The MXstore Goggle Buying Guide

Buying Guides  |  22 September 2017

The MXstore Goggle Buying Guide main image

Motocross goggles are a must-have piece of protective equipment for dirt bike riders, and with over 500 different pairs of goggles currently in stock at MXstore, the task of finding the perfect goggle can be a daunting one. That is why we have pulled together all of the key things to consider before making a goggle purchase and compiled them for you in this simple goggle buyer's guide. 

What are the main differences between entry-level and premium dirt bike goggles?

Motocross and enduro goggles widely range in prices, with some entry-level offerings, like the Fly Racing Focus, starting at $36.95, while a selection of premium offerings, such as the Oakley Airbrake, go for $279.95. There's a substantial difference in price between the two, but there's also a major difference in design and comfort.

Majority of entry-level goggles, which are usually under the $60 mark, are a bare-basic goggle - they generally have a basic frame, clear lens, two-layer face foam, lower field of view, and the strap attaches right onto the goggle frame itself.

Premium motocross goggles feature big differences in design - most will utilise an 'outrigger' construction, which you'll see on the Scott Prospect, while they'll also have the most advanced face foam, and this generally comes in the form of triple-layer foam with moisture-wicking features.

Lens lock technology: The majority of your high-end goggles nowadays feature the ability to rapidly switch out your goggle lenses. Oakley uses innovative technologies such as Switchlock and Ridgelock to ensure riders with their premium goggles can switch their lenses in a matter of seconds. Scott Prospect Goggles feature a lens lock system that offers secure positioning of the lens while still being able to quickly switch between different lenses. 

Fox Air Defence Goggles offer an eight-pin lens retention system that offers much of the same. With so many different Fox Air Defence lens options available today for varying conditions, it's crucial that your goggles offer the ability to switch your lenses with ease.

Triple/quad layer face foam: Your top-level goggles will usually offer 3-4 layer face foam, offering superior comfort to a lot of the cheaper goggles on the market. This is also extremely useful in terms of sweat and moisture management, a must-have for a premium motocross goggle. 100% Percent Racecraft Goggles utilise a thirsty triple-layer face foam that offers some of the best moisture-wicking properties on the market.

Extended frame outriggers: Offering the very best in peripheral vision, outriggers allow the goggle to hold a wider stance and more comfortable fit in the helmet while not taking away any of your vision. Often replaceable and interchangeable with different colours frames, extended outriggers are a key component of a decent goggle. The Oakley Front Line MX goggles have got the outriggers nailed, offering easily one of the most comfortable fits on the market.

Widened goggle strap: Typically your high-end goggles will offer a thicker goggle strap than your cheaper options. Combined with the no-slip silicone lines, the wider strap offers a superior grip on your helmet, ensuring your goggles stay exactly where they need to be when you need them to, but still allowing for easy removal if you need to ditch them in a hurry. Dragon Goggles were one of the first lines to move towards a wider strap in today's market, and their popularity clearly reflects that.

What do the different types of lenses do?

There are many different types of MX goggle lenses in dirt bike goggles, although the most common are clear and tinted lenses - the latter often coming in a 'mirror' effect on the front. Majority of goggles will some sort of anti-fog properties, although some brands offer a dual-lens that provides superior ventilation and fog prevention, which is ideal for riders who are spending significant time on the bike without removing their goggles. 

Other lens types include a yellow or amber lens that helps your vision in the low-light scenarios, such as riding at dusk or dawn, or during low-light events like a local arenacross or night enduro. 

The latest advancement is a light-sensitive lens, and most brands offer this on their premium goggle. Light sensitive lenses, including the Oakley Prizm, come in many different varieties and have their own unique characteristics, however the main benefit of them is they filter light - they cut down glare, while they brighten up shadows. This makes them perfect for riding tracks or trails where there the light conditions are constantly changing. 

What are tear-offs? 

