Protections and safety on off road

02 November 2021

We will start by defining what the “off road” modalities are, if we follow the strict definition of the word “off road” we would be talking about any use of our motorcycles off the asphalt. Although that definition falls short and very unspecific.

There are those who speak of off road to refer to any motor sport off the asphalt such as: trial, raids, enduro, motocross … Competitions or training in specific areas for it, where what is sought is the emotion of feeling the earth under our wheels and developing our skills on two wheels.

But there are people who speak of off road as an off-road option to enjoy the freedom of riding a motorcycle through uncontrolled areas, an option, in turn, illegal in Spain, a detail that adds adrenaline to the matter.

Whatever our definition of off road we must be clear about one thing, that to enjoy and not get more scares than we already expect we must be responsible and dress and equip ourselves correctly.

The motorcycles within this discipline are divided according to whether they are for enduro, motocross or trial. According to each modality we will need different protections and clothing, sometimes similar, but specific. The dangers that we will find in a motocross race where we share the track with a good number of other riders are not the same as the inconveniences of climbing through wet rocks in a trial area.

Clothing and protections for Trial

Trial is a type of motorcycling that seeks to develop the rider’s ability to overcome obstacles without getting off the motorcycle.

It can be practiced in many places such as mountains, indoor or outdoor trial areas, streams, rocky areas, etc., all spaces dedicated to trials have one element in common: the risk of falling.

Therefore, even if we are not going to run at high speeds with our trialeras we must be careful with our body and protect it from a bad fall or some dangerous movement. With adequate safety equipment we do not have to have any great risk.

Helmet: Obviously! No movement on a motorcycle, whatever its use, can do without our knight errant, which is the helmet.

Trial helmets are usually made of three types of materials: fiberglass, polycarbonate and ABS thermoplastic. Fiberglass is the most chosen material for professionals due to its lightness and resistance. Thermoplastic is the most resistant component although somewhat heavier and polycarbonate is the cheapest because it also has a shorter shelf life. We must never forget the latter, there is much talk about the homologation of helmets, but we must not overlook that our helmet also has an expiration date and its effectiveness after that date will no longer be what we need.

The structure of the trial helmets is open helmet, never integral. The lower part of these is completely open while the upper section is made up of two hard layers with various openings for good ventilation.

Helmets for trial practice must be light and provide great visibility, since the rider must be able to pilot the motorcycle with the maximum panoramic view to see all the details of the terrain.

Polystyrene is usually the most common material for padding, although some high-end helmets also have interior padding to improve pilot comfort.

The visor of trial helmets is adjustable to protect our eyes from natural elements such as the sun, branches, rocks or stones.

The best known brands are Hebo, Mots and Airoh and among them the world trial market is divided with quality helmets suitable for all types of pockets.

The boots: The market for trial boots is very varied since each brand uses different patterns, with a different last, what they have in common is that we are talking about mid-calf boots, which should offer us safety in shins, ankles and feet. , and also durability.

The latter must be taken into account, since boots are a relatively expensive part of the equipment, but it is worth the cost since the price is based simply on the material from which they are made, there are leather or microfiber boots ( the most recommended) but there are also plastic ones that obviously give perspiration problems and have lower benefits.

We must also observe its tightness and waterproofing since sometimes we will cross through areas with rivers or mud and we will even have to stand in the water to check the terrain.

The sole is another important point, trial boots differ from other boots because they have rubber soles with enough grooves to be able to have a good grip in the case of putting the foot in a rocky or slippery area.

If you are a beginner and just want to try, you can opt for some econ boots omics, but trust me, good leather boots can last you for many years and are worth it in my opinion.

The shirt: Trial shirts are usually made of Polyester fabric, which is a very light and breathable material, with long sleeves to protect us from time and nature.

On our website you will find many models made of 100% polyester with micro-perforations for optimal breathability and quick drying. Straight sleeves cut with a perfect fit on the upper body. With ribbed collar and cuffs giving a better fit so as not to disturb driving. Our garments are printed by sublimation that makes them easy to wash and dry and also 100% customizable made in Barcelona.

https://sorra.es/en/product-category/man/trial/tees-factory/

Back protectors: The back protectors for trials were only recently an option, now their use is fully extended and recommended by motorcycling federations.

Formerly the protections were made of plastic, but now they are made of flexible and absorbent materials, they are made with breathable materials and finished with silicone, placed on breathable vests and thus they remain tight and do not move or slide.

We can also buy a frontal protector for the chest and some brands make semi-attached protectors for the back and chest. You can even buy protections for shoulders and elbows already.

https://sorra.es/en/product-category/man/trial/vests-trial/?product_cat=protections

Pants and knee pads: Trial pants must be above all comfortable. That said, we must look for flexible garments, since it is a garment that fits the body, which allows us total freedom of movement.

They are usually made up of polyester and lycra, with polyester being a more breathable material.

Inside the pants we must put on knee pads to protect ourselves from any blow since the knees are a very delicate point.

