TMS Buyers Guide: Top Dirt Bike Gear of 2019

check out our list of our favorite dirt bike gear from 2019

Top of the Line Motorcross Apparel from 2019

Having good protective dirt bike gear is important as having a good dirt bike. The right knee guards and road helmets are going to keep you safe in dicey situations. However, it’s not all just about protection either. You don’t want to be riding around wearing jerseys or pants that don’t fit your aesthetic style. 

We know how hard it can be to find good dirt bike riding gear that suits your safety needs but also keeps you looking good on the track or trail. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our favorite MX gear from the latest and greatest brands in 2019.

Awesome Dirt Bike Gear to Rock from Head to Toe

For the discerning shopper, or maybe just the indecisive one, here’s a list of great dirt bike apparel to keep you riding safely and in style. 

Helmets 

some of the best dirt bike gear you can get is a helmet

Troy Lee Designs – D3 Carbon Jet Helmet

Gear experts Troy Lee Designs are always on the cutting edge of gear in the motocross dirt bike world. With the help of pro-riders like Cam Zink, Steve Peat, and Alise Willoughby (just to name a few), they created the revolutionary D3 carbon jet helmet

This helmet is made from lightweight materials and designed for high-flow ventilation. The D3 helmet was designed to be easy to wear while giving you ultimate protection. It utilizes MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) to reduce strain on your brain should you fall off your bike.

Fox Racing – V1 Matte Helmet

Fox’s redesign of the V1 Matte helmet is better than ever! One of the best safety features introduced is its MVRS or Magnetic Visor Release System. Previously, the visor was held in place with three screws. This could become dangerous in the event of ground impact. The visor could cause excessive jerking or unnatural movements upon impact.

However! The newly designed visor stays rigidly in place when you need it, so no worries. And in the event of a crash, it will safely prevent any further injury that might occur. Another great feature is the new removable inner lining and cheek pads that make cleaning your helmet a breeze.

Neck Braces

make sure your dirt bike gear includes a good neck brace

Leatt – GPX 3.5 Neck Brace 

Leatt has proven themselves to be a strong contender in the neck brace world! Their neck braces are known for reducing the risk of serious neck injuries up to 47%. They’ve done this by creating high-quality dirt bike gear. And without a doubt, the GPX 3.5 is certainly one of them.

It’s designed for ultimate safety and for comfort with every body size and type. The thoracic strut is entirely adjustable to give you the ultimate comfort while also staying safe. And it was also designed to snap off before applying an amount of pressure to the rider’s back that might cause injury. 

EVS – R3

Also makers of quality products, EVS has something special with their new R3 race collar. It has a simple design with easy locking straps and can attach to almost any chest protector. It has a soft-density core which allows for even energy dissipation on impact, and the outer ballistic nylon shell is completely washable. 

Best of all, it comes in both adult and youth sizes, so if you get one for yourself and like it, you can pick one up for the younger riders at home, too. You should start ‘em young on dirt bikes, but start ‘em even younger on dirt bike safety.

Jerseys 

gotta have a great jersey

Troy Lee Designs – Skyline Women’s Camo LS Jersey

Let’s face it, the dirt biking world is a bit of a boy’s club. But just like the rest of the world, we’re starting to see great dirt bike gear designed specifically for the rest of us. A prime example is this great women’s dirt biking jersey from Troy Lee Designs.

The Skyline jersey was made specifically with the shape of the female body in mind for the ultimate comfort and full range of movement. It has lycra neck panels in the back that allow for greater ease of putting the jersey on, and reduced chaffing once you’re on the trail. Not to mention it has a scoop neck collar to give you some extra breathability in the chest area. 

O’Neal – Element Shred

With it’s V-neck collar, tagless design, and sewn in elbow pads, the Element Shred jersey was designed for ultimate comfort when you’re on your motocross bike. It comes in a wide range of sizes for adults from small all the way up to XXL, all featuring a relaxed fit. Who says looking good needs to be uncomfortable?

This dirt bike gear is made from breathable materials to keep you sweating less, which is great. And it’s moisture-wicking for when you do sweat… which is verrrrry likely, wouldn’t you say? It also has an extended tail to make sure your jersey stays tucked in, protecting you in a fall.  If you like the look of the jersey, check out the full gear set! You won’t be disappointed. 

Gloves 

if you're looking for dirt bike gear, you better add gloves to the list!

