Pete first wore the 2019 Fox Flexair gear on a shoot at Digger McEwen Motocross Park in Taupo. It was barely Spring, and to be honest, despite looking like a nice sunny day it probably wasn’t quite warm enough to start repping Fox’s lightest and most ventilated gear. But when he saw the Royl Orange gear still packed away in its wrappers, he was into it like a kid at Christmas.

The jersey is so light and fitted that it probably makes you faster simply walking up to the bike, let alone cutting laps around your favourite track or trail. The TruDri fabric is cut tight so it doesn’t billow in the wind and it helps wick moisture away to keep you cool.

The pants also benefit from Fox’s Tru fabric, with the main body featuring TruMotion and its 4-way stretching properties to offer unrivalled mobility. It’s almost like wearing tights! There’s venting to keep you cool, something Pete was able to discover works with a southerly ripping across the sand, but the internal comfort liner made up for it with the Royl Pants super-comfortable for an entire day in the saddle. The gloves continue the light, comfortable, stretchy theme, as do the Comp boots which feature an innovative stretchy top fastener which helps you move back and forth on the bike. Velcro at the top of a boot tends to lock you in place, but the strap on the top of the Comp boots gives you just enough movement to make life easier.

Finally, Pete tried the Fox V1 Matte helmet which has been redesigned from the ground (or neck) up and now features the ultra-cool MVRS or Magnetic Visor Release System. Take a digger wearing this lid and the visor ejects to reduce the risk of rotational injury to your neck. Once you’re back up on you Fox Comp boots, you simply fit the visor back without tools, as the magnets keep it in place. As you’d expect, the fit of the helmet is spot-on, and the liner and cheek pads are removable and washable. And now there are four specific shell sizes so you can get a closer fit.

Summer is approaching fast, so why not treat yourself to some of Fox’s most comfortable and coolest gear, ever!

 

Tester: Broxy | Distributed by: Level Ltd | Price: Pants $349.95, Jersey $129.95 |
Check it: Fox Dealers Nationwide

I’ve been wearing these Gaerne SG10 boots for a couple of seasons now, and to be honest, I’ve treated them pretty badly. They tend to get left dirty, stuffed underneath a table in the shed until I come to ride again when they get pulled out, still covered in grime and looking sorry for themselves. 

And then there’s the abuse they get at the hands (or should that be feet!) of Broxy, who often uses the SG10s for photoshoots when we’ve got him testing bikes. And yep, I’m pretty slack at cleaning them after that, too, despite the poor boots probably feeling like they’ve gone five rounds with Joseph Parker.

But despite my neglect, the SG10s are still as good as the day I got them. The colours have stayed true, even the white, and the sole has really stood up to the abuse it receives. They really are a strong and well-constructed set of boots. 

The fit could be described as being on the wider-side of normal, something I’m glad about having two slabs of meat at the end of my legs big enough to give Big Foot a run for the title. But despite that, the SG10s are all-day comfortable as they don’t squeeze my foot either from the sides or from above. The four buckles do a good job of locking everything in position, and the metal toecap gives an added bit of protection to the already very strong toe section. There isn’t anything flash like a booty on the inside, but they simply get on with the job of looking after your feet and ankles.

The sole doesn’t have the biggest grip pattern which could be a negative if you spend a bit of time pushing your bike up snotty hills on a trail, but I can’t say I’ve found them to wanting in the grip department. The SG10s have lasted me well and provided exceptional service during their tenure with me. The only problem is, if I can’t wear them out, I can’t justify getting a new pair!

Tester: Paul | Distributed by: Whites Powersports | Price: $799 | Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz

The name ‘Leatt’ is well known in the motorcycling community, as they are the go-to when it comes to top quality protective gear. Their company, Leatt Protectives, is based around designing, developing, and producing protective equipment for two-wheeled enthusiasts.

