Motorcycles are a fun and even eco-friendly way to get around town, do errands, and just have a leisurely ride through the countryside in the spring, if you want to get out of the city for a good while. You’ve earned your licence, picked out the bike of your dreams and you’re ready to get going.
But before you hop on and ride off into the sunset, as it were, there’s something else you’ll need to purchase for your chosen form of transport. After all, you’re not surrounded by doors, windows and a large metal frame for protection in the untoward event of a crash. So it’s a must that you invest in the best motorcycle gear your budget will allow.
‘What Gear Do I Need?’
The following gear list includes four absolute must-have items. Given the rise in necessity for high-visibility colours, you’ll want to look into those options as well as the ‘traditional’ all-black ensemble that most motorcyclists tend to favour.
Thankfully, gone are the days when all you could get in high-vis clothing was just a safety vest that looks all too similar to that of a road worker. Now, there are truly stylish items that take safe, high-vis riding seriously, but add more than a dash of ‘cool.’
Here are those four items:
- This is a mandatory item for motorcycle riding, in that you literally must not leave home without it. When you go to purchase one, make sure that it does not move around too much, or fits too snugly. You can either purchase one with a visor on, or you can get a visorless helmet, to which you can attach your precise visor of choice. If you go high-vis, this is the item to do that with, as it’s the highest point away from the bike that can be seen by a motorist.
- This item is more than just about keeping your hands warm. Gloves will also protect your hands from getting badly scraped if you’re in a collision, as well as provide better grip on the handlebars.
- ‘Leathers.’ High-vis jackets with special ‘armour’ might be taking their position alongside this classic setup, but a leather jacket and trousers should make up your first line of protection in case you should ever fall off your bike at a high rate of speed and go rolling onto the road. If high visibility is a concern, but you don’t want to spend money on two types of jackets, it can’t hurt to get reflective tape and place it in strategic spots on the back and front of your jacket where car drivers are most likely to see it.
- You might think that flip-flop sandals or trainers are okay for a quick ride around town, but they really don’t provide much protection. It’s truly best to go ahead and pull on boots, because it is entirely possible to have an accident close to home. If you have leather boots on, they will protect your feet just as a leather jacket and trousers will protect the rest of you.
‘Where Do I Find The Best Gear?’
You want the best protection for the right price that’s best for your wallet, so it pays to do comparison shopping. It’s tempting to just pick a helmet off eBay or Amazon, but if you don’t know how it will fit on your head, that’s not the best option. Go to your local motorcycle shop and try on helmets to get the right fit. Once you get the fit right, then you can take your search online for the style and colours you want. That is, if what was in the shop doesn’t suit you.
Also, don’t be tempted by a used helmet. A used helmet can spell trouble as it’s already likely been in a wreck before, and therefore it won’t give you the protection you need. Plus, people can lie quite easily just to get something off their hands, so that’s something to watch out for. Have a shop owner show you what a post-crash helmet looks like, or at least find pictures online.
It’s true that summer is around the corner and the temperatures are rising, and it’s overly tempting not to put on all this gear on a hot day. But it is your best bet for being able to survive and live another day after a crash.