The Essential Protective Gear for MX Riders

Essential Protective Gear for Motocross Racing, also known as MX Riding, demands motorcycles be ridden at high speeds over rugged terrain with jumps and turns. It’s exhilarating but also very physically dangerous. That’s why wearing proper protective equipment from head to toe is vital. This article outlines the critical gear that amateur and professional MX riders trust to prevent severe injuries on the track.


The most essential protective gear is a motocross-specific helmet. These helmets prioritize lightweight protection to shield them from potential impacts at any angle. Key features include an aerodynamic, durable composite shell with shock-absorbing EPS foam and a removable/washable liner. Proper ventilation from vents and channels keeps air flowing inside. Popular styles are open-face, modular, and full-face. Ultimately, the helmet must flexibly move with your head but not shift in a crash. High-quality examples tested to handle impacts are the A-1 Roost and A-10 youth helmets from Alpinestars. Click Here to see our top motorcycle helmet

Jerseys and Chest Protection

Jerseys must keep riders cool via moisture-wicking fabrics that resist tears and protect the upper body. Many have stretch panels between shoulder blades for flexibility and rigid plastic plates covering the chest, back, elbows, and shoulders. Some jerseys integrate a front neck brace for additional protection from downward-angled crashes. Alpinestars‘ Lineage Jersey has strategic stretch fabric zones and removable CE-certified BioArmor foam padding in critical areas, making it great for varying riding conditions.

Riding Pants

The legs deserve similar handling as you grip the motorcycle during cornering, plus fast riding can lead to spills. MX pants reinforce specific zones like the knees, hips, thighs, and tailbone, which will likely make ground contact first. Many pants combine leather, textile fabrics, and mesh paneling for durability, flexibility, and ventilation. Others incorporate removable foam hip and knee pads to better absorb riding impacts. Leading examples are the redesigned Comp WR-V pants, which have new ripstop stretch textiles, removable hip pads integrated into belt loops, and snap-in knee braces from Alpinestars.  


MX gloves protect riders’ hands from abrasions or crushed fingers during crashes and spills. Key glove features include knuckle shields, padded wrist support, touch screen compatibility fingertips, plus reinforced palms/fingers using kangaroo leather or similar durable synthetics with plastic sliders. Ventilation, flexibility, and grip enhance control and comfort. Check out the Techstar factory gloves by Alpinestars, which have dual-density padding, Kevlar paneling, and silicone fingertips for the ultimate feel and function.

MX Boots   

When riding conditions get gnarly, motocross boots keep feet and ankles supported and guarded. Stiff, reinforced soles support arches and shins while avoiding buckling during accidents. Many boots have integrated shin, toe, heel, ankle cups, and buckles/ratchet straps for a tighter seal around the calves. Alpinestars’ Tech 7 Enduro MX boots are leading examples, with medial/lateral support blades integrated into the sole, a poly-fabric gaiter, and a unique lacing system that keeps debris outside.      

Riding Gear Must-Haves

To recap, head-to-toe protection is essential for MX riding, with helmets being essential, followed by jerseys, pants, gloves, and boots specifically engineered for motocross conditions and crashes. Within each gear type, prioritize equipment with strategic reinforcements using impact-resistant materials, both rigid and flexible enough to withstand falls. Ergonomic designs with adequate venting and secure fit kick protection levels are even higher. Investing in the proper riding gear keeps your focus solely on enjoying the fantastic thrill that is motocross!

Essential Protective Gear FAQ:

Are neck braces also required for essential protective gear?

While less common, leading neck braces like the Atlas Air provide supplemental front-to-back cervical support and are recommended for higher-risk maneuvers.

Can MX gear be used for off-road riding too?

The protective qualities prioritized in motocross gear make them suitable for off-road enduro and trail riding, though casual dirt biking requires less reinforcement.

How often should you replace MX gear? 

General guidelines are replacing helmets every five years and boots after two years, with other gear pieces lasting 3-4 years, though inspect closely each season for cracks/damage and replace as needed.

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