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Old 08-21-2014, 06:34 AM   #1
Bronco638 OP
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Head & Knee Protection - Thoughts?

Hi Everyone,

I just bought a '93 Climber to get back to my "roots" and force myself to ride more. I learned to ride, and ride trials, on an '86 Honda Reflex. The Reflex has been gone for quite some time so my (old) open face helmet has been discarded. Also, I have a pair of Thor Force knee guards and 6-6-1 knee pads. However, I find both to be quite bulky. Thanks to an MCL sprain, on the TAT, I wear those neoprene sleeves, with the hinged metal supports, while I snowboard. If I could find some knee cap protection for those sleeves, that would be perfect. I'm leaning towards an HJC open face helmet.

So, what are your thoughts (and, perhaps, why) on head & knee protection?

BTW, I plan to ride Beginner/Novice this Fall (if I make any events) and next year. Perhaps Intermediate after that. I'm more than comfortable taking a 5 than getting hurt. At 53 y.o., this is more about fun, making friends and getting out on the bike than it is about winning.

TIA - Dave.

BTW, I'm aware of the Climber's short comings. I've PM'd inmate lineaway due to his knowledge of the Climber and trials bikes in particular. However, if any of you have specific advice about the bike, please shoot me a PM.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #2
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As a Novice class rider, my thoughts/experiences with knee pads...

2 years ago I picked up a new Sherco. Started riding it a lot. Nothing more than a helmet, gloves and boots (ok, pants and shirt as well). Took a fall in a quarry and used my knee to protect the new bike from hitting the rocks. That hurt a bit so I got some really nice 661 evo knee pads. Couple weeks later riding in the same area I went down again. This time I had popping noises out of the knee, severe pain, actually tried riding and threw my knee out tossing it over the bike, tunnel vision. Got home and saw a knee doctor. MRI confirmed a completely torn ACL. This wasn't a spectacular crash either. I was stalled and fell over.

The knee pad worked great! Not a scratch nor bruise. All the damage was internal when the knee folded the wrong way.

I now have proper knee braces. One custom fit prescription for the repaired leg, one off the shelf store bought for the other.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
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For my head, I wear a regular trials helmet, my face isn't all that pretty anyway, and I found I could not see well with a full face helmet on, I have talked to people that swear by full face MTB helmets, but have not tried one. As for my kneees, I have a brand new titanium one, and a kind of creaky one that used to be my good knee. I ride with asterisk knee braces. I have a custom one that was prescibed for my right knee before the surgery, but I find the asterisks more comfortable to ride in. I haven't found a drawback to them, (ride amateur, third level up at our club), but I bet they would make trials pants look funny if I had any trials pants . they do allow me to ride in shorts though, handy in NM
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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I also have one of them fancy knees, I use this,http://evs-sports.com/index.php/moto...ries/sx01.html
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:53 AM   #5
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Locally most of the adults wear trials helmets. Some wear full-face MX helmets. Very few wear bicycle helmets of any configuration.

Any AMA-chartered club should be requiring DOT or Euro equivalent (ECE, etc.) approved helmets for events.

NM law requires kids under 18 riding on public land to wear DOT helmets. It's next to impossible to find DOT-approved trials helmets, but easy to find DOT MX full-face or 3/4 street helmets. I'm working to change the reg in NM to include ECE helmets for kids.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
Bronco638 OP
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Thanks for all of the replies.

I would love to have some prescription knee braces but my MCL sprain doesn't seem to need anything other than those neoprene sleeves I mentioned in my original post. However, I have a good relationship with my orthopedist. Perhaps he'll prescribe one (or two) brace(s) if I ask nicely. They would be handy for snowboarding as well.

I have an Arai XD4 but I don't think I'd consider wearing that while on the Climber. I'm used to an open face helmet when riding trials. And, as tempting as those full face MTB helmets are, I think I'd prefer to stick with something DOT approved (or better).
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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I`ve worn out several knee braces over the years. (prescribed) Always get them with the knee pad included. Also I have always worn good moto-cross pants as they like to slide across the ground! I always try to remove the emblems and logos as they make any pants hot. Trials pants tend to rip upon impact. Summer time I wear cloth stocking for the braces and winter it`s bicycle pants. Ps those dr`s are crazy saying you do not need a brace. And one knee injury leads to another.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:26 AM   #8
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After checking with my orthopedist, I now remember why I don't have prescription knee braces; they're still damn expensive!!
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:52 AM   #9
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Yes they are. For me insurance would pay for the one that had the surgery. Already hit the deductible for the year (knee surgery) so it was free. Insurance would not pay for a preventative one. I guess they feel it is a better gamble to wait until another claim before they pay out. That was when I went shopping. Thankfully I know a place that stocks most every brand/style/size of motorcycle knee braces. Only 5 short hours away. There is no way you can just pick one out of a catalog. I tried everything. Some fit well, others didn't. Some flexed well, some didn't. My only limit on price was I wasn't paying for the custom fit out of pocket. Couple hundred dollars for one I could live with. Not wanting to risk saving $50 for something that sucked I put just about every off the shelf brace on my leg. For me (no idea what fits you) I found an Astrik that fits pretty much just like my prescription brace, just for the other knee.

