You've picked the right dirt bike for your kid, but before he or she rolls the throttle, you need to invest in some riding gear for protection. You won't find much, if any, resistance to wearing protective gear because in the Motocross world, proper riding gear makes up the sport just as much as a helmet and pads comprise football.
Simply put, your child must wear protective gear to ride a dirt bike because...
As your child gets his or her bearings on the dirt bike, expect various falls and crashes ranging from tip-overs to significant get-offs. Don't worry even the best riders - your kid's heroes - hit the dirt from time to time. Riding gear reduces the chance of serious injury from roost, banging into other bikes, exhaust burn and simply falling for what seems like no apparent reason. Unless you have a naturally gifted child, expect to watch him or her fall - a lot. It happens! Just consider this all a part of the learning process and wearing the right protective gear enables your child to dust themselves off and get right back to riding.
Youth Dirt Bike Riding Gear
Whether riding includes the track, trails or both, protecting the most vulnerable parts of the body helps prevent a serious injury and possibly turning your child off from the sport altogether. We recommend new gear unless you feel comfortable using a hand-me-down from a family member or close friend you trust. Consider the following as essential dirt bike protective gear for your child to wear:
- Pants, jersey, gloves
Youth Dirt Bike HelmetNo ifs, ands or buts about it, your child needs to wear a helmet. Yes, even at slow speeds on the trails. If you ride, be a good role model and wear one yourself. A helmet takes some getting used to so make sure you read our Dirt Bike Helmets for Kids Buying Guide which discusses safety ratings, sizing and tips for buying the right one for your child. But to help get you started, we carry a number of helmets specifically sized for kids and every youth helmet we sell carries a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved rating so you can rest assured your child wears the best head protection available. Check out our entire selection of DOT-approved youth dirt bike helmets.
Youth Dirt Bike Boots
Dirt bike boots rank second in terms of necessary protection and arguably first when considering the part of the body that gets damaged the most from crashes or bar-banging with other riders. Riding boots offer optimum protection for feet, ankles and calves. Like a helmet, boots take a bit getting used to because of their restrictive nature but in time your child will adapt. You can't really run in them, if that gives you any clue, and understand boots fit quite snug so don't opt for a loose fit but don't go to tight and restrict blood flow. We have a wide selection of youth dirt bike boots from the same popular brands the pros wear.
Youth Dirt Bike Goggles
Dirt bike goggles go hand-in-hand with the helmet but you don't worry about buying the same manufacturer of goggles as the helmet. You might find some goggles work better with certain makes and models of helmets but you learn that through trial and error. Goggles obviously protect the eyes from roost, whipping tree branches and head-first diggers. Manufacturers size their goggles appropriately to fit youth-sized dirt bike helmets and all come with the same protection and features of the adult version like anti-fog treated lenses, optimum airflow for cooling and tear-off compatible. Check out all youth dirt bike goggles..
Youth Dirt Bike Gear Combos - Pants, Jersey and Gloves
If you have no experience with dirt bikes you may wonder why all the riders wear pajamas. Well, now you know why your child wants to ride a dirt bike! Understandably, dirt bike pants and jersey sometimes look a bit like sleepwear but the designers simply enjoy the graphic artistry on the clothing that ultimately helps protect your child. Yes, you can wear jeans and a sturdy long-sleeve shirt, however, the way more cooler (literally and figuratively) and popular dirt bike pants and jersey look contains a method to their madness. First, you can wear all the above and below protective gear over or under the pants and jersey, something not easily done with jeans and a regular long-sleeved t-shirt. Second, the fabric does not constrict the rider and has wicking properties that keep you cool and comfortable. Riding dirt bikes takes a lot of work resulting in an overheated body rather quickly. Wearing fabric that doesn't breathe all that well, like jeans, makes for an uncomfortable ride.
This brings us to gloves. If you decide to forgo our advice and take the jeans and t-shirt route, at the very least get some gloves. We sell the pants, jersey and gloves as a combo (to save you money) but sometimes you need just one or the other. Regardless, every rider needs a pair of gloves otherwise it won't take long before your young one returns with a handful of blisters. Having said all that, let us point you to our selection of youth pants, jersey and gloves combos and, if you prefer, check out the youth dirt bike gloves.