Founded in 2001 by Dr Chris Leatt, who also heads up the R&D Department to ensure every single product with the Leatt brand is “Backed By Science” with the ultimate mission of saving lives. Their range includes protective devices for the whole body, and now they have turned their attention to eye protection as well.

The Leatt Velocity 6.5 Goggles utilise military spec 2.7mm bulletproof lens technology, including:

  • 170° Wide vision
  • Dual layer Anti-fog
  • Scratch resistant coating
  • Optically correct tapered thickness
  • Quick release feature
  • Tear-Off posts & 48mm Roll-Off ready

Leatt’s transition into eye protection is a welcomed one boasting a flawless design that includes an OTG (over the glasses) design, super simple lens installation and removal along with a bulletproof military spec lens. The 6.5 Velocity goggles are available in four Iriz (mirrored lens) designs, a further six standard lens designs and two roll-off included designs. If you favour a particular frame design but want a roll-off or Iriz lens for it, don’t panic, all replacement lenses and roll-off kits are compatible with every Leatt goggle, both present and future.

The lens surpasses expectations, the 2.7mm bulletproof military spec lens prevents sticks, stones and other debris potentially penetrating the goggles. While the dual lens design provides a thermal bridge between the warm inside and cold outside of the goggles, combined with the anti-fog polymer of the inner lens the goggles permanently prevent fogging in a variety of conditions. Posts are included as standard on all lens options enabling the use of tear-offs and the widevision 48mm roll-off system. Constructed with a tapered thickness the lens provides great optical correction, allowing you to identify the edge of ruts with ease while a scratch resistant outer coating ensures the lens maintains a high life expectancy even in the demanding environment of off-road motorcycling.

Innovation doesn’t stop there, the Velocity’s frame has also received its fair share of industry-leading technology. The frame is constructed with a dual-density design allowing the outer frame to retain its shape allowing for quick and easy lens fitting while also keeping the lens fixed upon impact. The inner frame is more flexible which enables the goggle to better replicate your facial structure improving the fit, face and nose sealing and increasing general comfort.

Available separately are three Iriz lenses along with another three standard lenses. The Iriz lenses are available in platinum (Ultra Contrast), purple and bronze while the standard lenses are available in clear, light grey, blue and smoke. Visual Light Transmission (VLT) across the six lens options ranges from 22% to 83% ensuring you have the perfect lens available for every track and weather condition. All Iriz lenses are mirrored to reduce the light transmitted for a more comfortable experience in the brightest conditions, select lenses include Leatts Ultra Contrast technology which defines edges for an incredibly detailed view of the track or trail. An incredible 170-degree field of vision allows for excellent peripheral vision so you can keep your eye on the track and competitors edging up alongside you all at the same time.

The Velocity 6.5s include a triple-layer dual-density foam which is designed to be soft on the face while providing the perfect seal to prevent dust entering the goggles. The excellent foam design also prevents the frame and lens hitting your face upon impact and includes an anti-sweat fleece backing that stops sweat dripping from your forehead down into your eyes.

But wait, there’s more! Along with an innovative frame design, military spec lens, excellent field of view and an impressive range of lenses available the goggles also have dual outriggers with easy release lens capability that improve the goggles fit within your helmet. A 50mm anti-slip strap keeps your goggles in place and won’t slip down and slap the back of your neck while a removable nose guard provides extra protection when wanted. The goggles also take pride in their OTG (over the glasses) design that enables prescription eyewear to be worn while riding, because there’s nothing better at improving your vision than your tailored prescription lenses. The self-draining design provokes water and mud to drain downwards and off the goggles improving vision in unfavourable conditions…

…but if you want the best and clearest vision available when out mud-blasting Leatts widevision 48mm roll-off kit is for you. Two goggles are available including the kit, however, through spare parts the kit can be acquired for and is compatible with any Leatt goggle. The roll-off kit includes oversized canisters that won’t fill before your film has run dry while the electrostatic treated film is non-stick helping to remove dirt and mud while riding. A hydrophobic coating enables the film to slide like hot butter across the lens.

