Alpinestars Tech 10 Review

Alpinestars introduced the new Tech 10 last summer, but since then, the boot has gone through a revision for a less rigid feel. You might of noticed that if you purchased a very early edition of the new Tech 10 (or “version 1.0” like I call it) it was super stiff right? They were so stiff I couldn't feel my brake pedal or shifter for a few days on the bike. I have been putting a ton of time in on the “revised” version of the Tech 10 and wanted to give you guys some thoughts/updates about both the product. As always please feel free to email me at kris@keeferinctesting.com if you have any questions about these boots.

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When Alpinestars introduced the new The Tech 10 last summer they were guided by three priorities as the Alpinestars technical footwear development team looked to improve overall functionality, performance and safety, decrease weight, and reduce material volume. Maximizing these priorities was the overall goal of the new Tech 10 and to be honest I have been a harsh critic of these boots when they first came out. If you listened to show #88 of the Keefer Tested Podcast you would know what I’m talking about. 

The older Tech 10’s comfort were legendary and it was a pleasure to wear the boots in all conditions. A key objective for the updated Tech 10 was maintaining the boot’s feel while enhancing its performance, functionality and safety.

The most significant upgrades to the Tech 10 (from older pre 2018 Tech 10’s) performance are unique technologies: The Frontal Flexion Control Frame, the Asymmetrical Dual-pivot Arms, the patented Dynamic Heel Compression Protection Shock Absorber which is integrated into a redesigned foot shell and the slimmer, more streamlined, outsole.

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Fact! The new Tech 10 is lighter than the older version, the result of Alpinestars studying all the boot components and their connections (basically how the boot comes together). A re-design of every single one of those components has been undertaken to reduce volume and weight.



New material composites have been created that are lighter in weight and aim to be more durable to ensure they try and hold up to the rigors of off-road riding. The new, cold-forged, aluminum buckles are a result with an easier to operate, more durable and self-aligning closure that offer a positive hold across the upper surfaces of the boot. The result has yielded over 400 grams (almost 1lb.) in weight reduction from the older Tech 10.

The new design also reduces the Tech 10’s profile and physical size. It is more streamlined with newer, lighter, more durable composite materials and a more integrated approach to the construction of the components, which dynamically enhances the chassis of the boot and utilize more advanced bonding processes.

Even though Alpinestars hasn't came out and told me exactly what the revisions were on the new Tech 10’s, I can tell you that the front three bars of the ankle area have been “revised” to soften the feel.

Even though Alpinestars hasn't came out and told me exactly what the revisions were on the new Tech 10’s, I can tell you that the front three bars of the ankle area have been “revised” to soften the feel.

Built into the Tech 10’s unique and lightweight single-piece co-injected foot chassis is the patented Dynamic Heel Compression Protector (DHCP), an innovative safety feature, which includes a fully integrated collapsible heel area with expanded poly-foam to absorb high impact energies during a crash.

DCHP features a directional impact protection system which significantly reduces the effect of excessive, potentially injury-causing energy being transferred to the ankle and lower leg.

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Once my foot slipped into the updated Tech 10 it felt snug enough in all the right places, but the area that I felt the new Tech 10’s needed help in was “break in” and flex in the ankle. Last summer when I tested the first version of the new Tech 10’s I couldn't even move my feet or feel the shifter/brake pedal. It was like wearing a cast and I was feverishly looking for the older Tech 10’s like a child looking for candy. The new Tech 10 is not as tall as the old boot, but that never really came into play (good or bad) when I rode with them.



It still takes a little long to break in the “2.0 version” of the new Tech 10’s (one full riding day or 4-5 engine hours), but once broken in I felt like I could bend my ankles freely, feel the shifter and brake pedal so much better than the first version. The new Tech 10 is still on the stiffer side compared to Gaerne’s/Sidi’s/Instinct’s, but I have grown to appreciate the support that I am getting when I send it off jumps to flat. There is more plastic to the new Tech 10 than the older one and that results in a lighter weight boot, but also makes it slightly less grippy on the inner side of the boot. When pinching with my legs I get more locked in with the older Tech 10’s than I did with the new ones. Could that be from not having as tall of a profile? Possibly… This is something that some of you may not notice, but to me was worth noting. 

There is more plastic on the new Tech 10’s (compared to pre 2018), which makes it much lighter, but also have slightly less grip when pinching the bike.

There is more plastic on the new Tech 10’s (compared to pre 2018), which makes it much lighter, but also have slightly less grip when pinching the bike.

A huge plus for me with the new Tech 10 is that it doesn’t get water logged and or heavy as quickly as the older version. Riding in muddy conditions and power washing boots over time have made my older Tech 10’s weigh almost two pounds heavier than when they were new (and they were already heavy when new)! The 2019 Tech 10’s have more plastic built into the boot, which saves weight, but also repels water much better than the old leather panels. So there is some give and take with getting a boot that weighs less.    


The toe box is smaller and that could take some time to get used to if you’re coming from the original Tech 10’s, yet it can make shifting a little easier by getting your foot under the shifter. The high impact, cold forged aluminum buckle system is easy to adjust and can actually close shut or open even when muddy. 


The Tech 10 boots are much more comfortable on hard landings and have an incredible soft feeling sole. The shock absorbing quality of these boots are second to none and the older I get the more I appreciate this. My ankles and feet have never been sore after a long day of riding with the new Tech 10’s. The new version of the Tech 10 boots weigh in at roughly 8.8 pounds and while they are still not the lightest boot on the market (Fox Instincts hold that honor), the protection I do feel on the track is so good I am willing to overlook the heavier feeling with the Tech 10’s. 


One other standout of the Tech 10 is that if you don’t ride on the balls of your feet—like you should—the sole will feel a little awkward because it is shaped to almost make you ride on the balls of your feet. I don’t know if Alpinestars designed the sole to help the rider in this aspect, but I like that this boot helps proper rider technique! When standing on the pegs it feels as if the front and rear of the sole is raised, and this makes you ride in that sweet spot (the balls of your feet). It took sometime to get used to this feeling when I first started riding in these boots, but now it’s second nature to me and forces me to ride like we all should. When I ride with other boots I really have to pay attention to scoot my feet back on the pegs, but with the Tech 10’s my feet get in the correct position much easier.

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The Tech 10 boots offers a seamless feel on the bike and will not catch or snag on any part of the machine. After several months of use I did find that the soles of the new Tech 10’s are better than the older style. I am told Alpinestars offers a resole and if you feel that the DHCP has been crushed from a crash you can send it to Alpinestars and they can evaluate and replace if needed. 


Overall, the updated “2.0 version” Tech 10 boots are still one of my favorites to slide into and give me the protection and comfort I am looking for in a boot. You can check all of the Alpinestars boots out over at alpinestars.com or rockymountainatvmc.com



In order to save my incoming email inbox I have already asked a couple questions for you right here….



Popular Question: “How do I know if I am getting the “2.0 version” or not Keefer?


Answer: “Although I can’t give a clear cut and dry answer I do believe that all the colorways besides the Battle Born Tech 10 are version 2.0”.



Popular Question: “Keefer if I can save a couple hundred bucks and buy the pre 2018 older Tech 10 boots should I do it”? 


Answer: “Yes, you should! I still love the older pre-2018 version boot and still have some that I wear”! 











Oakley Prizm Lens


Oakley introduced the PRIZM lens technology to us a couple years ago. PRIZM is an effort to build contrast through maximizing your natural color vision. What Oakley is trying to do with a PRIZM lens is identify what colors you're naturally prone to seeing effectively then look at the environment and match up those colors, so you have a lot of contrast, which is supposed to give you better depth perception, and ultimately gives you performance value to your riding.

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When it comes to motocross riding the PRIZM lens translates to the identification of bumps, square edge, and transitions between textures in dirt, thus allowing you to see better in shallow ruts. There are three PRIZM lenses to choose from: MX Black Iridium (designed for full sun exposure), MX Jade Iridium (designed to enhance the green colors when riding in and out of trees), and MX Bronze (enhances vision in lower light and is dark enough to notice subtle transitions in full sun). 

I tested the black iridium PRIZM lens in the morning/afternoon then the bronze lens in the evening riding sessions. I also had another pair of goggles with a clear and tinted lenses for comparison. The first thing I immediately noticed when putting on the PRIZM-equipped Oakley goggles was the clarity the lens provided. If you haven't tried an Oakley lens then it’s tough to describe over text how good they can be. Compared to a standard clear lens the crispness that came through the PRIZM lens is almost like you're wearing a corrective lens inside your goggle. I tested the black iridium PRIZM lens in the late afternoon test sessions, on a track with several corners heading into the sunlight, plus sections that were through trees and completely covered with shade, and the transitions between sunlight and darker colors were easier to see. It impressed me that the black iridium lens cut down glare from the sun so much as well.

I started off the late evening sessions using the PRIZM Bronze lens, but once I switched over to another goggle company (with a clear lens) to compare is when I could really tell the difference. The glare from the sun was extremely harsh and it was more difficult to see the lines I was aiming for when entering corners. Even with the standard tinted lens the clarity just wasn’t there like when I had (when riding with the PRIZM lens). Of course, it’s never going to be perfect riding directly into the sun, but the PRIZM lens helped me considerably in those conditions. 

