If you’ve just bought your first motorcycle or are considering making a purchase, don’t forget the gear you’ll need to go along with it.
Getting out on the road is the exhilarating part but having the right gear will keep you protected and comfortable on each ride. There are endless options when it comes to style and accessories, but here’s a look at the essential motorcycle riding gear to invest in.
Your normal everyday clothing won’t give you much protection from the elements. Motorcycle clothing is designed to be tough, protective, and abrasion-resistant.
Motorcycle jackets are probably the most recognizable piece of gear. They keep you warm when riding in cool weather and protect you from wind and debris. A jacket is also protection for your skin in case of an accident.
Most motorcycle jackets are either leather or textile. Textile jackets are breathable, water-resistant, and lighter weight. Leather jackets are more durable and will keep you warmer in cold weather but tend to be more expensive.
Regular denim jeans and other types of pants don’t offer very much protection when you’re on your motorcycle. Like jackets, you can opt for leather or textile riding pants. Leather is the most protective, but textile pants are more versatile.
If you like the look and feel of jeans, you can choose riding jeans that have Kevlar panels added in for extra protection and strength.
Riding boots will give you better traction (especially on slippery surfaces) and support your ankles, legs, and feet. Even more importantly, they’ll help protect your foot and toe bones in a crash.
Motorcycle boots come in many styles and materials, but it’s important to choose a pair that at least covers your ankles.
Your hands are likely your most vulnerable body part when riding. They are more fragile and also usually the first part of you to touch the ground in a crash.
The most protective motorcycle gloves will completely cover your hand, offer knuckle protection, and have reinforced palms. Other options will be less protective but more versatile and lightweight.
Protective Motorcycle Gear
While the right kind of clothing offers you more protection than everyday clothing, there are a few other protective elements you’ll want to have.
A motorcycle helmet is one of the most essential pieces of gear. You might think of a helmet as mainly to protect your head in case of a crash (which it does), but it can also protect your face and eyes from wind, flying debris, and bugs.
A full-face helmet is the most protective. Open face helmets will protect your head but don’t shield your face at all.
Some helmets now come with Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to safely take phone calls, get directions, and even listen to music while riding.
A helmet will help to keep the noise down as you ride, but it won’t shield your ears completely. The noise from wind rushing by you can actually be damaging to your hearing and cause ringing in your ears.
Look for a pair of soft and flexible earplugs that will mould to your ears. A quality pair will protect your eardrums without irritating your ears or making them sweat.
Motorcycle armour is sturdier and more protective than clothing. During a crash, it will absorb energy that would otherwise harm your body.
You can buy pieces of armour separately, and you’ll also find them included in other gear.
The type of armour you choose will depend on which area of your body you want to protect. You may want a back or chest protector to upgrade your current gear, or get a jacket with armour built-in.
Certain types of riding pants will also include armour, but if yours doesn’t, you can add on knee and shin guards. Other types of armour include elbow guards, kidney belts, and full bodysuits.
Motorcycle Rain Gear
Motorcycles don’t offer much protection from the elements. If you want to keep riding in all kinds of weather, you’ll need some quality motorcycle rain gear.
Many jackets are already water-resistant, but a full rain jacket will keep you protected and dry much more effectively. Rain pants are typically lightweight and breathable, offering you a comfortable way to stay dry.
You can also opt for a full one-piece rain suit to keep water from sneaking in the gap between jacket and pants. You may want to consider one of these if you plan to take long rides in the rain.
All the gear mentioned so far is to keep you safe and comfortable as you ride. The one other essential area of motorcycle gear to look into is storage options.
Depending on how much storage your bike has, you’ll likely want to look into ways to pack more stuff, especially on longer rides.
Motorcycle saddlebags give you two pouches that hang on either side of your bike. Some are made of leather, others of lighter textiles, and some are hard and protective.
Be sure to select ones that will fit your motorcycle and give you the amount of storage you need.
A waterproof, sturdy backpack is another option for more storage. You can get one in a traditional design or choose a rolltop backpack.
Some features to look for include shoulder straps that will fit over your riding gear and clips or a locking system to keep it from falling off as you ride. You may also want a smaller bag for tools.
The Right Gear Makes the Ride Better
Choosing the right gear is essential to making your ride the best it possibly can be. Motorcycle gear keeps you comfortable and is there for protection in case a crash should happen.
Once you have your gear picked out, it is time to hit the road.
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