Riding a motorcycle is incredibly fun and rewarding, however, selecting the right motorcycle safety gear can sometimes be difficult. This is true whether you’re a first-time rider or you’ve been riding for years. Your safety is the most important thing, so buying the appropriate motorcycle safety gear is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. But, with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
That’s why we’ve compiled this must have guide to motorcycle safety gear, so you can feel safe and secure while riding your motorcycle. Our guide covers motorcycle gloves, jackets, jeans, and boots. For more information on one of the most important pieces of motorcycle safety gear – the helmet – be sure to check out our article on how to choose the right motorcycle helmet for you.
Your hands are as important as they are fragile. Going through daily life with broken or injured hands would be extremely inconvenient – just think of all the everyday tasks you couldn’t do. That’s why high-quality motorcycle gloves are an indispensable piece of motorcycle safety gear. In a crash, you will most likely put your hands out to break your fall, meaning they need protection.
Usually, the meaty part of your palm will be the first thing to hit the ground in a crash, so it’s important to look for gloves made from abrasion-resistant materials such as leather or Kevlar. A good pair of motorcycle gloves should completely cover your fingers, palms, wrists, and the backs of your hands. There should also be plenty of overlap between your gloves and the sleeves of your jacket, to ensure no skin is ever exposed.
Further, motorcycle gloves should have a retention strap around the wrist, to make sure the gloves stay firmly on your hand in a crash. Armour is another important feature. Ideally, your motorcycle gloves should have protective armour on the palm and knuckles. Finally, it’s important to try on motorcycle gloves before buying them, to ensure a firm fit without restricting your blood flow or dexterity. The gloves should never be so restrictive that you cannot safely operate your motorcycle.
Motorcycle jackets look cool, but when it comes to safety, that’s just an added bonus. Really, motorcycle jackets serve a far more vital function: protecting your limbs, organs, back and other important body parts in the event of a crash. As such, it is crucial that you select a specifically designed motorcycle jacket – an everyday leather jacket is not an appropriate substitute.
Typically, motorcycle jackets fall into two categories: textile and leather. Textile jackets are usually cheaper, while still being abrasion and water resistant. On the other hand, leather jackets offer a more ‘classic’ biker look and tend to last longer than textile jackets, giving you more value for money. Leather jackets also usually have a closer fit.
Whichever material you settle on, both offer notable advantages over regular jackets: double seams to protect against abrasion, body armour to cushion vulnerable areas in a crash, and wind resistance. When buying a motorcycle jacket, it’s also important to consider what type of weather you will usually be riding in and select a jacket to suit. When you try the jacket on, you want it to fit closely, but without restricting your movement.
#3: Riding Pants
A regular pair of denim jeans will provide no protection in a motorcycle accident. Think about how easy it is to rip a pair of jeans just by sliding on grass. Now, imagine those same jeans trying to protect you while sliding at high speeds on concrete. The result won’t be pretty. This makes specialist motorcycle pants a must.
As with jackets, specifically designed riding pants come in either leather or textile. When purchasing a pair of riding pants, look for protective armour in the hips, shins, and knees in particular, as these are the areas most likely to be injured in a crash. The pants should fit tightly, without restricting movement in your legs. When trying the pants on, stand in a riding position to ensure they accommodate a full range of motion.
You should also look for a certified abrasion rating when selecting riding pants. Additionally, check that the pants are suitable for both wet and dry riding conditions, as often riding pants will not provide sufficient protection in wet conditions because of the change in friction.
Some manufacturers now offer jeans with added Kevlar panels in important areas. While these are preferable to regular jeans, they won’t provide anywhere near as much protection as specifically designed leather or textile riding pants.
Last but certainly not least, high-quality motorcycle boots are a must have piece of motorcycle safety gear. Motorcycles are heavy, with most weighing 150kgs at the very least. As such, a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots serves two purposes. Firstly, they protect your feet and ankles in case a motorcycle ever falls on you. Secondly, while riding, you need a pair of boots that can support that weight on uneven, unpredictable, and even slippery surfaces. Thus, it’s a good idea to look for motorcycle boots with oil-resistant, non-slip soles. The boots should also provide sufficient ankle support, while you want the soles to grip well on the motorcycle’s foot pegs.
From there, look for boots that will protect your feet and ankles in a crash. A handy tip to see how a pair of boots will react in a crash is to grab them by the heel and toe and twist. If you do this and it looks like your feet wouldn’t survive a crash, chances are the boots don’t provide enough protection. It’s also important to look for a boot that will lace up tightly above the ankle to prevent it flying off in an accident. Additional features to be aware of when buying riding boots include heel and toe boxes, armour over the ankles and shins, and a metal plate in the souls to prevent twisting.
This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Car Insurance