When it comes to goggles, the dirtbike consumer has a lot of choices, ranging from ultra-expensive boutique models from big-name companies, such as Oakley, Scott and 100%, to economy models from these companies and others. EKS Brand is one of those companies.
Compared to the aforementioned brands, EKS Brand goggles are relatively new to the market, but the company has already experienced a lot of growth by designing and manufacturing goggles worn by winners. In its 7-year history, EKS has already been worn to victory in AMA Supercross, AMA National and FIM World Championship competition, the AMSOIL GNCC XC-1 National Championship, the Baja 500 and 1000, WORCS and the American Flat Track Series. The list of recognizable professional names who wear EKS goggles includes Broc Tickle, Russell Bobbit, Josh Strang, Justin Jones, Mike Lafferty, Fredrick Noren, Jace Owen, Ben Lemay, Kyle Chisolm and Ty Davis, and EKS also supports a legion of top amateur racers as well.
EKS founder Rich Taylor knows a thing or two about motorcycle racing and the demands it places on goggles. Taylor is the son of Hook Taylor, who was the VP at Smith goggles during that brand’s heyday. Rich Taylor is also an accomplished professional motocross racer, having earned 12 AMA National numbers, an FIM Supercross title a Canadian SX title and several AMA National top-five finishes. A former member of Team Honda as well as Team Suzuki, he has also served as a test rider for these manufacturers and several industry publications where he has appeared on over 50 magazine covers. It was at a recent manufacturer intro that Taylor handed us a few sets of EKS Brand GOX goggles and told us to let him know what we think.
We think they’re pretty cool.
EKS offers a several different models of its GOX goggle for dirtbike use, including the GOX EKS-S, GOX Scatter X and GOX Flat Out Mirror. After spending time with them, we can say that EKS offers great goggles at some of the most affordable pricing in their respective classes.
All EKS Brand GOX goggles start with the company’s own blend of four-layer face foam, which it claims is most effective sweat-absorbing foam on the market. The foam is 17 millimeters thick, and it is backed with a moisture-wicking fleece lining. EKS also uses 100-PPI “reticulated” foam in the goggle vents to maximize airflow while keeping out dust and debris out. The vent foam is also designed to allow moisture and condensation to escape freely.
The foam is bonded to EKS’s “face forming” polyurethane blend frame material, called “poly-flex,” which is designed to deliver a firm yet pliable feel for the ultimate in fit, comfort and protection regardless of the rider’s face shape. An adjustable, double buckle woven strap is silicone backed to secure the strap to the wearer’s dirtbike helmet.
Sweat absorption is critical, as you never want to have your goggles turn into their own tropical temperate zone, but vision is the real key. EKS equips its goggles with high-quality, shatter resistant anti-scratch and anti-fog coated Polycarbonate lenses that offer full UVA protection.
All EKS GOX models are available in a variety of colors and with a choice of lens tints, and all of the lenses feature integrated tear-off posts. An “Anti static” smudge resistant goggle bag also comes standard in every box.
We’ve tested two of the three EKX GOX models, including the GOX EKS-S, which is EKS’s most expensive model, retailing at $64.95, and yet it is far less expensive than the flagship models sold by others without sacrificing quality or features.
EKS Brand GOX EKS-S, $64.95
The latest evolution of the GOX goggle, the EKS-S uses the GOX frame and incorporates a “fit force” outrigger system and an easily detachable nose guard. The EKS-S also introduces EKS Brand’s new “flo air” ventilation system for even better air flow, and it features four lens channel restraint tabs on the frame to help reduce lens recoil.
The EKS-S received high marks from DirtBikes.com test rider Nick Stover, who would have happily taken them to Brive, France, where is competing in the 2017 International Six Days Enduro, but for a prior commitment with another manufacturer.
“I’ve used these goggles before, and they are really comfortable on your face,” Stover said. “But what I really like about them is the nose guard. Other companies offer a nose guard, but they can be a pain because they’ll be too close to your nose or they’ll be so big that they can interfere with the top of the chin guard on some helmets. The EKS’S nose guard fits great and doesn’t cause any issues. The foam is also really comfortable, but it’s not so thick that it impedes your vision in any way.”
EKS Brand GOX Scatter X, $49.95
Coming in at under $50, the EKS Brand GOX Scatter X is EKS Brand’s best-seller because it offers a functional goggle at a very fair price. The Scatter X has been relaunched with colorful new frame graphics and a matching strap, along with the bright mirrored lens.
DirtBikes.com test rider Nic Garvin spent a day testing the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F in a pair of GOX Scatter X goggles on a searing hot day at Glen Helen Raceway, and the Scatter X’s held true to their promise to prevent sweat from creating discomfort or vision issues.
“They’re comfortable, which is important,” Garvin said. “I like the way they fit, and the foam did a good job of passing air and keeping sweat out of my eyes. For the money, they’re a pretty good choice.”
For those on a budget, EKS Brand also offers its Flat Out Mirror. The $35 goggle uses an injection-colored frame, but it retains the same four-layer face foam, “Poly-Flex” frame and “quick release” anti- fog coated polycarbonate mirrored lens material as EKS Brand’s more expensive models. In fact, the Flat Out Mirror has been worn to victory in National competition. Other EKS Brand models include the Desert sand goggle ($45), the standard Flat Out ($29.95) and the Cold Weather ($45.95), the latter offering a 10mm wide, three-layer face foam designed to help block wind and cold from the wearer’s face. EKS Brand also offers its X-Grom youth model for $28. It also features integrated tearoff posts on an anti-fog coated Polycarbonate lens, along with two layer, 15mm thick, sweat-absorbing face foam. The X-Grom is designed to give kids and smaller face shapes all of the benefits of EKS Brand’s know-how.
Overall, we’re happy to recommend EKS Brand as a competitive alternative to some of the more recognizable brands in the goggle market—although it probably won’t be long before EKS is just as recognizable. These goggles offer vision, comfort and fit that are good enough to make them a favorite.
For more information, visit www.eksbrand.com.