With Nolan producing MX helmets suitable for a range of budgets, we check out the entry-level N53 and top-of-the-line X-Lite to see what the differences really are.

Like what you see? Check them out online right here, or in person at your local Nolan Helmets stockist.

Whenever there is a new set of gear loose in the office that fits, Paul is the first to put his hand up to test it out. When the new Alpinestars Flagship gear set arrived, Paul already had his Tech 10 boots and Bell helmet in the car, ready to go all ‘Shayne King’ on everyone. It’s a pretty sharp looking kit too, if we’re honest.

 

 


Flagship Jersey

Price: $59.90

With its pre-curved sleeves, moisture-wicking and extremely lightweight and durable main chassis, the Racer Flagship Jersey will not let you down when the track or trails get tough. The Racer Flagship Jersey comes in a range of distinctive and aggressive colour combinations and is designed to match the Racer Flagship pant and glove for a total performance look and feel. Nothing wrong with looking good and feeling good.

 

Flagship Pants

Price: $189.90

 

 

With an innovative, ergonomic design and distinctive graphic patterns, Alpinestars’ Racer Flagship Pants are at the pointy end of off-road racing apparel. With stretch panels and a 3D knee construction for freedom of movement and extensive, lightweight mesh, this pant also incorporates a pre-shaped leg construction and reinforced padding to offer excellent levels of comfort and performance. Plenty of room for knee braces shows just how much thought has gone into the design of these pants.

 

Radar Gloves

Price: $59.90

 

 

A lightweight MX glove with excellent comfort features, the Limited Edition, Blackjack Radar Flight Glove incorporates a single-piece spandex upper and Clarino palm for a reduced and lightweight material design. The silicone grip patterning on the fingers and innovative palm stretch gusset offers improved control on the bike’s controls. The pre-curved fingers are a nice touch too, ‘cause who walks around with straight fingers all the time, right?

 

Tech 10 Boots

Price: $899.90

 

 

The boot that’s been around in top-level motocross for ages, the Tech 10 is both a go-to and a world title-winning boot many times over. From the anatomical shape with front and rear sliding blades, to the all-new closure system with light and durable buckle closure system, every component of the new Tech 10 boot has been continuously developed in racing conditions. Everyone in their lifetime has no doubt used a pair of Tech 10s and the sole is replaceable too.

 

Ride 100%

Racecraft Goggles

Price: $129.90

The Racecraft represents 100%’s commitment to create an enhanced user experience, by providing racers with a higher level of functionality and accurate vision. The synthesis of precision engineering and minimalistic design, results in a premium goggle which performs as great as it looks. The outriggers help to achieve perfect fit and balance on most, if not all helmets, and there is a removable nose guard for those with a larger snozz.

 

Bell

Moto-9 Helmet

Price: $599.90

This baby is loaded with features like a matrix shell, Velocity Flow Ventilation, X-Static Liner, Flying Bridge visor, magnetic cheek pads/strap keeper and a five-year warranty. The Moto-9 continues to dominate, just like the athletes who ride with them. The helmet is really comfortable to wear and allows goggles to slide into place with no hang-ups. The new Moto-9 now comes with MIPS, so it’s time to upgrade to the extra safety we think. At 1450g, the Moto-9 is not the lightest out there, but it won’t sent you to the chiro either.

 

Distributed by: Crown Kiwi Enterprises

 

 

We all know Thor’s hammer is the big thing the Norse god is recognised for, but when the god of thunder and lightning hits the trails, his self-named riding wardrobe is probably even more attention-grabbing. Check it out!

 

 


HELMET

Thor MX Sector Level (Red/Blue Matte Powder)

RRP: $199

 

 

Main Features

  • DOT/ECE 22.05 Approved,
  • Dual density EPS liner,
  • Hi-flow mouth vent with filter,
  • Flexible rubber nose piece helps deflect roost,
  • Extensive venting with internal air passages.

This entry-mid level helmet packs a pretty decent punch with features usually reserved for higher end lid. The cool styling and sharp lines give the Sector a very ‘now’ look about it, and with its extensive venting, you can wear it all day, no worries.

It’s pretty comfortable right out of the box, and goggles fit in nice and snug. Our model usually fits Large size helmets and with the Sector, Large is a little too loose, so he’d change it down for a Medium – word to the wise: try before you buy. Clearly built with speed on the brain, the 2018 Thor MX Sector is a viable option in the under $200 helmet range.

