It's not easy riding dirt bikes. Both physically and financially.

To really engage the sport, money can't be an issue. You need the means to not only buy a dirt bike but everything that goes along with it including riding gear and protection.

Certain protective gear is a must-have and others fall into the nice-to-have. Last week, we posed the question "What knee braces do you wear" on Facebook which produced a breadth of answers including one from a customer who said, "Nothing because they are all 700 dollars."

So true.

And so was our response on the cost of ACL surgery. (For more information on knee injuries check out Motocross Knee Injuries where we interview a local surgeon.) Those who ride dirt bikes know it's not a matter of if you crash but when. Knee damage, including ruptured ligaments, are a common injury in Motocross but it's not as if everyone who rides should expect to land in the OR with an ACL tear. On the other hand, someone who rides without a helmet can certainly expect serious head injury sooner or later. That's why everyone who rides dirt bikes wears a helmet, but not everyone who rides wears a knee brace or all of the available protective gear.

Check with your insurance

Some health insurance companies cover the cost of knee braces. If your health insurance provider offers this benefit all you need is a doctor's prescription and you can buy one of those $700 knee braces either at no cost to you or substantially less out of pocket. Check with your health insurance to see what's available.

Additionally, many insurance companies kick in knee brace coverage after you've damaged your knee and had subsequent surgery. While this begs the question of why not just offer the coverage before the expensive surgery, it does point to the overall effectiveness of knee braces at reducing serious damage to your knee.

Motocross Knee Braces under $500

With or without insurance, if you want the additional protection but can't afford the higher priced knee brace models, two from EVS might just be your answer.

EVS RS9

EVS RS9 Pro

EVS RS9 Knee Braces

EVS RS9 Pro Knee Braces

Price: $250.99

Price: $341.00

Features:

  • Tru-Motion 2.0 anatomically correct hinges
  • Adjustable hyperextension lock-outs
  • Frame forms to all leg contours
  • Dual Defense total tracking knee cup design

Features:

  • See specs on RS9
  • Increased rigidity
  • Carbon fiber torsion limiting struts
 

On the higher end of affordability, but still under $500, include these models from Alpinestars and Asterisk.

Alpinestars Fluid Pro

Asterisk Cyto Cell

Alpinestars Fluid Pro Knee Braces

Leatt C-Frame Pro Knee Braces

Price: $459.95

Price: $499.99

Features:

  • New material blend reinforced for more stabilizing and supportive effect
  • New softer and comfortable strap system
  • Highly customizable, personalized and stable fit
  • New double-pivoting hinge system to prevent hyper-extension injuries

Features:

  • Medically Certified Knee Brace With Impact Protection
  • CE tested and certified as impact protection
  • Hyperextension limitations for ACL injury reduction
  • Very low profile inner knee for superior bike feel
 

Like most gear, the higher priced models such as the Ultra Cell from Asterisk, Web Pro from EVS and X8 from Mobius, provide greater protection and typically fit better giving you a more comfortable ride. Additionally, if your health insurance pays for knee braces it's likely they'll shell out for the more expensive models.

Still on the fence about investing in dirt bike knee braces? Then remember this rule of thumb: Dress for the crash, not for the ride.

Written By: AndrewT