The How, What, & Why of Dirt Bike Goggles - Risk Racing

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The How, What, & Why of Dirt Bike Goggles

December 16, 2021

The How, What, & Why of Dirt Bike Goggles

One of the essential parts of your motocross ensemble is your dirt bike goggles. When riding on a motocross track, protecting your eyes is a non-negotiable.

First, you need nothing less than optimum vision to take on the challenging tracks. 

Second, without proper dirt bike goggles, you could face accidents that could cause permanent irreparable damage to your eyes.

Therefore, knowing which dirt bike goggles suit you best is imperative for your protection and success in motocross competitions. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable or even compromised position.

So, if you’re wondering what to consider when choosing a pair ofdirt bike goggles and how it could impact your dirt bike action, check out this guide.

Motocross goggle

What Are Dirt Bike Goggles?

Dirt bike goggles are specialized eye equipment that protects your sight when riding a dirt bike. It is an essential gear piece that goes with your helmet.

Over the years, dirt bike goggles have become so much more than just protective eyewear. Instead, it became part of the motocross fashion and the general style of a dirt bike rider. Nonetheless, its functionality also evolves, particularly in terms of comfort and visual protection.

Much like other types of fitted goggles, dirt bike goggles come with various frames that are generally shaped like a rectangle with a triangular depression at the bottom where the nose guard sits in.

Foam is attached to the frame for comfort. High-quality dirt bike goggles tend to have better quality foam which can all you to wear the equipment for hours without feeling strained.  

Naturally, dirt bike goggles have an elastic strap generally made of heavy woven nylon. Some straps come with other elements for elevated comfort, like silicon beads.

On the other hand, when it comes to dirt bike goggles lenses, you also have many choices depending on how and where you ride the dirt bike.

For example, if you are into motocross, lenses that have tear-off posts are highly recommended. Imagine going through tracks with heavy mud, dirt, and debris. Instead of trying to clear your goggle with yourgloves which will just smear the debris around making your vision worse, you can pull the tear-off and get a new layer of sight to go on with your ride.

If you’re riding on a trail with cold, moist conditions, then anti-fog lenses are for you as they protect your vision against fogging.    

Furthermore, you can choose from various styles and colors when it comes to dirt bike google lenses. Your preference should be dictated by the type of weather condition in your target trail, the time of the day you plan to go dirt bike riding, and the level of visual clarity required by the activity.

Motocross Riding

Clear lenses: This type of lenses work well with all kind of weather conditions. It ensures optimum light transmission making it suitable for night rides or late afternoon rides.

Tinted lenses: If you plan to ride your dirt bike during the brightest time of the day, tinted lenses can help you see through the glare.     

Blue lenses: If your dirt bike goggles have blue lenses, you can expect higher contrast and better visual clarity when it’s too bright.

Light-colored lenses: These lenses enhance depth perception in all types of weather. They also work well with dusty trails.

Motocross goggle lenses

Do You Need goggles to Ride a Dirt Bike?

Yes, you need goggles to ride a dirt bike anytime, all the time.

Riding a dirt bike without goggles can be one of the most challenging things to do. For starters, you will have to deal with the glare that impedes your peripheral vision. Then, your eyes can be subjected to tons of dust, roost, and other debris leading to physical damage.

With those hazards related to dirt bike riding, wearing goggles is imperative and should not be taken for granted. 

How Do You Wear Dirt Bike Goggles?

Dirt bike goggles are placed over the eye-opening after you have put your helmet on.

The strap goes around the helmet as you position the frame over your upper face around your eyes. This is why straps are designed to be elastic so the goggles can fit the large size of the helmet’s shell. Likewise, the frame fits the area between the visor and the mouth/chin guard.

When buying dirt bike goggles, make sure that the strap fits the helmet without the frames pushing into your face. Remember, comfort is a big deal when it comes to motocross competitions or trail dirt bike riding.

Motocross goggle

Do Dirt Bike Goggles Go Over the Helmet All The Time?

Yes, dirt bike goggles always go over the helmet. Wearing your dirt bike goggles before wearing your helmet won’t work. The frame is too big to fit the helmet on top of it. So, make sure that you wear your helmet first.

How Should Dirt Bike Goggles Fit?