The incorporation of different technologies and lens options along with removable and customisable parts make the Leatt Velocity 6.5 goggles perfect for you whether you’re a motocross master, enduro champion, dual sport adventurer or weekend warrior. The Velocity 6.5 goggles provide the ultimate eye protection and set the bar of what a premium off-road goggle should include while remaining at an affordable price, goggles from $149.00 with coloured lenses available from $28.00 (clear lens $19.00).

Shop online at Bits4Bikes or visit your local Leatt Stockist

Having been around dirt bikes for a long time, I’ve always been an advocate of wearing knee braces no matter what. From the early days of messing around in the paddock with Fraser on a couple of Honda CRF50 pit bikes (with Pro Circuit pipes, high bars and all the bling!) and seeing him lose the front and essentially fold his knee the wrong way, it’s become a habit. And just like putting your seatbelt on, it’s a good one to have as you never know when it’ll all go pear-shaped.

There has been a limiting factor for many though, and that’s the price. But with the new Z-Frame from Leatt, that’s no longer an excuse as they’ve made knee braces affordable to the masses.

The fit is the most important thing when it comes to knee braces, and being a bit of a big fella, I opted for XL (they come from S-XL). Inside the box, you get two braces (yay, they come as a pair!), a bag, some plastic clips so you can adjust the amount of extension you require and also some extra pads so you can get a bespoke fit.

Leatt has managed to keep the Z-Frame affordable by making them from an injected composite material, so they aren’t trick carbon or anything. Still, they aren’t overly heavy and feel like they should be able to withstand decent impacts. The inside is flat to aid gripping the bike, and slipping them on they feel like they are going to be comfortable to wear for long periods on the bike.

Leatt is specialists in protection, and there’s no doubt the new Z-Frames will help reduce injury to your ACL, Meniscus or MCL which are all terrible things to mess up. I reckon they’ll also stop a decent amount of impacts from landing on your knees or having a rock flick up. I’ll report back on how they are going in an upcoming issue or online at www.drd.co.nz

Tester: Paul | Distributed by:  Whites Powersports | Price: $549 (Pair) | Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz

We’ve always said the Shoei VFX is one of the best dirt bike helmets on the market. The fit, feel, build quality and protection is always superb, which is what you’d expect from a premium helmet that has a premium price tag to match. But for 2018, Shoei did the impossible and made the VFX even better with the release of the VFX-WR.

The design is unique, with the VFX-WR instantly recognisable, especially in the Glaive TC2 graphic which we’ve got. The thick chinbar gives maximum protection from impacts at the front along with making it difficult for anything to enter the front opening when you’ve got goggles in place. And speaking of goggles, the eye port is big enough to accept even the biggest frames. The lining is super-plush (plus removable and washable), with the VFX-WR easily comfortable enough to wear non-stop all day.

But it’s the addition of the M.E.D.S. (Motion Energy Distribution System) which is the big news with the new model. While the main layer of EPS liner absorbs impacts from the outside as usual, an additional centred layer of EPS liner reduces rotational acceleration energy to the head in the event of an accident. Anchored by a larger centre column, the inner layer swings during impact, allowing its three perimeter columns to absorb the energy. The result is a significant reduction of rotational force to the rider’s head along with improved protection from low-speed impacts.

The unique silhouette of the VFX-WR isn’t just for looks, with the shell designed to offer excellent aerodynamics (there’s even a spoiler at the back), combined with allowing for a consistent shell thickness throughout. That shell is made up of a dual-layer, multi density EPS liner that also helps protect from impacts at differing speeds.

Undoubtedly the most comfortable dirt bike helmet I’ve ever worn, I’m hoping I don’t get to test the impact resistance anytime soon. But if I do, I’m happy that I’ve got what I believe to be the best dirt bike helmet money can buy looking after me.

 

Tester: Paul | Distributed by: Whites Powersports | Price: $1049
Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz