Leatt | Head-to-Toe Long-Term Test Results
By Jared Stock
Photos by @grizzmotophoto
One season of testing…
Moto 9.5 Carbon Helmet
When it comes to helmets in 2021, we think the first thing everyone needs to prioritize is safety. Next up we would have to say it would be comfort and fit and then, obviously, we all want to look good. Leatt’s roots were developed and driven by safety and now they have stepped it up in the fit & style categories to release the 9.5 carbon helmet.
- 360° Turbine Technology to reduce brain acceleration associated to concussions
- New 2021 ECE 22.06 and exceeds FIM standards
- Thorough testing to develop safety features gives you confidence when wearing
- Very soft liner that shapes to your head and provides a comfortable fit
- Light weight coming in at 2.63 pounds
- Comes with the 6.5 Velocity goggle which fits perfectly inside the helmet creating a seamless and safe feeling when riding through the trees
Chest Protector 4.5
It has been around 10 years since I have worn a solid chest protector, and when the offer came across for a long-term review of one I admitted I wasn’t the right choice to test the product. Shortly after the offer to test one, I smoked a large tree 3rd tapped and broke 3 ribs which persuaded me to give one a try after all. With my increase in age, and correlating wisdom, I opted to try something more than your average roost deflector but not quite Iron Man level. The 4.5 or 4.5 Pro made excellent candidates for the job.
- CE certified chest, back and flank protection
- For the size and weight of the protection you quickly forget it’s on when riding
- Passes FIM certification for international events
- If you wear your protection under your jersey like me, I suggest sizing up in the jersey to allow some room, or bring your protector in to try it on with your gear in mind
- When wearing under your jersey it can snag and hang up on some fabric while putting your jersey on. Is this really a negative trait? Not really, but I wanted you to picture me with my jersey hung up behind my shoulder and me looking like I’m trying to lick my elbow while reaching to untuck it.
X-Frame Hybrid Knee Brace
Contrary to my chest protection habits, I have been wearing a type of knee brace for 10-plus years when riding my motorcycles, and, fortunately, I have not had any knee injuries to contend with. I am also a very particular rider when it comes to feel and connection to the bike. Next to safety I certainly need a brace to provide good connection from the bike and knees. Leatt has created a great blend of safety and feel with 40% slimmer inner hinges to emphasize the feeling of connection from knee to bike. Something completely new to me was the separate sleeve which held the knee cup in place with the aim of reducing bulk in the knee area when in riding gear.
- 40% slimmer inner hinge for superior bike feel
- Certified as medical device for approved insurance coverage
- For those with previous knee injuries the customizable hyper extension limitations at 5º, 10º, 15º and 20º for ACL injury reduction is important and comforting to have.
- Separate knee cup sleeves are comfortable; however, we would suggest having a couple pairs to cycle through if you plan to ride a lot and have it act as your knee brace sock as well (insert smelly emoji).
- We also would suggest being prepared to replace the straps as we burnt through the Velcro on strap #2 on both sides. The Velcro straps are important to keeping the brace tight and in place for injury prevention.
Boot 5.5 FlexLock Enduro
As mentioned, I am very particular to the senses my protective equipment allows me to have with the feel and connection to my bike. On one end of the spectrum you can have boots that are so stiff you cannot feel much of the foot pegs or controls, and on the other end a boot that is too soft you risk more ankle and foot injuries and quick deterioration of materials. Leatt has put in a few years of rider testing to take aim at covering these points in their effort to develop the ideal boot. By adding in the FlexLock System you are given the options to stiffen the boot up or allow for more flexibility. We found the boots to be more on the stiffer end of the spectrum but maintained some traits that allow you to feel the pegs and controls of your bike.
- The look. We think they look great.
- Toe box shape and size is great for control feeling.
- Comfortable right from the start.
- SlideLock closure system (One way sliding Velcro). If you haven’t seen this work, go to a dealer right now and try it. Simple yet jaw dropping feature.
Moto 5.5 Gear Kit
Athletic wear has come a long way in the last 5 to 10 years and we are happy to see motorsport gear companies following the pace. The 5.5 moto gear jumps in line with high performance athletic wear with the pre-curved, 360° stretch, race fit. When I first geared up it felt like putting on some fitted yoga pants (not that I know what that feels like), with rooms in the knees with their Internal Knee Brace System. The jersey followed suit with a fitted fit, good ventilation and a clean finish with welded seams.
- Between the waist adjustment, fitted pant and silicon grips the gear stayed in place in all riding conditions.
- Pants were durable in off-road conditions and in the knees.
- For off-road/enduro use I am a big fan of having a small pocket available for a phone or trail kit.
- For offroad/enduro use more protection down the sleeve to resist snagging trees.
- I was quizzing the crew over at Leatt about a possible enduro gear release…I guess we will see soon!
About Jared Stock:
Jared is the Direct Motocross Off-Road/Enduro test rider and has competed at the professional level in Motocross and is a multi-time competitor for Team Canada at the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). He calls Alberta, Canada home.