Knox Cross Shirt - Knox Cross Sport Shorts
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld
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Owner Comments (Below)
When we started our exploration of the various forms
of motorcycle armor and protective clothing, I never thought
we'd get beyond one or maybe two back protectors.
But here we are with the sixth article in what can now
be considered as a series. We originally thought that these
type of products were very narrowly focused on motorcycle
racers and track day specialists, but apparently many different
types of motorcycle riders are interested in protecting
their bodies, which is surely a positive trend.
We discovered that race-style back protectors aren't
for everyone though, because they are somewhat bulky and
The companies that make motorcycle armor are aware of
this, and they have also developed products that I suppose
can be classified as motorcycle protective underwear, designed
to be worn underneath most types of motorcycle clothing
or even street clothes, if so desired.
Cool Air Bodyguard Adventure Pants are one example,
and they are also available with a matching armored undershirt.
British Motorcycle Gear, the distributor for Knox Armor
in the U.S.A., sent us two other very interesting examples
of this type of motorcycle protective clothing: a Knox Cross
Shirt and the matching Knox Cross Sport Shorts (a tongue-twister
Both of these products offer large areas of protective
padding, and the Cross Shirt includes a built-in (but removable)
back protector, hard armor on the elbows and shoulders and
even a chest protector.
They are comfortable to wear, and although we don't have
any scientific proof, they sure seem like they offer more
and better protection than found in most motorcycle clothing,
including some of the race-oriented and one-piece leathers
The fabric used in both the Cross Shirt and the Cross
Sport Shorts is a highly breathable stretch mesh. It must
be woven with a high percentage of Spandex or some other
type of elastic fibers, because it's very flexible and form-fitting.
Knox claims that the material is also highly resistant to
The elasticity of the material is very important to the
functionality of the products, because it keeps the armor
close to the rider's body. This is crucial to receive the
maximum potential benefit of the armor or padding.
We've seen many motorcycle jackets, pants and one-piece
leather or textile suits that fit much too loose by design
to keep the armor in place if the rider falls. And all the
armor in the world will be useless if it doesn't stay in
place, so be very careful when choosing motorcycle clothing
to ensure the correct fit.
My experience tells me that most riders wear their clothing
at least one size too big. Next time you watch a MotoGP
or World Superbike race, notice the leathers worn by your
favorite racer. They look skin-tight and for a good reason.
Since very few of us can afford to order custom-fitted
motorcycle clothing, another solution is to wear armored
underwear that does keep the armor snug.
I have recently removed the standard armor from several
of my jackets and pants and I'm wearing the Knox armor underneath
instead. I've found that it's actually more comfortable,
because the armor and padding stay in place and move with
me. I also feel more confident that I'm better protected.
Knox Cross Shirt
Knox claims that the Cross
Shirt includes CE impact protection for the entire upper
body. The shirt is made from a stretchy elastic breathable
mesh, and it's worn like a jacket. It has a PEX zipper up
the front and a Velcro tab at the neck to keep it secure.
The sleeves of the Cross Shirt are slightly longer than
normal, because the cuffs include a thumb hole, similar
to what is sometimes found on Polypropylene thermal underwear
shirts used for skiing.
Wearing the sleeves with the thumb through the hole helps
keep the elbow armor correctly oriented and it also prevents
the sleeve from riding up on the arm when getting into a
tight set of leathers or jacket.
The elbow hard armor is Knox CE-approved and backed with
softer padding. It is permanently attached to the outside
of the arm of the Cross Shirt, and it is long enough to
cover from the elbow down about 3/4 of the way to the wrist.
The shoulders are also protected by Knox hard armor, which
is also permanently attached to the shirt.
The Cross Shirt includes a full-length Knox back protector,
which is attached to the shirt with a zipper on top. It
hangs loose at the bottom of the shirt to allow freedom
of movement as the rider leans forward.
It also includes a flexible waist strap that is brought
around the rider's waist over the top of the shirt after
it is zipped up. The back protector is similar to the
Knox Stowaway product we reviewed recently, and it uses
the same waffle type of attached sectioning that allows
it to bend.
The front of the Cross Shirt includes a section of chest
padding, which is enclosed inside some mesh fabric.
It is attached to the inside of the shirt with a section
of Velcro, so it is very easy to remove if desired. Dirt
bike riders use chest protectors to help protect against
rocks and debris, but I leave mine in on the street for
The Cross Shirt currently lists for $249.00, which may
seem expensive until you start adding up the cost of a dedicated
back protector, chest protector and hard armor for the elbows
I've found that the Cross Shirt is definitely the most
comfortable way to stay protected. It's available in 6 different
sizes, from XS to XXL.
Knox Cross Sport Shorts
The Cross Sport Shorts
are made from the same type of elastic mesh fabric as the
Cross Shirt. The shorts cover everything from the waist
down to just above the knees. The Knox "Ultra lightweight
Advance X Protectors" (e.g., padding) are removable
so the shorts can be washed when necessary.
The outer sides of the legs have an upper and lower zippered
pocket containing Knox soft armor padding. The padding is
cut in waffled sections to maintain flexibility. The shorts
seem to have much more surface area and the padding is thicker
than the type of protection normally found in motorcycle
pants or even leather race pants.
Each upper pocket contains a section of kidney-shaped
padding that is designed to protect the hip. Each lower
pocket contains a separate section of padding to protect
the outer thigh.
The back of the shorts has another zippered pocket that
contains a section of padding to protect the coccyx, or
tailbone. There are also two small sections of thin padding
that are permanently attached to the seat of the shorts.
The shorts zip up in the front and they have a nice,
wide elastic waistband that closes with a YKK metal snap
button. The Cross Sport Shorts are as comfortable to wear
as the Cross Shirt, and I like the fact that they have more
surface area of thicker padding than any of my other motorcycle
I only wish that the shorts were available as a full-length
underwear that included knee and shin armor! The shorts
are also available in 6 sizes, from XS to XXL and they currently
list for $149.00.
I really like wearing the combination
of the Knox Cross Shirt and the Cross Sport Shorts. They're
comfortable and the stretchy fabric keeps the armor close
to my body where it will do the most good and it feels good
at the same time.
This combination may be a better solution than purchasing
several pieces of dedicated armor, although the only thing
that it's missing is protection for the knees and shins.
Knox Cross Shirt - Knox Cross Sport Shorts
British Motorcycle Gear
Price: $249.00 (shirt); $149.00 (shorts).
Product Comments: Fits under most
motorcycle or street clothing. Stretchy fabric
is comfortable and does a good job of keeping
the armor in place so it can do its job.
Review Date: January 2005. Product provided
by British Motorcycle Gear (more).
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