Not every Moto Gift has to be expensive! Goes in X-mas stockings nicely as well!!
Shin Armor (Not just for breakfast anymore!)
We at Motosquirrel love all things Dual-Sport, Enduro, Motocross, Flat-Track, Evel Kneivel, Supermoto and appreciate that in professional baseball, catchers wear very mighty protective gear to fend off baseballs traveling at over a hundred miles an hour aimed at their faces and knees!
What all of these super-whack attack activities have in common is the usage of proper knee and shin armor (as well as much protection everywhere else including their heads!)
What makes the mention of all these types of riding most interesting for us at Motosquirrel is the fact that while we had been wearing all kinds of gear, including gloves, boots, helmet and CE rated armored jackets, we never saw the need for lower leg protection (Both shin and upper knee cup etc.). We are all for A.T.G.A.T.T…….but we reside in the city. What need would we have for lower leg armor? Read on!
After injuring our front right shin during an Outside Of Motorcycling Activity (OOMA! For short!- sometimes we do things outside of motorcycles! Coined another one!) it didn’t take long to compound the problem by smacking our many hundred pound Motorcycle’s hard aluminum left foot peg against that very same shin injury first thing in the morning! It was while putting the bike back up on it’s centerstand. The Squirrel just wasn’t paying proper attention, but the neighborhood did when they heard a wailing yell of pain as Motosquirrel received the smacking!
In order to avoid more injuries like this and to circumvent the actual thinking process required to remind oneself (Please refer to our Duck Switch article!) NOT to be smacked by the same two wheeled metal monster mentioned prior; your Squirrel resolved to purchase some lower leg hard protection!(To be used temporarily of course!)
Well, your Motosquirrel smacked that same furry little leg again! But this time, after the decision to protect our furself was made! After purchasing and receiving an inexpensive, but effective, lower leg pair of protection guards from Revzilla (Thor Sector Knee Guards), that same evil little footpeg rendered a “ZERO” effect upon the shin in question and added no new pain! The protection just pushed the Squirrel’s lower leg backward (Which was still scary enough!) and did what it was supposed to do- protect!
It took weeks for this initial injury to heal and the black and blue to turn into normal colors again. During this time, team Motosquirrel rode with this protection as a matter of defense in the beginning, but putting on this gear became a habit after the first week.
Because we purchased a thinner (Most likely LESS protective) lower leg guard set, it was possible to wear normal riding pants and, in some cases, regular pants (looser). The caveat being that there is no hiding the fact that you have armor on while sitting, as was our case on a sport bike. Even with a thinner pair of protective leg armor, the knee cup portion must surround and rest over your kneecap area.
That said, the look of having extra armor adorned down below didn’t look “Un-Cool” or
out of place in our opinion. As a matter of fact, this extra bump up at the knee looked race oriented, purposeful and serious in our view plus reactions of others etc. These particular guards came in black and especially looked cool on top of black pants or under riding pants ….of course every Squirrel has their own taste and everyone thinks they are nuts anyway!
After riding with this protection we were able to note quite a list of benefits to wearing them. Among these reasons are: better wind and cold protection on an un-faired naked or sportbike, no fear of clamboring on or off the bike and smacking your knees through doorways etc. (Especially with limited view while wearing a helmet), gripping the tank with your knees feels more solid (in our experience), less worry when wearing low-top riding boots for accident protection and………our favorite ….wait for it….when kneeling to work on your bike because of minor maintenance or a break down- it’s just dam comfortable! (Note: CE armor manufacturers most likely will not warranty your gear if you use it in this last example).
That was the good………so here is the bad!
Although we feel the benefits of riding with this lower protection outweigh the negatives , we still feel a few warnings are in order.
- Firstly, this particular pair could breath better. In hot weather and at low speeds you are going to feel hot. We recommend finding a pair with the most ventilation!
- Next, we also need to mention that the amount of tightening required to wrap the velcro type straps around your lower calf and just under your knee is up to you! A definite forewarning that if you have circulation problems or massive calves- you may not want to ride with these. Also, you may need to briefly stop your ride to readjust the straps to your liking. Once properly snug they do not slip!
- Black, white, black, white…..sometimes grey! If you want a lot of these lowers in colors you like……well you will mostly find crazy motocross colors or black, white, black , white…….you get the picture!
- They get STINKY! Yes they need to be washed often and we recommend purchasing (2) if you appreciate riding with them. Rotate and wash as you go!
- If you are extremely furry like us and are easily bothered by coverings or straps that pull on your leg hair (or just your skin) then you will either need to wear them outside your pant set (Motorcross style) or abandon this type of riding protection.
- The nuanced untouchable weirdness suggestion by Motosquirrel: We love riding nowadays with this type of protection and will whenever and wherever possible. That said, we feel it important to remind our fellow Motosquirrels to never allow any protective gear to lull you into a false sense of security, superiority or immunity from accidents on the road.
Now let’s go shake some tail!
Via Revzilla: Thor Sector Knee Guards
Careful! Link above will take you to Rev’s site!
Pricing (At the time of this writing) $13.95