I’ve been on the open road for the better part of my life, tackling the highways and dirt trails on my trusty iron steed. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all those years of riding, it’s that safety is paramount. One piece of equipment that has recently sparked a lot of debate in the biker community is the Motorcycle neck brace. So today, I’m going to delve into what a motorcycle neck brace is, how it can be an essential safety tool, and share my top picks based on personal experience and extensive research.
What Is a Motorcycle Neck Brace?
A motorcycle neck brace, also known as a cervical collar, is a piece of safety equipment designed to protect the neck and spinal cord in case of an accident. It works by limiting the movement of your neck and distributing the force from a crash throughout the rest of your body, thereby reducing the risk of serious neck and spinal injuries.
The design is essentially a C-shaped brace that fits around your neck, over the shoulders, and rests on your chest and back. The size and shape can vary based on the design, but the primary aim is to limit extreme neck movements without causing discomfort or obstructing helmet use. The material of these braces is usually a blend of hard plastics and softer foam for comfort, with straps and adjustment systems for a secure fit.
Why Is a Motorcycle Neck Brace Important?
As riders, we understand that motorcycling involves certain risks. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take steps to mitigate those risks. One of the most vulnerable areas during a crash is the neck. A sudden jolt or an awkward fall can lead to serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord damage, and even paralysis.
A neck brace is designed to minimize the risk of such injuries. It helps by preventing hyperflexion (head forced sharply down), hyperextension (head forced sharply up), lateral hyperflexion (head forced sharply to the sides), and axial loading (compression of the spine from head impact).
Keep in mind, though, a neck brace is part of a comprehensive safety gear setup. It does not replace the need for a good helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots.
Top 5 Picks of Motorcycle Neck Braces In 2023
After spending years in the saddle and trying out a variety of safety gear, I’ve come up with a list of my personal favorite neck braces. Here are my top picks.
1. Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace
Known for its high-quality protective gear, Leatt doesn’t disappoint with the GPX 5.5. This neck brace offers a great blend of comfort, safety, and adjustability. It is designed to work with most helmets and is crafted with a fiberglass-reinforced polyamide construction and biofoam padding for shock absorption.
2. Alpinestars BNS Tech-2 Neck Support
Alpinestars has always been a trusted name in the biking world, and their BNS Tech-2 neck brace lives up to their reputation. It features an advanced, high-performance carbon polymer compound and has a sizing system that ensures a perfect fit for every rider.
3. Atlas Air Neck Brace
The Atlas Air Neck Brace is lightweight and arguably one of the most comfortable neck braces on the market. Its design disperses impacts evenly, and the sleek design doesn’t hinder helmet movement.
4. EVS Sports R4 Race Collar
For riders on a budget, the EVS Sports R4 offers solid protection without breaking the bank. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and its low-profile design makes it easy to wear with all kinds of helmets and body armor.
5. Leatt STX Road Neck Brace
Specifically designed for street riding, the Leatt STX provides excellent protection and is adjustable to fit all riders. It is also designed to work seamlessly with your riding gear, including jackets and suits.
Remember, the best neck brace is the one that fits you properly and gives you the confidence to ride safely. Before purchasing, make sure to check the sizing, try it on with your helmet and other gear, and ensure it’s comfortable for long rides.
In conclusion, a motorcycle neck brace can be a lifesaver in a crash. It might take some getting used to, but as someone who’s seen their fair share of spills, I wouldn’t be caught on the road without it. Ride safe, friends.