 

JERSEY

Thor MX Pulse Geotec (Red/Blue)

RRP: $49.95

 

 

Main Features

  • Moisture Wicking Fabric,
  • Soft Stretch Collar,
  • Sublimated Graphics.

With a clear plan of being built to last, the Thor Pulse Jersey is strong on softness. And when we say strong on softness, we aren’t joking around – the collar is made from a smooth, four-way stretch fabric, making you forget you are even wearing it. No one likes the feeling of a midget on your back trying to choke you during your moto. If the moisture wicking fabric wasn’t enough to keep the dampness at bay, the tailoring of the shirt helps pull sweat from your chest too.

 

PANTS

Thor MX Pulse Geotec (Red/Blue)

RRP: $169

 

 

Main Features

  • Pre-Curved Knee,
  • Versatile Fit,
  • Athletic Mesh Inner Liner,
  • Interior Hip Pocket.

This mid-level pant gives you lots of options, which makes it a really solid buy. Pre-curved knees aren’t new, but it is surprising how much more comfortable it makes the experience, especially with knee braces. A great feature we loved was the side clinchers located on the hip. This allows the pant to be tightened a little more, which means you can lose weight and keep the same pant. The double and triple stitched seams were a nice touch too.

 

GLOVES

Thor MX Void Geotec (Red/Blue)

RRP: $39.95

 

 

Main Features

  • Lightweight,
  • Quick Entry,
  • Perforated Palm,
  • Wrapped Thumb.

The Void glove is about as minimal as you can get in the glove department. With the thin perforated palm, you have an almost glove-less feel on the handlebars, helping you become at one with your dirt bike. Without the need for a Velcro closure system, the stretchy slip-on cuff and stretch backhand provides a quick entry to the glove, while the finger gussets really allow the digits to dance around the lever at will. If you like bugger-all between your palm and the grips, the Void gloves from Thor should be the go.

 

 

Get some for yourself by visiting www.dirtbikegear.co.nz and finding your local Thor dealer.

Distributed by 454 Unlimited – www.454.co.nz

 

 

Price: $789.99

Distributed by: Level Ltd

 

 


With the introduction of the new FOX V3 MVRS, we saw the demise of the Fox V4 helmet that had been the top-of-the-line head-wear from Fox for a few years now. Why they didn’t upgrade the V4 and keep it as their flagship is unclear – maybe 4 models of helmet are too many?  Whatever the reason, the upgraded V3 is sexy stuff, and DRD received its Matte Black version at the beginning of the year. We’ve put it through the wringer on more than one occasion. So, what’s so fancy about the new V3 MVRS and what do we think about it?

 

The Marketing Jargon

The hero of the new V3 is no doubt the magnetic visor, with the ‘NO MORE SCREWIN’ AROUND’ tag line, indicative of the missing screws that hold every other visor in place. For 2018, the Fox V3 helmet introduced the ‘next level’ of rider technology, Fox’s exclusive Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS). This patent-pending feature removes the three visor screws, replacing them with magnets to allow the visor to release from the helmet in the event of a crash, while also securely staying in place when needed to protect from roost and aiding in clear vision.

Four specific shell sizes accommodate four different EPS dimensions too, the V3 said to now be the most accurate-fitting helmet Fox has ever created. Also on the V3 is the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS, as it is widely known. This technology reduces the rotational violence otherwise transmitted to the brain during a crash.

The helmet is lighter than previous V3 models, has some serious venting, with 14 intake and 4 exhaust ports, and the certification exceeds ECE22.05 and DOT requirements.

 

 

Real World Use

When I first unpacked the new Fox V3 MVRS with MIPS, apart from having to remember what all the acronyms mean, I was pretty happy with the look. The sharp lines and matte colour is really intimidating. The helmet just looks fast from the get-go and ticked all the boxes during the eye test.

I have always run the Large size helmets from Fox over the years – however, this large size V3 was a little more snug than they used to be. I would like to try on an XL to see if that was better fitting. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I would recommend trying one on for size first before buying a Large just because you’ve always been a Large.

Though, after a while, I didn’t really notice the helmet was too tight, and after a few more uses now I’m used to the feeling of the snug fit.