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While the standard tinted lens helped with some glare and direct sunlight, I struggled with shade though corners and through shaded tree sections. The transition wasn't as good and I lost the ability to focus on my line where the shadows began. This is where the PRIZM lens excelled because its capability to perform in both direct and low sunlight is something I have never experienced with a goggle lens. 

When stacking laminate tear offs (pack of seven) on the PRIZM lens it doesn't lose its clarity and the benefits stay intact. There isn't another goggle out there that I have tried that can say that. The lens itself DOES scratch easier than other standard lenses, so my suggestion is to leave at least one tear off on until you can change out to another pack. This will help prevent scratches to the expensive lens! 

So the downside to the PRIZM lens is that it is costly. At $45.00-$75.00 a lens, there aren't many of you that want to spend that much coin on a goggle lens right? I get it! This is for the serious racer that wants the most performance out of their lens. Orrrrrrr the guy who rides all freaking day and well into the evening. I am happy with a standard clear Airbrake lens and the clarity it comes with, but I do have a couple of PRIZM lenses on hand (in my gear bag) for those special hard to see places I ride. You can check out the PRIZM lens over at oakley.com

Alpinestars Sequence Chest Protector


Alpinestars recently came out with the Sequence chest protector and a couple of us here at Keefer Inc. Testing have been passing it around to give it a go. One beefy guy, one skinny dude (with no butt), and one meat and potatoes eating rider all have ridden with this chest protector at some point. The Sequence shell is constructed from a high performance lightweight thermoformed material blend that is very soft to the skin and flexible, yet is supposed to offer the same level of protection as a hard-shell protector. The shell feature perforation zones and air channeling for breathability and ventilation, thermoformed textiles are used for the construction, and it’s highly abrasion resistant as I found out the hard way. Lastly, the Sequence is constructed with a soft 3D mesh on the body side of the protector that offers ample comfort and breathability.

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Immediately what I noticed when I put on the Sequence is how it formed to my body and actually felt like it was wrapping around me and not just sitting on top of my shoulders. The M/L sizing fit a wide range of riders, including my 170 pound body and the other two testers (200 and 190 pounds). The mesh that wraps over your shoulder area stays glued to the tops of your shoulders and doesn't have that raised “boob” look when you wear it under a jersey. Speaking of wearing it under your jersey, yes, to me this is meant to go under your jersey and not over, but we tried both. The CE certification gives this a slightly heavier feel than that of the Alpinestars A-1, but that also isn't a “chest protector” as it is a “roost deflector”. 

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Even though I had some qualms about the velcro only closure system, I never had an issue with the Sequence not being snug enough around my body nor did I have it ever come loose on me while moving around on the bike. I like that the flaps protect the velcro from moisture and even though I have washed the Sequence several times with a power washer, it still adhered itself nicely. For the sake of trying, I did manage to test the Sequence with three different neck braces (Leatt, Atlas, Alpinestars) and all of them fit just fine with zero issues while riding. 

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The thick CE certified back plate is a little warm on hotter days, but nothing out of the ordinary. I also appreciated the lack of weight the Sequence has for a CE certified chest protector. This is one of the lightest CE certified pieces that I have worn yet. The comfort that the Sequence has on my skin (yes, I raw dog this sucker under my jersey) makes me happy because it doesn't irritate me or leave me with chaffed nips. Boom! Winning! 





I have crashed and took the handlebars to the chest and the Sequence did its job without me having to spit up blood or get checked out at the ER. As flexible as this chest protector is, I found out it’s pretty damn strong. The downside it’s a little pricey at $154.95, so be ready to fork over some dough for the protection. I don't mind spending money on something if it works and is comfortable and this Sequence is both. I also don't have to go up a size in a jersey to wear it and some people don't even think I am wearing a chest protector at all. I approve!    

Leatt GPX 1.5 Gloves

To continue with our favorite minimalistic gloves, I enlisted my off-road guy Michael Allen to chime in. Here are his thoughts about one of his favorite’s. -KK

When it comes to gloves there is always a trade off between protection and comfort. Although most companies provide a midrange glove that has decent protection and comfort, they never seem to be as comfortable as a thin minimalist glove. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’m a handguard guy, because I don’t want to rely on the protection of a bulky glove. Either way, when I come across a good minimalist glove, I usually wear it until it has holes and is completely worn out. I love a good glove so much that although I agree with Kris (don’t mix match gear) I’ll wear a good glove with any gear regardless of if it matches my current gear. 

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Recently I came across one of my all-time favorite gloves when I received a new set of Leatt gear that came with a pair of Leatt GPX 1.5 Gripr gloves. Although these are not Leatt’s top of the line glove they have become my favorite “go to” gloves (especially since they’re black and white, which matches other sets of gear). They consist of a thick elastic cuff that stays in place on your wrist, while not cutting off the circulation. The material on the palm is called MicroGrip and it also wraps around the thumb area where you grip the handlebars. The palm is also seamless which makes the grip comfortable without any hot spots from stitching. The back of the hand, as well as the sides of the fingers are made of a very breathable material that helps keep hand sweat to a minimum. 

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Although these gloves are minimalist on the outside, they help protect the palm very well against chaffing and blisters. In terms of going bush bashing, you may want to look into more protective gloves or get a set of handguards. The only issue I’ve had with these gloves is the elastic wrist stitching can come separated from the palm of the glove. This happened when I would pull the glove on carelessly from one area of the elastic repeatedly. To show how much I liked these gloves, I had my wife re-sew them, so I could continue wearing them on a big trail ride I had the following day. If you like really comfortable gloves and aren’t too concerned about outer protection or warmth, look into the Leatt GPX 1.5 Gripr glove line.  -Michael Allen 

Thor Draft Gloves

Continuing on with our minimalistic motocross glove reviews this week, we are going to break down the Thor Draft gloves. Made with a maximum flex four-way stretch mesh, expansion panels that try to allow a full range of motion of your hands, optimal air flow venting mesh throughout the backhand, perforated palms, notched wrist openings, silicone treated finger tips, a hook and loop wrist closure system, a single-layer palm, rubber details for added structure, and made out of  100% nylon, this glove has quickly become one of my favorites to ride with. 

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The Thor Draft gloves not only form to each finger, but they are stretchy enough to allow for proper movement when using the clutch and front brake. When putting on the Draft gloves each finger port feels tight, but once inside, each one of my fingers feel like they are wrapped into little tiny soft hugs of happiness. The way the material of the gloves wrap around each finger has alwasy given me a positive connection to my grips. The Draft gloves DO NOT bunch up in your palms and the sizing is spot on. I did try Thor’s “Agile” glove, but I had to go down to a medium in that style of glove, that’s not the case with the “Draft” gloves. 

I like that the material on top of my hand is soft, yet has more padding than your average minimalistic design, which helps deflect roost a little more than other thin designed gloves in the marketplace. The wrist opening of the Draft is not so tight that it takes you ten minutes to put them on and the seams have held up extremely well to my abusive “hurry up and get these things off of me” nature. Most minimalistic gloves have weak seams and always tear near the thumb area, but the Draft’s have been great in this department. 

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The silicone that is also on the top part of the hand makes the glove feel secure and the palm has enough padding to make my calluses not turn into blisters on long test days. The palm is not as sticky as a Fox Flexair glove, but they do have a soft natured feel on the grips. The hook and loop wrist closure is little overkill with the type of rubber they use however. It’s a very stiff material, is not super flexible, is thick, and is hard to bend over to actually close. It sometimes can pop off while you're riding; if you're not attentive and really make sure the velcro is fully attached when putting the gloves on. If Thor can make that rubber closure thinner and more flexible it would cure this problem. 

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At the end of the day I really enjoy wearing the Thor Draft gloves because of the comfort that I get when I’m on the bike for 7-8 hours. They are durable, they can be thrown in the washer, are soft on my hands, and are true to size, which makes them one of my favorites. The Draft gloves cost $24.95 and come in four different colorways. Check them out at thormx.com. #KeeferApproved

Fox Flexair Gloves

If you asked me what piece of riding gear that I am most picky about, my answer would be, “gloves”. If you have the wrong fitting glove your whole day of riding seems to get ruined. Your hands are connected to the handlebars, which controls 90% of the motorcycle that you're trying to control right? So…. If your hands aren’t comfortable then it can throw your riding off axis real quick. Having a tight fitting glove causes arm pump and having a loose fitting glove can possibly give you whiskey throttle, so yes gloves are important! In the coming weeks I am going to be writing about some of my favorite sets of gloves that are out there on the market right here at keeferinctesting.com. The first set I would like to talk about are the Fox Flexair gloves: 

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The Flexair Glove is a minimalist motocross glove with a almost tailored fit and a lightweight feel. Constructed from Stretch Cordura, it provides a high level of dexterity. The stretch mesh finger gussets (the fabric between your fingers) increases flexibility as well as helps channel air through the glove for increased ventilation. The Flexair glove also features a conductive thread on the thumb and index finger so you can use your cell phone without removing your gloves (AKA, getting bangers at the track).