Troy Lee Designs – Yamaha GP RS1

If you know TMS Parts, you already know we love Yamaha. That’s why we had to show you these great Yamaha gloves from Troy Lee Designs. The Yamaha GP RS1 gloves come in the classic red, white, and blue Yamaha colors with their logo on the palm. That way, you can wear what you love while you ride what you love. 

The gloves feature a two-way stretch spandex design and lightly padded palms to give you the ultimate comfort in your riding gloves. With Velcro straps and fingers made from thermoplastic rubber, you can count on these for a long life of rugged use.

O’Neal – Matrix

O’Neal’s Matrix gloves were designed to be simple, but don’t let that make you think it’s not a great quality glove. Of course it’s a great glove! It’s made by O’Neal! The Matrix glove is made with lightweight materials and designed for slip-on use that makes it feel like these gloves are a second skin.

The palms are made with synthetic leather and double-layer thumb reinforcement so that no matter how much you abuse them, these gloves are going to last. 

Pants 

pants are one of the best pieces of dirt bike gear to have

Fox Racing – Flexair Honda Pants

Keeping on with our favorite Motocross brands are the Flexair Honda pants from Fox Racing. Just like Fox’s name suggests, the pants were designed for racers. They have a four-way stretch TruMotion fabric that gives you all of the mobility you could ask for while still being good, protective pants. 

This model removes the inner comfort-liner, giving enhanced breathability and comfort. This also means that they can slip easily over knee-braces, eliminating binding and improving leg-articulation. 

Fly Racing – Lite Hydrogen

Fly Racing is always getting feedback on their Lite Hydrogen pants from their team of professional and amateur riders. The Lite Hydrogen pants are all about a lightweight design for enhanced movement, while still giving the rider the ultimate comfort. 

This model is almost a full 5 ounces lighter than the previous season’s model. They are able to do this by reducing material in the back of the knee and lower leg by replacing it with mesh material. Not only does this make the pants lighter, but also gives them unparalleled breathability. 

Knee Braces 

knee braces are super important on the motocross track

Leatt – Z Frame

Leatt only makes high-quality gear. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to break the bank. That’s why they listened to their riders and made this more affordable pair of knee braces, the Z Frame

While this model isn’t as stiff as their C-Frame or X-Frame designs, they are still CE certified and reduce the risk of injury of the ACL, MCL, and meniscus. The Z-frame features injected composite chassis, and aluminum hinged knee brace covers for rigidity and endurance.

POD – K8 2.0

If you only want the best, check out these awesome knee braces from POD, the K8 2.0. They’re made with layers of military-grade carbon fiber sheets that are pressed, heated, and molded to yield the ultimate strength while remaining lightweight.

These braces are fully CE impact tested and certified, and if that’s not enough for you, they back up these braces with a 5-year warranty. Can’t find better dirt bike gear than this!

Boots

make sure you have the right dirt bike boots before you get on that track!

Troy Lee Designs Alpinestar Tech 7

Sometimes when you put on a boot, it feels like it wasn’t designed with a human’s foot in mind. Thankfully, that’s definitely not the case with TLD’s new Alpinestar Tech 7. The interior is designed with forefoot and lower toe boxes that make it easier to shift improve your control over the rear brake. 

The upper boot is constructed with microfiber material that is both flexible and abrasion-resistant. The contoured calf protector plate is made with a high modulus polymer and provides increased protection from impact, without sacrificing your range of movement.

Fly Racing – FR5

If you’re looking for a strong boot with some serious style, it doesn’t get much better than Fly Racing’s FR5. It has that classic all-black look of a traditional motorcycle boot. But with a level of protection that you’ll never find on a highway rider’s foot. 

The interlocking thermoplastic polyurethane heel connects to the lateral/medial pieces for full coverage of your foot, and unrivaled ankle support. On the inside, you’ll find a soft-interior foam that will cradle your foot like a cloud. 

Only the Best Dirt Bike Gear

get only the best dirt bike gear this year

Here at TMS, we only accept the best in dirt bike riding gear, and we know that you wouldn’t expect anything less from us. So we hope you enjoyed this look at some of the best dirt bike riding gear on the market in 2019. 
The quality of the bike you ride is important to how much fun you have, sure. But the quality of your gear is what’s going to protect you when the worst happens.

So make sure you’re only riding with the best! And if you’re wondering about where you could ride, check out our blog about the top-50 dirt bike tracks we love… we’ve found one for every state!

