Over the past decade, you might have noticed that more and more dirt bike riders are wearing neck braces on the track and for casual riding. Leatt was the first company to produce a motorcycle neck brace in the early 2000’s and they have set the standard for high quality protection. The benefits of wearing a neck brace during a crash are huge. We all know that on dirt bikes, it’s not if we go down, it’s when and it is good to be prepared. So what’s the deal with the riders holding out and won’t wear a neck brace? While everyone is different, there are a few common reasons. One is that they can be expensive, and two is that the riders don’t think that they are comfortable. While the price of the new Leatt GPX 5.5 neck brace may still be at a price point above what those riders want to pay, the comfort level is greatly improved over previous models.
The low profile and light design of this Leatt neck brace make it almost disappear when you are riding. The chassis is made of fiberglass reinforced polyamide to make it lightweight without sacrificing durability and will even flex to move with you. The new helmet rim striking platform has been modified to increase mobility for your head and helmet. This has always been one of the biggest complaints about neck braces. Leatt has addressed the issue and made it so you can move your head freely without sacrificing the effectiveness of the brace.
Riders with shorter necks or who wear helmets with lower rim profiles often have had problems with their old braces getting in the way when they turned their heads. The GPX 5.5 gives you the ability to adjust the over the shoulder height to accommodate all riders.
The GPX 5.5 is the most adjustable brace available, which makes it extremely comfortable. With the SureFit adjusters on the front and rear, the brace can be set for your personal body type. This can be done in less than 30 seconds without the need of any tools. The easy fitment adjustments allow for the brace to be changed as a child grows or to account for the use of different apparel.
The rear thoracic strut is one part of the brace that has seen significant improvements. You have the ability to change to angle of the strut to better fit your body by choosing between 4 different angles, including 0, 5, 10, and 15 degrees. To do this, simply install the supplied rubber bumper that matches the angle you want. The strut is also perfectly shaped to keep your spine safe. The soft pads rest on your muscles and not your spine. Also, the strut is designed to break away during certain severe impacts to prevent injury to your back. If this does happen, a replacement strut can be installed.
The design of the padding might get overlooked with all of the other features that the GPX 5.5 touts, but they play a significant role in the overall comfort of the brace. First of all, there is no cloth on the padding, like in previous models. This makes them easier to clean and they will not hold moisture, which can create odors and discomfort. The pads also feature air flow ribs to ensure optimum ventilation to keep you cool and dry. The pectoral padding in the front is cut out around the collarbone to keep the helmet and brace away from the fragile bones.
If you do happen to crash, the GPX 5.5 is very EMT friendly. The emergency release system is very easy to use and will allow the EMT to remove the neck brace without disturbing the injured rider. The open/close is a low profile spring loaded push button to make getting the brace on and off fast and easy.