Seeing a four-year-old plow into the ground as he struggles to master the power of a PW50 can be a lot of laughs, for both of you?kids are tougher than free riders. On race day, or on any important ride, when you?re the one shoveling soil with your visor, all by yourself, or within sight of your riding buddies, it?s hard to see the humor. (Your buddies will, though.) You lift your bike back on its wheels with the limbs that still work and survey the damage. Man! If you could just relive the past few minutes, you could walk normally and save yourself $225 at the parts counter.
Look. The time machine isn?t here, and it?s not coming any time soon. They don?t even sell it in Japan yet.
Preparation is the best you can do. Dads put helmets on those four-year-olds. Free riders get free bikes and gear. You?ve got to cover yourself. Oddly enough, some of the smartest body-and-bike-protecting stuff is almost a secret. Since nobody likes?or enjoys paying for?body or bike damage, we brought some of the newest, most clever crash-proofing ideas into the light for this article.

Those who haven?t snapped a lever, raise your hands. Really? No one? Well, a little preparation, and some new products, could put and end to your lever-snapping days.
The low-tech solution is just loosening your lever brackets enough to allow the lever and perch to spin on the handlebar when you hit the ground.
Fancy racer-types like to crank their lever perches down tight, but they wrap some teflon tape around the bar first. Fixed levers with crash-resistant give. Pretty smart.
If a series is at stake, you?ll want Sunline?s forged lever and bracket. They bend?and can be re-bent?after a serious digger. Contact Sunline at (818) 705-6520.


We?ve seen plenty of bikes tumble down Bob Hannah-size hillclimbs (we were on some of them) with no serious damage, but luck doesn?t last forever. Your bike can, if you buy really good parts.
White Brothers, Acerbis and Moose have guards for discs, engine cases, master cylinders, calipers, and everything else worth guarding. We heard some of these companies were even working on guards for some of their guards. Malcolm Smith Motorsports and KTM?s K-Style accessory line has hard-to-find guards for Husabergs and KTM. SRC has stuff to guard things on XRs (like stator wires) that only Scott Summers and Lump can break.
Super strong pegs, Excel rims and Talon hubs are handy if you jump office buildings and land on concrete. White Brothers has ?em.
Do we have to tell you about aluminum handlebars again? The only place you won?t find them is on your new, stock Japanese bike. Anybody that sells parts from FMF, Acerbis, Answer, Afam, Renthal, or White Brothers will have at least two grades to show you.

Young gifted motocross superstars ride with nothing more than boots, gloves and helmets. They?d probably ride nude if they didn?t have quarter-of-a-million-dollar-a-year gear contracts. Most riders work on Monday, and a fall while racing or trailriding Sunday means pain and lost earnings; that?s why regular guys gear up. We?re assuming you have a helmet, boots, and gloves. Hopefully, you know what a chest protector is. Believe it or not, some less-well-known pieces of riding gear are almost as helpful.
Sinisalo elbow pads may be the best protective gear that has never been worn by a supercross champion?even those with Sinisalo contracts. These Lycra covered, closed-cell foam pads are formed to fit an adult?s arm in a natural riding position. They can also serve as kids? knee pads if riding pants for the kids are beyond your budget. Sinisalo dealers can get them, but you have to ask.
Remember the little hip pads that came with your pants? Use them. Please don?t say you buy your pants in a size too tight-fitting to use the pads, that?s just dumb. Buy pants with enough room to use the pads. Trust us, nobody cares how your butt looks but you.
Most riding pants come with knee cups of some kind, and you shouldn?t even think of riding without them. You can do more to keep your already destroyed knees from further destruction by seeking out top-quality knee cups, the kind that don?t come with any brand of pants. Moose has some very good ones, and knee-protecting extras like fabric-covered neoprene sleeves you can slip over tender elbows and knees. MSR?s extended-length guards are great, too. Fox also has a well-designed, high-end knee/shin guard. For crying out loud, most major gear companies have some sort of super knee cup. Just ask for the good ones.

Brake pedals and shift levers are tougher than ever, but ruts and evil-minded roots are still tougher. The time-honored brake snake?a simple, single strand of braided steel cable, strung from the brake pedal or shift lever to the frame, fastened by the little crimp-connect fasteners the ?snake comes with?will keep your foot controls in usable shape?unless you hit a train. Just $7.29 from White Brothers, (714) 692-3404.

Dirt bikes are pretty tough, but if you really throw it away, you?ll probably find the stock nylon throttle tube in splinters. Riding your bike with a shattered plastic throttle tube will be like trying to open a door with a towel wrapped around the doorknob.
There are solutions to this problem. Chaparral, (800) 841-2960, and Pro Circuit, (909) 738-8050, have aluminum throttle tubes that will withstand any crash you can ride away from.


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