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I am usually 90% in on wearing some sort of chest protection when I ride/test/race, but have only found a very select few chest guards that get me excited enough to put on. The all-new Raceframe Impact D30 Soft Back Guard is Fox Racing’s top-level chest guard. The key feature on the Raceframe version is the addition of an D30 impact-absorbing insert on the back. The D30 material is body heat activated to provide a custom fit, which is said to conform to your back while riding. The articulated design is supposed to wrap around the body to ensure that you get maximum protection, flexibility, and comfort. That is basically what I have been looking for without feeling too bulky on the bike (or hot). The straps are adjustable to fit a wide arrange of body types, and the low-profile design can be worn over or under the jersey. There is also a removable chest plate on the inside front portion of the Raceframe just in case you knuckle heads think you don’t need all that protection up front. All us married guys with kids reading this know all about protection and choices now don’t we!
It has been well over the 90 degree mark for a few days here in Southern California so testing this Fox Raceframe Impact Guard in these conditions was going to be a real tell all on if this sucker could ventilate well. Once I put on the Raceframe Impact I immediately noticed how well this guard wraps or maybe I should say hugs my body in a good way. The front plastic piece moves/bends around my torso and makes it feel like the Raceframe is an extension of my body. To me this is a great feeling while I am riding as I don’t have this bulky loose feeling when moving around on the bike. Another great feature that sometimes can get overlooked with chest guards is how well the straps (that secure the guard to your body) actually hold up. In some cases I have had the waistbands of other guards completely come undone, or stretch out so quick, that the guard just flops around mid moto, and I end up throwing it in the trash after only a couple rides. Goodbye money! The Fox Raceframe has been under my jersey’s, for the past several tests, 90% of the time, and it still feels secure to my body.
Two huge features that stand out to me are the soft Level 1 certified D30 armor back protection and the overall comfort of the Raceframe. I am usually not a back wearing chest protector type of rider, as I normally remove the plastic from most chest guards and just run the straps on the back because I get so damn hot. With the D30’s body heat activated material, I was pleasantly surprised on how “not hot” it was to ride in. Yes, it’s a little warmer with it on, but I wasn’t praying for my moto to end, so I could rip the sucker off. I was expecting it to stick to my skin and just be a hot mess back there, but it stayed cooler than I thought and didn’t stick to my back when riding or removing the guard after a moto. The soft feel as well as the protection I am getting while keeping the back portion attached keeps my mind at ease when riding. If you have a wife like I do, you know that they want to put as much armor on you as possible (when you go ride) and this soft supple D30 insert is a great way to keep her happy as well as my picky ass. I also didn’t have to go up a size on my jerseys when wearing this Raceframe even when I was wearing athletic cut jerseys. The overall roost protection is superb and chaffing wasn’t a huge issue without taping my nipples.
The front of the Raceframe is not quite as cool as the back with the level 1 chest plate intact. It’s not quite as cool as an Alpinestars A-1 roost guard in the ventilation department (when removed) and that A-Stars guard has been my mainstay for quite sometime. If I wanted to simply get some added ventilation I am able to remove the chest plate out of the front portion of the guard. With three simple velcro straps I can remove the chest plate and be back on the track with an added breeze. I chose to run the plate most of the time per Mrs. Keefer’s request (I apologize fellas, that I am so PW right now), but to me there is an acceptable amount of ventilation that I must have with an under protector and this Fox Raceframe passes with an acceptable level. You will have to know going in that you will be slightly warmer with the chest plate, but it doesn’t boil you off of the track neither.
I am 6’0 and 170 pounds and a S/M sized Raceframe just fine. I had another larger sized rider try the guard (5’10 200 pounds) as well and he also thought that the sizing was fine for him once they adjusted the shoulder straps a little. The Raceframe Soft Back comes in two sizes S/M and L/XL, but if you’re in the 150-190 pound, 5’7-6’0 ft. range the S/M should be just fine. The pricing is a little steep at a $159.95, so be ready to break off some coin for the unique design and materials Fox uses with the Raceframe. However, that being said, this is one of only two chest guards that stays in my gear bag at all times. I have about eight or nine in the garage, but this one goes with me wherever I go, so that should tell you something.