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Motocross & Dirt Bike Body Armour

No matter your riding habits and goals, from professional track racing to fun rides on the weekend, wearing the proper protective equipment is essential to keep you safe. While defensive riding tactics are an excellent way to prevent accidents and crashes, you need to be prepared if those preventative tactics do not work. 

The most prominent piece of protective gear is a motocross helmet. While these are immensely important, they are not the only piece of equipment you'll need. Motocross body armour is designed to protect exceptionally vulnerable parts of your body, such as your ribs and kidneys. Therefore, MX body armour is a worthy investment if you will be riding quickly and frequently.

There are various styles and features for MX body armour, so making sure you know what you are looking for in advance is ideal to ensure the quality of your investment in such gear. This guide will walk you through some of the different styles, uses, and features of dirt bike body armour.


Why is Motocross Body Armour So Important?

The importance of MX body armour cannot be overstated. Accidents can sometimes be out of our control, but wearing gear to lessen the seriousness of such events is entirely within our control. Investing in quality motocross body armour is an investment in protection against potentially debilitating accidents. 

The type of MX body armour you buy will depend on your specific preferences and needs. On that note, here is a list of some different features to keep in mind and some top brands in the industry:


Armoured Vests

A popular option among both amateur and professional riders is armoured vests. These types of motocross armour are designed to snugly but comfortably fit over your torso to protect your chest, back, and flank areas. Motocross vests are typically designed with ventilated foam padding that acts as a shock absorber in the case of impact. Additionally, hard shell coating areas are strategically placed throughout such that flexible movement is still achieved but can absorb force in accidents. Leatt and Thor both offer high-quality armoured vests. 

Also worth keeping on your radar are some options that come with removable bicep, arm, and shoulder guards. These types of MX body armour might be more pricey and bulky but also add another facet of protection. 


Kidney Belts 

Kidney belts, also known as body belts, provide several benefits while riding. Firstly, wearing a kidney belt gives you extra lumbar support while on your bike and acts as an extra layer of coverage in the event of a crash. Typically made with foam, kidney belts help to absorb force around your abdominal and lower back regions in crashes - which can do a lot to prevent serious injuries such as internal bleeding. The frames are typically elastic and flexible, allowing you to lean and turn as you please while riding. While kidney belts can come with several additional features, Thor offers a high-quality, reasonably priced option that will most likely do the trick. 


CE and EN Safety Ratings

As you are looking for the proper MX body armour for you, it may be good to keep an eye out for indications of the safety rating associated with that piece of gear. There are two commonly used rating systems that you will likely run into throughout your shopping. You will see a CE rating system for brands that offer MX body armour in global markets. CE means Conformite Europeene (European Conformity) and has been used for this gear since the early 1990s. Most relevant organisations and institutions in the MX world use these standards as safety gear guidelines. 

While you are shopping for dirt bike body armour, keep these safety ratings in mind and check with what ratings may be required at the track you plan on riding at. Sometimes an explicit safety rating is not needed, but often individual tracks will dictate what quality of gear riders are required to wear. 

It will also be helpful to know what CE safety ratings mean if you decide to purchase MX body armour satisfying these standards. The safety rating symbol will contain information about what body part that gear protects if tested at extremely high and low temperatures (since temperature directly impacts the material's performance) and an overall protection score. For CE ratings, 2 symbolises the highest level of protection. 


Available Features

While the ability to absorb force in the case of a crash is built into most high-quality motocross body armour, there are also some other features that you can find from brands such as Leatt and Thor. A few are listed below:

  • Brand-specific safety ratings
  • Hard shell made from high-density polyethylene
  • Multi-layer designs
  • A mesh base layer
  • Removable bicep covers

As you can see, various features are available for you to pick and choose from. It is recommended to try out different designs and styles to decide what features best suit your needs.


Be Prepared With Safety-Rated Motocross Body Armour

The big takeaway from this should be that wearing safety-rated motocross body armour may not be explicitly required. Still, it is a great way to protect yourself from significant injuries or death. Nobody plans a debilitating accident, but factors outside your control can lead to a crash. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be prepared for the worst by doing what you can control - wearing protective motocross body armour.

Finding the proper motocross body armour can be a bit overwhelming. Choosing between high-quality brands that provide slightly different features on each piece is challenging. But, no matter what you choose, you can ensure that significant research, development, and safety testing went into engineering the gear you are searching for. Be sure to reference this guide and look for top brands like Leatt and Thor while shopping for MX body armour.

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