We’re going to let you in on a secret – some of the stuff dirt bikers wear for protection works great for street riders, too. Case in point – knee and shin guards. Sometimes we can’t get to the laundry fast enough, so those motorcycle jeans with all of the protection built into them are going to have to sit there another day…or more. But having had some banged up knees from a fall or two means we get that the boney protrusion between your hip and ankle needs some protection. So we strap on a pair of dirt bike knee and shin guards under a pair of jeans.
This doesn’t handle the problems with abrasion you’ll get if you end up sliding a pair of your favorite Levi’s across the pavement. But it beats the alternative of banging an unprotected knee on the same pavement and spending some time in a cast.
A decent set of dirt/shin guards can run you $20 and up. We’re not huge fans of the Bilt line at Cycle Gear, but a pair of these from them seemed to be just fine so far.
Same goes with your upper body. We’ve not tried this, but a buddy swears by wearing a dirt bike vest or jacket under a long-sleeved shirt in the summer. He’ll do the do the same when it gets cooler but throws an unarmored leather jacket over that same layer and he’s good to go.
A full Fox Racing dirt bike jacket for instance is just under $150, about the going rate. You’ll get protection in the chest, back, elbows and shoulders for less than any jacket offering the same. This stuff is light weight yet protective as hell. Whether they admit or not, dirt bikers are going to take some ugly spills and in some hot weather. So the companies making this gear understand that and have been doing it for decades.
And yes, it does make you look a bit like a superhero when you wear it. Invincibility sold separately.