No matter the dirt bike and no matter your age, the right dirt bike gear is essential for your safety. There is a lot of safety gear on the market, but if you are just starting out, you should know the answer to the question, “What is the must have dirt bike gear?” This is especially important when you have a limited budget and can’t buy everything on the market!
From lots of off-road riding since the age of 4, here’s my take on the dirt bike gear that I don’t leave home without.
Dirt Bike Helmet
Absolute Number 1 in my books, without a doubt, is good quality, well-fitting dirt bike helmet. Whether you are a beginner buying your first helmet or an experienced rider purchasing a replacement, there are some key factors to consider.
Well-fitting: Your dirt bike helmet needs to fit snuggly (it will almost feel tight) on your head. Make sure you size it correctly. A helmet that can move around on your head is not safe at all.
Safety rating: There are several different ratings for helmets in the USA. The most common are DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation standards), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe standards), and SNELL (Snell Memorial Foundation standards). When you buy a helmet, you are buying it to keep your head protected. So choosing a helmet that meets one of these standards gives you confidence that it will do the job you are buying it for. And the more standards a helmet meets, the better.
Helmet weight: The weight of a dirt bike helmet does vary. Especially if you are buying a helmet online, make sure you check the weight and compare it to other similar helmets to see that you are not surprised by the weight of the helmet when it arrives on your doorstep.
Ventilation: If a helmet does not have good ventilation, the rider will sweat much more. Make sure the helmet you choose has multiple vents. Most of the better-certified helmets will easily fit the ventilation criteria.
Dirt Bike Boots
Although they are often a little pricey, dirt bike boots are a great investment as they provide support to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. If you are a first time rider, boots can feel a little bulky, but you do get used to them, and the protection benefits outweigh the inconvenience. A new pair will also ‘wear-in’ over time and you will become more used to them.
Fit: Make sure you get a pair that fit well. Just like shoes, a badly fitting pair of dirt bike boots can cause more problems than benefits. As sizing does vary, dirt bike boots are best to try on or buy a pair that you can return if they don’t fit.
Protection: Other than the support they provide, I’ve given up counting the number of times my boots have protected my legs and feet from sticks, rocks, and grazes. I wouldn’t be without them.
Weight: It’s also worth noting that there is a difference in the weight of motocross boots. Although the purchase is primarily for safety, make sure you choose a pair that isn’t too heavy, as no one wants to ride around with dead weights on their feet.
Dirt Bike Body Armor
Body armor provides all-round great protection to the chest and upper body and is an essential part of any dirt bike kit. Fitted body armor suits will protect the rider’s chest, arms, elbows and shoulders.
The chest protection on my fitted body armor has saved me multiple times from branches stabbing into my chest when riding through forest trails. In the event of coming off the bike, it’s better to have extra protection between yourself and the ground. Even if you find full body armor too bulky, it’s definitely worth getting a roost guard (under jersey protector) at a minimum.
Dirt Bike Gloves
Dirt bike gloves are a necessary item if you are riding a dirt bike. When you fall off a bike, the first instinct is usually to put your hands out to prevent the fall. And I wouldn’t want to be doing that without good sturdy dirt bike gloves. Gloves also prevent scratches from vegetation if you are riding through the bush.
Fit: Choose a pair of dirt bike gloves that fit well. It’s difficult to grip the handles well if the gloves are too big. If they are for a child, then allow a little bit of growing room, but not too much.
Construction: Choose gloves that are made of durable, sturdy material. Extra knuckles protection is also useful. The material should not tear easily but also needs to breathe well so that the rider’s hands do not sweat too much.
When you are looking at protecting yourself or a loved one who is riding a motorcycle, it’s important to buy good quality safety gear. At least start with a good helmet and boots. I would add body armor and gloves and then if you have some money left over, there are many other items that can be purchased.
About the Contributor
Ever since riding my first mini bike at age 4, I have always loved motorbikes. So much so that I turned my passion into a website to share my love of motorbikes with others. www.kidsdirtbikehub.