Goggle tear-offs are used by motocross riders to clear their vision after getting covered in roost during a race - they're essentially a thin plastic sheet that covers the goggle, and riders simply tear them off for clear vision. Riders will stack anywhere from just one tear-off all the way through to 24 tear-offs, depending on how long they're racing for and what conditions they're racing in. 

Tear-offs come in a standard, individual version, or as a laminated stack. The laminated stack is a pack of tear-offs that are stuck together (yet easily removed!), this prevents water or dirt getting between each tear-off, while vision is greatly improved, especially if you're stacking multiple packs of tear-offs. 

In recent years, Motorcycling Australia has moved to ban tear-offs unless tracks seek an exemption, which has prompted many riders to switch to a roll-off system. Tear-offs can still be used at tracks that have an exemption.

How do roll-offs work?

Roll-offs are a system that you fit your goggles that allow you to continually have clear vision until the roll of film runs out. There are two canisters at either end of the goggles - one is the clean side where the fresh film sits on the right, while the other side is where the 'dirty' film goes and sits alongside a pull system. 
The film, usually around 40mm, goes across the goggles in line with your eyes, and is activated by pulling the string on the left-hand side. Once pulled, which you may have to do twice to get the full width of your goggles, you'll have a clean strip of vision.

How do I install tear-offs?

Installing tear-offs only involves a couple of steps, and it starts with ensuring your goggles are clean and that there is no sand or moisture on the lens.

Step 1: Placing your tear-off on the goggles
The first step to installing a tear-off is a case of aligning the holes in the tear-off with the tear-off posts on the goggles, and then simply pushing the tear-off so it sits on the lens. Ensure the pulling tab of the tear-off is on the left-hand side. Following that, most goggles will have an additional post on the outrigger or on the strap, which the tear-off should also press onto.

Step 2: Stacking multiple tear-offs
When you're stacking multiple tear-offs, you'll need to do the same process as above, however with each tear-off you put on, you'll need to fold back the pulling tab and lock it onto either the post on the lens or outrigger with the above tear-off. This needs to happen before each tear-off goes on. 
If you're using laminated tear-offs, the whole stack can be pushed onto the tear-off posts, although the pulling tabs will still need to be folded and locked in by the above tear-off on the outrigger or strap post for each one you have on.

How do I prepare roll-offs?

Preparing your motocross goggles roll-off system to go riding and racing is a fairly simple process, and taking the extra steps will ensure you have a clear lens and don’t run into dramas while out on the track or trail.

Step 1: Preparation
First things first - make sure your MX goggles and the roll-off system are clean. This is incredibly important - any dirt or debris that makes its way past the helmet visor into the roll-off system is bound to cause failure, and that’s why starting with a clean set is crucial.
Ensure the goggles, lens and roll-off system have been cleaned thoroughly before you ride your dirt bike, and also ensure they’re all dry.

Step 2: Assembly
The next step is assembling the roll-off system - if your goggle set is clean, then you would’ve likely taken the roll-off system from the goggle itself. If you didn’t have to, then you can skip this step.

Once you assemble and install the system (or the side canisters), doublecheck no dirt has made its way inside. The best practice is to blow into the canisters with either your mouth or an air compressor.

Step 3: Installing the roll
Next up is installing the roll. If it’s a brand-new roll of film, it will already have sticky-tab that you can attach to the ‘dirty’ roll on the other side. If the roll you last used has plenty of roll film left, simply cut it where it’s clean and use tape to stick it to the dirty side.

Once you’ve attached the film to the ‘dirty’ roll, lock it in place.

Step 4: Installing the mud-flap
If it’s a brand-new roll-off set, you’ll need to install the mud-flap. This is a super simple process, where all you need to do is line up the mud-flap on the top of the lens where it meets the goggle frame, and simply apply it.

Once you’ve completed that, or if your mud-flap is already installed, make sure the film sits nicely underneath.

Step 5: Finishing up
The last step involves putting each canister cover on and then testing the system.

