EVS R4 Youth Neck Support Race Collar Review

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Reviews | 2 comments

The EVS R4 youth race collar protects kids while riding dirt bikes and a.t.v.'s.

Hello and welcome to the EVS R4 Youth Neck Support Race Collar review. In this article I will be going into detail on this entry level motocross neck support. The R4 youth was designed for parents who don’t want their kids to break their necks, but don’t necessarily want to break their bank either. So if you’re one of the many parents who struggles to keep up with the expense of riding dirt bikes, but still wants their kid to be well protected, then this is the neck brace for you.

The function of the neck brace, as you may well know by now, is to deflect a portion of the forces that would harm the neck onto other less critical areas of the riders body. Additionally, the brace restricts extreme ranges of motion in the neck. In these ways neck braces combat neck injury potential, possibly preventing a neck injury, or reducing the severity of injury.

EVS, a company best known for their knee braces, has been producing safety equipment for extreme sports athletes since 1985. With over a quarter of a century of experience, they know what they’re doing when it comes to designing safety apparatus. They recently began selling their R4 neck support after shrewdly observing an unsatisfied need in the marketplace for a low cost neck brace.

MSRP: $98.95

Weight: 386 grams

Warranty: 1 Year

In The Box: R4 Neck Brace, Chest Strap

Overall Rank: 6.75 out of 10

Size: Youth size fits up to 105 lbs /  5’3. If your kid is any taller, or heavier, then move up to the adult size.

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EVS R4 Youth Neck Support Overview

The R4 is a simple, no frills neck brace. What you see is what you get. And what you get is what you get. In other words, it can’t be modified much, as there is very little adjustability. That’s the tradeoff of a more affordable neck brace.

At the forefront of the EVS R4 brace’ claim to fame is its sleek and slender-low profile design. In fact they even claim that it offers superior range of motion, and an amazing range of motion of the head, without sacrificing function.

The EVS youth neck brace absorbs crash energy and also distibutes it across the shoulders, chest, and upper back.

See that thin black layer on the bottom of the brace…. that is the high-tensile strength closed cell polyurethane core, and it’s responsible for absorbing and spreading out impact forces across a broad area.

Attached to it, by way of velcro, is the Bio-foam liner. It’s removable and washable, and provides another layer of energy absorption while offering added comfort.

The EVS youth neck brace absorbs crash energy and also distibutes it across the shoulders, chest, and upper back.

The white top layer is a hard molded cap, which provides an attractive finish to the brace, and absorbs and disperses energy to the PU core. These 3 features, EVS claims, combine to prevent fractures to the collarbone and sternum.

The R4 has a unique rear support system which they refer to as the rear axial load absorber. With a shorter and wider support arm it transfers impact energy across the width of the shoulders, and core, instead of a central spot on the spine. They prefer their shorter support length over competing models, saying theirs doesn’t leverage force further down the spine.

EVS R4 Youth Neck Brace is an affordable, entry level motocross neck brace.

Right above the rear axial load absorber is the braces one and only point of adjustment. If the fit of the brace is a little too loose, simply take an allen wrench, and remove the bolt attaching the rear axial load absorber to the strut. Then re-install it in the hole further down on the strut.

Another nice feature found on the R4 is the easy front entry system, which uses a “rapid lock front closure”, to quickly and easily secure the front of the brace. A strip of velcro lines the underside to provide an added level of security.

The EVS R4 youth neck brace goes on and off with the press of a button.

One last notable attribute I’d like to share with you is that the white top cap readily accepts custom graphics. This is pretty cool because you can get a fairly unique look that matches your personal taste, or bike colors. Currently there are nine different pre-printed EVS R4 graphics kits you can choose from for an added cost of $15.

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Crossfade Yellow

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Crossfade Purple

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Crossfade Red

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Martini Blue

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Luchador Black

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Martini Black

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Martini Orange

EVS R4 Neck Support Graphics

Rerun Green

EVS R4 youth neck brace graphics

Rerun Rasta


My First Impressions

Normally you get what you pay for, and the R4 neck brace doesn’t cost very much, so I was expecting very little. But when I pulled the brace out of the packaging, my first thought was, “this actually seems pretty nice.” I was moved to the point that I even wondered, “wouldn’t it be funny if this ended up being my favorite brace.”

The EVS R4 youth neck brace provides vital protection for kids who ride dirt bikes and a.t.v.'s.