How Does a Jet Ski Work?

how does a jet ski work

How Do You Get Your High-Speed Personal Watercraft Moving?

Your car is able to move across the pavement because the grip of your tires grasps the asphalt. When the engine supplies power to the wheels, the tires “bite” the pavement and propel you forward. If you live in an area that gets snow, you know that trying to propel your car across icy or wet surfaces is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible. Of course, your personal watercraft doesn’t have wheels. And it certainly can’t grip the water’s surface, so how does it move?  Keep reading to find out exactly how your jet ski works. 

understanding how your personal watercraft sources its power

Understanding Your Sea-Doo’s Power Source

The first steps in understanding how your personal watercraft works are to understand what powers your personal watercraft (PWC). It doesn’t usually matter if it’s a Sea-Doo, Jet Ski, or any other model. Your PWC is powered by an internal combustion engine, which usually runs on gasoline.

The gasoline engines in most PWC’s are four-stroke, four-cylinder engines, comparable to the power of a small car. The largest models can have 1500cc engines and 20-gallon tanks. This might seem like a lot for a vehicle only a little bit bigger than a motorcycle. But your PWC actually needs a lot of power to get itself going, and a big fuel tank so you don’t get stranded in the middle of the lake or ocean. 

Just like your car engine, most PWC’s have an electric start that enables easy activation. The big difference in the engines is how a PWC’s cooling system works. Instead of a car radiator, which transfers heat, your PWC uses the temperature of the water around you to cool the system.

So now that we know a little bit about our engine, let’s talk about what all that power is doing.

how does your PWC move?

How Does Your PWC Move?

So, as we said earlier, there’s nothing for your PWC to “push” on to move it forward. So how does it do it? Well, let’s head back to school for a minute. Let’s talk about Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion!

Law #1: A body in motion will stay in motion unless an external force acts on it

Law #2: Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration

Law #3: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

Now, all of these certainly affect how your PWC moves. But it’s not all pertinent to understanding how your jet ski works. While it would help you understand how much force your PWC needs to move, it doesn’t help us to understand why it moves. So we’re just going to focus on the laws most relevant to what we’re discussing. 

A Body (or Personal Watercraft) in Motion Will Stay In Motion

Well, first of all, let’s finally discuss how we get that body (your PWC) in motion. Your engine pulls water into your PWC through a grate in the bottom. Once it has entered your PWC, the engine shoots a jet of water out of the nozzle in the back of your vehicle. 

a PWC in motion will stay in motion

This first law specifically says “motion”, however, it makes the opposite true as well. A body at rest will stay at rest. You probably remember that line, too. On its own, a PWC has no propulsion power. However, your car’s round tires would allow it to move on a sloped surface (if the brakes weren’t on). Alternatively, for your PWC, the water is always “level”. 

So how does your PWC move when it can’t grip the water’s surface like your car grips the asphalt, and it has no ability to “roll”? Well, here comes Newton’s second law! It comes from the engine and its ability to push water behind you. All of which brings us to Newton’s third law.

For Every Action, There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction

To understand this one, let’s imagine a person on a skateboard. Let’s say this person is on a completely flat surface, and they’re just standing on the skateboard. No movement, not even wind to push them. So how do they start moving? In order to move forward on your skateboard, you have to push your foot backward.

understanding that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

This is just like we talked about before with the jet stream of water that your PWC pushes behind you. Just like when a skateboard kicks off from the ground, your PWC “pushes” water behind you from the nozzle and the jet drive propels you forward.

Of course, you can angle the nozzle via the handlebars and push water to the left or right of you, enabling you to turn. 

time to get on the water with your favorite Personal watercraft

For a PWC, “braking” in the same sense that you would brake in your car isn’t exactly possible.  PWC’s have their own alternative in reverse bucketing as a way to “brake”. Reverse bucketing systems use the same physics to reduce your speed by pushing water out of the front of your PWC. While this isn’t a bullet-proof safety system, it is a big improvement over the PWC’s of yesteryear which had no stopping power!

Now You’re Ready for Your Ph.D. in Physics

ready for a PHD in personal watercraft physics?

Well, maybe we didn’t go into that level of detail. But hopefully, now you understand a little bit more about the science that moves us! Of course, you don’t need to know how or why your PWC moves. The fun part is actually riding the sucker. But we hope you found this interesting! 

