Motocross bikes aren't the only things enjoying the leaps and bounds in today's technology; the products associated with our sport are more sophisticated and advanced too. These are the four products of 2011 that stood out to our panel of editors. Coincidentally, they are all in the protective gear category, but as it's said: dress for the crash, not the ride.
BELL MOTO 9
The creators of the famous, "If you have a 10–dollar head, wear a 10-dollar helmet," advertising campaign, the people at Bell Sports launched the Moto 9 in early 2011. Sporting an all-new shell shape, magnetic cheek pads, and Shock Doctor Eject system compatibility, the helmet has quickly become a favorite amongst our staff. High quality of construction, extreme comfort, and noise-dampening fit are its most impressive attributes. Most recently, creative collaborations with both headphone company Skullcandy (shown) and Australian casual wear brand Unit, have brought the Moto 9 to the forefront of style.
ASTERISK ULTRA CELL
It's been 10 years since the original Asterisk Cell knee brace was introduced, and it changed the way motocross riders looked at off-the-shelf knee bracing. The Asterisk Ultra Cell was launched in the fourth quarter of 2011 and we got our hands on some sets to try just in time. Look elsewhere in this issue for a full product test, but believe us when we say that the Ultra Cell all but eliminates the need for a custom-made knee brace, as the adjustability and technology built into these new braces eclipses all we have previously seen—custom or otherwise.
LEATT BRACE GPX PRO
First seen around the necks of top riders like Ryan Dungey and Broc Tickle at the Anaheim I Supercross, the all-new Leatt Brace GPX Pro was in high demand before it was released to the public a few months later. Featuring a carbon fiber chassis and new padding, at 600 grams the GPX is the lightest neck brace available. More importantly, the second-generation Leatt offers a greater range of motion for the rider, which equals greater comfort and one less reason not to wear one. Every staff editor protects himself with a GPX Pro. Why chance it?
ALPINESTARS TECH 8 LITE
The iconic Alpinestars Tech 8 boot received a major redesign, and the Tech 8 Lite was introduced in mid-2011. Weighing in 15 percent lighter than the original Tech 8, the Lite version is the most comfortable version yet. The inner booty has been sculpted away and is now referred to as a "sleeve," thanks to its minimalist design. Dual sliding blade mechanisms wrap around the exterior of the boot, protecting the wearer from both fore and aft overextension. In its price range, the Tech 8 Lite is hard to beat on value, quality, and protection.