A Closer Inspection

As I began a closer inspection I noticed that the padding on the underside of the brace felt very plush. In fact it’s the thickest and softest neck brace padding I’ve seen yet. I can see why EVS is comfortable claiming that this brace won’t brake your collarbone. It’s also lined with these little air channels, which should help you stay cool while you ride.

This brace is very lightweight. I would’ve guessed that would lead me to believe it was made with cheap materials, but somehow I’m not getting that impression. I think it’s because of the hard white top cap, which has a nice solid feel to it. The shiny white-porcelain like finish seems high quality, but unfortunately it DOES look like you’re wearing a toilet seat around your neck. A small problem, easily remedied by one of those graphics kits I told you about. Unfortunately my problems with this brace don’t end there.

While putting the brace on I noticed that my left hand was doing all of the work. Pulling the velcro apart at the front closure, then pinning it down with my thumb, while reaching around and pressing the release button on the other side of the brace with my index finger. It’s not too hard to do, so it’s not really a “problem”, but it would’ve been a lot easier to do with my right hand. I think EVS goofed up a little here, since most people are right handed.

The EVS R4 youth neck brace is the cheapest motocross neck brace on the market.

Setting up the straps was a bit of a pain too, because the slit in the back is a little too narrow to get the strap through. I had to force it through with the supplied allen wrench, intended for adjusting the rear strut. No biggie though.

Also the velcro that is used to secure the strap at the rear of the brace is very weak, and came undone on me several times. If I were going to keep this brace (and I’m not) I would either super glue it, or wrap it in duct tape.

And lastly, it’s great that the bio-foam padding is removable and washable, because it does absorb the elements (sweat, water, dirt, etc.). But padding which didn’t absorb anything in the first place would have been better. Furthermore, the bio-foam liner was coming unglued a bit at the front entry point, from frequent entering/exiting of the brace.

At The Track

I put on the R4 brace, then my helmet, and began moving my head around to investigate this so called “amazing range of motion of the head”. Unfortunately, I could not agree.

Looking to the left and right was o.k., but not as good as with the Atlas neck brace. Same thing when looking up, o.k., but not as good as the Atlas. I went back and forth between the Atlas brace and the EVS R4 several times to compare the two, and there is no way the EVS brace has superior range of motion, despite their claim that it does. It’s satisfactory, yes, but not at all amazing. (When I got home I measured the thickness of each brace right above the collarbone. The Atlas was 1 inch thick, and the EVS was 1 and 3/4 inches thick).

I wasn’t bothered by the brace too much while riding with it. But it was there. And I knew it was there. Especially when looking far down the track on fast strait-a-ways, or up and over to one side when exiting 180 degree turns, and when checking my six. It only just barely limited my range of motion though, so it wasn’t a big issue. I could live with this brace if I had to. But the better range of motion of the competing neck braces definitely does make them more comfortable.

As far as the fitment with my Fox Proframe chest protector goes, it did fit, but once again I have to say that it was just o.k., and not as good as with the Atlas brace. I really like the way my chest protector snugly fits over the top of the longer rear supports, and chest supports, on the Atlas. It pins the brace down close to my body for a secure fit, completely eliminating the need for any neck brace straps.

This is not possible with the EVS R4. While most other neck braces can be worn with or without the supplied straps, the straps are a necessity on the R4 neck support due to the shortened rear support, which does not extend down far enough to keep the brace in place on its own.

I was fortunate to spot this guy walking around the pit area with his EVS neck brace, and chest protector on. And he was nice enough to answer a few questions about his experience with the brace, and let me photograph him as well. He said “I’m really happy with it, especially for the price. You can’t beat it!” It looks like he got a better fit with his Thor Quadrant chest protector.

The EVS R4 youth neck brace fits with a variety of chest protectors.

Closing Thoughts

I’m a big believer in buying the best possible protection I can afford, because I know that it’s money very well spent. And if you’ve ever recovered from a break, then you know it too. But if you cannot afford one of the more expensive units, then this is a great, inexpensive way to help prevent a serious neck injury.

If you think the EVS R4 youth neck support may be the one for you, and you’d like to check out some customer reviews, and see the sale price, then click here.

But if you’re still undecided, and would rather learn more about competing neck braces first, then head on over to the Atlas Tyke Youth Neck Brace Review (for 4-8 year old’s), the Atlas Prodigy Youth Neck Brace Review (for 8-16 year old’s), or the Leatt GPX 5.5 (for 8+ year olds).

2 Comments

  1. Can i use it with my fox pro frame chest protector?

    • You sure can Marcos! I had a fairly good fit using that very same chest protector.

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