Products 19 Jul 2013

Reviewed: Oakley Airbrake MX goggle

MotoOnline.com.au puts the innovative Oakley Airbrake MX goggle to the test.

The Oakley Airbrake MX. It was a highly-anticipated release, an exciting new product that claimed to change to Motocross goggle game forever.

As you can imagine, here at MotoOnline.com.au we were chomping at the bit to get our hands on a pair and put hem to the test out on the track.

Did the Airbrake MX live up to the hype? It sure did. Read on the see what we though about the innovative, stylish and functional game changer.

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Technical Information
The Oakley Aibrake MX is the first-ever MX goggle with a lens made of injection-molded Plutonite. That’s the most optically pure lens material ever utilized for MX goggles, and it’s insanely tough. Oakley Plutonite is the same ultra-tough material that shields the eyes of soldiers who can’t compromise on protection.

The injection-molded lens is created under extreme pressure to achieve a precise optical geometry. That means you see more detail, and you can believe what your eyes are telling you. This design extends peripheral vision to the absolute max. Airbrake MX also offers an optimized fit that takes into account the vertical frame orientation when the rider is in racing position.

The goggle features an exoskeleton frame, with a durable yet lightweight O Matter exterior mated to a flexible urethane faceplate. The rigid outer frame holds the lens securely, and a pliable inner faceplate with plush, absorbent foam conforms to your face. The Airbrake MX is also armed with Oakley’s Switchlock Technology. It makes the process of lens changing fast and hassle-free.

When a lens is locked securely into the rigid O Matter frame, there is no bending or warping like inferior designs that distort vision. Switchlock Technology lets you take advantage of the full armory of premium lens tints as the goggle has been engineered for instant adaptability.

Positives
In an instant, the first thing that jumps out at you with the all-new Oakley Airbrake MX is the design and styling of the goggle. The innovative frame design is like no other goggle on the market. The impressive design is also paired with a range of rad colour ways; our test goggle is the super-clean Black/White ‘Retro Speed’ with a clear lens option.

As I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of the goggles styling. It’s something that the goggle game needed, a fresh look that completely separates itself from the rest of the market. The Black/White ‘Retro Speed’ colour way works well with any gear combination and really stands out on the track.

The exoskeleton frame combined with the O Matter exterior creates an almost perfect fit to the face. The first time I put these goggles on I was seriously impressed with the comfort level the Airbrake MX provides. I never felt any pinching areas around the face and a super-tight seal continued block out any dust or debris.

Next up is the vision, crystal clear vision. Oakley’s injection-moulded Plutonite lens paired with the unique exoskeleton frame creates a field of vision which I feel is going to be hard to match for their competitors. The best way to explain it is if you imagined riding without goggles on – the Airbrake MX basically feels like that!

The Oakley Airbrake MX goggle looks great and performs even better. Image: Alex Gobert.

The Oakley Airbrake MX goggle looks great and performs even better. Image: Alex Gobert.

Improved field of vision is such an advantage on the track, the more you see and the earlier you can see it, the better off you will be. The maximum amount of peripheral vision is the big winner for me with the Airbrake MX, it’s actually hard to explain the feeling – all I know is that I’m a big fan of it and everyone needs to try it out at some stage.

Now I obviously can’t talk about the Airbrake MX goggle without mentioning Oakley’s Switchlock Technology – I love it, and so will you. After about 16 years of changing out my lens the ‘old’ way, I’m absolutely pumped to finally have an easy, simple and fast solution on offer. A task that I literally hated in the past, is now a joy.

The O-Hydrolix triple-layer foam worked wonders and wicked up any sweat that began to drip down from my forehead. While out shooting images and film I definitely did a lot of waiting around in the sun with the goggles on and not once did the foam fail me. I’m yet to test these in the heat of Summer, but I can imagine they will perform just as well then as they do now.

Negatives
I’m so impressed with Airbrake MX goggle that I literally have nothing negative to say. All I would have liked to try is the tear-off system and possibly a few lens options. But in the early stages of the goggle’s release these items were not available for the general public. Hopefully we can get our hands on them over the coming months.

Verdict
The Oakley Airbrake MX goggle is by far the most advanced system on the market today. You can easily swap out replacement faceplates, outrigger configurations, and straps. The goggle is fully adaptable, configurable, and serviceable – there’s not much that this goggle can’t do!

The goggle comes in at a recommended retail price of $179.95 and is available throughout Australia now. Now before you think about it, don’t let that price tag scare you away. I can guarantee the Airbrake MX will be the best goggle you’ve ever worn and it will undoubtedly offer better vision, loads more protection and you’ll also look factory – I mean, who could pass that up?

For more information on the Oakley Airbrake MX and stockiest listings be sure to head to www.monzaimports.com.au.

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