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Why are the Fox Flexair gloves one of my favorite sets of gloves to wear? Let me walk you through this a little…. I like Fox’s minimalistic glove because this type of glove forms to my hand well enough that I can feel my grips exceptionally well while riding. The Fox Flexair minimalistic gloves don’t bunch up or feel fat to where I can’t feel my handlebars. The cuff design is brilliant as there are no seams to the glove near the cuff. The cuff and thumb area of the glove are a one piece design, which allows for a snug fit, yet not so tight where it cuts off the movement of your fingers/palms on the bars. The material that Fox uses is unmatched for a minimalistic style glove as the stretch Cordura material feels like a second layer of skin once the glove is slipped on to your hands. It doesn’t even feel like you're wearing gloves, it just feels like an extension of your hand. The palm area of the Flexair is super sticky and might take some time to get used to if you're not familiar with that feel. Once your hands are on the handlebars, the palms of the Flexair gloves feel planted to the compound of your grips and adheres itself so well that you do not have to worry about slippage, even when your grips seem to get worn out (which mine do often on these set bikes). The ventilation I experience is second to none as these gloves pass air so well that if you're wearing these suckers on a cool day, you might notice that your fingers will get cold fairly quick. They are super lightweight and it basically feels like a soft pillow for each finger. 

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Now don't expect to deflect roost, rocks, and or trees with these gloves, but if you're looking for one of the most comfortable, form fitting, stretchy set of gloves these gloves take the cake with ease. Much like new boots some new gloves take some time to break in, but the Flexair gloves need “ZERO” break in time and are ready out of the package. Durability of these gloves are decent, just don’t expect to go four hard months of riding with these as the seams can come apart from taking them on and off several times. The cost of the Flexair glove is reasonable at $39.95 and they come in three colorways (black, orange, red). The fit of the gloves are true to size, so if you're a large in other sets of gloves you will be a large in the Flexair. 





If you're looking for a glove that has the most comfort, give these Fox Flexair’s a try. While you're at it, let me know how you like yours and email me at kris@keeferinctesting.com and drop some knowledge on me! I like to hear what you guys think as well..   

Fly Racing Formula Helmet First Impression


I had the chance to head to Carlsbad last Thursday to check out the new Fly Formula helmet to get a tutorial by Dr. Dan Plant and the Fly Racing staff on the technology that is behind Fly’s new premium helmet lineup. I have had the chance to spend a couple days riding in the helmet (since Thursday) to give you an initial first impression on how it feels while riding. Here are “Ten Things” you must know about the Fly Formula helmet with AIS (Adaptive impact System). Stay tuned for a full long term review very soon over here on Pulpmx.com and Keeferinctesting.com.

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  1. Adaptive Impact System: The Adaptive Impact System (AIS) is a high-performance ecosystem of structural design and energy mitigating materials. Each layer of the AIS from RHEON enhanced Energy Cells, to the dual-density EPS liner, and the 12k carbon fiber shell, was carefully fine-tuned to achieve the goal of creating FLY’s highest performing helmet possible.

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2. Energy Cells By Rheon: Impact Energy Cells were engineered by the FLY Racing design team specifically for the Formula. The seven strategically-placed cells in the EPS liner are designed to feel natural inside the helmet, resulting in a seamless fit for the rider. Their unique shape and maze-like structure allow the Impact Energy Cells to compress and shear. Each cell can either compress during a linear impact or shear during a rotational impact. This slight movement maximizes absorption of low speed linear and rotational impacts reducing overall brain stress. These energy cells are made of RHEON, an “active” strain-rate sensitive material that efficiently absorbs and dissipates energy as it deforms. Invented by Dr. Dan Plant, a mechanical and industrial design engineering expert based at the Imperial College of London, RHEON’s adaptive chemistry reacts instinctively to control energy and change its behavior depending on the severity or direction of an impact. Essentially, the RHEON Impact Energy Cells maximize absorption of low speed linear and rotational impacts.

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3. Conehead Technology: Like a crumple zone, Conehead technology absorbs and dissipates impact forces more effectively than traditional EPS helmet liners. Created by physicist Don Morgan, Conehead technology uses cone shapes to pair a firm density EPS with a much lower density EPS. The result is more progressive energy absorption through a broader range of impact scenarios.

The Formula has six critical zones of Conehead EPS. Each zone has a uniquely fine-tuned combination of EPS densities to manage impacts specific to that region of the helmet. These specific multi-density EPS zones produce a much more progressive response to low speed and high-speed impacts. 

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4.Expanded EPS Studies have shown that the majority of impacts occur on the forehead or side of the head. To help combat these impacts, the Formula development team incorporated lower density expanded volume EPS (thicker EPS) in these critical zones. This expanded volume EPS provides improved suspension for impacts.

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5. 12K Carbon Fiber Shell And Control Release System Visor: The Formula’s first line of defense is an extremely strong and lightweight 12K carbon fiber shell. 12K carbon fiber refers to 12,000 carbon filaments per band. Carbon fiber is strongest when it is flat. Wider carbon fiber bands woven together produce a flatter result with less dips and rises inherent in a woven material. The reduction of these dips and rises creates less areas for resin to pool. Less resin equals less weight. The result is an extremely lightweight shell with superior penetration resistance to common 3K carbon fiber. Mounted on the front of the helmet is a durable yet flexible fracture resistant nylon visor. FLY’s own proprietary Control Release System secures the visor to the helmet but will allow it to release under certain types of impacts.


6.True Functional Ventilation (TFV): When in motion cool air is forced through multiple air intake vents. It then passes through vent channels in the EPS to collect the heat inside the helmet. Finally, the heat is literally sucked out through multiple exhaust vents. This suction is the result of a venturi effect created by the unique geometry of the helmet. The increased draw of air out of the rear of the helmet significantly boosts overall air movement and cooling.

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7. Fitment/Comfort First Impression: After riding with the new Formula for a couple days I have come to feel that the fitment is a little snugger (near cheek area) than the F2, but the inside liner is much plusher inside. The pockets that surround the ears have a more dampened sound and the helmet isn't quite as loud as the F2. This is something you may or may not notice right away, as I didn't really notice it until I wore the F2 and Formula back to back. There are absolutely no hot spots on your head while wearing the Formula helmet through a long day of riding and I never felt like I needed to take it off. The Rheon energy cells sit on your head in a way that allows the helmet to almost wrap around the shape of your head better and not just get that “sit on top of it feel”.  

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8: Ventilation First Impression: The ventilation of the Formula helmet is on par with the Alpinestars Supertech M10 as the ports are the most wide/open I have ever seen from an intake/exhaust port standpoint. When you look through the Formula helmet you can see daylight going through the helmet itself. Wearing it during my motos you can actually feel the airflow going through your head and keeping the Ari circulated. I didn't really notice this until my second moto when my head was damp with sweat, but as soon as this happened, I could feel the cooling sensation starting to work even better. 

9: Visor First Impression: I will have two say I am not a fan of the Formula helmet’s visor length and placement. The F2 also had this problem of where the visor sets itself  too high on the shell and the Formula has that same look. When pushing the visor down it leaves a gap and just doesn't look right. The short/high nature of the visor also makes it harder to see when the sun starts dipping down (I would know because I have been burning fuel until dark lately). FLY’s control release system on the visor is very cool and will not just come flying off if you take a spill because it actually has some tension on it. You will have to take the screw off and snap the recessed portion of the visor back in place, if it ever does come out. 


10: Weight Feeling First Impression: Coming in at 1290 grams the Formula feels light on your head when riding. I have grown to appreciate a lighter feeling helmet when riding as you don't really know how tired your neck muscles can get until you ride with a heavier helmet. I also like that it doesn't feel too light where i am wondering if this thing is even going to protect me when I fall. It’s light enough for me to appreciate the lack of weight, but I’m not scared of wearing a paper weight while pushing the limits on my bike. 









Alpinestars Supertech M8 Helmet


I have been wearing the Alpinestars Supertech M10 helmet for a few months, but I also wanted to try the M8 because it’s set at a lower price point ($499.95 versus the M10 at $649.95). I recently received the M8 and wanted to compare the two out on the track, so here is some information you can digest easily after I rode in both. What’s the difference between the M8 and M10? The M8 is a multi shell construction utilizing a highly advanced molding technology with a multi-composite combination (not a full carbon shell like the M10), the M8 is 40 grams heavier than the M10 (at 1300 grams versus 1260 grams), the M8 doesn't come with an extra visor or a racing helmet bag, and that sums it up. Not much different on paper, but what about on the track?

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First let me fill you in on all the features of the M8: 


  • The M8 A uni-directional carbon composite with aramid layer that gives significant radial strength around the shell, preventing compression but allowing controlled deflection for reducing transmitted impact energy, and providing critical penetration protection.




  • S-M8 in four anatomical shell sizes. The Supertech M8 shell construction is optimized to offer best fit across the range of four size options. Shell sizes are manufactured in small, medium, large and extra-large to ensure that riders have the correct fit which not only improves comfort but, most importantly, the effectiveness of the helmet in an impact.




  • The Supertech M8 incorporates a patented system to allow the helmet to be tuned exactly to the riders preference for the height and angle at which the helmet sits on the head. This unique technology allows for an ultra-specific set-up that can be adapted for the type of riding and the rider’s preference.




  • With a micro-adjustable pad that is connected to the helmet inner shell, it is possible to raise or lower the helmet fit and also, to tilt the helmet forward, or backwards.