Additional Youth Dirt Bike Gear
You can't really "over-protect" though the more equipment worn the more uncomfortable and restrictive the ride, at least until your child gets used to wearing all the gear. The available extra gear protects the rest of the body not covered by the above and/or provides additional support from past or current injuries. Pros rehabbing a vulnerable injury that doesn't prevent them from riding often add an extra layer of protection that you something to consider as a preventative for your child:
- Wrist Guards
- Elbow Guards
- Knee Guards
- Knee Braces
- Ankle Support
Dirt Bike Wrist Guards
A dirt bike wrist brace secures the lower part of your forearm in the event of a crash. A wrist brace helps prevent hyperextension and adds stability. Typically, you put your arms out to stop a fall and your hands hit the ground first. Without a wrist guard your child's hand can snap back, at worst breaking their wrist, but at the very least stretch tendons that keep them off the bike for an extended period of time. Wrist braces can feel constraining at first so if it may take a bit to get used to wearing one so we recommend starting with basic protection until your child gets the feel of riding with one.
Wrist braces range from the simple stabilizing wrap to an advanced hard brace that offers advanced protection and prevention of hyperextension. See our Dirt Bike Wrist Guards for kids page to see all available options.
Motocross Elbow Guards
Fenders offer very little protection for elbows which also get their fair share of ground shrapnel kicked up from other riders when (remember - not a matter of if) your child falls over their elbows tend to hit the ground first. Trail riding brings hazards like tree trunks and tree limbs so a collision with one of those while riding could result in broken bones.
Elbow guards cover the most common impact zone between the elbow and forearm while flexing along with the arm movement. Generally made from high-impact plastic, elbow guards provide contact and abrasion protection from anything on the track or trails - including other riders. See our dirt bike elbow guards for available options.
Youth MX Knee Guards
Like elbow guards protect elbows, knee guards protect knees and for good reason. Knees ride close to the ground, take on a lot of roost and often the first line of defense when banging into other riders. Even falling over into soft sand means your child's knee taking the weight of their dirt bike.
Knee guards protect the patella and upper shin from crashes and other impacts encountered on the track or trail. Choose from foam protection that hugs the knee like a wrap or a hard, composite shell that flexes with leg movement. See our youth knee guards page for all available youth options.
Motocross Knee Braces
Cornering poses one of the hardest skills to master on a dirt bike and one your child will take a while to learn. Cornering requires the rider to drop their foot and hold it out straight while gliding around the curve. Sometimes the foot grabs a piece of track. Therefore, a knee brace could be the difference between riding through it or surgery - something you and your child would like to avoid.
A knee brace differs from a knee guard by reducing, or in some cases, preventing hyperextension. Knee braces do include impact protection but riders generally wear them for the extra strength in the event their leg gets caught on the turf. Overall, knee braces provide stability and limit movement for weak or injured knees and riders usually wear a brace after surgery or when nursing a strained knee. Only a handful of manufacturers sell youth knee braces but you get the same brands that make adult braces.
Motocross Ankle Support
Riders don't typically wear an ankle brace unless they have a sprain or strain. The sturdiness of most dirt bike boots helps prevent, but also stabilize, minor ankle sprains. Once injured, though, even a slight dab of the ground with your foot can exacerbate an ankle injury and result in pain. Your child doesn't really need additional ankle support unless he or she rides with an injury in which case the additional support can help with grip control, shifting and braking. An adult size small usually works as a youth ankle brace.
Your child may wince at first to wearing all the riding protection but thankfully youngsters adapt pretty well and starting out at an early age helps teach them the importance of wearing safety gear. Once they get acclimated to it eventually it all goes on without a second thought, much like wearing a seatbelt. Like any high impact sport, wearing the proper protective gear helps provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
We also have a Dirt Bike Helmets for Kids Buying Guide to help you decide on the right helmet. Additionally, see our Motocross Goggles Guide and Motocross Body and Chest Protection Guide to help you decide on the additional protective gear needed for your child.
Check out all of our motocross protective gear and if you have any questions or want more information on products that might be right for your child give us a call 888-676-8853.