Every year, thousands of people, who are seduced by the undeniably cool image of motorcycling, take the plunge, and purchase a motorcycle. If they are fortunate, they will have some people in their social circle that can give them good advice on how to stay safe and ease their way into the lifestyle. Not only is there a lot to learn about driving and maintaining a motorcycle. There is also the issue of safety gear. If you have never come off a motorcycle or slammed into a moving vehicle in traffic. You will not fully understand the need for so much gear. But learning in a crash might be the end of your riding career. It is much better to take the word of experts and get yourself some protection. The day you need it, it will be the most valuable thing you own.
- Jacket: The motorcycle jacket is one of the items that you are more likely to get. The reason for that is, that they are exceptionally cool. But the jacket is a critical piece of gear including several points of armour and skid protection to keep you from getting seriously injured. You can find motorbike jackets at Wheels Motorcycles, a leading UK bike dealer that also sells clothing. Things to look for are abrasion resistance, the thickness of the leather (should be 1.1 to 1.3mm), fit, and armour. Your jacket protects you best if it is a snug fit, but you also need to be able to move naturally. If there are zippers at strategic locations, this can help with the fit. One more thing to consider is pockets, make sure you get enough.
- Helmet: The helmet is the single most important piece of gear. Head injuries are common in motorcycle crashes, and with no helmet, it is often game over. The first thing to consider is if your helmet has the appropriate safety rating. From there you need to consider what type of riding you intend to do. Off road helmets have more venting and facial protection, while touring helmets have a wider field of view and often access to communication gear. Find a helmet with a good fit and wear it all the time.
- Boots: Motorcycle boots are an excellent source of protection, but they can seem inconvenient for short rides. So, it is up to you if you are going to wear them. Off-road motorcycling has its own boots which are almost like ski boots. These boots are designed to keep you from ankle injury and impact damage. Touring boots are mainly about protection in a fall. If they are stout and abrasion resistant almost any boot will do the job.
Other things to consider while making you safe are gloves and eye protection. However, most helmets do include a face shield. Motorcycle gear may seem expensive, especially after you lay down all that money for a bike. But you should think of it as insurance for your body, which is very hard to replace. Take it easy out there until you have a few thousand kilometres under your belt.