Pull the roll-off string a number of times, ensure it retracts easily and that the film scrolls across nicely without getting crinkled or caught on anything. If it’s not working correctly, try the process again.

If it works flawlessly, you’re ready to ride!

How do I clean my motocross goggles?

The best way to clean off-road goggles is to remove your lens and roll-off system from the goggle frame, and then place the goggle inside a laundry garment bag and put it in the wash with your riding gear. This ensures your goggles will come up like new, and by putting them in the laundry garment bag, they won't get damaged in the process. 

Goggle lenses are treated with a coating on the inner and outer side to optimise vision and reduce fogging. This finish can be quite delicate particularly on the inner side, so avoid using chemicals in cleaning agents such as 'Windex' type cleaners, as although they will clean your lens, the ammonia will eventually turn the lens brittle and cracks will begin to appear and run through the lens.

The best method is light soap and warm water - if there is any mud built up, allow the water to soak the mud until it falls off the lens, you can further clean the goggle lens with a microfiber cloth or using your goggle bag.

You should also wash your goggle bag regularly as you can use this at the track to clean your goggles on race day. Do not use a tee shirt, towel or your motocross gloves to wipe dirt off a lens as you will grind dirt particles into the lens which will scratch them.

On-track tips for motocross goggle care:

Always run at least one tear-off, even on the hottest driest day with only one other bike on the track, having an extra layer of protection over your goggle lens will improve its lifespan. On muddy days always be prepared with plenty of tear-offs to avoid being filled in and throwing your goggles off the side of the track mid-race. Another helpful item riding in super muddy conditions is a roll-off system - most major motocross goggle brands manufacture these now which give you clearer vision for longer.

Kids motocross goggle sizing:

Although goggles vary slightly in shape and size, they do not have a sizing break (S,M,L,XL). There are only two sizes to consider, and to decide what is the right goggle for you, all you need to do is look at what helmet you wear.

All kids helmets will only work with a kids goggle. An adults goggle will not fit inside the eye-port, at best it may sit on the outside of the helmet but the foam will not come in contact with the riders face allowing dirt and dust to work its way into the rider's eyes.

If you have an adults size helmet and have a set of kids goggles you will probably struggle to get the strap over the helmet for starters. On top of this, the foam will end up touching your eyes as the frame will be far too small for your face. Remember you want a goggle where the foam sits evenly on your face and creates a seal to prevent dirt from seeping into your eyes!

Choosing the right goggle for you:

Just like any piece of motocross gear, every goggle will fit slightly different depending on the brand and the shape of your face. When deciding on a new pair of goggles, check the fitment and feel by holding the goggles against your face. You want the foam to be touching evenly against your face all the way around the frame and have the smallest amount of frame in your peripheral vision as possible.

If you wear prescription glasses there are also 'OTG' goggles which have a deeper frame to allow room for your spectacles too! See if you can try them on with the current helmet you are riding in as some brand goggles are more difficult to fit in certain helmet eye ports than others.

Why you shouldn't switch between multiple goggle brands:

The amount of Motocross Goggle brands on the market can be exciting and overwhelming. While there are pros and cons for all, it is important that you find a brand that meets your needs and fits your face and stick to it. If you're changing mx goggle brands more often than your engine oil then you need to STOP!

Every goggle brand on the market, supports their goggles with a range of aftermarket accessories. These accessories are not only brand specific but can also be model specific. A smart rider realises that it is important to carry a range of goggle accessories to suit any occasion. Coloured/mirrored lenses for those sunny days, clear lenses for cloudy/night time riding and tear offs to suit. 

With tear-offs quickly becoming banned in many locations in Australia, a roll-off kit is also important for clear vision on those rainy days. When you double your dirt bike goggle brands, you also double the necessary accessories. Stick to one brand/model, a familiar fit every-time you ride, and you will save yourself space and money in the long run.

How do I store and transport my goggles?

