Safety should be the number one concern of motorists, whether in a car or on a motorcycle. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Since motorcycles offer little or no protection in the event of an accident, it is up to you to protect yourself as much as possible.
Be Sure to Think of Everything
Helmets are required in many states, but not all of them. Even if you are not “legally” obligated to wear one, you are far more likely to sustain a fatal injury without proper head protection. You can check out our section on motorcycle helmets to be sure you are getting the right helmet for you.
Proper riding attire can be just as important as a good helmet. When you consider how soft your skin is, and how hard everything on the road is, you should prepare yourself for any mishaps.
Gloves – Besides comfort and protection from the weather, proper motorcycle gloves can offer a great deal of protection. The skin of your hand is very thin, and the bones are quite small and fragile. Your hands are used for almost everything you do. You should do what you can to protect them.
Foot protection – Your feet are just as fragile and vulnerable as your hands. A good pair of motorcycle boots, with their steel toes, thick soles and heavy construction, can offer your feet and ankles great protection from impacts, abrasion, and road debris. Be sure that the boots fit you and your bike. It’s tough to shift when your toe won’t fit under the gear lever.
Clothing – There are endless varieties of protective clothing for motorcycle riders. Several key factors in choosing your riding gear include:
Comfort – Since you will probably wear this gear for extended periods of time, you want it to be comfortable. Be sure that you can fully, and comfortably, operate your motorcycle while wearing the gear.
Insulation – Even if it’s just a little chilly outside, the wind-chill factor at road speeds can get very cold very fast. Be sure that you are properly insulated.
Waterproofing – It is very likely, at some point, that you will get caught in the rain while riding. Be sure to have gear that can withstand the water.
Padding – A lot of riding gear is padded. This can just be around your knees and elbows, or in some cases, full body armor. Depending on your riding style, speed and road conditions, this form of protection can become vitally important.
Synthetic or Leather?
When many of us think of riding attire, we think leather. There are a lot of synthetic fabrics these days that can offer very similar protection. It may boil down to personal preference, or a specific need. Leather offers lots of protection against abrasion and cold temperatures. Ballistic nylon and other synthetic materials can provide similar protection, but be more flexible, breathable, and water-resistant.
When choosing riding gear there is a lot to consider, but consider this: you only have one body. Choose the right gear to provide yourself with the most protection and comfort available.