On our website you will find the best-selling trousers in the world of trials due to its 90/10 4-way stretch fabric, with our trousers we also include EN 1621-1: 2012 homologated knee pads made in Germany. Our equipment is resistant to any type of impact, self-deformable according to higher ambient or body temperatures. Inside of the pants in the area of ​​friction with the motorcycle, finished with high resistance Nylon so that the seams do not open with use. And like all our products 100% made in Barcelona.

https://sorra.es/en/product-category/man/trial/trial-pants/

Gloves: Although in the past, gloves were not used in trials because the first pilots said that gloves reduce touch, this is history. Modern trial gloves are thin and protect without taking away the touch we need.

The fabrics used are neoprene and other very flexible modern materials.

The gloves that we use must be comfortable and that we do not even feel that we are wearing them. The choice of size must be appropriate, not too tight so as not to force the seams of the fingertips.

On the upper part of the gloves there are protections that are never too thick so as not to limit the clutch travel. Velcro is the closure that eases its adjustment the most.

Motocross clothing and protections

Motocross is the type of motorcycling that consists of competing at speed on dirt terrains in the open air, with all kinds of obstacles such as mud, unevenness, jumps, etc.

It is a discipline with a very demanding physical level. Training in Motocross is a very complete exercise and can give us many skills that will give us many resources to adapt to any situation, also for when you go on the road.

This type of motorcycling has many dangers due to the terrain where it is practiced, the speed and the number of pilots.

Helmet: As we have already said, this modality is tough, so the choice of helmet is very important.

Motocross helmets are integral, hard and light at the same time. First you must assess the material of which the outer shell is composed, the material will make us vary the price a lot, but also the level of protection.

Carbon fiber is one of the hardest and lightest materials, in addition to having impact absorption capacity, they can also be made of fiberglass, aramid or polycarbonate.

The interior must properly absorb impacts, this is achieved by the interior layers with their different foam densities. Some helmets have quick release systems for the face pads to remove them before removing the helmet in the event of an impact.

The boots: The boots in Motocross are essential, in this modality the feet are very exposed.

The boots must be high and very reinforced to protect our feet, these are at risk not only due to falls but also due to possible blows with stones and terrain accidents.

The choice of the material of the boots is essential, we must always look for those that are made with quality materials.

The most common material is leather in the foot area, with microfiber in the upper area and in the heel, and with plastic, carbon or even titanium protections on the ankles, instep and lower front part of the leg.

Motocross boots are rigid to avoid possible ankle injuries, although some brands already opt for articulated ankles.

The t-shirt: Motocross jerseys are similar in material and pattern to trial ones, but they are wider jerseys to be able to wear all the necessary protections underneath. In this mode we will carry part of the bib, girdle and collar, therefore, it is usually advisable to take a size larger than usual.

On our website you will find jerseys made for enduro and motocross in 100% polyester weft with micro-perforations for optimal breathability and quick drying. Sublimation printing. 100% made in Barcelona.

https://sorra.es/en/product-category/man/enduro/tees/

The pants: The pants are an important part since our legs will be very exposed.

The material must be resistant but elastic to facilitate maneuvering with the motorcycle, they are usually made of polyester, which is elastic and breathable.

In addition, they must be waterproof to avoid contact with mud or water.

Regarding the measurement, the ideal is that they are loose to be able to wear comfortably the protection of the knees.

On our website you will find a great variety of exclusive pants.

https://sorra.es/en/product-category/man/enduro/pants-2/

The protections: Here we do have a good list, due to the speed and danger in Motocross the protections are several and important. In this sense, you have to be responsible and aware that adequate protective equipment can be the difference between having a scare or a misfortune (we are talking about your integrity and your life)

That is why we will make sure to have, to begin with, a good armor that protects our chest and back, they are made of polycarbonate and some also have textile padding for greater comfort.

There are models that have a special part to attach the collar, another of the essential protections.

The collar will prevent injuries to the spinal cord at the neck, the collars can be connected to the breastplates or armor, they are made of foam or fiberglass. Look for those that can be adjusted since the sizes are universal.

Another area of ​​the spine that we must take care of are the lower back, that we will achieve with the girdles, the motocross belts are attached using velcro or straps, they must offer a slight compression without hindering movement, there are many models and materials, but any of them It will protect the internal organs and the spine.

To protect the knees we can opt for articulated knee braces or orthoses, knee injuries are the most frequent in Motocross, we will not elaborate on these protections, because the truth is that we could write a very extensive article only on this topic. There are a thousand different materials for knee pads, with synthetic bonds, with padding foams, etc. We will only summarize by saying that you have to protect your knees with approved elements.

And we have not finished with the protections for motocross yet, we must also have elbow pads, shoulder pads and glasses. Indeed, once equipped we will look like a knight of the Middle Ages in armor, but safety is essential to enjoy without fear.

Gloves: Motocross gloves are the antithesis of trials. These are thick and hard, made of leather, cordura or other technical materials with wrist adjustments and rigid reinforcements on the knuckles, fingers and wrist.

The reinforcements can be made of carbon fiber or even titanium. Buy them in the right size and easy to adjust.

Finally, we could add that the Enduro equipment is the same as for Motocross, although we should add a Barbour-type jacket, Enduro is also a tough sport, although we remove the danger of crashing with other riders as in Motocross.

That said, we can only ask you to enjoy yourself responsibly.

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