The best way to store and transport your goggles is by using a goggle bag. Goggle bags are quite affordable and a must-have for anyone with more than one set of goggles. They generally have slots for up to five or six goggles, and there are a number of compartments to fit your tear-offs, roll-offs, and spare lenses. Not only that, but they protect your goggles from getting damaged in transit, and they perfectly inside your motocross gear bag.

Shop 100% Goggles

100% Goggles are the new motocross goggle brand taking the world by storm. Their aggressive pricing structure and simplistic design allow customers to easily replace lenses and goggle accessories as their entire range consists of only three lens shapes. Continuing to recruit some of the biggest names in the sport, with the likes of Cooper Webb, Marvin Musquin and Aaron Plessinger on board, the 100% freight train continues to roll forward. Check out the full ranges of 100 Percent here!

Shop Dragon Goggles

Dragon Goggles have always produced goggles with plenty of steeze, which is thanks to their strong connection to the snowboarding scene. But not to be left behind, Dragon has now also developed a quick-release injection-moulded lens to capture riders chasing a premium goggle. The classic NFX, along with the NFXs and the newer NFX2 have the Dragon brand held in good stead by the majority of the industry, and it's easy to see why. Check out Dragon here!

Shop Oakley

Oakley goggles have always been known as the leader in motocross goggle technology. With the largest range and some of the biggest athletes in the game, there aren't many people who have never owned a set of Oakleys! The Airbrake continues to dominate the industry, and the new Front Line MX goggles are sure to take the mid-range price point market by storm. With names like Ken Roczen, Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, Chad Reed and Jeffrey Herlings on deck, it's easy to see why Oakley is the most popular name in the game. Check out Oakley here!

Shop Scott Goggles

Scott goggles have always been the choice for more privateer riders than any other brand! Scott is known to produce a high quality and functional goggle with loads of adjustment for all face shapes and sizes. With the introduction of the new Scott Prospect goggles, they truly brought their A-game against brands like Oakley and 100%. Young guns around the world are taking the Prospect goggles to the top step of World Championship podiums, and if they're good enough for Joey Savatgy, Austin Forkner, Jorge Prado and Pauls Jonass, you know these things are the real dal. Scott was also the first brand to produce the 'OTG' goggle to be worn over prescription glasses. Check out Scott here!

Shop Spy Goggles

Spy goggles is another brand which oozes style, and with its founding father being Jeremy McGrath it is no surprise. Spy has also developed a quick-release injection-moulded lens to capture riders chasing a premium goggle. With some premium features and epic colourways, you can't go wrong with the SPY range. Check out Spy here!

Shop Thor Goggles

Thor has one of the most popular products of all time in its range, which is the Enemy goggle in black. The reason being a functional, simple and affordable goggle manufactured by one of the biggest brands in MX. Check out Thor Goggles here!Shop Fox Goggles

Fox is the largest brand in MX, but it also produces a range of motocross goggles people on any budget. Fox is known for making some of the best quality MX gear on the planet and their goggles are no exception. Check out Fox Goggles here!Shop EKS Brand Goggles

EKS goggles is known for their range of stylish, comfortable, functional and affordable goggles. EKS has goggles similar to other brands high end range but for a fraction of the cost. Check out EKS Here!
If you have any further questions about choosing the right goggle brand don't hesitate to contact the friendly team at MXstore

Comments (1)

glasses under goggles

So it's totally not cool, but sadly some of us do have to wear glasses under our goggles. What kind of goggle guide doesn't tell you which models are designed for this?

Ollie on 18 September 2018
Hi Ollie, thanks for leaving us a comment! We do have in the guide "If you wear prescription glasses there are also "OTG" (over the glasses) goggles which have a deeper frame to allow room for your spectacles too!" - Here is the link: If you have any further questions about OTG goggles or would like some help in picking the right goggle for you, contact our customer service legends and they would be more than happy to help you out :)
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