If you like taking your motorbike off-road as well as on the road, you’ll understand that the right protective gear is essential. As much as your head is important when it comes to any activity on a motorbike (which is why you should look for SHARP-rated helmets), it’s equally important to wear body armour that can withstand extreme crash situations when racing. Some of this gear can be worn while you’re riding on the road if you want that extra protection, as it’s much more rugged than simply wearing your work clothes.
This article covers what you need to know before buying the right body armour for your requirements.
Buying the body armor: What to look for
- Shell material = polycarbonate is best
- Armguards should be removable
- Neck and shoulder areas must have padding
- An armour that is compatible with a neck brace
- Proper ventilation
- Good fit: adjustable shoulder and chest straps
- Multiple sizes and colours available
- Meets or exceeds required standards (EN 1621)
- It’s best to buy new from a reputable dealer because you don’t know what kind of harsh treatment secondhand equipment might have had
1: Alpinestars Bionic Action
Talk about an ergonomic design that has enough room for ventilation and is lightweight, and Alpinestars Bionic Action body armour is the benchmark. It has CE certified protection and is ideal for the physical demands of motocross.
Why choose Alpinestars Bionic Action?
It consists of a back protector developed in three waist-to-shoulder dimensions so that all the body sizes can be covered. It also comes with a removable upper back panel so that the armour is compatible with neck support gear. Excellent ventilation reduces your chances of overheating in the summer.
Shoulders, elbows, back, and chest protected via CE-certified material
- Adjust the fit of the back protector through a kidney belt
- For main frontal closure, there is an auto-lock YKK zip
- Elastane material to ensure proper breathability and shape retention
2: Fox R3 Roost Deflector
When it comes to chest protection for dirt biking, Fox takes a holistic safety approach. Being simple in design, the R3 Deflector is an entry-level roost and stone guard.
Why choose the Fox R3?
If you are someone who likes a lightweight yet strong armour with simple functionality, then R3 can be your go-to choice. Geared towards people who don’t like complexity, the R3 can be a good option for a cost-effective chest protector. But let’s not undermine the capability of R3 because of its simple design. In addition to allowing for a neck brace, the R3 has a great scope for ventilation and articulation.
Chest and shoulders.
Fox R3 features
- Waist elastic buckle for a better fit
- Shoulder and waist straps (adjustable)
- Low profile shoulder cups
Safety: Low-end CE14021 stone guard only
3. Leatt Chest Protector 3.5
It’s lightweight and comfortable. Weighing just 750 grams, Leatt Chest Protector 3.5 won’t tax your triceps as you’re taking the impacts through the bars and it provides good ventilation on hot days.
Why choose Leatt 3.5?
It has an impressive 3D layer and a multi-plate articulating design that offers the protection of the highest grade. The chest protector passes the new FIM regulations and comes with great ventilation and manoeuvrability. You can also use this product for downhill mountainbiking.
Chest and back protection.
Leatt 3.5 Features:
- Heavy-duty shell
- 3DF AirFit soft impact foam
- BraceOn neck brace fitting system
While choosing a good body armour for dirt bike racing, with so many options, you might get confused. That is why we did all the research and came up with the top 3 — possibly the best — body armour in the market.
The Alpinestars Bionic Action stands out above the other two options, albeit at a higher price due to the higher number of features. It is light, attractively designed and meets CE standards for protection.