If you did, pass it along to your personal watercraft buddies and learn ‘em something! And if you’re looking to buy your own jet ski, check out our recent blog! We’ve got plenty of reasons you should get yourself a PWC.

10 Cool Custom Motorcycle Paint Jobs

Paint Jobs that Make a Statement

A custom paint job on your motorcycle is a statement about your personality. Whether you’re riding a crotch rocket or a chopper, a cool paint job can make your bike stand out of a crowd. It’s the easiest way to give your bike a really special feeling and look, and it’s something that everybody gets to enjoy. If you modify your engine, the average joe probably can’t tell the difference, but with a nice custom paint job, you’re definitely going to be turning some heads. So if you need some inspiration, or you just want to have your head turned, here are some cool custom motorcycle paint jobs!

Lace That Looks Bad Ass

When you see a lace design like this, you might think of it covering the furniture in your grandma’s house, but you have to admit, it looks pretty sweet for motorcycle design. 

A Custom Bike for Minimalists

Just because you want a custom paint job doesn’t mean you have to go over the top. Here’s a really nice minimalist approach. Not too much, but just enough to make you look twice.

Eye See You Looking at this Paint Job

This is a custom motorcycle paint job that will definitely get you noticed. Look at all that tight linework! This is one that makes you think about all the hard work that goes into these paint jobs.

Natural Frame

Isn’t it cool how the artist uses the bike as a natural frame for their artwork? What great airbrushing technique, too, it looks like real smoke!

A Paint Job to Remember

Some paint jobs are less about a personality and more about the memories. Just like this custom Día de Los Muertos artwork. What a great way to remember our loved ones.

What’s That Called Again?

Pearlescent, baby. The baby isn’t necessary, but it’s practically compulsory.

What Else Were You Going To Do?

It would be a waste to build a beautiful custom chopper like this and just paint it red, don’t you think?

One For The Old Timers

They say if you can remember Woodstock you weren’t there. Well, at least if you can’t remember Woodstock, you won’t be able to forget this sweet Grateful Dead tribute.

The Classic

It’s a classic for a reason! Even if you’re not a flames person, you have to admit, it looks kind of classy, eh?

Retro Vibe

Here’s another retro look with these nice, muted pastel colors. 

Art for the Masses via Paint Jobs

why wouldn't you want a custom paint job for your motorcycle?

If that didn’t give you some inspiration to get a custom paint job, hopefully, it gave you some inspiration to take a ride, at least. Thanks for taking a look at all of these awesome, custom paint jobs! But remember, art is meant to be enjoyed by all of the people of the world. If you liked it, share with a friend, see what they think!

TMS Parts’ Top 7 Street Legal Dirt Bikes

find out what TMS's favorite street legal dirt bikes are and why!

Our Picks for the Best Dual-Sport Street Legal Dirt Bikes

There’s no question about it: dirt biking is a lot of fun. Do you know what’s not fun? Loading up your dirt bike onto the trailer, hauling it across town in your truck, and then doing it all again just to get home. For the lucky ones with riding trails in their backyard, congratulations. But if you have to go on a trek just to go riding, or if all of the best trails are far away from you, maybe you should consider what more and more people are doing: buy a street legal dirt bike. 

With a street legal dirt bike, you can do anything a road motorcycle can do and more. No more bothering with the trailer, just ride your bike straight to your favorite trail and start flinging some mud. But of course, not all dirt bikes are made equal, so here’s the list of our favorite street legal bikes.

What Makes a Dirt Bike Street Legal?

There are a number of factors that make a dirt bike legal for riding on the street. While there are federally mandated laws, make sure you check your own state laws, too, as they can vary. 

As far as essentials go, these are some of the things that are required to make your dirt bike legal for use on road:

  • DOT approved headlights with high and low beam functions
  • An indicator for the driver to know whether or not the high beam light is on.
  • DOT approved tail lights and brake lights
  • DOT approved turning signals (not required by every state)
  • Rearview mirror
  • Horn
  • DOT-approved tires
  • DOT approved fuel tank
  • License plate

Our Favorite Street Legal Dirt Bikes

1. Yamaha WR250R

Starting at: $6,699

Yamaha WR250R is one of the best street legal dirt bikes

Kicking off our list is the Yamaha WR250R. It’s got a 250cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke engine, and while it is ready for the road straight from the factory, this bike was made for the dirt. It’s got a fully adjustable suspension system to handle any terrain, and it’s equipped with everything you need to face any terrain.

