Should You Wear A Neck Brace For Motocross & Dirt Biking?

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Dirt bike crashes can be pretty brutal, especially when you’re racing on the track or are just getting on a bike for the first time. In this post, I’ll be answering the question of “should you wear a neck brace when you ride dirt bikes or do motocross?”

If you’re going to be doing any serious dirt bike riding I would recommend a neck brace. You can find some for fairly cheap and they’re becoming less noticeable when you’re wearing them. Yeah, it’s not very cool to wear a brace but for me, the downside is definitely not worth it. If you’ll be casually riding around your property you probably don’t need one but if you’ll be racing or going at decent speeds I’d say yes.

I’ll be answering some of the common questions regarding neck braces below as well as talking about which brace is my favorite and the cheapest place to pick it up. Let’s jump into it:

Is It Good To Wear A Neck Brace When Dirt Biking?

Neck and back injuries are some of the more common things to happen to dirt bikers and anything that could prevent that is a good thing in my books. If you’ve fallen before you probably know the first thing to hit the ground is often your head (which will give you whiplash).

Some people aren’t yet convinced that neck braces actually work but they’re being redesigned constantly and there really isn’t any downside to wearing one. A lot of professional racers are wearing them though and KTM is actually making a lot of their riders wear them (so there must be a reason for it).

What Does A Motocross Neck Brace Do?

A neck brace is designed to do two things. The first is that it’s supposed to limit the amount your head can move back and forth. The second is that it’s supposed to take the force that would be put on your neck and direct it to other areas of your body.

The brace will sit on your shoulder and support your helmet. If you fall off of your bike and hit your head the brace will restrict your neck from moving too much and it’ll also absorb some of the weight if someone is to fall on you during a race.

Who Should Use A Neck Brace?

If you’re going to be racing or are brand new to dirt biking I’d say you should probably get a neck brace. The risk of neck injury just isn’t worth messing around in my opinion and you can get some for pretty cheap (you get what you pay for though).

A lot of the professional racers are using them. KTM has a lot of their riders wearing braces and there are a number of others using them as well. I remember watching a video one time of a racer falling and having someone land on top of him. He had no neck injuries and owes his life to having a neck brace on.

They aren’t always that light and professional racers like to be as light as possible but for the average person, this isn’t going to make much of a difference. Plus, they’re always getting lighter and more comfortable.

They’re also being used more often in other sports where neck injuries are common. Car & boat racing, go-karts, and other things like that.

Do Motocross Neck Braces Even Work?

There has been a lot of debate lately on whether or not neck braces actually work. The way I look at it is that there’s no downside to it and it can only help. Anything that will limit how much your neck can snap and also limit how much force gets put on your neck is a good thing in my books.

Like I was saying before, the racer who had someone fall on him (Trey) would have most likely had a broken neck or possibly been dead if he didn’t have one on. There’s no way of knowing for sure but just look at the pros and cons and make a decision for yourself.

What Is The Best Neck Protector For Motocross?

There are a number of different neck braces from different companies. Some of them are cheap (under $50) and some of them are more expensive (over $200). I’d think something is better than nothing but you normally get what you pay for with these things. If you’re doing casual trail riding you’d probably be fine with a cheaper (or no) neck guard. If you’ll be racing or going at high speeds you’d be better off with a high-end option.

At the time of writing this, my favorite neck brace is the Leatt 5.5 brace. It’s on the expensive side but it seems to be the go-to in the dirt biking & motocross world. It’s the same brand that KTM gives to their riders.

With all that being said, the decision will come down to what you want to do. There isn’t any scientific proof that they actually work as well as people say they do but I don’t see any downside to wearing them. The thought of never walking again or something like would be much harder to deal with than dishing out a couple of hundred bucks and dealing with some discomfort.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. This site is where I test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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