There are more or less 3 different types of body armour on offer for motocross/enduro, the old school style plastic roost protector, the full body armour with mesh which often has detachable arms and then the simple back protector vest which sometimes has some front protection as well. When it comes to protection the full body armour such as the Alpinestars Bionic offers by far the best all around protection, since it has back, sides, front, shoulder, arm and elbow protection. The downside to so much protection though is that it is a little bulky and is also quite warm.
Roost protectors are more comfy and offer good movement, and you also don’t get warm in them, but they don’t offer a huge amount of protection, especially all the way down your spine. Jason Moriarty rocking one below and still busting some moves.
This is where the ONE industries EXO shell gets interesting, it doesn’t have any shoulder or elbow protection but it offers extremely good spine and chest protection. It also has the advantage of being extremely minimal and made out of a fully perforated foam body. It fits perfectly under your shirt and offers as much freedom of movement as a roost protector whilst also offering a lot more protection in key areas. The top bits of plastic detach if you want to run a neck protector, and there is still some EVA foam below to help cushion any impact.
There are times when you might want the all around protection offered by the bionic, such as if you are riding enduro with a mix of street sections and big rocks to contend with, or if you are just starting out and want some peace of mind, but for my normal riding on a motocross track the ONE industries EXO shell is what i have been looking for, for a long time; great build quality, protection where it counts most, excellent ventilation, an extremely minimal design and it looks great too.
- INCREASED IMPACT PROTECTION WITH INJECTION MOLDED PLASTIC SPINE AND CHEST PLATES
- NECK BRACE COMPATIBILITY THROUGH REMOVABLE SPINE PLATES
- UNRIVALED VENTILATION THROUGH CUSTOM PERFORATED EVA FOAM BODY
- INCREASED COMFORT AND IMPACT ABSORPTION WITH D3O SPINE INSERT
- EXTREME ADJUSTABILITY WITH SIDE AND SHOULDER STRAPS
Photos by PJ and PSP.