Dirt Bike Reviews - 50 Favorite Products Tested - From Dirtbike Experts at Dirt Rider Magazine

To consider yourself a legitimate dirt rider, first you need a dirt bike then you must have the accoutrements. Your dad probably called it c#%p and your significant other junk, though we would never be so insensitive when describing their treasures. Ours is also not optional. Once you have a bike, you need riding gear and protective equipment, a ramp, a gas can, tie-downs, tools, lubes and chemicals, jets, zip-ties ... you know, really good stuff!There has always been stuff, but lately some really awesome things have hit the market. In the dirt world, this list is the cream, the gold standard, perhaps even the holy grail of products. Items made our list only after much debate and the unanimous approval from the staff. Yes, individually, we love other stuff as well, but this list encompasses the epitome of "Stuff."This is stuff any dirt rider will want/need and never be sorry to own. Post this list where your parents, sponsor, friends, girlfriend or spouse can see it and hope they will get you something—or things!—from the list. Or simply use it as a shopping list; everything here is something for which we would gladly pay retail.The List****In no particular order.
1. Big-bore kits, four-stroke: Thumper Racing. We love the way these guys pump up displacement without shortening the fuse. Big-bore kits, two-stroke: Rick Peterson Motorsports (RPM's) loves oversize pistons, and the company does the research to make big-bore two-strokes right. These kits include nikasil cylinder plating just like the stock units—sweet!2. Bike carrier: The Moto Jack Rack is unique among hitch-mount bike carriers. It is compact, convenient and relatively easy to load. You put the bike on as you would on a stand, bolt down the footpegs then jack the unit up. Easy.3. Bike stand: Pro Circuit Works stands are light, strong, good looking and stackable.4. Cables: Motion Pro Terminator cables make for the lightest control efforts possible.5. Clutch assembly: Hinson hard-anodized billet clutch parts are the industry standard. They aren't cheap, but they make a clutch work better than it was originally designed to be.6. Clutch perch: The Works Connection quick-adjust clutch perch has plenty of competition now, but we still appreciate the look and feel of the original.7. Cold-weather jersey: MSR's Windstopper. The Windstopper isn't the last word in style, since it only comes in solid colors, but we often find that we can ride comfortably without a jacket or vest with just the light shirt and one layer underneath. The jersey is made of a breathable fabric along the lines of Gore-Tex. The front is windproof and water-resistant fabric, and the back is normal jersey material to allow your body to shed heat.8. Cold/bad-weather hand protection: MSR Hand D-Flectors wrap-on hand guards, commonly called "Elephant Ears." When the fall weather begins to appear, these babies go in our gear bag. They are floppy and look a bit goofy, but you won't care when the weather turns nasty. We have used them over plain levers, but we like them best over fixed hand guards. Peruse photos of pro racers from any big mud race, and you will see plenty of these guards— psst, riders not sponsored by MSR simply turn theirs inside out.9. Crossbar-type 7/8-inch handlebar: Renthal popularized the aluminum handlebar, and we still love the feel of it. It looks great, offers the most choices in bends and enjoys a great reputation.10. Custom knee braces: Innovation Sports C.Ti.2. These custom-fit braces are the high end of knee protection, but we crave their comfort, convenience and fit. As with any brace, you can still suffer a twist injury, but the C.Ti.2s have saved us from many potentially devastating hyperextensions.11. Drink system: CamelBaks with Omega reservoirs. We've always appreciated the service provided by bladder-type drink systems, but they have been a hassle to keep clean. The bladders offer all the advantages of a normal bladder with a large enough opening to make keeping the inside clean and dry (between uses) less troublesome. They come in enough sizes to make a camel jealous.12. Dual-sport kits and off-road lights: Baja Designs faces an ever-changing market as regulations vary from state to state, but if you live where you can take advantage of its kits, they are awesome. The kits come complete with their own wiring harness. We installed one on a Suzuki DR-Z400E, and it interfaced with the stock wiring harness with a single connection! Despite that, everything worked perfectly the first time.13. Easiest-to-install hand-guard system: Fastway hand-guard system. Fastway's setup replaces the handlebar top clamps with a one-piece billet plate that