Oh boy, the neck brace market in the motocross world sure has blown up, hasn’t it? I have tried a lot of neck braces and recently have been testing the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Pro (BNS Pro). I frequently bounce between wearing and not wearing a neck brace due to comfort issues – I find them especially uncomfortable when wearing a chest protector. That said, this particular neck brace has been very impressive.
What did Alpinestars do to improve the Bionic Neck Support Pro?
The Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support SB was a very good neck brace, in fact the riders who participated in our motocross neck brace shootout voted it the second best available at that time. That said, Alpinestars made some improvements to the BNS Pro that addressed complaints our reviewers had.
MSRP: $299.95 ($289.95 on Amazon)
Weight At 1.77 lb the Alpinestars BNS Pro weighs about ½ lb less than the Bionic Neck Support SB. This may not seem like much, but on the track and in your hands the BNS Pro feels much lighter.
Adjustability This was much needed. The BNS Pro’s size adapter system allows you to easily change the BNS Pro between Extra Small, Small and Medium sizes to fit you. All it takes is the removal of some allen bolts and swapping in the correct adapter for yourself. The BNS Pro also comes with different thickness pads to fine tune its fit. I ended up with the Medium size adapter and the thickest pads.
Ease of use Attaching x-strap takes a little getting used to, but that’s a minor detail – once you get used to it it’s no big deal. The thing that’s worth talking about here is the new quick-release locking system. It really is quick and it’s so easy to use a monkey could figure it out. To take the brace off, all you have to do is pull the little cord on the front and the front will pop apart. To close it back together, just push the open ends together and it will snap shut.
Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Pro Gallery
On the Track
Unless you do a full out lawn dart test, it seems the most important (and only testable) things a neck brace can do on the track are be comfortable, fit well and allow your head to move freely. How well does the BNS Pro do these things?
The BNS Pro is amazingly comfortable. The new size adapter system allows this to be the best fitting neck brace I have ever used. The low profile design allows for excellent range of motion – better than the Alpinestars’ BNS SB, which was also minimally restrictive. The x-strap is unchanged, but is simple and effective, holding the brace in place and keeping it from bouncing around and hitting your helmet.
Between its low profile design, ability to customize its fit and lighter weight this thing is barely noticeable on the track.
What’s not so good?
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really like this neck brace. The one flaw I see is fitting with chest protectors. This is a problem for me because I do like some upper body protection, especially on rocky or clay tracks with painful roost. Alpinestars does have chest protectors/upper body protection designed to fit with the BNS, but do your research and try them together in person before purchasing one. I tried Alpinestars’ Bionic Pro Jacket for BNS and was very unimpressed by how it fit with the BNS, so be careful and do some research when purchasing a chest protector to wear with this brace. Finding a comfortable chest protector/neck brace combo that doesn’t make you feel like a robot can be a challenging task.
Alpinestars has put a lot of time and resources into developing their neck braces. Obviously I can’t say much about protection vs other neck braces, but for me this is the best fitting, most comfortable brace I have used to date. You can’t go wrong with the Alpinestars BNS Pro.