  • Alpinestars has developed a unique visor release system which, while ensuring the mounting is held securely in place for riding over the most extreme terrain and any track conditions, provides exactly the right level of resistance to ensure the visor detaches from the helmet shell if it is subjected to a significant impact – no matter what the angle.




The visor design of the S-M8 is also an integral part of the ventilation system as it is profiled to direct airflow, acting as a channel to concentrate and smooth the flow into the shell. The Supertech M8 liner design is formed to optimize airflow channeling around the rider’s head before being extracted from the S-M8 through rear exhaust vents to ensure positive pressure is maintained with constant airflow while riding.  




  • The Supertech M8 helmet lining design includes canals which allow a tube to be incorporated on either side of the shell. This is a feature extensively tested by Alpinestars rally raid and enduro riders enabling convenient fitting and connection to a hydration system.




  • Removable liner cover is washable and features a cool-max fabric interior and anti-bacterial talent yarn for long-lasting freshness and quick-dry performance between riding sessions




  • The base of the S-M8 has been sculpted to give a relief section, where the bottom profile is raised to clear the collarbone (Clavicle). Also, incorporated into the area of the base pad, where it sits over the rider’s collarbone, is an energy absorption pad; a more flexible compound rubber section which allows deflection when it contacts the Clavicle.




  • MIPS is incorporated into the Supertech M8 to reduce rotational motion energies that impact the helmet causing damaging gyration force to be transmitted to the brain. A low friction ‘slip’ layer is incorporated into the Supertech M8 helmet, between the comfort padding layer and the multi-density polymer energy absorption shell. When energy is impacted upon the helmet, causing a rotation force, the MIPS layer allows for movement of the inner absorbtion layer to damp and re-direct the energy before causing significant acceleration stress to the brain. This mitigates the causes of brain injuries, such as concussion




  • The side cheek padding of the S-M8 can be extracted efficiently and safely, while the helmet is still on the rider’s head, to allow ease of removal by trackside support and medical staff.

The Supertech M8 is also designed to allow a helmet ‘Eject’ inflation system to be fitted into the inside crown of the shell.




  • Along with the ERS padding removal, ‘Eject’ allows for emergency removal of the helmet, without putting load on the rider’s spine.




  • The Supertech M8 helmet versions conform to both DOT certification and ECE homologation for use worldwide.




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The first thing you immediately notice about the M8 is its lightweight feel (just like the M10). The added 40 grams is barely noticeable when riding and to me still feels like one of the lightest (if not the lightest) helmet on the market. It’s surprisingly light when you pick it up and you just about forget you’re wearing it once out on the track, which translated into less neck fatigue. Weight isn’t usually a big factor for me, but after riding with the Alpinestars M10 for a while now I surely can appreciate the feeling on longer motos and the M8 is no exception. The cool-max interior liner is really nice too, especially in the desert when doing longer motos. Sometimes helmet liners can become slightly abrasive/course feeling once all the moisture dries up, but the M8 still leaves you with a soft feel inside and will not feel like a Brillo pad when putting it on or taking it off your head.





Ventilation was an important focal point in Alpinestars R&D process of the M10 and M8. Immediately when I went out on the track I noticed this helmet flows a lot of air, noticeably more than other off-road helmets I have tested lately. Alpinestars heat mapping tests have resulted in specifically designed ducting which produces a positive flow into the helmet over and around the rider’s head, leading to improved comfort while riding and reduced onset of heat stress in extreme conditions.The visor design of the M8 is also a very innovative part of the ventilation system, as it’s profiled to direct airflow and acts as a channel to concentrate and smooth the flow into the shell. The Supertech M8 interior liner design is formed to optimize airflow channeling around the rider’s head before exiting through rear exhaust vents. The visor design also features a patented mounting/release system that sits flush with the helmet’s shell. There are no screws keeping it in place. This makes the helmet look even more custom and seamless. The visor snaps in and stays put until the right level of resistance causes it to release and detach from the helmet to mitigate any rotational forces that would otherwise be transmitted to the rider’s head, brain or neck in the event of a crash. You will not lose this M8 visor from a simple tip over/face plant like a Fox V3 helmet can do at times. I have tested this on a couple of occasions on my local sand tracks near the house.  

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As far as the safety aspects of the M8, the carbon composite shell took a couple sizable hits over the few weeks that I tested it. Usually I am not much of a crasher, but I have been trying to push my limits riding with faster guys and have found myself on the ground a few times. The M8 left the track with scratches, but my head was no worse for the wear. MIPS and similar technologies are becoming more common these days in helmet construction. MIPS is a system that uses a low-friction slip layer between the comfort padding liner and the EPS layer, which allows one to move slightly independently of the other to dampen, redirect and reduce forces to the brain and neck, helping to reduce the chances of a concussion. Now is this the best technology there is out there for us moto guys and gals? I DON’T KNOW! I can’t sit here and tell you that this technology is the best and this is the helmet to buy over all the rest, but I can tell you the technology seems to work. 



This MIPS system will not prevent a concussion. There are many types of “helmet technologies” in the our world, so study up and decide on which one you believe in the most. Again, just like neck brace technology, it’s up to you to take in the scientific information and decide for yourself which one you trust in the most. 


I do like the A-Head fitting height and adjustment system as well as hydration system compatibility. The A-Head system allows the helmet to be tuned exactly to my preference for the height and angle at which the helmet sits on my head. With a micro-adjustable pad that is connected to the helmet’s inner shell, it is possible to raise or lower the helmet fit and also, to tilt the helmet forward, or backwards. It’s easy to use and adjust, but I did find that I needed to use thicker cheek pads to fill in the area inside the helmet. I am a size medium and the standard cheek pads are a little too thin for my skinny cheek bones (just like the M10). Going to 40-45mm cheek pads gave me a snugger fit and helped with the feeling of too much side to side slop. 


For you off-roaders out there, the hydration pack compatibility is also a very cool feature and my off-road tester Michael Allen found it beneficial on his longer trail rides. There’s a channel on either side of the chinbar behind the cheek pads to run a tube for a Camelbak or similar type of hydration system. It’s cool that Alpinestars includes some “off-road” into their lids!

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Each Alpinestars Supertech M8 helmet size comes with its own dedicated proprietary carbon shell size and EPS liner construction. This not only ensures that riders have a correct fit, but most importantly improves protection and the effectiveness of the helmet in case of an impact while optimizing weight reduction across the size range. The Alpinestars Supertech M8 is both DOT and ECE certified, comes in six different sizes from XS to XXL and will set you back $499.95. That is slightly less than most premium helmets that are floating around in the market today.


The looks of the helmet is something that has grown on me the past couple months. I wasn’t completely sold on the front piece of the helmet where the A-Stars logo is placed, but after riding with it and seeing photos of myself with the M8 on, it looks attractive enough for me not to complain. And you all know that I am a picky SOB when i comes to gear/helmets. If someone made me choose between the M8 and M10. Think I would go with the M8 because it is slightly less money and comes in some colors that I prefer more. Check the SuperTech M8 and M10 helmets out over at alpinestars.com

EVS Revo 4 & Revo 5 Roost Guards

 

Written/Tested By: Dominic Cimino


I am a huge advocate for wearing protective gear in motocross. I firmly believe that the better someone is equipped with safety gear, the lesser the chance is for them to experience an injury that could have been prevented. This product review is centered around something that I continue to wear every time I swing my leg over a bike; an under-the-jersey chest protector/roost guard. We have both the Revo 4 and Revo 5 roost guards by EVS on the table, and this quick review will break down a little bit about each of them in case you might be on the market for this specific piece of equipment. 

First off, EVS has been in the protective gear game for a longer than a hot minute. They stand by the company motto of “we are protection” and it shows. They make anything and everything related to keeping one’s body safe in this sport we love the most. Not to mention, one of their biggest ambassadors is the human crash test dummy himself, Travis Pastrana. The fact that the guy is still walking should be a true testament to the EVS protection line. The Revo 4 and Revo 5 roost guards are a one size fits all, under the jersey garment, designed to keep that painful roost off of your upper body. We all know the feeling; of trying to pass your buddy or some stubborn animal on a 450 that is completely hazing you. It is not fun! If you experience this scenario from time to time and are not wearing a roost guard or chest protector, god bless you. 

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Both of the Revo guards share the exact same chest piece - from the color, to sizing and design. Where they differ is the Revo 5 incorporates a back protector and removable shoulder pads to round out the comprehensive upper body zone. Upon first fitment, both guards felt large on me (I’m 5’7”, 145lbs - skinny guy). I quickly found out there are plenty of adjustable straps to tailor the Revos’ to my body, so the “one size fits all” statement seems pretty accurate. Once I got everything adjusted accordingly, the roost guards felt very comfortable. They both wrapped around my chest and ribs really well, giving the “hug effect”. They allowed me to put my jersey on easily with no hang-ups, and once fully geared up, did not feel or look overly bulky in plain sight. 

