Riding off-road can often lead to unintended spills. Whether you’re an enduro rider tackling a particularly hard trail, sailing your favorite set of doubles at the MX track, or hitting some dirt track – falls will take their toll if you aren’t using proper protection. That’s where the Alpinestars Bionic Freeride shorts come in.Constructed out of sweat-wicking Lycra and mesh, the Bionic Freeride short is a breathable and flexible armored undergarment.
The Bionic Freeride short provides impact protection when your riding gear doesn’t offer any. Motocross, enduro, and ADV riders will be able to utilize these under their pants, which provide extra layer of protection. As the old saying goes – it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.The Alpinestars Bionic Freeride shorts have one job and one job only: deflect impacts in some of the most common areas that we receive them in a crash. The Bionic Freeride short is equipped with hard plastic guards on the thighs and tail-bone areas that are supported by layers of Bio-foam.The plastic guards attach atop a bed of foam, which allows for greater shock absorption. In addition, the hip areas are protected with an ample amount of Bio-foam padding, which helps when meeting terra-firma.Though the armor is not CE rated, the plastic armor bits are substantial and cover a large portion of the thigh. In practice, they work. I put them through the ringer when attending Rich Oliver’s Mystery School.
After two days of crashing Yamaha TTR-230s, I was glad that I had the Bionic Freeride short in my arsenal because 95% of my spills were low-side crashes. When bouncing across the dirt track, I’ll take every bit of help I can get.Heavy protection can sometimes mean a lack of mobility. While that will be dependent on your body type, the Bionic Freeride shorts allow for a positive range of movement, meaning that your inputs on the bike will not be hindered. However, if you plan on hitting some yoga poses or stretching before heading out on the trail, it’s best to do those without the armored shorts.Keep in mind that if you are planning on wearing the Bionic Freeride shorts under your MX pants, you might have to bump your pant size up. The Bionic Freeride shorts will take up a little bit more room in the thighs and hips, making a snug fitting pair of MX pants a little too snug.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.