Factory-installed lights and mirrors make it completely street-legal, and it has an ergonomic design that makes you feel like this bike was designed for your body. If you want to be able to drive out, hit the trails, and get home without getting off your seat, this is a great pick.

2. Kawasaki KLR 650

Starting at: $6,699

Kawasaki KLR 650

The Kawasaki KLR 650 was designed for riders who are in for the long haul and want to do it in comfort. It’s got a powerful 651cc 4-stroke engine and a massive 6-gallon fuel tank, a large windscreen, and a rear cargo rack for anything you need to bring with you.

While it is fully equipped for the dirt, it has the sleek look of a street bike, with a stylish round body, and it comes in really nice color schemes. If you want to feel a little fancy on the road or the trails, the KLR 650 is a good option.

3. Suzuki DR650S

Starting at: $6,699

the Suzuki DR650S is a fantastic street legal dirt bike

If you ask Suzuki what they think about their new 2020 DR650S, they’d tell you that it’s “…quite possibly the best all-around, dual-purpose motorcycle available today”. They’re not just blowing smoke up your tailpipe, either. It has a 644 cc, oil and air-cooled engine mounted on a steel frame with telescopic front and rear suspension that can handle any terrain.

The suspension system provides high ground clearance to tackle anything you might encounter on the dirt or street. It features a stainless steel tailpipe resistant to corrosion. Most importantly, it is designed specifically with strong low- and mid-range power in mind.

4. Honda XR650L

Starting at: $6,999 

Honda XR650L is also a street legal dirt bike

The XR650L has a long tradition of being one of the best bikes for the dirt or the pavement. It has an air-cooled engine and the gear-driven counterbalancer reduces vibration allowing you to ride farther and longer. It’s fully equipped to ride the streets right from the manufacturer with turn signal, license plate lights, and everything else you need to hit the highway.

For instance, with a 21” front wheel and 18” rear wheel, the XR650L gives you higher ground clearance without the great handling you associate with Honda. For instance, they drill the front and rear disc brakes for lightweight and superior stopping power in wet weather. 

5. Honda CRF250L

Honda CRF250L

Starting at: $5,199

The Honda CRF250L is continually one of the best selling and best reviewed street-legal dirtbikes in its class. The CRF250L has a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single-cylinder engine with an electric start, and it comes ready for the pavement and the dirt.

The CRF250L comes in a few different models. If you want the most barebones dirtbike that also happens to be street-legal, the CRF250L will be perfect for you. Perhaps you want something with a little more luxury, on the other hand. So check out the CRF250L Rally ABS with anti-lock brakes, a bigger windscreen, and lots of other awesome safety features.

6. Suzuki DRZ400S

Starting at: $6,749

Suzuki DRZ400S

The doctor is in! The elegant Suzuki DRZ400S has a 398cc liquid-cooled engine, an electric start, and an easy-to-read display. It only comes in a single color scheme, white with blue and black trimming. However, it was designed especially to make the bike noticeable on the highway, the parking lot, or on the trails.

In other words, the lightweight design makes for easy handling, and the body has quick and easy fasteners to make access to the air filter a breeze. If you want a bike that’s easy to ride and even easier to take care of, the DRZ400S is the bike for you.

7. Yamaha XT250

Starting at: $5,199

Yamaha XT250

The Yamaha XT250 is an easy ride and an incredibly efficient machine. It has a 249cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke single-engine and gets a staggering 78 miles per gallon. This street legal dirt bike has a huge front light for illuminating the road. Additionally, it prominently displays turning signals for maximum visibility. In addition, the XT250 also has an electric start. It also has a fully digital display on the handlebars all powered by a dependable and low-maintenance battery.

While it might seem like a smaller bike, don’t worry. Above all, it has frame-mounted footpegs for passengers to safely ride along with you whether you’re on the pavement or the berm.

be sure to have safe and have lots of fun

Be Safe and Have Fun!

To sum it up, we bet you’re pretty excited with the idea of all these amazing dual-sport machines. Meanwhile, check with local dealers and distributors to see what prices look like in your area, but remember to check your local laws! 

In short, every state is able to enforce its own rules over the federal street-legal laws. So, get ahold of your specialty plates, safety gear, and whatever else you need to ride safely. It’s time to have some fun! Check out the top 50 Dirt Bike Tracks by State to find a great spot near you.