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For the purpose of this test, I removed the minimal shoulder pads on the Revo 5 so I could compare apples to apples to apples (Revo 4 vs Revo 5 vs Alpinestars A1 - the go-to in my gear bag). On the track, the Revo guards where very comfortable in use. They stayed in place and did not hinder any movement that I needed when on the bike. I really enjoyed the “hug effect” that they provide… I guess there is just something natural about that feeling that is hard to replicate. The Revo 4 feels just slightly more naked, due to the fact that it is missing the back piece. You will still feel the adjustable back straps against you, because they are not the most minimalistic in design. On the other hand, the Revo 5 just felt slightly better overall, due to the package being a little more complete when incorporating the backplate. To be honest, these guards are pretty much the exact same, so why would you not wear the backplate if it has no negative side effects? That is how I see it at least, the more protection the better so long as comfort and performance are not hindered. The one thing I could see posing a problem during the warmer months of the riding season is ventilation. The Revo guards do not seem to have much of it, when compared to my Alpinestars A1. After riding multiple motos in them, I did not have that big of an issue due to cooler weather at the moment, but I could definitely see that changing when we are back in triple digits. 

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I plan to keep one of these in my gear bag at all times moving forward. Whether I end up using it, or I try to spread the gospel of safety to anyone near me that might need to hear it. These under-the-jersey protective pieces are a no brainer for me, as the sleek designs and comfort they provide give no room for excuses to anyone looking to stay safe. EVS continues to develop great safety products and you can view them all over at www.evs-sports.com. Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to holler at me - dominic@keeferinctesting.com

Asterisk Micro Cell Knee Braces

If you got a young little ripper like the one I have, you want to keep them as safe as possible in this dangerous sport we all love. The old rule of thumb is “dress for the crash not the ride” and this hold true even more with our children. It’s one thing getting yourself hurt, but making sure your child is wearing the appropriate gear gives us parents some piece of mind knowing that they are as safe as possible. Crashes are inevitable between the ages of 5-12 and getting the appropriate gear on them is crucial. Asterisk has made youth knee braces for quite sometime, but have recently introduced their new Micro Cell knee brace that are the first of their “Slim Line” set of carbon knee braces. 

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The Micro Cell has an epoxy pre-preg carbon frame, made in Asterisk’s factory in Corona, California, with a full coverage patella cup and hyperextension stops ranging from 0-30 degrees (similar to our current Jr Cell). It is also equipped with Asterisk’s true motion hinge that gives the rider smooth/natural motion of each leg. This brace offers rigid lateral arms for the most support and lowest profile possible. The Micro Cell really makes sure all the important areas of knee protection are addressed without being too bulky for most youth riders small/skinny legs. 

My son Aden is 12 years old weighs 85 pounds, but is built like his dad (D&R), which means he is long and skinny. We have tried other youth braces in the past, but could never get the right fit for his smaller circumference chicken legs. Other braces would slip down, dig into his leg, and wouldn't get tight enough, which means they wouldn't be doing their job in case of a crash or sudden twist. The Micro Cell’s fit snugly with three velcro straps and are not cumbersome to interrupt the technique of a small rider. Having proper technique at a young age is super important because these younger years of riding are the foundation of proper technique for the future (AKA Safety). I like that there are extension stops that limit my little dudes legs that can also be adjusted by the parent as the child grows. 

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After using the braces on the first day, Aden reported back that he could move his leg more freely through corners and the braces weren't as heavy (as his older style braces that he was wearing). Pinching/squeezing the bike was made easier because of the slim nature of the brace and Aden didn't come home with a chunk of skin missing, because the Micro Cell didn't dig into any parts of his legs. I also like the braces because the hinges/frame protected him from a collision at a race that he had with another rider. Another kid came into him a little hot and basically t-boned Aden in the side of the knee/leg area. The hinges/frame of the Micro Cell not only protected his knee, but kept the impact to his leg to a minimum. Some people ask me “why not just get him in knee guards”? Having this happen to Aden and then inspecting his knee/leg gave me the answer as to why knee braces are better without question. It’s added protection for my kid that needs it in a time where he most likely will be crashing the most because he is learning to find where he can push the limit and where he can’t. 

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The cost of the Micro Cell is $349.00 and is a one size fits most as Asterisk can provide thinner or thicker padding to create the correct fit. Aden used standard pads and hasn't used thinner pads yet. The brace itself has held up great over the course of several months of crashing and riding, but they are fully rebuildable from Asterisk if need be. The Micro Cell’s are not up on Asterisk’s website yet, but is available by calling (951) 268-6790. If you can measure the circumference of your child’s knee and give that measurement to Asterisk (when ordering) they can ensure you are getting the correct brace and padding. This has been one of the best protective pieces I have put on my kid in the past year and I fully endorse using this product to keep your child’s knees/legs safe.    





If you have any questions about this product feel free to email me at kris@keeferinctesting.com 

Fly Lite Hydrogen Gear Set

Having been a contributor for many years at a publication (that is now worthless) as well as testing with Kris over the last two years; it’s safe to say I’ve worn many different gear brands and styles. That being said, for some reason I had never worn anything from Fly Racing until last year when I got their Patrol jacket which quickly became my favorite off-road jackets/vests of all time. After telling Kris how much I liked the jacket he said I should try a set of their gear so I ordered up a pant, jersey, and set of gloves from their Lite Hydrogen line and patiently waited for it to arrive at my door step. 

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Let me preface this review with the fact that although I ride a lot of moto with Kris, I also do a lot of trail riding as well as off-road racing, so I tend to really put sets of gear through the both sides of the fence. I got my set of red Lite Hydrogen gear and one of the first things I noticed when getting dressed was the fit. I’m a little picky when it comes to how gear fits as I don’t want the LBZ look, but at the same time I don’t necessarily have the figure of a super model, so skin tight gear is almost as bad as wearing baggies. The large jersey and 32” pants contoured my 6” 180 pound frame perfectly without making me suck in my beer belly (yes, I like beer, sorry Keefer). The jersey is slightly looser than the pant, which is fine with me because I like some air between my body and the jersey. This also allows me to wear my chest protector under the jersey without looking like a football player. The jersey has mesh ventilation panels, is laser cut, and has a slightly longer tail, so you don’t look like Jason Anderson when on the track. 

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Having a slightly slimmer fitting pant is also fine with me because the fabric stays contoured without being too tight and uncomfortable. Being more form fitting also doesn’t leave any baggy material to get caught on shrouds or other parts of the bike which can impede your ability to feel comfortable on the bike. The pant material although having a contour fit seems to still be able to breathe and also has a very durable knee area, which hasn’t shown any signs of breaking down yet. One of the coolest features on the Lite Hydrogen pant is the BOA system, which gives you another way to keep the pants snug. It also kind of gives you that custom fit as everyone is made different right?  On the back of the pants, along the waist line, there is a BOA reel which can be clicked out and turned clockwise to tighten the waist of the pants. One off-road reason that I like this system is that when I wear my fanny pack (yes, I’m that guy) the extra adjustment lets me keep the pants tight so they don’t slowly fall down on a long trail ride. Boom! 

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The Lite glove is a minimalist glove, which for me makes it very comfortable; although it’s no secret that minimalist gloves don’t provide the most protection off-road, it works out ok for me because I am a hand guard type of guy. The palm of the glove is made from perforated Clarino material and has a reinforced thumb area which have both lasted with no signs of tearing. On the top of the hands is a spandex material, which is very comfortable, but doesn’t protect from bush and shrub slaps when off-roading. 

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I’ve been wearing this gear for a few months now and to be 100% honest it has been really good for both aspects of my riding! I only thought this gar would be good when I rode moto, but it has been great when I am hitting the trails as well. The only real downfall that I’ve found is the lack of protection of the back of the glove. That being said, the gloves were never meant to be off-road gloves (Fly makes a whole line of glove options for any discipline you may ride).  With the price breaking down as follows: Jersey-$49.95, Pant- $169.95, Gloves- $21.95, I think the Lite Hydrogen gear set is a great value for the hard earned dollar that you’re going to spend. If you have any more questions about the Fly Light Hydrogen gear, feel free to reach out to me at Michael@keeferinctesting.com. 

100% Brisker Gloves

Once a year I head down to Mexico to race the infamous Tecate Enduro. The event is always the first weekend of December which means temperatures vary between 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Before leaving this year, Kris handed me a pair of 100% Brisker gloves and said they may come in handy at this race. They sure did! The Brisker is 100%’s glove targeted at cold weather riding while not being super bulky like a snow glove. On top of the glove is a padded, insulated soft top which creates a slight barrier between the top of your hand and the elements. The palms of the Brisker are a single layer Clarion material and the inside is a “moisture wicking” micro fiber which is very comfortable. The wrists use a hook and loop adjustable strap to keep a tight seal from the elements as well as using Tech Threads which are supposed to let the rider be able to use touch screen devices without having to take the gloves off. 

