Top 5 Must-Have Motorcycle Riding Gear Items
Before you saddle up, make sure you’re geared up! Riding gear has three main purposes: protection, comfort, and let’s not forget, it shows off your impeccable taste in fashion.
If you plan to purchase a bike every two to three years, make it a habit to buy new gear each time you purchase your next motorcycle.
You should replace your safety gear routinely because over time the protective materials will degrade, making them less and less effective each year. And, don’t wait until you notice visible wear and tear because the gradual degradation of the material may not be visible to the naked eye.
Also, the technology used to create protective materials continues to improve over time, so don’t wear worn-out, outdated gear. Always make sure your body is well protected. Even the most skilled rider can find themself in an accident. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Each state has different motorcycle equipment requirements. At a minimum, most states require riders to wear a helmet. Regardless of state regulations, you should wear your helmet at all times. It’s important that it fits correctly and meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements if you ride in the United States.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, over half of all fatal crashes involve another vehicle. And, most times the motorcyclist is not at fault. Therefore, riders of all skill levels should wear a helmet at all times. Even if you’re just running a quick errand.
In this post, we will discuss each item’s purpose, cost, materials, features and styles. Let’s get into it!
The most important part of your body to protect while riding a motorcycle is your head. A helmet, of course, protects your head from impact to lessen injury in the event of an accident.
By protecting your head, helmets also protect your life. In the event of a crash, damage to the head/brain can result in irreversible damage, such as permanent loss of consciousness (coma), paralysis, memory loss or worse, death.
A helmet also protects your face from windblast, insects, the elements, pollutants and airborne hazards. Helmets cost anywhere from $100 to $600. And, they come in different styles, such as ½, ⅝, ¾, ¾ open face, modular and full-face.
Helmets are made from a variety of different materials. The most popular outer shell materials are fiberglass, polycarbonate and carbon fiber. Inner linings are commonly made of expanded polystyrene or expanded polypropylene.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, check out Harley-Davidson’s Motorcycle Helmet Guide to learn how to find the right size and style for you.
A Protective Jacket
Your entire body should be covered when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycle jackets are designed to provide protection and comfort for your upper body.
Motorcycles jackets serve as a protective barrier between you and hazards on the road. In a crash, a motorcycle jacket’s protective padding will soften the impact and prevent abrasions. Some protective jackets have removable armor so that you can wear your jacket off and on the road.
Motorcycle jackets also protect your body from the elements. They are available in waterproof, water-resistant, windproof, thermal and moisture-wicking materials. Jackets cost $100 to $600. And, they are made from a variety of fabrics, including textile, reflective, leather, denim, sherpa, nylon, mesh and fleece.
Never wear open-toed shoes when riding a motorcycle. It’s just not safe. Save the sandals for the beach and get yourself some boots.
Motorcycle boots protect riders from injury, offer foot support and provide traction. Boots also protect your feet from the hot exhaust pipes.
Riding boots can have a variety of different features, including reflectivity, oil resistance, slip resistance, water-resistance and abrasion resistance.
Boots cost about $100 to $250. They come in many styles, such as athletic, buckle, combat, lace-up and dress. Make sure your boots are of good quality and that they come up high enough to protect your ankles.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends wearing gloves to protect your hands from potential injury. MSF also recommends wearing gloves to protect your hands from blisters, wind, sun and cold.
Make sure that your gloves fit properly. Gloves that are too loose will prevent you from operating the controls on your motorcycle. Gloves that are too tight will cut off the circulation in your hands and restrict your range of motion.
Motorcycle gloves cost anywhere from $30 to $250. They come in a variety of styles, such as fingerless, full-finger and gauntlet. They are also available in leather and mesh materials.
Make sure that both your upper and lower body are protected while riding by wearing a protective jacket and protective pants.
The purpose of riding pants is very similar to that of a riding jacket. They serve as a protective barrier between you and hazards to prevent injury.
It may be tempting to wear your everyday blue jeans when you go for a ride, but they will provide little to no protection. The good news is that riding pants are available in fashion-forward materials, such as denim and leather.
Riding pants cost anywhere from $30 to $250. They come in a variety of styles, including (full) pant, chaps, over-pant and gaiter.
Stay safe out there. Make sure that your body is properly protected with quality gear at all times. Luckily, like NFL players or Nascar drivers, you can be safe and look pretty darn cool while doing it.
Do you wear your gear each time you ride? What are some of the other things you do to stay safe on the road? Let us know in the comments below!