run a Fox Chest protector and a Moose Kidney Belt.

The most important factor is fit. If it doesn't fit right, you will either be miserable or won't wear it.

You should always wear as much padding as you can stand.

I wear something unusual. It is the "ballistic shock block" jersey from EVS sports protection. It is a mesh jersey with sewn in elbow, shoulder, chest, back (nice!) and built in kidney belt. Have used it for two years, still in perfect shape. The protectors are not plastic, they are softer yet firm material. Around $125 I believe

I just wear it over a t-shirt. It seems strong, I have hit trees, fallen in rivers, and endoed a few times, not to mention the washing machine. I have hit the ground hard enough that NOT wearing it would have been really painful. However the plastic ones probably provide a little better protection for high speed stuff or jagged rocks. I like it. Also it zippers up so you can unzip a little for venting-but it is mesh and doesn't impede airflow that much.

The chest protectors I have tried on seem to bind my arm movement too much, and dig into my neck. My guess is I tried on the crappy ones!

what about elbow pads are they ever needed or usefull?

Concerning elbow pads - I tried Fox elbow pads. They do a pretty decent job. You still feel some of the impact on hard surfaces. I also purchased some Rollerblade elbow pads - they are HEAVY DUTY. I have landed my elbow on rocks and didn't feel a thing. They may be a bit warm to wear, but that is a small price to pay for a banged up elbow. Besides they only cost about $16 (US) from a sporting goods store.

I just purchased a Fox Chest Protector and Fox Kidney Belt. I already had Fox elbow pads from mountian biking. I'm really happy with the equipment. I noticed that the padding in the shoulder areas was differant for each brand. Some had a mess that held the pads a few inches from your shoulders in a suspended way. The Fox protector has pads and it just sits on your shoulders. I liked that better. Good luck.



2000 WR

Ray you are going to have to see what's available in your area. I use a Dainess mesh outfit with a plastic armadillo style protector over the entire back. Since its like a mesh skivvy the pads, especially the elbow pads are in the right place when you need them and the whole lot goes on at once. Without it I'd be in a Wheelchair. If I'm riding "socially" I zip off the back protector. I could'nt wear it for two rides this summer ( 110 degrees in tight woods) and had only the skate type elbow guards on with a heavy fox shirt. If you ride hard you may eventually find that the kidney belt limits internal injuries a fair bit. I'v seen a jersey with soft padding sewn in, I covet one; it would be great for summer trail riding.

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