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Sure enough, when the morning of the race came upon us, it was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and my start time was at 7:43am. I got dressed and went straight for the Brisker’s and headed to the line. I’m an XL when it comes to gloves and when I went to put the gloves on I didn’t think they were going to fit at first.  Once I got my fat hands past the cuff, they went right in, fit really well, and the material inside the glove was very comfortable on this cold Mexico morning. The hook and loop strap stayed in place and never came un-done. The Brisker did an excellent job of blocking the cold weather from the tops of my hands, but I did have handguards on which helped, although I never felt a cold breeze through the gloves. The padded top, while doing a great job of protecting me from the cold, didn’t do such a great job of protecting my delicate fingers from bushes (I know they aren’t armor gloves). There were multiple times that I was slapped by a bush through the padding and it still gave me quite the sting. Once it started to warm up (55 degrees), I noticed that the palms didn’t do the best job of getting rid of sweat. When I would take the gloves on/off between special tests, the inside of the gloves stayed damp from my sweat. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been as bad if temps stayed in the 40’s, but as the temps went up, the perspiration got slightly worse. The Tech Threads are good for pressing on smart phone screens, but when it comes to swiping (either for Tinder on the trail or just to open your phone) the gloves aren’t very effective. Overall, I think these gloves are the best cold weather gloves I’ve ever used to date and I have tried a few recently. A lot of the gloves on the market are too thick and feel very bulky when using the bikes controls. The Brisker however just feels like a normal glove with some added padding to the top of the glove with extra warmth. I’d definitely recommend these gloves for cold trail rides, or even cold mornings at the track. The looks of the Brisker doesn't scream “COLD WEATHER GLOVES” as it looks “cool” enough for moto dudes. If you have any questions about the 100% Brisker gloves or anything else at Keefer Inc. Testing feel free to send me an email at Michael@keeferinctesting.com.  -Michael Allen

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Fox Instinct Boot

Just in case you haven't listened to episode 7 (Boot Comparison) of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Keefer Tested Podcast we are here to explain the Fox Instinct boot and how it performs on your feet while riding. When the top designers, engineers and product wizards at Fox set about designing a new boot, they didn't just shoot for "almost perfect", nor did they accept that a finished product had to be flawed. They spent countless hours designing, developing and testing various components, and after several years of gathering feedback from the top riders in our sport, they came up with a design that was as close to perfection as they could manage. Meet the Instinct boot. The Instinct boot is going on its seventh year of production and to me it’s one of the most comfortable boots out there today. 

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The key goals in developing this boot were to combine freedom of movement with the highest level of protection possible; in other words, safety and comfort were a must for Fox. This starts in the guts of the boot where five key components have been utilized to create the perfect fit: An athletic insole provides running shoe-like cushioning, a steel shank supports the arch, a polyurethane midsole offers energy absorption, a TPU support is in place for impact protection and stability, and Fox's exclusive rubber outsole provides grip on the peg and is backed by lifetime durability guarantees.

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The rest of the boot is just as highly developed as the inside. A patented floating ball-and-socket buckle makes for easy operation with gloves on. Flexion is provided by a stabilizing hinge, which also ensures that the ankle cannot hyperextend past the predetermined lockout points. A host of other technical materials grace the boot to help create a solid weld between ankle and bike, and the overall build makes for one of the lightest boots on the market. Fox truly left nothing on the table when developing these suckers.

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Once slipping them on I do notice the fit is a little small to me so I go up to a size 11 (usually I am a size 10 in almost all other brands of boots), the toe-box is a little smaller than a Tech 10, and the buckles are so much more easy to operate than those found on some of the biggest brands in the sport. The first aspect of the boot you will notice is there is definitely a lightweight feel to the Instinct and my legs certainly do feel less fatigue when riding tracks that force you to ride leg high through corners. The feature that I was most happy with was the inner comfort of the boot. Like a good running shoe, the insole has a ton of cushioning and support without feeling too rigid or bulky. The sole also has a ton of grip which provides excellent absorption/cushion to my ankles when slamming into jump faces or when I really screw up and case the crap out of something. Off-road riders will love this boot based on the fact that it truly can be worn all day, but Fox also offers the Instinct in an off-road version as well with a more aggressive sole. So just know that. The protection level certainly feels sufficient for the usual battery of rut-snags and rock-hits that I encounter on any given day of testing. However, to me, the Instinct is built for performance and comfort, but breaks down quicker than other boots on the market. This is the only boot that I can wear straight out of the box and feel my pegs and controls without any issue. I can’t pull a set of Tech 10’s out of the box and feel “good” straight away. It takes time for them to break in, but the Fox boot DO NOT need any break in period. They are ready to rock! The flip-side/bad news is when the Instincts get worn in, they get somewhat flimsy to me and I feel my ankles flex too much when landing hard off of jumps. I usually keep boots for a long time (around 50-60 engine hours), but the Fox Instincts felt flimsy around 35-40 hours of engine time. Other pieces to the boot like the sole, buckles, insole, and hinges never broke or failed, but I just feel the boot to be super soft (in ankle area) after some time of usage. The sole of the Fox Instincts have lasted long past the 50 hour mark, but have only seen stock pegs and not super sharp titanium oversize pegs.

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Overall, the Instinct features an impressive level of performance and comfort that definitely lives up to Fox's claims. Coming in at $549.95 the Fox Instinct is in the same ballpark as a Gaerne SG-12 and Alpinestars Tech 10, so the decision to purchase shouldn't be about price. In my opinion the Fox Instinct boot is the most comfortable boot out of the three, but hold its integrity slightly less than the other two brands. I look at the Fox Instinct boot as a factory spec tire that provides maximum comfort and performance on the track, but it just doesn't last quite as long.

If you have any questions about this test please feel free to email me at kris@keeferinctesting.com and I am here to help!  

100% Cognito Glove Product Review

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Now that the weather in So Cal is finally starting to cool down I’m now able to enjoy more trail riding time. When I go trail riding I’m almost always a handguard guy, but there are times when I’m at introductions for new bikes that don’t come with handguards (I.E. the 2019 Honda 450X). Most of the riding gear I get is moto based, which is fine when it comes to the pant/jersey, but most moto gloves don’t stand up very well to bushes and other trail riding  shrubbery/roost. This is where 100% comes in; they have multiple glove lines that you can wear depending on what type of riding you’re doing. The first pair I got to test are named the Cognito and they offer more protection than your typical moto glove. The four-way stretch material on top of the glove is very rugged, doesn’t snag on bushes, and is much more resistant to punctures. The top of the glove (on the knuckles) uses D3O® material for additional impact resistance. Admittedly when I saw the gloves for the first time I thought the knuckles looked slightly bulky (like street bike gloves) and would hinder movement, but I was wrong. The first couple times I wore the Cognito gloves the knuckle area was a little stiff but once I wore them a few times I didn’t even notice a hindrance from the added protection. The D3O® material absorbs impacts while keeping its ability to be flexible and well ventilated. This is not only handy for trail riding; I also found it helpful when getting roosted while riding moto. The wrist strap seals well, but in my opinion is a little too thick and bunches, which is slightly un-comfortable when your wrist is at its maximum range of motion (full throttle). 

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When compared to moto gloves the Cognito’s are slightly thicker, but still ventilate well because the sides of the fingers are perforated. The Cognito glove isn't for your cold weather riding conditions. The Cognito glove also uses Tech Thread which is supposed to give you the ability to still use your smart phone with the gloves on. While the Tech Threads work for tapping icons on a smart phone, I found it difficult to swipe my finger on the screen and have the phone recognize it. Over the last month of riding these gloves have held up well and shown minimal signs of wear. There are five colorways available, which is nice because you should be able to find something that will go with your gear set. With a price tag of $39.50 they aren’t the cheapest glove out there, but in my opinion, for the protection and features, the price meets the gloves quality. If you have any questions about the Cognito glove feel free to reach out to me at Michael@Keeferinctesting.com. -Michael Allen

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Alpinestars A-1 Roost Guard

I am always looking for maximum flexibility when I ride, which means that I don’t always dress for the crash, but instead I dress for the ride. I tell my son Aden “do as I say not as I do”. I have been actually listing to my own advice lately and have ben wearing some sort of protection under my jersey. I am also very picky about what goes over or underneath my jersey before I get out onto the track. Alpinestars has its A-1 Roost Guard, so I decided to try it for a while to see if I can live with having some protection under my jersey. Don’t get confused, as this is not your full-on, maximum protection chest protector. The A-1 Roost Guard is constructed of a poly material blend, and the front guard is CE certified against impacts and roost (the back shell is not). However, the back shell is removable, and the whole shell is completely perforated to allow airflow through to your body. The shoulder pads are removable, and the A-1 comes in combined sizes M/L and XL/XXL.

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I have been testing the A-1 Roost Guard with the complete shell intact for a while and found it to be very comfortable under my jersey. Although it is not the lightest under protector I have tried, its mobility won me over as it allowed me to move freely on the bike without feeling like my upper torso was welded together. Once I got used to the complete shell, I removed the shoulder pads and back shell and rode with it like that for several weeks. This quickly became my favorite setup, as it almost felt like I didn’t have anything on. Adjusting from full shell to front shell only is super easy with the integrated Y-strap system.

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I was skeptical on the sizing I received (M/L), but the A-1 guard is extremely adjustable and fit snugly around my torso. I also appreciated that the soft Biofoam shoulder pads do not stick out or make your jersey protrude outward when riding. I did get a little warmer when wearing the A-1, but it wasn’t so bad that I needed to cut holes in my jersey or needed to rip my jersey off immediately after a long moto. Even though I am not the best example of, “Dress for the crash, not the ride,” I appreciate a good roost guard that offers flexibility and enough protection/roost deflection for my taste. At $119.95, the Alpinestars A-1 is a great buy with its multiple configurations and is comfortable enough for me to wear year-round. It’s offered in black or white colorways and is available directly from alpinestars.com

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Seven MX Zero Compression Pants




Take a look at any professional football game, basketball game, or marathon starting line, and you’re bound to see them: compression wear. Tight sleeves, knee-high socks, full-length leggings in neon colors that seem to be on nearly every competitor.

