Must-Have Dirt Bike Trail Riding Gear

Don’t let a lack of the right gear or discomfort ruin a great day of trail riding. Our team of...

December 19, 2017

Don’t let a lack of the right gear or discomfort ruin a great day of trail riding. Our team of experts curated this list of essential gear for your next dirt bike trail ride.

  • Helmet – Let’s dispense of the obvious first. A high-quality, properly fitting helmet may be costly, but so is a catastrophic head injury. Don’t skimp on protecting the only brain you’ll ever have. Invest in a good helmet.

  • Goggles – Along the same lines, buy a good set of goggles. They keep the mud, dirt, bugs and other debris out of your eyes. You don’t want your lasting memory of an awesome ride to be the two days afterward you spent rubbing your red, irritated eyes. Don’t forget to use tear-offs, which help prevent scratches on the lens and can keep your vision clear if you get mud on your goggles.

  • Gloves – Lean toward a pair that fits as tightly as possible while still being comfortable. You don’t want excess fabric building up at your fingertips and interfering with your ability to adjust your chin strap, straighten your goggles or feather your clutch.

  • Boots – Trail riding exposes you to downed trees, brush, branches, boulders and other obstacles that love to jump up and whack you across the feet and shins. Protect your feet and lower legs with good boots.

  • Knee braces – They can get expensive, but so can knee surgery. A good set will help avoid serious injury in a crash. They’re especially helpful if you’ve had a previous knee injury. If the cost of knee braces scares you off, at least consider knee guards, which offer some protection from branches and other blunt objects.

  • Chest protector – It protects you from roost, low-hanging branches, brush and other hazards. AMSOIL Mechanical Lab Technician Ben Grembowski uses a KLIM Tek Vest. It’s strong enough to protect a downed snocross rider from being punctured by a track stud if run over. It has plastic panels made from ultra-high-molecular-weight material, which is eight times more cut resistant than HDPE plastic. “It’s definitely a little warm on hot days, but there is nothing that protects better,” Grembowski said.

  • Neck brace – Like a good helmet protects your head, a neck brace protects your neck in the event of a crash. Former Northern Series Women’s Class Champion Samantha Larderer swears by her Leatt-brand neck brace when she’s riding.

  • Jersey and pants – Some riders think a pair of riding pants and a jersey are just for show, but try a set and you’ll likely change your tune. They provide excellent range of motion and protection in wet environments. Lean toward a set made from breathable fabric and with vents to help keep you cool on hot days.
  • Hydration pack – You’re going to work up a thirst riding, and you have no time to pull of the trail and take a swig from a canteen every few minutes. Plus, a hydration pack offers a little room to store snacks or tools.

  • Hand guards – Get whacked in the hands or on the handlebars one time with a branch and you’ll understand the importance of protecting yourself and your bike from branches. Not only does it hurt, it can throw you off balance. AMSOIL Mechanical Lab Technician Ben Grembowski uses a set of full-wrap handguards from G2 Ergonomics.

  • Tool set – Riding takes a toll on your bike, and it often comes to bear when you’re far from home. Pack a small tool set with Allen wrenches, a tire-repair kit, sockets and wrenches. A spare spark plug is also a good idea.

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