Kidney Belts are not just for Off Roading Check Out the 5 Best Motorcycle Kidney Belts of 2020
Ancient drawings of warriors from all over Europe show that some type of reinforced leather belt has been worn around the stomach as protection, for millennia.
In fact, a wide hardened leather belt, worn for stomach and back protection, called a Chimir, is still worn by the mountain tribesmen of the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Its design hasn’t changed since its introduction by the Roman army in 106AD.
So, what exactly is a kidney belt and what is its relevance to the modern-day road warrior? Primarily the kidney belt is worn to protect the lower back region, stomach and internal organs, from shock.
By shock, I mean the shock wave that the rider feels by his or her collision with an uneven surface. Yes, the suspension will dampen the initial jolt, but sufficient energy is still capable of reaching the lower back. A kidney belt, therefore, dissipates this shock energy and as a secondary benefit also protects that area from wind chill.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts #1: Alpinestars Touring Kidney Belt
It has been ergonomically designed to provide stability to the stomach and lower back area. And the belt comes with a detachable thermal liner, giving it excellent wearability in an entire spectrum of weather conditions.
Heat formed PE foam molded panels ensure a good and comfortable fit and as the name suggests, has been designed for the touring rider. This design provides all day comfort after a long time in the saddle.
The belt also features a twin-elasticated waistband to ensure a proper fit. And the front flaps have been specifically designed to cut down wind exposure. The rest of the belt has a weather protective membrane.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts #2: Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt
Primarily aimed at the hard knock world of off-road sports such as MotoX, ATV, and snowmobiles, the 3DF is just as at home on the street. It is slightly bulkier than a convention belt, thanks to its three-dimensional protective panels. But the belt still weighs in at a just 1.4lbs.
It’s also slightly wider, giving a deeper area of protective covering. But isn’t so wide as to restrict movement thanks to its stretch panels. Ventilation channels form part of the design to keep airflow at a maximum.
The 3DF also carries impact testing certificates from CE and EN 1621-2, which means that not only has it got good shock absorbing quality, but will also physically protect you in a spill.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts #3: EVS Sports BB04 Impact Kidney Belt
Once again, probably safe to classify this as a dual sports belt as feedback from off-roaders and touring bikers, say it’s comfortable in both scenarios. The BB04 is an elasticated belt design, and the sides look comparatively narrow, although this would depend on the wearer’s body size.
The back has a reinforced four section molded plastic lower spine protector. This protector is designed to give additional impact coverage of the L1 to L5 vertebrae. Perforated foam vents also ensure maximization of airflow.
The Chinese made belt has a Velcro fastening and comes in black/silver or black/red. Coming in at half the price of the previous two belts, the BB04 is of decent quality, but feedback suggests that sizes run slightly small.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts #4: Fox Racing Turbo Adult Kidney Belt
Another icon of the off-road world, that’s been around since 1974. Fox made a name for themselves in the MotoX world by producing innovative and stand out protective gear, before expanding into the lifestyle clothing market.
The Turbo has been specifically designed to be worn in conjunction with other protective off road kit, or as a stand-alone piece for road riders. Thanks to its slim design, it carries no bulk, yet still offers maximum support.
The Velcro fastening belt, weighs in at a mere 8 ounces, fastening and has a three-strap construction, which says Fox allow for the belt to fit snugly and securely. The anatomically contoured rubber back section is also hinged to allow for better fit and movement.
Airflow should be good, as the main belt features a mesh base. This base is combined with molded bio-foam around the interior to allow for circulation around the lumbar region. More or less the same price as the BB04, the Fox Turbo is unobtrusive, while still providing firm support.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts #5: Bohn Euro-RR HD Kidney Belt
Swiss manufacturer Bohn, who are better known for their comprehensive range of road and track body armor, makes the Euro RR. According to their website, Bohn also makes America’s bestselling motorcycle protection system.
And interestingly, their extensive range of protective gear is also specially made for female riders too, not something you see from all manufacturers. The RR, say Bohn is suitable for on and off-road biking but seems to be particularly popular with touring bikers.
This versatility is no doubt due to the belts higher than usual lumbar support area. Which although having the usual kidney and lower back support, is particularly good at keeping fatigue at bay for a long haul.
The belt, which has a double hook and loop closure ensures a tight fit and a ventilated waistband. Sizes run from 32” to 55, ” and the belt comes in black only.
Best 5 Motorcycle Kidney Belts 2017: Kidney belts are an essential piece of kit
Kidney belts are pretty much a given for MotoX riders, but more and more road riders are becoming aware of the fact that a decent kidney belt is a must have piece of kit.
There’s an obvious crossover with adventure bike riders. However, sports bike riders are catching on too. Not only do they serve as a lower spine protection for harsh suspension, but also provide kidneys support for their inclined riding stance.
A growing market for the humble kidney belt is the cruiser and touring sector. Ride with your feet forward, and they provide much needed lower spine support, and if you’re looking at long days in the saddle, anything that helps keep fatigue at bay is a bonus.
Obviously, the Alpinestars belt is the top of the range regarding price and spec, but the other four, all compete head to head. Each aimed at slightly different markets and if I was looking for off road protection, the Leatte is the way to go. The EVS is a close runner up especially due to the price, and the Bohn would be the natural choice for long days in the saddle. But if I had to choose one, in my opinion, the Fox just has it by a nose. But in the 5 Best Kidney Belts of 2017, there’s no real loser.