Gear Up for Motorcycle Safety

When operating a motorcycle or a car, safety should be a top priority. Accidents happen quickly and having more exposure while on a bike denotes that even a minor accident can have serious consequences. Don’t be frivolous, safety requires taking precautions beyond safe driving habits. Research and learn about the different safety gear available and how it can make a huge difference in both safety and comfort for you as the driver.

Start at the Top

Helmets are not a legal requirement in all states, but they are required in quite a few; furthermore, it's difficult to argue the life-saving advantage helmets provide. Shopping for one, however, is more challenging than it seems. Helmets come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, weights, and colors. Be ready to spend time locating just the right one for you.

Check for DOT Compliance

Regarding quality, two different bodies set the safety standards listed on helmets: the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation. Helmets are required to go through a series of tests before being certified as safe per the requirements of both organizations.

Make Sure That It Fits

Part of the process is to try on helmets; this is because there is not a standard in the helmet industry for helmet sizes. Helmets are designed to be snug. As you try and move the helmet around on your head, it should not be loose. If it is, try the next size down. You should keep the helmet on for more than a few minutes so you can see how it feels over time.

Cover the Rest of You, Too

Suitable body gear is just as important as a good quality helmet. Consider how delicate skin is and how fragile compared to harsh winds, flying debris and asphalt.

Love Your Hands

Past the simple comfort and relief from the weather that gloves afford, a superior motorcycle glove can also offer a bit of padding for protection in an accident. Hands often seem like an afterthought, but fingers break easily, and there is no reason to jeopardize such a high-use part of your body.

Dress Out Completely

Much like gloves, outerwear provides protection from accidents as well as shielding from the elements. Again, the choices and varieties of this gear are boundless.

Every component of your protective riding gear is essential to your safety. Take the time to understand and appreciate the different types of:

Padding

Protective padding can span from full body armor to protection for specific body parts, such as your elbows or knees. Padding is often sewn directly into motorcycle Clothing.

Insulation

Being exposed to the open air can get you cold fast. Good insulation will help keep you warm.

Waterproofing

If your bike is your only form of transportation, you are bound to find yourself riding in the rain at some time or another. Make sure you have gear that can bear up against the moisture.

Comfort

With so much gear available, you shouldn't have to compromise very much on comfort. Make sure the gear you want is appropriate for your needs.

Leather or Synthetic - Which is Best?

When it comes to protective cycling clothes, leather has been the gold standard for years. Nowadays, synthetic materials—such as ballistic nylon—are now frequently used in place of leather. Both materials have similar protective qualities. While leather offers better resistance to abrasion, synthetic materials can be more breathable and may provide greater water resistance. As both materials offer distinct advantages, your personal preferences should carry the day at the cash register.

Keep Those Tootsies Safe

Another sorely needed piece of safety gear is a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots. We're not talking about casual, walking around town boots, but a pair you probably won't use for anything much more than riding your motorcycle. These boots are designed with thick soles, steel-plated toes, and heavy ankle protection to keep your feet safe in the event of an accident. How many times have you seen debris such as rocks and glass flying up from the road? Sandals will not protect you from these unexpected assailants!

Motorcycle boots should provide a good grip on the bike and work well with your gear shifting mechanism. Be sure to take your time to try on several pairs until you find a good fit.

Keep in mind that protective motorcycle gear can make a huge difference in an accident. The price and variety of options available in safety gear are overwhelming, but don't let that stop you from finding the gear that's right for you and your specific needs. The amount of money you spend now pales in comparison to what you would pay to have had the chance to avoid the injuries sustained in an unprotected crash later.