For a helmet. I found an Hebo that fits my melon perfect. Comfort is key. I can wear it for hours on end. I have never said that about any other motorcycle helmet I have ever had. The closest I have ever put it to the test, stay tucked when riding through a drain culvert. It has probably helped in a few of my falls, just that wasn't a part I was worried about (so I guess it worked).
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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Thanks, I haven't needed surgery as my MCL issue was just a sprain. It's been OK as long as I go easy on it. Since I don't plan to attack any 10' rocks, I think I should be OK with something off the shelf. The 661 Evo knee pads look promising. Or, if I can figure out how to get knee cap padding on the neoprene sleeves (with metal hinged supports), I'll use those.

I can wear my XD4 all day long but I would prefer something open faced so I can see every/anything. I had a KBC full face helmet that I liked. I believe HJC and KBC use the same molds. If so, HBC's open face model should do the trick.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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Great thoughts!

Here are more from a few years of experience.

Riding trials I like to wear Carhartt cotton shorts unless it's really cold. I try hard to never over heat, which happens too easily for me to overheat because I am covered on the right leg up to near my crotch (read on). No heat shedding makes Jack a tostie boy! Once I cook my brains my left-right balance is shot. I prefer cotton in any clothing to synthetics. YOu guys who cover over in the heat riding trials I just don't get. I have heard those Spandex-type suits can wick moisture and be cool, but to-date I've never worn synthetic pants and shirt that didn't cook me.

Above the waist its either a short-sleeve cotton t-shirt or in extreme heat a long-sleeve cotton t-shirt that I soak and wring out every loop for ~45 minute of air conditioning. In cold weather it's long sleeve and maybe a light jacket. Never a chest protector or elbow pads, but I rarely ever fall whether riding trials or dualsport or road (gosh, I never want to fall on the road, but I use a protective jacket there).

Farther down, I'm not the same on both sides. On the right leg is a below-knee prosthesis, which including the gel liner covers my leg almost entirely. The prosthesis does help protect my knee. The left used to be my 'bad' knee, but after years of protection it's really good. I do not wear a boot, only a used-up tennis shoe. A boot is too heavy on that side and not needed. If I break a foot or ankle I just bolt on new stuff. On the left side I wear one beat up old Gaerne boot Ryan Young gave me years ago. At size 13 it's a bit oversize. No problem, I wear 4 socks, which makes for yummy comfy! Over the boot goes a one soccer knee pad to protect the knee. The only problem I've had so far is my one long sock wanting to suck back down into the boot once a loop.

I have newer Aero helmet, which after wearing an ill fitting NZI with a strap-latch from hell for years, feels just awesome (even if it is orange instead of red).

I wear prescription glasses and no goggles. On dusty loops I just wait until the dust makers get far enough ahead. I used to wear goggle back in my fast days, but now I just can't find goggles that fit right over my glasses. I also don't like them flopping around my neck when I ride sections.

For gloves I use Fox Pawtectors in cooler weather and the simplest, coolest, most wonderful work gloves I've ever found in hot weather:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grease-Mo...-030/202709681

These are really thin and very tough. I can work a long time in them chucking rocks before they get holes. Air passes right through them, making them ideal in hot weather. My hands are big so I have to use the x-tra large or grey band Gorilla gloves. My left hand is narrower and has 2-2/3rds fingers (I hold on with little and ring fingers and clutch with an index finger with no tip or last joint). I simply cut off the middle finger of the glove so it doesn't flop around or get me in trouble when someone thinks I'm flipping the bird when I scratch my nose.

When I dualsport I like to use my full-face road helmet, an old Arai which I degrease and pressure wash on the inside every few years, and again, glasses. Yeah, the road helmet looks dorky for off road, but I don't care. If I ride with guys I don't know, say with new KTMs and every accessory in the orange catalog (and let's add the Rekluse clutch too), rides start with those looks of, "That guy on that old Kawasaki with 'one leg' and tennis shoe is going to ride with us?", and end with "How the heck did you do... all that stuff!"

Road riding on the big dualsport comes with a whole bunch of clothing tricks, from heated vests to neck triangles to 3-fing gloves to whatever, but that's a longer story :-)

Well that's enough fun. Gotta go prep the 300 for Sipapu.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:19 AM   #12
Bronco638 OP
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I'm thinking I already have all of the protective gear I need, with the exception of the open face helmet and MX pants. Both found @ Motorcycle Superstore on sale (helmet) and close-out (MX pants). Now I just need to get my a$$ out on the Climber and see what works and what does not. Thanks again to All.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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How about eye protection? I do a lot of woods riding and don't really want to wear goggles (tho the last couple of branch-in-the-face whacks have me considering wearing my Arai street helmet).

Does anybody have safety glasses recommendations?
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:05 AM   #14
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What ever's cheap at the hardware store.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #15
Bronco638 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2whlrcr
Whatever's cheap at the hardware store.
Yep, Walmart has some good choices for cheap. Look in the sporting goods section near the fishing tackle.
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