If I could ride naked I would. It’s not very practical though, especially here in the North West. In the world of motocross however, protective gear is a must. The smallest injury can rob you of many laps on the track! If nothing else, you don’t want anything cutting into your riding time.I’ve been able to find comfortable protective gear from my helmet on down, but I have struggled with finding the right chest protector. If you bought a chest protector off of Ebay, it was most likely one of mine. I’ve tried them all. For me, it seemed like the chest protectors were generally too big, too small or too restrictive. I move around on the bike a lot when I ride, so I need something that feels like it’s not even there.
Even though I can’t ride naked, I do everything I can to make it feel like I am. Chest protectors provide very important protection for the upper body, so not wearing one isn’t even an option (unless you’ve won a Supercross apparently). So I prefer high quality, yet light weight gear. I also wear a Leatt neck brace, and many chest protectors have not been designed to fit with the neck brace yet.
I recently went to a vendor fair at RMC, a local motorcycle super store, where everybody was showcasing their new line of products. I gave each vendor my sob story about needing a chest protector that would fit me just right. As I made my way around the fair, the Troy Lee Designs vendor showed me a line of gear I’d never seen before. Troy Lee Designs has a new product line for base protection. I’d never seen anything like it.
Most of the Troy Lee Designs base protector shirts looked like T-shirts with padding inside. I tried the 7850-HW shirt and it fit like a glove. The padding is almost weightless, so you don’t even feel it. The padding is divided into small sections, so it moves with you. Many pieces of the padding are removable too, so it can be custom fit with your gear. For example, I removed one pad and my neck brace fit perfectly. The base protector shirts have padding not only on the front and back of your torso, but the sides as well. One less area for a shift lever, foot peg or handle bar to poke you. To keep cool, the shirt is made of a light breathable material, has a wide neck opening and open arm pit design. The base protector shirt is designed to go under your jersey. Your mom will be thrilled that it is machine washable too.
Troy Lee Designs makes a variety of base protection shirts, offering long sleeves, short sleeves, or sleeveless, as well as hot weather and cold weather versions. The long sleeves have added padding on the elbow and lower arm area. I personally like the short sleeved shirt, which allows me to stay cool, yet have the added shoulder and upper arm protection. I never ride without it!The price for the short sleeved Troy Lee Designs base protection shirt is $100 for Youth M – XL/Adult S and $110 for Adult M – XL. I currently wear a Youth Large and it is the answer to all of my chest protector problems. Check them out at www.troyleedesigns.com or your local dealer. The base protection shorts look pretty cool too. I’ll try a couple of those and let you know what I think!See ya at the track – Carson
|Real Rider||Carson Brown|
|Hard Parts||Max||Rated||Side Note|
|Install||20||19||Easy to slip on and adjust pads. Harder to take off when I am sweaty.|
|Function||50||50||Protects your whole torso, no matter how you fall. Not too hot or restrictive.|
|Durability||10||10||Able to withstand my daily race sweat, falls, and mom’s constant washing.|
|Design||10||10||Lightweight and flexible. Pads are divided into small sections for easy movement.|
|Price||10||10||Less expensive than most plastic chest protectors.|