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Leatt Celebrates 20 Years

Image source: Leatt

There are many innovations and developments that have helped make motorcycles safer over the years, but those same innovations and developments for the riders themselves are rather thinner on the ground.

That’s not to say there haven’t been significant strides in safety for rider apparel – CE armour is one such important development – but there have been relatively few completely new and innovative products that have come to market, let alone ones that have become widely accepted and adopted.

Image source: Leatt

There is one particular product, however, that ticks all the boxes; innovation, practicality and a demonstrably positive effect on injury severity reduction in many branches of extreme sport, not solely motorcycling. It has been saving lives for 20 years and it is, of course, the Leatt neck brace. The Leatt neck brace has its origins in a tragic motocross event, witnessed by South African Dr. Chris Leatt. When his friend Alan Selby was killed, Dr. Leatt devoted his time to developing a solution to reduce neck injuries.

Image source: Leatt

Designed to work only when worn in conjunction with the full-face helmets typically used in activities such as Supercross, motocross, enduro, road racing, downhill-type mountain biking, BMX, ATV, karting and snowmobiling. The brace uses what the inventor calls Alternative Load Path Technology to help absorb and disperse injury-producing forces. The brace is designed to limit hyperflexion, hyperextension, lateral hyperflexion and posterior hypertranslation; in other words, extreme-forward, backward, sideways, and rearward movement of the head on the neck.

Image source: Leatt

The neck brace quickly gained widespread acceptance in the extreme sports industries, with BMW getting involved early on in testing procedures to measure forces on unrestrained necks, while the Leatt neck brace was awarded Product of the Year by Racer X magazine in the U.S. in 2007, just three years after the first neck brace was sold in South Africa.

Since then, not only have Leatt neck braces prevented thousands of unnecessary injuries and, undoubtedly, saved many lives, but the Leatt range has expanded to many other rider-focussed products, such as helmets, knee braces and goggles. By 2025, there will be over 430 different Leatt products across three line categories.

Image source: Leatt

“For the past 20 years, it’s been incredibly rewarding to know our passion and products have revolved around saving lives,” Dr. Leatt said.

It would be fair to say that the Leatt neck brace has revolutionised neck protection. A ten-year independent study by Great Lakes EMS Inc. showed the effectiveness of wearing a neck brace: without one, neck injuries were 89% more likely, death from cervical spinal injury was 69% more likely, non-fatal cervical spinal injuries were 75% more likely and collarbone fractures were 45% more likely.

Image source: Leatt

That’s not just significant, it’s life-changingly important and every rider of motorcycles owes Dr. Leatt and the whole team at Leatt a debt of gratitude.

For more information about all Leatt products, head to www.leatt.com

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
From an early age, Harry was obsessed with anything that moved under its own steam, particularly cars and motorcycles. For reasons of a financial nature, his stable of fine automobiles failed to materialise, at which point he realised that motorcycles were far more affordable and so he started his two wheel career, owning, riding, building and fixing many classic bikes. Then came the day when he converted his love of bikes into a living, writing, filming and talking about them endlessly. The passion for four wheels never left him, however, and he has now converted his writing skills into singing the praises of cars in all their infinite variety. Bikes are still his favourite means of getting around but the car in its modern form is reaching a level of perfection that is hard to resist. And they're warmer in winter....
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