The claims on compression gear are impressive: Manufacturers say compression garments can speed recovery, increase blood flow, and therefore, improve athletic performance. But what about in motocross? I have used compression type garments in the past with great results. Is it actually working or is it a placebo effect? Honestly I can’t sit here and tell you the science behind all of that, but I can tell you what I feel when riding with Seven’s new Zero Compression Pant. 

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Seven MX has introduced their Zero Compression Pant, that is an athletic compression fit, that is said to hold muscles tight and help reduce unnecessary muscle movement or shaking, that can result in loss of energy. Seven also claims that muscle compression also promotes blood and oxygen flow which aids in quicker muscle recovery, allowing for muscles to work at a higher rate for longer periods of time. The Zero pants feature a moisture wicking performance material that is said to pull moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. Stretch mesh panels in the bodies high heat zones is said to help to regulate body temperature. Seven also incorporates silicone dot gripper tech print in key areas for added grip on knee braces and inner pant liner.

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Ok, so now that you know a little about the product, how does it work on my old motocross carcass of a body? I will tell you that some of these claims that compression wear helps blood flow are found to be true for myself. Having some type of compression on my limbs (while I workout or ride) seems to help lessen muscle fatigue (for myself) and also keeps things held together nicely when I am out pounding motos. The Zero Compression Pants fit snugly and acts like a thin layer of support for my legs. I like the fact that my knee braces do not slip throughout the day due to Seven’s silicon dot gripper material. The Zero Compression Pants are also thin enough that they don’t heat up my legs on a hot desert day and can actually cool them down when I start to sweat. The biggest benefit, that I have felt, is that my legs do feel a little more secure and fresh at the end of a long test day. Is it the compression? Is it a placebo effect? I don’t know, but to me it doesn't matter because it helps my legs feel fresher and more secure if you will. If you don't like wearing long motorcycle knee brace socks then having some type of compression pant under your riding gear is a must. I usually wear a Leatt or Asterisk knee brace pant, but I have been resorting to the Seven Zero Compression Pants because it’s simply less material to deal with. Although I do like that the Zero Compression Pants do not allow your knee braces to slide down, the Leatt and Asterisk pants do make it easier to put your riding pants on (due to the fact that the Asterisk and Leatt compression pants fold over your knee braces, which doesn't allow the velcro straps, of your knee braces, to get hung up on your riding pant liner). 

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If you haven't tried compression type products yet and are old like me, maybe give these Seven Zero Compression Pants a try. They aren't some miracle pant, but they do feel nice under your riding gear, helps your legs stay fresh, keeps your legs cool, and secures your knee braces without having to have excess material. The Zero Compression Pants are $89.00 for adults (S-XXL) and $80.00 in Youth (Y24-Y28) sizes.   

100% iTrack Gloves Product Review



What? 100% makes gloves? Yes, that’s right, not only do they make goggles, but 100% has been in the glove game for a while now as well. I am a big stickler when it comes to gloves, almost borderline a pain in the ass, so I needed to see if these iTrack gloves from 100% was worth my time. The 100% iTrack gloves feature a stylish embossed slip-on cuff application for ease and comfort, a seamless mesh top hand that is said to improve fit over knuckles and increases airflow, mesh finger gussets are placed to enhance mobility and wick away moisture, a thumb overlay aids in reducing blisters (AKA Yamathumb), a perforated single-layer Clarino palm aids in comfort while reducing bunching, silicone printed palm/finger graphics are placed accordingly to try and improve palm and lever traction, and finally an integrated tech-thread keeps you connected with your devices so you can “like”, “swipe right”, “facebook", “snapchat”, “tweet”, or take a “selfie” on the track or trail.

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I am a big fan of slip on style gloves and prefer them over having a velcro cuff closure system. Once I put the iTrack gloves on I noticed they were a little tighter in the palm area than I would have liked, but stretched out enough within the first ride. I am normally a size large in gloves and once the iTrack’s were broken in they felt like a large. However, when new they feel like a medium, so be forewarned it will take some break in. The materials that 100% uses are extremely comfortable, breathable, and soft to the skin, yet provided me with enough padding in my palm to shun away blisters from a long day of testing. This is a minimalistic glove so just know that there is zero knuckle protection from roost or rocks, but in this case (with gloves) comfort outweighs protection for me. (We will be testing another set of 100% gloves that does in fact have knuckle protection, in the coming weeks). 

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I did notice that the neoprene cuff was a little shallow as it barely covered up the end of my palms/start of my wrists. The cuff never slid down or allowed dirt inside my palms, but the feeling of it being shallow was more annoying to me than anything. The durability of the glove is something that I will have to praise. I beat the shit out of the iTrack’s and usually I rip the seams near the thumb area almost constantly with other lightweight gloves, but the iTrack has held up and proved to be a very durable minimalistic glove. Very rarely do you get a thin glove that doesn't come busting open at the seams, so this was nice to finally see. I have spent over one month with these gloves and have yet to find a failure in the sewing. (Just know that one month of my riding is equal to around 4-6 months of normal blue collar dirt bike riding). This to me is almost as important as the comfort of the glove. I hate it when I am at the track, in the middle of the day, only to find out my glove is split wide open near the thumb area. I did manage to try out the integrated tech-thread and in fact it does allow you to text and send with zero issues. I didn't swipe right, but I did manage to text the wife that I wasn't coming home, to do the honey do’s, because I was still riding. 

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For $29.50 the iTrack is a good buy, but just make sure you know that they do fit a little tighter (in the palm area) than some other lightweight gloves on the market. Just like boots, some gloves need break in time and these iTrack’s definitely need that “break in” period. 

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Bonus Tip: Because I know I am going to get a crap ton of emails asking me “ Yeah Keefer, but can I wear these gloves with any gear set”? My answer is “yes, you can”! Why? Because 100% only makes gloves and goggles and it’s still within the gear laws (if you abide by them) to wear 100% gloves with any gear company. If 100% starts to make gear than you must wear 100% gloves with 100% gear only. Until then have a ball and buy some 100% gloves to go with your Thor gear

Leatt GPX 5.5 I.K.S. Steel Pant And GPX 5.5 Ultraweld Steel Jersey



For a few years Leatt has been getting deeper into the high end gear market and I’ve been lucky enough to test a few different lines. A while ago Kris (Keefer) gave me a set of 2019 GPX 5.5 gear and told me to put it through the testing ringer. Since then I’ve been wearing this set exclusively whether it be moto or off-road and have been loving the looks of the new colorway as well. I wanted to give you all quick first impression of the gear, but look for a more in depth test in a couple months, when I get more miles on the 5.5 pant and jersey.   

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The fit of the Leatt 5.5 gear is top notch, not being too tight or too baggy. Sizing is correct and there are no surprises when putting on any of the Leatt pieces. The jersey is made out of a lightweight, vented and stretchy material. In the armpits of the jersey there are multiple vent holes to help keep hot spots to a minimum. The torso and arm area are athletic fitting without squeezing the body and has just enough material so there is a thin layer of ventilation between your body and the jersey. One thing I didn’t care for on the jersey were the cuffs. The taped seams that are used on the welded cuffs are a rubbery plastic material that came un-bonded from the jersey material itself and just hung off. When riding off-road the jersey got some small snags from branches, but they never grew larger than just a small snag. The jersey is very comfortable, soft to the skin, and breathes well when you start to sweat.

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The I.K.S. steel pant, like the jersey, has a great fit. It is an athletic fit from your waist all the way down your legs without being too tight. I have zero issues with the pant stretching comfortably around my knee braces, nor does it hinder my movement on the bike. The pant is made mostly of a four-way stretch/Rip Stop material so while it looks tight, it’s really just comfortable and form fitting. Leatt uses its Internal Knee Brace System (I.K.S.) on the inside of the knee area to prevent excessive knee brace wear or tearing, which it did because the knee area have held up great. On the original set of pants I received I did have an issue with the zipper. The first ride out, the zipper came off the bottom and both sides of the zipper were disconnected. I was able to get it re-zipped, but then when zipped back up, the zipper below the top came undone and could not unzip. I contacted Leatt and they sent me out a new set of pants and I never had this issue again after several uses. Looking back, I don’t think this is a flaw in the pant, I just think it was a fluke malfunction that happened. However to keep up with the transparency here at Keefer Inc. Testing, I still wanted to let the reader know everything that has happened with the Leatt set of gear. If this happens to you please contact them and they can remedy the issue for you. One aspect about the pant that really stood out to me was that in some situations they had a hard time staying up. I’d like to say it’s because I’m so skinny, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. When accelerating out of ruts that have acceleration bumps, the stretch material on the butt of the pants (or yolk) gets pulled down. Coming out of corners with acceleration chop can make the pant pull down slightly throughout the duration of a moto. This obviously didn’t happen if the track forced me to stand a lot, but when there was a lot of sitting and chop it was noticeable. The best way I found to combat this was to tighten the buckle a little tighter than I normally would. The adjustable ratchet latch always worked well as well as the zipper (aside from the first set of pants I previously mentioned).  