Wearing your dirt bike goggles should not cause pain, irritability, or any form of discomfort.

As a general rule of thumb, the straps should be tight enough to hold the frame and lenses in place. But not too tight that the frame presses on the face and creates excessive pressure around the nose guard.

If you notice some markings on your face caused by the compression of the frame after just a short time, then it is clearly a sign that your dirt bike goggles are not perfectly fitted to your face.

This is why trying on the goggles with your helmet is necessary. It reassures that the dirt bike goggles complement the helmet in comfort and not just style.

Nonetheless, if you choose the right product and brand that ensures additional comfort with multi-layered foam, this problem can easily be avoided.

Motocross racing

How to Wear Dirt Bike Goggles With Glasses?

If you’re wearing glasses, you might scratch your head figuring out how to wear dirt bike goggles with your spectacles on. But, surprisingly, this isn’t much work or trouble at all.

There are dirt bike goggles designed for riders who wear glasses. They call it Over the Glasses (OTG) dirt bike or motocross goggles.

Apparently, OTGs were created to ensure that visually impaired riders do not compromise their vision during the race or general dirt biking activity. Some dirt bike riders chose to ride on tracks and tails without their glasses which could be dangerous.

But what are OTGs exactly?

The principle with OTGs is simple. They are designed with additional room inside the frame to accommodate your prescription glasses. Unlike ordinary dirt bike goggles, OTGs can be thicker to put your glasses in place.

On the other hand, if your dirt bike goggles are not OTG, you can always choose to wear contact lenses. In some cases, riders still prefer to forego their glasses, provided they can still achieve visual clarity.

OTG Moto Goggle

Can You Put a Face Shield on a Dirt Bike Helmet?

Generally, no, you shouldn’t put a face shield on a dirt bike helmet, especially if it is meant to be paired with goggles.

For one, it would be extra challenging to do so. The eye-opening is usually not the correct shape for a face shield to make a tight seal but meant instead for goggles to make a tight seal.

Second, if you put a face shield on a dirt bike helmet, dirt and debris could jam up the opening/closing mechanism, which can ultimately make it inoperable.

Therefore, wearing dirt bike goggles is the ideal option. Riders use both types of protective gear, especially if they have a dual-sport dirt bike. But face shields are generally used on the pavement, while goggles are used best on dirt tracks.

What Is the Difference Between Snow Goggles and Dirt Bike Goggles?

Snow goggles and dirt bike goggles may look similar, but they have several differences that set them apart.

For starters, snow goggles have dual lenses, while dirt bike goggles have a single lens. The purpose of this design for snow goggles is to block moisture preventing it from entering the second lens.

Likewise, snow goggles are much wider to enhance peripheral vision, which is necessary for skiing, snowboarding, and other activities and are not restricted to fitting inside the small shape dirt bike helmets leave you.

Moreover, snow goggles have better ventilation. Dirt bike goggles have ventilation, but the filter is finer to block specks of dust.

Ski Goggles VS. MX Goggles

Can You Use Ski Goggles for Dirt Biking?

No, you can’t use ski goggles for dirt biking. 

First, it’s unlikely that the ski goggles will fit your dirt bike helmet as they often have larger frames. 

Second, ski goggles are designed differently from dirt bike goggles. That second lens has a strong anti-fogging agent and prevents all moisture or condensation form forming inside the goggle. However if you get sweat or water on the inside of them it creates a water mark in the lens when the water reacts with the anti-fogging agent. So they are no good as motocross goggles because you are constantly sweating when riding and racing. So if you use a ski goggle the lens would most likely be unusable after a couple rides because you will have gotten your sweat on the anti-fogging agent.

More importantly, ski goggles don’t have the tear-off posts which are necessary on a motocross track so that you can clear your vision during a race or practice day.

Motocross tear off goggle

What to Look for in Dirt Bike Goggles?

Above the fashion and style of dirt bike goggles, there are functional attributes that should make a certain product stand out. Hence, the general principle when looking for dirt bike goggles is to consider their convenience and protection. Here are some of the qualities you can consider when buying a set of dirt bike goggles.

1. Long-Lasting Comfort

Never underestimate the value of high-quality foam in dirt bike goggles. 

