Start with body armor: Rather than hoping the built-in energy-absorbing bits will stay put in a fall, I start with a more secure protective foundation. Dainese's Wave V 1-2-3 Neck jacket ($469; www.dainese.com) combines the excellent Wave back protector with shoulder, elbow and forearm protection in one garment, along with enough abdominal support to keep from peeing blood after a day in the really rough stuff. A patented removable neck support takes the strain out of relentless headwinds and provides a little hyper-extension insurance as well. Lycra thumb-loops keep the sleeves from riding up, and strategically placed straps keep everything where it belongs in a tumble. A coarse, stretchy mesh between the defensive bits keeps you cool when it's hot, but requires an insulating base layer when it's not. The similarly constructed Dainese Pro Short ($99) is infinitely superior to the flimsy stuff that comes with most motocross pants, even if it does look like post-apocalyptic unisex lingerie. Dainese Knee V guards ($69) are equally superior to the cheap, disposable kind used by those with cheap, disposable knees.