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How to Choose The Best Dirt Bike Armour For Greater Trail Safety

Vic Womersley January 4, 2024

Dirt bike riding is an adrenaline-fueled adventure that demands skill, speed, and a fearless spirit. The importance of safety cannot be overstated. Have you ever wondered if you could go harder for longer with a little more protection? That’s where dirt bike armour comes into play. It’ll cushion a fall, stop any spills from turning into nasty accidents, and boost your confidence on trails.

We’ve already covered the importance of the essential dirt bike equipment. This blog takes a closer look at dirt bike body armour. We’ll explore the different elements and their role in protecting you. We’ll also cover the key features to consider when choosing the right gear. So before you straddle your machine for another epic adventure, check out which equipment you should don so you return unharmed.

Is dirt bike armour different from motorcycle armour?

In a word, yes. Dirt bike armour and motorcycle armour serve distinct purposes, tailored to the terrain they’re used for. Sure, both prioritize rider safety, but dirt bike armour is specifically designed for off-road challenges. It focuses on lightweight flexibility, so you can manoeuvre freely on demanding trails. Dirt bike armour gives you protection from obstacles like rocks, roots, and off-road spills.

On the other hand, motorcycle armour is for street riding. It leans towards heavier construction with an emphasis on impact resistance in high-speed crashes on paved surfaces.

Think of dirt bike armour as your agile protection in rugged landscapes. Motorcycle armour is your heavier and more durable protection against road-specific hazards, very hard surfaces and sharp edges.

Exploring the components of dirt bike body armour

Let’s unravel the protective layers that let you keep coming back for more thrilling off-road adventures. Each component plays a crucial role in shielding you from the challenges of the trail. We’ll go straight to the heart of the matter at the outset – chest protectors.

Chest protectors

Chest protectors are a fundamental component of dirt bike body armour. They’re also the most common protection found in motocross and enduro sports. You should wear them too. They’ll cushion your chest and protect vital organs from impacts, roost, and debris encountered during off-road escapades.

Look for a chest protector that’s the right size, a comfortable fit, has ample ventilation, and robust impact absorption. Broken ribs are no laugh and will keep you from the trails for months.

Elbow and Forearm Guards

Protecting your limbs is crucial. Elbow and forearm guards provide an additional layer of defence against falls and collisions that enduro and trail riders find invaluable. Look for guards with adjustable straps that give a personalised fit around your bicep and forearm. Guards made from durable materials can withstand the rigours of off-road riding so they protect you better and last longer.

Knee and Shin Guards

Your lower extremities are particularly vulnerable in dirt biking, making knee guards essential. If you wear longer adventure or enduro-style boots like we recommend when you come trail riding with us, shin guards may not be needed. Shorter boots make shin guards essential armour for trail riding.

Enduro and motocross riders are split on knee guards versus braces. Guards protect the outer knee which allows for greater movement. Knee braces offer better coverage and hold the knee joint steady, which is perfect if you’ve had a prior injury or have problematic knees. Their firmer, articulated design prevents torsional ligament strain, where your knee twists beyond its comfortable range, causing painful damage.

Whichever you choose, opt for a design that gives full coverage to ensure your knees and shins are shielded from rocks, branches, and impacts. Flexibility and ventilation are key considerations for comfort during extended rides.

Back Protectors

Your spine is a critical part of your anatomy, and back protectors are designed to minimise the risk of injuries. Back protection is worth serious consideration if you do a lot of downhill riding, technical trails or just ride harder and faster than the average trail rider.

Choose a back protector that offers a balance between flexibility and impact resistance. You want something that gives comprehensive coverage without compromising your ability to move freely.

Neck Braces

Some people swear by neck braces, others aren’t so keen. They’re optional but can add an extra layer of protection for your neck and collarbone. They are designed to reduce the risk of hyperextension and hyperflexion injuries during falls, meaning they stop your head from moving too far forward or back and breaking your neck. If you decide this is the protection you need, look for a neck brace with adjustable features to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.

Choosing the right dirt bike body armour

If body armour doesn’t fit well, it can’t protect you as well as it could. Finding the right fit, and best materials for the kind of riding and trails you tackle, and with enough ventilation to keep you cool on difficult tracks is essential for comfort and safety.

Fit and comfort improve safety

The effectiveness of body armour is closely linked to how well it fits. Look for gear that allows a full range of motion while fitting snuggly to your form. Try things on before you buy if you can. Adjustable straps and ventilation channels allow you to ensure armour doesn’t slip while riding. This contributes to comfort and safety during extended rides.

Material and durability for tough trails

Durable materials such as high-impact plastics, reinforced foam, and breathable fabrics are essential for reliable protection. Abrasion-resistant fabrics prolong the life of your armour and add a further layer of protection for your body. Check for CE certification, indicating that the gear meets European safety standards.

Ventilation keeps you cool

Off-road riding can be physically demanding. Even in cooler weather, you can expect to work up a sweat! Adequate ventilation is crucial to prevent you from overheating. Choose body armour with strategically placed vents that allow airflow without compromising protection or movement.

Ease of Maintenance

Getting mucky is part of the fun of dirt biking, but dirty gear will wear faster and need replacing more frequently. Choose body armour that’s easy to clean and maintain – no one wants to spend hours at the sink working mud and grime from protective clothing. Removable liners and washable components let you keep gear fresher easily so it’s always ready for your next adventure.

Dirt bike body armour is not just a nice to have, it’s a precautionary measure that gives you confidence and longevity in the sport. It’s a vital aspect of off-road riding that lets you push your limits without worrying about painful falls. As you gear up for your next dirt biking escapade, remember that your investment in quality body armour is an investment in your safety and enjoyment.


Phoenix Trails includes dirt bike armour for all riders on our trail riding days. Safety is paramount and helps you have more fun while riding. And our aim is to give you the most fun you can have off-road. You can book a trail riding experience with us knowing we’ve got you covered — literally!

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