Dirt bike riding can be wild with all the mud, roosts, twigs, dust, and other elements all around you during the ride. Therefore, if your goggles are not comfortable, the experience will be less enjoyable.

Look for goggles that have great inner foam in the frame. That inner foam has everything to do with your level of comfort and protection.

If you’re wondering where to find goggles with guaranteed foam quality, check out theJ.A.C. Goggles by Risk Racing. These MX goggles have multiple layers of foam that adapt well to your face and absorb sweat and dust.

Moto goggle

2. Helmet Compatibility

Your dirt bike goggles should complement your helmet. This means that the straps are flexible enough to come in contact with the entire helmet structure.

Likewise, the strap tension could be a factor in your comfort. Hence, choose a strap made of materials that support comfort. For example, some goggles have a silicone-lined strap that decreases the tension while securing them onto the helmet, preventing them from slipping down.

Motocross goggle

3. Durability

At some point, you have to accept the fact that your dirt bike goggles can get hit by flying debris. Hence, it should be impact resistance to prevent damage during your ride. 

Likewise, it is also ideal if the lenses are scratch-resistant. A significant factor in this is the type of material used in the dirt bike goggles.


4. Lens Quality

Your dirt bike goggles need to have the necessary attributes to fully function for a dirt bike ride. Aside from choosing the right lens tint for the riding and weather conditions, choose goggles that have the following characteristics:


Fog defense is imperative whenever you ride a track during cold, moist weather. Make sure that your dirt bike goggles have an anti-fog coating or any other fog defense mechanism.

High Contrast Lens

Dirt bike goggles with high contrast lenses give you a better edge, especially when picking up every single detail on the track. Most goggles with high contrast lenses also come with depth perception, which is crucial when riding on jumps.

Moto Goggles

5. Tear-Offs Vs. Rolls-Offs

Tear-offs and roll-offs follow the same system when providing a clean new layer for the rider if the lenses of the goggles are obscured with mud and dirt. 

Primarily, dirt bike goggles have several layers of transparent film on top of the lens, which can either be torn off or rolled from one side to the other.

However, these two systems are different in terms of the removable mechanism.

Why did dirt bike goggles manufacturers come out with this idea in the first place?

Simply, the purpose of these films is to make sure that when riding a motocross track, you continue to have your hands on the bars despite the vast amount of mud and dirt on the lenses.

This means you don’t have to stop and wipe them off, nor would you use your gloves to do it. But, remember, your gloves can also be covered with dirt and mud. Hence, using it for wiping will only make things worse for your vision.

As a result, multilayered clear films were added to the lenses, and a single pull of a tab on the left side of your goggle will strip them off.

So, now let’s talk about how tear-offs and roll-offs work by themselves.

With tear-offs, all you need to do is yank on the outside tab of a single tear-off, and the film covered with dirt and mud will be pulled off from the goggle lens. However, the downside with this system is that improper installation or use can result in taking the rest of the film stack. Therefore, you might have to continue the race without a lens clearing system.

On the other hand, with a roll-off system, you have two canisters on either side of your eyes. One with a full roll of clear material that gets rolled across your eye line and into the empty canister. You reach up and grab a pull cord to make the roll-off clear your vision.

This system prevents all the film stacks from tearing off altogether while keeping the track free from trash. It’s no wonder a lot of riders go for the roll-off system.

If you want to take it a step further, you can get an automatic system that allows you to keep your hands securely on the handlebars while the push of a button activates your roll-offs, then check outRisk Racing’s The Ripper.

Automatic motocross roll off system

In a Nutshell

The right dirt bike goggles can draw the line between fun and misery. And with motocross and other dirt bike riding activities, fun should always prevail.

So, when looking for dirt bike goggles that match your need and comfort, screen the material, lens qualities, type of strap, weight, durability, and the level of protection they can provide.

If you’re wondering where to find dirt bike goggles that have the best attributes for long-term dirt bike riding, check outJoyride and Conquer – J.A.C. V2 Motocross Goggles by Risk Racing.  

Not only do these goggles provide impact resistance, strap fitting, and proper ventilation, they have advanced lenses with built-in filters against UVA, UVB, and UVC. This pair of dirt bike goggles covers all the eye protection you will ever need.

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