Oakley introduced its truly innovative Airbrake MX goggle last night in typical Oakley fashion with a star-studded evening at its headquarters in Lake Forest, California.
Among those in attendance were current Oakley Supercross/Motocross athletes Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Eli Tomac as well as legends Jeff Ward, Johnny O'Mara, Mike Bell and Ricky Carmichael. All the riders and legends played some role in the development of the new goggle.
So what about the goggle? For starters it's the first goggle to use a lens made of injection-molded Plutonite, giving not only optical purity but also better eye protection. While goggles as we've grown to know them use forms of lexan lenses that are die-cut from sheets of material and bent to fit into the goggle, the Airbrake's lenses are more like regular glasses or sunglasses - they are injection molded to fit the goggle.
The Airbrake also gets what Oakley calls "Switchlock" technology, which allows for easy and quick lens replacement. There is also a full selection of eight different lens tints available for the goggle.
Oakley has also given the Airbrake a roll-off system that covers more of the lens than your normal goggle (Oakley claims 60 percent more vertical field of view). The wider system uses an integrated cartridge canister inside the strap attachment and is designed for both convenience and visibility and Oakley claims you get 35 complete lens cleanings with each roll of film.
These definitely aren't throwaway goggles and Oakley has designed the Airbrake to be fully serviceable. Each component of the goggle can be replaced - from the strap to the foam faceplate to the outriggers and, obviously, the lenses.
The Airbrake will be available in two different versions: The Airbrake MX (12 different variations; color, etc.) with standard tear-off capability and the Airbrake MX Race-Ready (four variations) that comes with the complete roll-off system. The goggle will sell for $160 for the Airbrake MX and $220 for the Airbrake MX Race-Ready version.