RXR Bullet Chest Protector
To me, chest protectors are a lot like knee braces. I didn’t wear knee braces until I had ACL surgery on both knees. Now I won’t ride without them. Recently I took a handlebar to the sternum during a crash and ended up dislocating a good portion of my ribs. The cartilage is still recovering, which makes it a great time for me to see what type of protection is on the market to protect my tender ribs! RXR was brought to my attention, and after looking into their technology it seemed like an obvious choice to test out. They have a unique approach to impact protection in the Chest Protector product space that's called Air Shock Absorber (A.S.A.)Technology. Similar to the way an airbag in your car helps lessen the impact of traumatic forces, the RXR is designed to accomplish the same for riders who go down, and they claim it's better than any other foam or plastic products on the market. Let’s see how it stacks up!
RXR Bullet Configurator Chest Protector Features:
- In accordance with the EC standard 14021 for motorcycle sport, front roost protector.
- In accordance with the EC standard 1621-2 level 2 for motorcycle sport, back protector.
- Label FFM (French federation / FIM).
- 3 PVC layers of 0.9mm + 0.9mm + 0.5mm.
- M: 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) L: 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs.) XL: 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs.)
- Shipped with a pump, ready to use.
- Compatible with neck braces, excluding Alpinestar BNS.
- MSRP: $219
Video: Thoughts on the RXR Bullet
For those of you that want to hear the voice itself, here's a quick video going over reviewer Shelby Paget's thoughts on the RXR Bullet.
I’ve owned and tested a handful of other chest protectors on the market, and though I was not all that familiar with RXR prior to this, it was easy to tell that they had produced a high quality product with a great intention. It looks a bit unique at first glance, since it has visible air-pods on the front and back section of the protector, but the design looks pretty cool and resembles many of the other chest protectors on the market today. The adjustable velcro shoulder straps are similar to Leatt’s design, which work well, and the jointed back plate looks as if it would form to your body movement fairly well. I was a little surprised at how obvious and protruding the schrader type air valves were on the front and back section of the protector.
I’m usually not a fan of chest protectors because of the additional weight that you have to carry around the track, but surprisingly this protector is quite light considering all the technology designed into it. It’s even lighter than the Leatt 4.5 chest protector by .8 lb., which is only slightly noticeable when pulling it on. The air valve system is easy to use and you just pump it up and there’s a purge valve that will let air out when you’re good to go. There is one air valve on the front and one on the rear, so either blow the pods up prior to putting it on or have a buddy do the back one for you.
On the Track
If you’re used to wearing a chest protector, you won’t have any issues adapting to this one. It fits snugly and contours to my skinny chest just fine, but if you don’t regularly wear chest protectors then it may take a ride or two to get used to since you are aware that you’re wearing a couple extra pounds of gear up top. I noticed that though it fit nicely, the side straps were quite a bit further behind the front of my stomach than I’d prefer for strapping the protector on. It was difficult to latch in and unlatch and would be much easier if the straps locked in more towards the front of the protector. Since I’m a fairly thin guy, I usually have issues with chest protectors fitting very loosely, but with this one they’ve done a great job making the sides super-adjustable and able to conform to my body.
As I put in longer motos on the protector I did notice a bit of rubbing on my stomach and lats once I got hot. Nothing that was super-uncomfortable, but enough to make me aware of it. Other than that, the fit was good, and honestly, just like the peace of mind I get when I’m wearing my knee braces, the same confidence is provided while wearing the RXR chest protector. The protector does a great job of protecting from 450 roost, and even has great coverage around your lower sides for when if you take an impact there, as well. The breathability could be improved on the protector, but given the air-pods on the front and back, it’s a compromise I’m willing to take for protection. The RXR does seem to offer substantially more physical area coverage for my back than any other chest protector I’ve used, and I originally thought it would be cumbersome with it reaching so far down, but it turns out with that with a typical riding position this is not an issue...or at least it wasn’t for me.
Thankfully, I have not had to put the full potential of the RXR’s protection to use with another bad crash, but with the falls I have experienced, the RXR has held up great! It’s washed and cleaned up easily after muddy days out riding and all the velcro, latches and valves still seem to work as designed, even after hours of usage.
The Last Words
When testing products that are designed for the utmost protection, I have to be conscious that along with the design intent, there will sometimes have to be compromises on weight, breathability, and sizes. With the RXR Bullet Configurator, the compromise is similar to me getting used to wearing my knee braces because I don’t want to have another knee surgery. Though they aren’t the most free feeling or always comfortable pieces of gear to wear, they serve a purpose and the RXR is designed to protect or your upper body when you wreck hard enough that you might otherwise end up in the hospital. It’s great to see companies like RXR taking the lead in a new design for protection, but like all other new technologies, they take a bit of time to perfect. In RXR’s next rendition of this chest protector I think it would be cool to see a single valve unit placed on the shoulder area or somewhere less likely to take impact and dirt constantly and also I might suggest moving the side straps forward on the rider so that they are easier to adjust while riding the bike. If you're looking for the latest technology in upper body protection while you ride, then no doubt I would recommend this product. But keep in mind there seems to be still minor improvements to be made to have me completely sold on investing the $219 on this progressive chest protector. All in all, it's an incredible technology that just needs a bit more development for an improved design and overall fit and finish.
Vital MX Rating: 3.5 Stars - Very Good
Check out RXRprotect.com for more information on the Bullet, along with their other range of air-based protection system and where you can buy one near you.
About the Test Rider
Shelby Paget - is a ginger that has been rockin' two wheels since he was three years old. Growing up riding singletrack and trails in the hills of NorCal with his brother and Dad until he got his first taste of the Motocross Racing scene at 14. He's been hooked ever since! Whether he's working on looking better than he really is for the camera or doing cartwheels down the straights, he's always looking forward to getting back on two wheels whenever he gets the chance. This 5'11", 150 pound ginger will be riding as long as he has a wrist to twist!