As a rider new to the sport, purchasing dirt bike gear can not only be confusing but also costly to your wallet and health if you were to make the wrong decision. We are here today to let you know the top 5 mistakes that beginner riders make so you can get a head start towards riding comfortably, and safely.
Not Purchasing Boots
The most common mistake I see new riders make is purchasing equipment such as jerseys and pants before the essential protective gear. Yes, the jerseys and pants may be made specifically for motocross and we definitely condone purchasing them. Although, you must take safety into consideration first.
Helmets may be a ‘no-brainer’, but it’s astonishing to see so many riders with an expensive race kit and no boots. Motocross boots give you the support that is necessary to withstand the sudden twists and impacts that occur to the foot during a motorcycle tour. Broken ankles are not fun, and the risk drastically decreases with the use of proper protection.
The boots don’t have to be the most expensive on the market to give you ample protection. Any motocross or enduro specific boot will do the job just fine while introducing yourself to the sport. To further increase protection to the leg and knee, I would strongly recommend purchasing knee braces. To most, they may seem like something you wear after an injury, but they’re actually made to eliminate the likelihood of knee damage before it happens.
A Poorly Fitted Helmet
Purchasing a poorly fitting helmet is an extremely common mistake that you will see beginner riders make when buying their first lid. We see people do this for several reasons, such as; “I’ll grow into it”, or “It’s a great deal!”.
These are valid statements but it is crucial to avoid any helmet that does not fit you perfectly. When manufacturers develop a helmet, they develop it with the intention of providing protection to the appropriate-sized rider. Although it’s much safer than riding without a lid at all, a helmet that is loose or too tight will take away from the helmet’s overall protection.
If it’s too loose, your helmet will leave a gap that will allow your head to move upon impact, offsetting some of the technology that protects you. If your helmet is too tight, you will find yourself with uncomfortable headaches after and during your trail riding tour, a high risk of biting your cheek/tongue while crashing, and with bothersome pressure points throughout.
If you are unaware of how a helmet should fit, we suggest you do your research or just ask for assistance in store. Many websites will offer a size chart so you can order a product knowing it will fit.
Not Selecting the Right Gear for Your Discipline
Choosing gear specific to your discipline is easily overlooked but can save your life in the long run. If you’re a motocross racer, you will be looking to buy a lightweight, highly ventilated set of gear to withstand your long sessions. But if you are planning to sign up for an enduro tour where you will be brushing by tree limbs, falling on rocks, and attempting hill climbs like Graham Jarvis, you may want to look into an enduro-specific option.
Enduro lineups are designed for durability and longevity as the first priority. Although these gear sets may be lacking some of the weight and ventilation features that your high-end motocross gear will have, they will help ensure that you’ll be coming out of your ride day comfortable and without having to replace anything.
You may be asking; “why should I purchase motocross specific gear if it’s more expensive and less durable?” Well, high-end motocross specific gear will be undoubtedly the most comfortable set of bike gear you can purchase. The breathability, lightweight, and advanced moisture wicking materials will suit the hot days on the track perfectly. It may not be as durable as enduro gear, but that’s not to say it’s not extremely tough and can withstand any day on the track.
Getting Gear That Doesn’t Fit You
All too often we will see riders with gear that does not fit them properly. To avoid this mistake, there are a few extremely important factors to consider when it comes to gear sizing to ensure a comfortable ride:
When purchasing pants, waist size, leg length, and knee room are the 3 main factors you should take into consideration. A waist too tight may result in serious discomfort whilst riding; a waist that is too loose can fall down and be a massive distraction when out on the track. Luckily, brands offer a variety of adjustment features that can fine-tune the perfect fit.
You’ll need the legs to match your waist. Pants that are too long for you will bunch up in your boot and cause you pain when riding. Several motorcycle gear companies offer regular and short options to avoid this from happening.
If you are a rider who wears knee braces or knee pads, it is necessary that you purchase pants with ample knee room for them to fit. If your pants are too tight around the knees, it will limit maneuverability or hurt you while seating.
Choosing the right jersey is a much simpler process. If you’re going to wear a chest protector underneath, allow enough room to keep the shirt tucked and the sleeves short enough to not interfere with your grip.
Buying Uncomfortable Gear
The worst mistake you can make while buying motorcycle gear as a beginner is purchasing equipment that’s not comfortable. Some riders will even avoid wearing protection because it is uncomfortable, so make sure that when you invest, you invest in the gear that you will like to wear every ride. Always remember to be safe!