Embarking upon the joy and thrill of riding a motorcycle for the first time is something many can relate to. If freedom and convenience of riding a motorbike appeals to be sure to do your homework when it comes to choosing the right machine for your needs. Perhaps even more important is the need to give careful consideration to the kind of equipment and clothing you will need to be both comfortable and more especially safe! Let’s call this the gear! Riding a motorcycle, however small it might be, still means you are likely traveling in excess of speeds reached by most push bikes and therefore you would be foolish not to invest in a decent helmet. It doesn’t take much intellect to realize that the human body is not designed to be thrown from a quickly moving, unprotected vehicle without sustaining some external damage and quite likely internal as well! If you value your skin and bones be smart about protection. Road surfaces are tough an often gritty, so bumps will hurt and scrapes and abrasions maybe more so.
Temperature will also affect your comfort so the right gear for the job means your body will behave well and stay comfortable. Let’s consider the most vital part of the gear, the helmet. A large percentage of motorcycle accidents result in impacts to the head and more often than not around the facial area. Therefore, all things considered and fashion aside a full-face helmet is really the way to go. Not only do they provide for better protection for your bones but will keep the bugs and wind out of your face. Don’t forget that once the helmet’s done its job and you’ve sustained some heavy impact you should replace it. Often times damage to the inside structure of the helmet goes unseen so never skimp on this lifesaver. Damaged or not helmets may only perform at their best for about five years because of the components degrading so be prepared to replace yours regularly.
Standardizing helps to ensure a helmet is up to par so look for a DOT approved sticker on the back of the helmet and perhaps go for one with the ECE 22.05 standard which is the European Union standard chosen by Moto GP racers for their helmets. This measure of safety does not always mean more expense. Often the outer shell construction and material determines cost because it may produce a lighter helmet but not necessarily a safer one. If you stick with plain looking you should not have to spend a fortune or compromise safety. Next the jacket. This is another must because it covers the upper body, arms, ribs and of course the vital organs. The jacket needs to be motorcycle specific otherwise it just won’t be safe enough or comfortable. You need to keep out the weather at speed and withstand significant impact and abrasion if you fall. Leather or high-quality textiles such as 1000 denier Cordura will do the job and combined with water resistant membranes will keep you dry.
Textile jackets maybe more affordable but leather does look good and may last a bit longer. Don’t be fooled, a good jacket with attention to good stitching and vents for cooling as well as perhaps some body armour to absorb impact is a must. Gloves too are really necessary to keep those hands warm and thus functional but also to protect the delicate bones. You need a good overlap between jacket and gloves, so no skin is exposed and preferably a retention strap on the wrist. Good, strong abrasion resistant fabric with strong stitching is worth buying. Some extra armour built into the glove especially on the palm is not a bad idea if you want that extra level of protection. After that a good pair of cycle pants is really a step up from Jeans which won’t protect much in an accident.
Special jeans made from Kevlar offer more protection but true riding pants, be it leather, or textile will guard against weather and abrasion. Get ones that have good armour for the shins, knees and hips. Boots too can make a ride more comfortable and safe supporting both foot and ankle and help avoid slipping. Get ones with nonslip soles and good support throughout. With all this done now you are set to hit the open road safely and comfortably.