Neck braces work with leathers

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Alpinestars_bionic_neck_support_leathers.jpgIt looks like neck braces like the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support work with leathers. This picture, taken at an Italian supermoto race clearly demonstrates the device’s compatibility with leathers, at least in an upright riding position and using a motocross helmet. Always looking for ways to make riding safer, we’re intrigued by the possibility the new generation of neck braces offers to road riders and would like to see more products geared towards neck protection both off- and on-road. Braces like this work by restricting head movement and absorbing energy in a crash, the Dainese D-Air airbag will offer a similar, if not greater, level of protection, but looks much more complicated and prone to failure.

  • SFSlim

    Well, sort of work. According to the sizing and use video for the Leatt brace, the piece that descends at the back of the brace is meant to be fitted under a back protector and inside your garment. Which would obviously be impossible on high-collared race leathers like the one in the photo. I’m not sure how much a non-standard installation like this affects the brace’s functionality. I suspect that the use of a brace (even when worn in a less than ideal fashion) is probably preferable to not wearing a brace at all, but one would really have to check with the manufacturers.

    In the MX and rally worlds, jackets and jerseys are already being designed with wider collars, or easily openable flaps designed specifically to make proper use of neck braces possible. I’m not sure how soon such a trend will spread to race leathers, but it’s something to watch for. As you note in the post, the riding position has a lot to do with the feasibility of brace usage, as more aggressive race positions would be grossly incompatible with the current crop of rigid braces. I’d expect some compromise, where both the braces and the leathers are adjusted to both be more suitable to the specific needs of racing. Or, as you also mention, airbags may just become the preferred solution for the track.