Brand: Dragon Alliance
Product: MDX Goggles
Styling: Motocross Goggles
Price: Rs 2,990/-
In use since: Apr '15 to Present
Crash Tested: Yes
Buy it here:
Life Before MX Goggles
I took part in my first dirt race last year, in 2015. I've been adv touring since 2009, but by no means am I a pro motocross athlete. As far as dirt racing goes, I’ve just started out and have competed in only a few dirt-track races. I practice and compete on a dirt track because I believe it makes me a better dualsport rider, and I love off-roading and busting trails!
The first few times I practiced on a dirt track, I was wearing my dualsport helmet (with a cowl, a protruding chin and a drop down visor). What happens is this, as soon as you take that first jump and land, there is dust and mud everywhere in the air and the visor becomes as good as opaque. On top of that, because you are moving around so much on your bike (standing, sitting, leaning), the helmet, however tight it may be, still moves around quite a bit. And once your visor gets all dirty, the visibility drops down considerably.
When wearing a helmet with a visor, there’s also the problem of the dust entering inside the helmet. It doesn’t matter how well fitting the helmet is and how tightly sealed the visor is, a spec of dirt is bound to get in your eyes. And once it does, it’s going to irritate the heck out of you!
I realized the only way to avoid all the trouble was to switch over to motocross goggles (MX goggles), and a tight fitting motocross helmet.
I wear prescription glasses and that they should fit comfortably inside the MX goggles was one of the most important parameter for me, so buying the goggles online was out of question. I took a look at Blur, Oneil, Fox and 100% goggles available in Mumbai and I realized that none of these brands are officially available in India. Though these brands are available in shops around Mumbai, these shops mostly sell them without a bill and charge a hefty premium on the price. I’m not saying that these brands/products are fake or duplicate. In all probability, they’re original. But I don’t know for sure, and I’m not going to shell out top dollar for gear where there is no guarantee of the genuineness of the product, especially when it comes to safety gear.
Then on one of my visits to Outdoor Travel Gear, my favourite gear store, I stumbled upon the Dragon Alliance MDX MotoX goggles. Outdoor Travel Gear have shops in Mumbai, Thane and Goa and also sell their stuff online at OutdoorTravelGear.com. I’ve been buying my gear from OutdoorTravel Gear for well over 6 years now and since the last two years, they've been clients of Motonomous. So I know for a fact that they only stock and sell genuine, best in the world brands.
Dragon Alliance, an all American brand, is a big name in MX gear. They've been making functional eye-wear since 1993. To be frank, finding Dragon Alliance glasses officially available in a store in Mumbai was a pleasant surprise.
The price they were offered at was just about right, so I tried on the goggles on top of my prescription glasses, while wearing my MX helmet. My prescription glasses fit inside comfortably. For the non-bespectacled guys out there, you can take it to mean that the Dragon Alliance MDX goggles are roomy and ergonomically shaped. The curvature of lenses on the goggles keeps your view optically correct and there’s no distortion at all.
I've been using the Dragon Alliance MDX goggles for more than a year now. I've worn them on and off the road and obviously on the track. From experience, I personally do not recommend using MX goggles for any type of on-road motorcycling/touring. I find that the angle of vision on any MX goggle is too narrow for my comfort. While this angle helps you focus on a track, it only reduces your peripheral vision when on the road. But for use on the dirt track, you need MX goggles.
Construction and Ventilation
The Dragon Alliance goggles have a sturdy polyurethane frame. It’ll fit inside most MX/dualsport helmets. However, I strongly recommend you take your helmet with you and try on the goggles before swiping that card.
Another feature I really like in the Dragon Alliance goggles is something they call the ‘Unidirectional Air Flow System’. This is a series of ventilation valves built into the goggles which only work one way, meaning that the air comes in from intake ports and goes out of the exhaust ports. Your eyes stay well ventilated and don’t sweat excessively. Also, all ventilation ports are covered with a layer of foam, which blocks dust/dirt but lets in air.
In addition to the ventilation system, the goggles have a highly absorbent layer micro fleece lined foam. It’s this layer that comes in contact with your face when you wear the goggles. Being absorbent, it wicks away the sweat from your forehead and it is soft enough to not chafe against your skin, when the goggles sit tightly over your eyes.
There’s a total of four layers of foam on the MDX goggles. And each of these four layers plays an important role. Even though the goggles are built ergonomically, the shape of the goggles will never exactly match the shape of your face. So the four layers of foam help in making the goggle sit comfortably on your face without making the goggles (or your face) bend out of shape.
Most importantly, the elastic strap on the Dragon Alliance goggles gives you confidence. It is adjustable, padded, and feels sturdy even when stretched to maximum size. It has lines of sticky silicone stuff on the inside, which stick firmly when you stretch the strap over the helmet. I’ve crashed and I’ve tumbled, but the goggles have never come off, the only thing I have to make sure of if that when I wear the goggles, the elastic strap goes over the tiny ridge that’s at the back of every MX helmet.
Posts for Tear-Off
The lens has 2 mounted posts, one on either side. These are for tear-offs. Tear offs are disposable lenses that motocross athletes use when they know the track is going to be really dirty! You install the tear-offs on your goggles at the beginning of the race and when they get really dirty, you just tear them off. It’s a really simple technique that works really well. The Dragon Alliance MDX goggles can hold upto 28 tear-offs at a time, meaning you can “refresh” your lense that many times during a specially long race. 28 is a big number.
Replacement Parts and Accessories
The thing is, each brand of MX goggles is shaped different, and so only purpose-built tear-offs will fit each brand. And this is something else that’s so cool about Outdoor Travel Gear. They not only sell like 6 colours of the MX goggles but they have all the accessories as well! They offer replacement lenses in three colours, two options of rapid roll system kit and three combos of tear-offs. Everything comes with warranty and once you know your size/preference you can just order replacements or buy new stuff online at OutdoorTravelGear.com.
There is one tiny thing I don’t quite like about the goggles though, and it might just be because I wear my prescription glasses inside the goggles. Dragon Alliance claims that the lens on the MDX goggles is anti fog treated. I find that when I’m at a stand-still, say waiting for the race to start, then the goggles start to fog a little. The fogging is not so much that it blocks my vision completely, and it clears the instant I start moving.
So yeah, that’s what I think about my Dragon Alliance MDX MotoX goggles. I highly recommend you buy them for dirt-track or MX applications. If you’ve used them yourself, I’d like to know your feedback. And yeah, if you end up going to the Bandra store of Outdoor Travel Gear, say hi to the guys there on my behalf, they’re good friends!
Note: This review is in no way sponsored or backed by either Dragon Alliance or Outdoor Travel Gear. The goggles reviewed were purchased by me for personal use.
"Give me a motorcycle, a camera, a good book and I can rule the world", says Aditya.
Aditya is the lead strategist and conceptualiser at Motonomous and also heads the content, design, photo and video teams.
Aditya bought his first motorcycle in 2009, and has been travelling on two wheels ever since...