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Overall, I think Leatt is a real contender in the high-end gear market and will only improve over time. I will keep putting more time on the 5.5 set of gear over the next few months and report back with all of my findings. Feel free to reach out to me at Michael@Keeferinctesting.com if you have any questions regarding the Leatt 5.5 gear set. 

-Michael Allen

2019 Fox FlexAir Pant And Jersey


Fox has been a staple in the motocross world for as long as I can remember. Being a little seven year old high desert kid I can still remember seeing my heroes wearing Fox Racing gear. I used to ride around my house, on my YZinger, with my trusty Pawtector’s on pretending I was racing the Coors Light Supercross Challenge at Anaheim Stadium. Fast forward 35 years and Fox is bigger than just motocross, but have stayed true to their motocross heritage. The FlexAir is Fox’s high performance, race driven set of gear that you see top riders like Ken Roczen, Ryan Dungey, and Austin Forkner wear every weekend. I have reviewed the FlexAir set a couple years ago, but I wanted to re-visit the new updated version to see how it performs on my body and track. 

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The FlexAir pant utilizes Fox’s RAP (Rider Attack Position) construction for a precise fit on the bike, a rigid waist system to firmly hold the pant in place, a four- way stretch TruMotion main body fabric that is said to provide increased mobility on the machine, laser perforation in key areas for enhanced airflow, a dyed main body fabric with premium heat transfer logo treatments, the elimination of internal liner is said to reduce weight and heat, slim knee construction provides a sleek performance fit over braces or guards, a double layer knee system for durability against knee braces and guards, critically taped seams to help reduce chaffing, and there are hip pads that are available, but sold separately. 

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The FlexAir jersey incorporates a lightweight construction for complete freedom of movement, new for 2019 is an athletic fit sleeve with laser perforation for enhanced airflow, a TruDri fabric provides a soft, lightweight fit as well as moisture wicking, a dyed main body fabric with premium heat transfer logo treatments, a bonded collar to reduce chaffing, and lastly a bonded stretch cuff provides a slim athletic fit.

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Now that some of the details are out of the way, here are a few things that I wanted to share with you all about the Fox FlexAir set of gear: 


The Flex Air pant is an athletic style pant that fits tight/snug over my knee brace/knee area, but remains super stretchy. I am able to move around on the bike freely and less restricted than other non athletic type pants. The word “snug” doesn’t have to mean “restrictive” or “uncomfortable”. Having a snug fit against your body can help make you feel streamlined while riding. Think of bicycle racers and their skin suits they wear for time trials. They wear tighter fitting clothes to cut through the air when tucked into their attack position. Motocross is not that much different, except we are flying through the air and going much faster speeds. No media testing outlet ever really talks about this, but when going back and forth between athletic and non-athletic cut gear you can feel a difference in drag (especially at speed). The updated closure system is like having a half belt around your waist with Fox’s two-piece design. When you cinch down on the buckle it feels like the waist area is firmly secure all the way around your waist, not just the front area. When I move around on the bike with the older style FlexAir pant, at times, the pant slipped down and this led to my jersey untucking as well as having to deal with unwanted pant slippage. However, with this closure system my jersey stayed tucked in and the FlexAir pant stayed around my waist where it belonged. The taped seams inside the pant are great and I wish every manufacturer would do this because you never have get snags when pulling the pants up. Not only do taped seams help when putting the pant on, it helps when moving around on the bike and keeps the pant lightweight feeling. Fox’s “RAP” system really does work and is not just a gimmick. The FlexAir pant bends with my natural motion on the bike and doesn’t bunch up near the leather of the knee area when I am seated on the machine. Not to mention that the leather knee is extremely durable for a minimalistic type pant. I have endured a few weeks of durability testing with the FlexAir pant and it has held up well against my CTi knee braces. The FlexAir fit is true to size and has a little extra room with how stretchy the pant is in the waist. So if you're a size 33, a 32 will work just fine. I usually wear either an Asterisk ZeroG pant or Leatt knee brace pant and the fit isn’t too snug around the waist. 

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The FlexAir jersey has one big change to it and that is with the sleeve/arm portion of the jersey! If you are looking for ventilation look no further than this jersey right here! it is THE BEST on the market (besides the Shift Blue Label jersey) with ventilation and a lightweight feel. No other jersey compares to it! The FlexAir jersey felt like it had an overall shorter cut length arm when on the bike, which I approved of, but if you're a taller rider (6’2 and up) you may notice a shorter overall sleeve length than normal. The perforated sleeves ventilate insanely well, but when sweating, it does turn the material on the sleeve kind of crusty once your sweat dries. The feeling isn't a harsh or course feel to the skin, but it does change once you have started to sweat. The FlexAir jersey is athletic cut, but not skin tight like other performance-based jerseys. Hey all you bigger dudes out there!!!! If you're a little overweight and have a belly, don't fret, the FlexAir jersey will not show ALL of your curves in your stomach. I have a couple fat rolls and it’s not even noticeable, so don’t stress! The updated cuff also doesn't get stretched out like the old FlexAir jersey over time and although it is somewhat tight when sliding over your hand, it’s very comfortable when riding (and isn't restrictive). The FlexAir jersey feels so light, it’s almost like wearing nothing, so be forewarned of roost if you’re a non-chest protector kind of guy. It’s super thin! Most underprotector’s work well with the FlexAir jersey because it is so stretchy. I had zero problems with movement on the machine with an underprotector on. Durability of the jersey is superb, but DO NOT go woods riding with this jersey and expect it to last. Tree branches will rip this jersey! This is a motocross only type of material.

The cost of the 2019 FlexAir pant is $229.95 and $99.95 for the jersey. This is a steep price, but you're getting what you pay for with the Fox FlexAir stuff. It has proved to be durable for a minimalistic type of gear and Fox offers a wide variety of colorways to keep anyone happy. If you’re looking for ventilation along with mobility on the bike, this set of gear is hard to beat. You can check out the complete line of Fox products over at foxracing.com.

If you have any questions about this test please feel free to email me at kris@keeferinctesting.com 




Spy Foundation Goggle Product Review

Spy introduced their “Foundation" motocross goggle a few months ago and I have been giving them the ol “Keefer Tested” torture setting. I love a wide peripheral goggle, but I also want the goggle to seal to my face and fit inside a wide range of helmets that I wear. There has been a trend of wide peripheral goggles being introduced the past couple years, but only a few get me a excited enough to actually wear them after initial testing. The Spy Foundation goggle has been giving me those “post testing” signs and here is why. 



 

The Spy Foundation goggle is a High Definition (HD) Lexan® lens that is designed to provide sharper and more accurate vision in all lighting conditions, while reducing distortion in the peripheral areas. It comes with an installed Spectra™ lens and bonus clear lens with posts. Spy’s RISE™+ ventilation system utilizes the Venturi effect to draw air through subframe vents above the goggle and in-between your helmet, this is said to create a vacuum that pulls hot air from behind the lens. The Spy Foundation goggle offers a 45mm roll-off system, triple-layer Isotron™ face foam with moisture-wicking Dri-Force™ fleece, that is facially contoured to try and provide a comfortable, dry seal that lasts. Spy’s spoiler-style outriggers keep tear-offs lying flat while trying to provide a tight and secure fit to the face. An extra-wide 45MM silicone-ribbed strap (trust me it’s wide) stops goggle slipping and shifting while being aggressive on the track. Lastly the Spy Foundation goggle includes a free removable nose guard and 10-pack of tear-offs (that’s pretty cool). 

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The Foundation goggle’s peripheral vision is excellent and provides enough room to fit in a wide range of helmets such as the 6D ATR-2, Fox V3, Shoei EVO, Arai VX-Pro4, Bell Moto 9 Flex, and Fly F2. However, you will have to be patient and get it to set correctly inside your lid, especially because the outriggers are very close to the edges of the eyeports of most of the above mentioned helmets. I did notice that once the goggle was on my face that the foam of the Foundation goggle was very plush and soft feeling. The foam was also good enough to soak up most of my sweat that I provided for the test during the hot summer months (in the desert). The fitment to my face and around my nose was nothing to write home about, but in the world of goggle fitment, no news is good news I say. If I don’t have anything to say abut fitment, it usually means that the goggle fits nicely. In other words, if I am not bitching about the thing, it’s pretty good.  It didn't pinch my big obnoxious nose and sealed my face well enough that it didn't allow any unwanted dirt inside the goggle. The ventilation was excellent, but it was almost too good at times because it draws so much air that when I was riding faster/flowy type tracks, it caused my eyes to water (because it draws so much air through the ports). On most motocross tracks I tested it wasn't a problem, but on trail rides and fast sections of the track you will be able to feel this.



Changing out lenses is not as easy as an Oakley Airbrake goggle, but it wasn't that much of a pain that I was cursing Spy’s name. It was painless enough that Mrs. Keefer could handle the duties with out any problems. The clarity of the lens wasn't anything “crazy good”, but it was nice that when you stacked seven tear offs on the lens, that it didn't distort my view on the track. I can appreciate this because there is nothing more annoying to me than losing my vision because I want to run more than four tear offs. 



The price of $110.00 is steep for a non-rigid lens, so just be forewarned when you go to purchase. The Spy Foundation goggle comes in nine different color ways and is available now. You can check out the complete line of Spy goggles over at spyoptic.com.