If you’re just starting out as a motorcyclist, buying a motorcycle isn’t the only thing that you have to do. The right gear will keep you safe and make your trip more comfortable. It is important to build a good collection of essential gear before you hit the road. Some things you should bring with you at all times, even if you’re just going on a short ride. Keep reading to find out which essential gear you must purchase before hitting the road.
Motorcycle helmets are probably the most underrated gear. Lots of motorcyclists think that they can ride without a helmet, and leave this essential piece at home. Even for short rides, you should never forget to wear your helmet. The motorcycle helmet protects the head and the neck in case of an accident. It can save your life and not wearing it makes the chance to have a deadly accident much bigger. It is also a great way to keep your sight clear and your face free from insects and flying debris.
One important thing to keep in mind is to never buy a second hand helmet. Even if it looks perfectly fine, the helmet could have previously been in an impact and therefore be internally damaged. Did you buy a second hand bike and did it come with a helmet? It’s better to throw the helmet out. Not only is it not very sanitary to wear a used helmet, but chances are it won’t protect you properly during impact.
Always buy your helmet from a specialized store and look for stickers on the back indicating it has been tested for safety. DOT and SNELL stickers are most common in the United States, while you’ll find stickers with ECE, FIM, and SHARP certification more commonly in Europe.
The second thing you absolutely must have is a motorcycle jacket. Motorcycle jackets have been carefully designed to keep your temperature at the right level. In the summer, it can get quite hot riding in the sun. Leather jackets offer great ventilation and will help you not to get overheated. Leather is fashionable, breathable, and great to wear on hot days.
On the other hand, leather is not naturally waterproof and will not keep you warm on cold days. Therefore, leather jackets should always be paired with thermal layers during cold weather. Combine a leather jacket with leather pants during the summer. This might sound hot, but because of the ventilating properties of leather, it’s very comfortable while you ride.
There are also textile jackets with built-in thermal layers to keep you warm during a cold winter day. Make sure that if you purchase a textile jacket for the summer, the jacket has good ventilation. It can get quite hot without the right ventilation, making your summer trip a lot more uncomfortable.
The air in the winter can be quite cold and a good motorcycle jacket will protect you from hypothermia. Textile jackets are more versatile and can be used for all sorts of weather. They can also be easily customized and there are more choices between styles of textile motorcycle jackets.
Motorcycle boots or shoes
To protect your legs, ankles and feet, you should always wear motorcycle boots or shoes while riding your motorcycle. Motorcycle boots will protect you in case you land on your ankles during impact or in case the heavy motorcycle falls on your legs. There are many kinds of boots that especially differ in lengths. You can choose ankle-height boots, but if you also want to protect your calves, choose at least a knee-high boot.
Motorcycle shoes are a great invention and combine safety with practicality. Motorcycle boots are great to wear while you ride, but they are not suitable for walking long distances. If you use your motorcycle to commute from home to work, you might want to change into other shoes at work.
Motorcycle shoes on the other hand look just like normal ankle-high shoes and are also good for walking. Because of the combination of the casual look and the ability to walk in them, they are great for casual usage. Motorcycle shoes can look great while still having protection integrated into the fabric to keep you safe during your ride.
Motorcycle gloves might not be the first thing to pop into your head when you think about essential gear, but they should certainly not be forgotten. Professional motorcyclists wear motorcycle gloves to protect their hands from injury, should they fall hands down on the track. Even if you’re just starting out, motorcycle gloves can protect your hands if you fall off your bike. Besides, they keep your hands clean from insects flying around or other debris, such as chipping stones.
Another great feature of motorcycle gloves is that they improve your grip. Sweaty hands can be quite uncomfortable and even cause your hands to slip off the handle. Of course, this should be avoided at all times. Motorcycle gloves offer extra grip on the outside so that you can hold the handles tightly, even with sweaty hands. Good motorcycle gloves are often made to ventilate and regulate your hands temperature, avoiding sweaty hands.
During cold weather, motorcycle gloves will keep your hands comfortable and warm. It’s best to have a special pair of textile motorcycle gloves with a thermal layer, to keep your hands from getting cold while you ride. Snow, rain, and icy winds can make riding without gloves quite uncomfortable. For extremely cold weather, you could opt for heated motorcycle gloves. These gloves are often connected to your bike or a portable battery and keep your hands extra warm. Heated motorcycle gloves are a great way to fight hypothermia.