Dirt bike trail riding can be a lot of fun for any rider, but whats not fun is your bike getting damaged, or even worse, you getting injured. That is why there are many options and add-ons to protect you and your bike. Any rider that has hit a tree or another similar object while blitzing through dirt bike trails would have to agree that it hurts and they wouldn’t want to do it again (Unless of course you are on the show “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” and one of you ‘deadly’ stunts is riding a dirt bike over an off-road course). Anyway, protecting you and your dirt bike for riding on trails can save you some big money, especially if you “accidentally” tip over a lot. Don’t worry, these tips will help keep your bike in better shape in the end, and yourself as well if you choose to listen to me.
Protective Gear (For You)
The first thing to do before you go trail riding on your dirt bike is to buy protection gear for your body. Your bike may be expensive, but it’s much more beneficial if you save your own butt rather than the dirt bike. Remember, the bike is replaceable, you are not. At least not in this life you aren’t. The basic protective gear is obviously a DOT approved off-road helmet, a good pair of motocross boots, and some long clothes. Now to really protect yourself from all of those trees, rocks, roots, and other hard objects that you would hit when or if you fall on the trails, good body armor is the best protection you can get. Some people may say that they are very uncomfortable to wear, they are itchy and hot, or they’re just plain annoying to wear while riding handmade weed pipes. Most of those people probably have never even tried using one while trail riding, let alone even trying one on. Body armor/suits are good for any kind of riding because they are full upper-body protection and many come with kidney belts that help prevent too much back stress, which is somewhat common when dirt biking on trails because you sit down a lot. I use one when I go racing, trail riding, and when I ride my dirt bikes with friends, and I don’t really have anything to complain about. I use an EVS BJ22 Body Armour and will say that it was a good investment. I won’t go into too much detail about it, but will say that it is awesome protection. It doesn’t bother me much and it’s not extremely bulky. Fortunately this body armor has good ventilation and is still usable in hotter conditions without making me die from sweat. This suit comes with chest protection, shoulder pads, elbow guards, back-plate protection, and a kidney belt. If you want to give your upper body a break when you wipe out or hit something, try putting on some armor; your body will like it.
Another good protective piece of gear for trail riding is a neck brace/collar. This is another thing that is neglected, especially when riding on dirt bike trails. Most people that have one only use it when they ride on the track because that is usually the most dangerous type of riding. But if you are blazing through dirt biking trails there is a good chance of injuring your neck as well if you crash. I use an EVS RC2 Neck Collar and am glad I got it (Click here for a review that I made for this neck collar). It can save a neck injury or collar bone if you fall and land on your head or if your bike hits you. I always ride with it on and will say that I never notice it. The only time it restricts the head is when you turn and try to look backwards, otherwise it’s great protection with good comfort. Trust me when I say these will pay for themselves probably after one bad crash.
Protective Gear (For Your Bike)
Once you get all of the necessary equipment for yourself then you can start protecting your precious bike. Probably the most important part to protect on a two stroke dirt bike for trail riding is the pipe. The head pipe/expansion chamber can easily get damaged if you crash, especially if it hits rocks or other hard objects. A simple way to keep it from getting badly dented or cracked is by buying a pipe guard. Moose Racing has Pipe Guards and Pipe Armor that will fit almost every two-stroke dirt bike from 2000 to current. These will make your pipe last much longer than without having one. It’s a cheaper alternative than buying another new pipe, and they hardly add any weight to the bike.
Hand guards are one of the most popular dirt bike modification for trail riding because they protect your hands from hitting annoying trees, weeds, branches, and other objects in the woods that would hurt your hands. Acerbis makes many different Hand Guards for pretty much every off-road bike possible. They have many models with several colors to match your needs. If you want to protect your hands from roost and trees, you need some hand guards!
Acerbis also makes Front Disc and Rear Disc Covers to protect your brake rotors from getting damaged or bent from hitting rocks and other stiff objects on the trails. This is a cheap way to keep your brake discs/rotors safer and cleaner.
Moose Racing also makes Aluminum Skid Plates that will protect the underside of the engine and the frame. This is another common mod that trail riders do to their dirt bikes because logs and rocks can really do some damage to the under part of your bike. Stop the wreckage with a skid plate before it’s too late. They are light, easy to install, and don’t add bulk to your bike.
Radiator Guards can help prevent twisting and breaking of radiators that result in costly repairs or replacement. Devol Engineering has Aluminum Radiator Guards that will fit almost every name brand dirt bike with radiators out there. These Guards are a lot cheaper than buying new radiators and will increase the longevity of them.
Protecting you and your bike for trail riding is smart, it will save you money, and most likely a lot of pain. There are many more parts to add on to your bike to protect it, such as Upper Fork Guards, Counter-shaft Case Guard, Frame Guards, and more.