The view from inside is unrestricted and I have found all the goggles I’ve tried, fit well inside. ProGrip, 100%, Fox Vue, EKS-Brand and Oakley fit well, as do the larger frame brands, like the Dragon NFX and Scott Prospect. They all felt comfortable and have good face sealing.

There are no pressure points in the shell that irritated my head in any way, and the chin bar and cowlings sit nicely away from my face and nose. The goggle strap has a nice place to sit and it is very secure.

The MVRS magnetic visor is magic for cleaning the helmet, as you don’t have to worry about losing the screws at all, which is handy. It is also tougher than you expect to pull off and has not come off during a crash – of which I’ve had two, purely in the interest of research – while wearing this helmet. Nothing big, just a tip over and a face plant, but on both occasions, the visor has stayed in place.

One issue I did find with the MVRS system was that the peak now has small bracing points which flow down the front under the peak to help stop it from flapping around. This stops you putting your goggles on backwards and running the strap just under the visor, as you might want to do on occasion. I found, while groveling through Maramarua forest and wanting to flip my goggles round as they were starting to fog up, the design wouldn’t allow this.

Other than that, I can’t really fault the new Fox V3. While we’ve seen Ken Roczen knock his off a few times, we found the new MVRS system seems to work fine and stayed in place during our testing, and the MIPS gives that added peace of mind that can, well, help save your mind.

 

With winter nearly here, it’s hard to resist the urge to go into a sort-of winter hibernation here at DRD HQ. After all, we tend to spend a lot more time putting the mag together than we actually put in out in the dirt than we’d like.

 

 

 


 

Price: $369.95

Check it: www.fitbit.com/nz

Test: Mat and Paul

Rating: Phat!

 

With that in mind, the folks at Fitbit NZ decided that we needed a little motivation to keep us fighting fit for when the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and we naturally return to skiving off out of the office and into the hills around Paeroa on dirt bikes!

So in order to help us out, they sent us a pair of very cool Blaze Smart Fitness Watches to strap on and get moving – a Special Edition Black/Gunmetal Blaze for Paul (being the boss has its perks) and a more traditional Black/Silver for me.

 

 

Now I’ve used a Fitbit before, having started using the entry level Charge 2 earlier this year, but the Blaze is a huge step up from that unit. Not only do you get all the fitness monitoring, reminders to move, and a decent battery life of around five days between charges, but it’s also got a smart looking colour display and links up with our iPhones to display notifications (such as text messages in full, or a who’s calling) and can control our music playlists on the move.

Now as good as having a neat new watch is, we were both given one for a reason, and that is to get moving and break the winter sluggishness.  The Fitbit app, which you have to use to get the most out of your Fitbit goes into detail about your heart health, sleeping habits as well as features the useful Fitstar personal trainer programs for you to use to get in a decent workout.

 

 

Then there’s the leader board function which lets you see how you’re doing against your friends who also have a Fitbit. According to the team at Fitbit NZ, having just one person to compete against raises the number of steps (a pedometer is one of the base functions of a Fitbit) by the average user by a huge 27 per cent.

 

 

It’s been a motivator to get out and about, and while it’s not waterproof so won’t be seeing much time on the bike while its bucketing down, you can turn it off temporarily which makes sure you don’t accidentally get a boost in your daily stats from riding your bike up a mountain.

 

Racer’s perspective

Now while a couple of fat journos might not convince you that keeping your fitness up is important, former Kiwi international James Robinson just might…

 

“I use Fitbits for my own training along with my motocross coaching schools. Your heart rate is a convenient, reliable, personal indicator of the intensity of your exercise. It is important to know the intensity of exercise so you can vary it depending on your fitness level so you don’t under train or burn yourself out. Riders I have been working with now realise how important it is to know what their heart is doing, whether it is during off bike training (running/cycling), riding or resting.”

 

 

“There are riders out there who train too hard and end up burning themselves out leading up to a major event, or on the other hand, there are riders that think they have put in all the hard work without knowing how hard they really have been pushing their heart/body. They then find that their fitness is not where it should be.”

 

UPDATE – March 24th 2018:  Sadly the BLAZE is no longer on the roster for Fitbit. Their new smart/sport watch options are the Iconic and the very new Versa. Click HERE here for more details and specs on the Fitbit range.