holds the handlebar and mounts the inboard end of the hand-guard bars. There is no clamp for which you need to find space on the bar itself. We can mount a set in less than 10 minutes.14. Most-durable hand guards: Enduro Engineering is run by serious off-road guys who ride in the woods. They make hand guards for other serious off-road guys.15. Environmentally friendly air-filter cleaning and oiling system: No-Toil cleaner and filter oil allows you to clean filters easily with hot water yet safely run the dirty water down the drain. The system requires a completely clean filter to start with. You also need to plan ahead or have extra filters; when you wash a filter in water, it has to dry for at least 24 hours, so if you want to ride right away, you need at least one spare filter so you always have a dry one.16. Extreme-weather jacket: The Moose XCR jacket is waterproof, offers ample protection for nasty weather and still allows a variety of venting options to control body temperature.17. Fanny pack screwdriver: Scotts/Moose/MSR Six-in-One is just a bit more than a normal multiscrewdriver. It has two blade tips and two Phillips tips, but the shaft itself can pinch-hit as an 8mm nut driver or a 6mm nut driver for removing main jets. It's well worth space in your fanny pack.18. Fanny pack tire-inflation kit: Genuine Innovations' tire-repair kit. These well-equipped kits provide all the usual parts, including glue, patches and CO2 cartridges, but they also have a tiny billet-steel CO2 cartridge adapter that allows emptying only part of the gas instead of blowing the whole volume instantly. We used a single cartridge to set the pressure in three tires. That's a big savings!19. Fanny pack tow rope: Chase Harper Buddy Tow. This flat, nylon tow strap is light and compact, but it has saved many a rider from a long trudge in motocross boots.20. Fanny pack wrench: Fredette's Riders wrench. Imagine one wrench that fits the front and rear axle nuts and the spark plug yet is so flat it fits easily in any fanny pack. That's the Fredette wrench, and all of our fanny packs hold one.21. Fastest filter cleaning/oiling system: Twin Air's The System. Twin Air has a great filter-cleaning solvent and an effective filter oil, but the kit comes with a sealed bucket for the solvent featuring a wire cage at the bottom to keep filters out of the muck. There is a second tub to hold the filter oil. Add some surgical gloves, and you have a fast and painless filter servicing system.22. Footpegs: Pro Circuit footpegs machined from titanium or stainless steel billet are wider and more aggressive than stock to spread the load for your boots.23. Fork-oil tool: ESP (Exceptional Suspension Products) has a very trick fork-oil tool, but the tolerances on the unit are so close that we get as much or more use out of it back-bleeding hydraulic clutches. You have to clean it perfectly beforehand, but we've used it to pressure-bleed brake systems from the bottom up. Of course, it also works great for setting fork-oil levels.24. Four-stroke hop-up part: DSP's Power Now. We were sure this little wing-looking thingy that fits into the intake bell of a four-stroke carburetor was just another gimmick. We were wrong. It has a different effect from model to model, but on most of the bikes we have tried it on the boost in ridable power and easier starting are amazing values for the money.25. Frame guards: Works Connection makes guards that look great and fit with careful attention paid to the mounting hardware. They also offer good protection, and those three things are all we can ask of a guard.26. Fuel tanks: An IMS oversize tank, with or without dry-break. In the last few years IMS has done a great job of adding fuel capacity to popular off-road machines without compromising the standard ergonomics. In some cases, the tanks even aid the stock riding position. We love long rides and hate pushing bikes that are out of fuel. So we love IMS tanks.27. Grips: Renthal half-waffle (medium-compound) grips have the requisite glove traction we demand in a grip, and they remain sufficiently easy on the hands but wear far better than the plethora of soft grips on the market.28. Helmet camera: Action Sports Cam. Every rider loves the point-of-view look of a helmet-camera video, and the Action Sports Cam makes having this angle easy and fairly reasonable.29. High-end boot: Alpinestars Tech 8. The boot of the stars and of the average Joe looking for premium protection and comfort.30. Hot-weather gear: Moose Sahara gear. No brand of hot-weather riding gear is lighter or better vented than Sahara gear. Even the palms of these gloves are vented, and we're amazed at the number of months we keep the vented gear in our bags and on our bods.31. Kidney belt: Kev-Co/Stubbs. These belts are made by a leading supplier of orthopedic support belts for industry. They come in different waist sizes and widths, so you are sure of a great fit and support.32. Least-messy filter cleaning/ oiling system: PJ1 aerosol oil and cleaner. It doesn't get much easier than this. Simply "spray paint" both sides of an air filter with the red-dyed oil, then massage it in. Very clean and easy.33. Levers: ASV aftermarket levers offer a fit and finish that less-expensive levers do not. Most important, though, they are spring-loaded. They hinge outward in a fall, so the levers are not damaged. They can save a race for you, and that makes them a bargain.34. Light-duty jacket: MSR's Pak Jak is available in treated nylon or Gore-Tex. It is a light pullover shell that will keep you warm and dry yet allows excellent body-temperature control. If it gets too hot, it folds inside itself to become a "pack" that will fit in or attach to a fanny pack until needed. There is also a Pak Pant.35. Maximum-duty tubes: Bridgestone 4mm (yes!) heavy-duty tubes. These monsters are for extreme duty. They are pretty heavy so we reserve them for the really nasty races, but we have yet to flatten one of these babies.36. Most-comfortable chest protector for women: Acerbis' Lady Fusion is the only roost deflector created with the female shape in mind. It manages to be form-accommodating without being tacky or obvious.37. Motocross skid plates: Works Connection's skid plate fits well, tucks in nicely and protects the underside of your machine in style.38. Off-road skid plates: Composite, E-Line; aluminum, Enduro Engineering. E-Line's full-coverage carbon-fiber off-road skid plate looks trick, adds almost no weight and protects all of your bike's vitals. Enduro Engineering has the numbers for those who prefer metal. Its full-coverage off-road skid plate has tubing loops welded on to protect the sides of the engine. It does the job but doesn't collect mud.39. Off-the-shelf knee braces: Asterisk has come up with a comfortable, fully adjustable knee brace that you can buy over the counter. They are barely larger than the best custom braces, and they offer great protection.40. Oversize handlebar: Answer Racing's ProTaper handlebar was the original oversize, tapered bar, and it remains our favorite. As we always say, if you bend a ProTaper, you didn't feel like riding any more anyway!41. Over-the-glasses goggle: Smith recently replaced the SMX goggle with the new Option OTG. However, with the SMX the most-effective goggle for those who wear prescription glasses, the new model can only be better. It is great as it comes with an ample opening and plenty of vent foam, but if that isn't enough, there are vented lenses and even a Turbo version with a tiny electric fan for serious fogging problems.42. Premium performance tire: Dunlop 752 RR tire set. This used to be for factory riders only, but now you can buy factory performance.43. Rear disc shark fin: Scotts Performance Products' billet one-piece caliper mount/shark fin is pure metal art that really protects your rear disc.44. Replacement plastic: Acerbis has complete plastic kits that have every piece of plastic your bike needs to look brand new. You can even change the color.45. Sag-adjustment tool: Race Tech can end your reliance on a big punch. The Race Tech sag adjusting tool easily works as a punch to loosen the lock ring in a rear shock. Then the slight bend in the shaft makes adjusting the sag simple.46. Specialty paints: PJ1/VHT. PJ1 has paints that can do everything from touching up your frame to adding a high-temp coating to your exhaust system. There are even specialty finishes such as cast aluminum and cast iron for restoring cars.47. Steering stabilizer: Scotts has the original steering damper, and it remains the most adjustable and our favorite.48. Step/lift-type stand: FMF. We aren't in this sport to carry motorcycles. We like any of the stands that lift the bike when you step on a lever, but FMF sells a solid unit with a cast base that is the nicest one we've used.49. Tire irons: Zip-Ty tire irons (for mousse and regular tubes) are all about the handle. By adding a comfortable handle to an ordinary tire iron, Ty Davis instantly earns our gratitude whenever we change a tire.50. Vision-clearing system: Smith Roll Offs. The innovation of pulling a strip of film across a goggle lens is more than 20 years old now, but with refinements, that basic system is still the one we want for ugly conditions.

12. Baja Designs Tecate light
13. Fastway Hand-Guard System
14. Enduro Engineering hand guards
40. Answer Racing ProTaper
41. Smith SMX googles
42. Dunlop 752 RR tires
45. Race Tech sag tool
46. PJ1/VHT paint
47. Scott's steering stabilizer