What to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle: 3 Gear Must-Haves
There’s nothing more uniquely satisfying than riding your motorcycle out on the open road. Aside from giving you an incredible mixture of physical and emotional pleasure, it also provides that one-of-a-kind adrenaline pumping experience. With the wind blowing on your face and that unbelievable sense of speed heightening your perception of everything going on around you, it's so easy to lose yourself at the moment.
However, despite all the excitement, riding a motorcycle can also be fraught with danger. To avoid serious injury, here are some guidelines on what to wear when riding a motorcycle.
Why should you wear a jacket when riding your motorcycle? Well, there are several good reasons why you should. Consider these:
- A high-quality motorcycle jacket can protect you from the elements and keep you comfortably warm when it is cold.
- It is an essential piece of protective gear. Wearing a jacket can help protect your vital organs and reduce abrasions in the event of a crash.
- Wearing one makes you look strikingly cool! Isn’t that reason enough to convince you to wear your jacket every time you take your motorcycle for a ride?
With the wide variety of motorcycle jackets on the market, how do you decide what to wear when riding a motorcycle? Actually, you’ll need at least two of them—one for warm weather and one for cold weather riding. For hot weather riding, choose ventilated jackets made from leather, textile, mesh or a combination of these materials to help you stay cool while providing all the protection you need.
When driving in colder weather, you’ll need to learn how to layer up to stay warm—but make sure you don’t add a lot of bulk since this can seriously impede your range of motion and make you feel extremely uncomfortable. How do you do this? First, you’ll need a snug-fitting base layer to keep your naturally generated heat close to your body. You’ll also need an insulating layer made of synthetic fleece material on top of the base layer (avoid using cotton materials since it tends to trap moisture in). Top it off with a virtually waterproof and windproof outer layer for maximum comfort.
You can get the most basic mesh jacket for less than $100, but if you want a really good motorcycle jacket from top brands like Alpinestars, Joe Rocket, Cortech and REV’IT, you must be willing to spend anywhere between $200 and $600.
No matter which motorcycle jacket you choose, it should be made from high-quality materials, provide a comfortable fit, have protective elastic padding on the arms, elbows, chest and back areas for maximum safety, and be CE approved. Otherwise, you’re essentially throwing your money away for something that’s not worth it.
Just like your motorcycle jacket, there are more than enough reasons why you need to use your riding gloves when taking your motorcycle out for a spin. Aside from protecting your hands from getting too cold (seasoned riders know how uncomfortable and dangerous this can be), wearing your gloves can give you better grip and control, reduce hand fatigue, and protect your hands in the event of a crash.
Depending on what kind of motorcycle rider are you, you may need two or more pairs of riding gloves to suit your preferred riding conditions. Basically, there are three types of riding gloves: summer riding gloves, medium weight riding gloves, and winter riding gloves.
Summer riding gloves will keep your hands protected and well-ventilated during the hot summer months. Winter riding gloves are designed to keep your hands warm and comfortable during those chilly months. Medium weight riding gloves provide a happy middle ground by keeping your hands comfortable during spring, fall, and even throughout the mild winter months.
How do you choose what gloves to wear when riding your motorcycle? To make sure you are getting the right gloves, choose one that satisfies the following requirements:
- They fit you perfectly. While this may seem like a no-brainer, some people just pick their riding gloves without thinking much about it. To make sure you are getting nothing but the best, choose ones that fit you perfectly and are comfortable to use during warm or cold weather. They shouldn’t be too tight or loose, and your fingers should have enough room to move.
- They’re well-constructed. A good pair of riding gloves should be made from high-quality materials and provide evidence of excellent workmanship. Additional must-haves include water-proof lining, insulation or ventilation, impact protection over your knuckles and the palm of your hands, non-elastic wrist straps that will keep your gloves on in case of an accident, and concealed stitching that won’t shred in the event of a fall.
- They suit your riding style. Whether you’re an all-weather rider, do on-road or off-road riding, or enjoy laid-back or aggressive riding, your riding gloves should fit your riding style to a T.
Depending on your preferences, you can get good quality riding gloves from $30 to more than $100.
Don’t go riding your motorcycle without putting your helmet on! You may not want to admit it, but your mom’s been right all along. Serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, so you really need to use a good quality helmet whenever you take your motorcycle out for a ride—even if you live in a state where wearing one is not mandated by law. Wearing a helmet:
- Gives you a better chance of surviving an otherwise fatal accident. Studies prove that helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
- Protects you from bugs. Bugs can spoil your ride and increase your risk of encountering accidents on the road. They can hit you on the face or splatter on your visor, which can mess with your line of vision and distract you.
- Allows you to use Bluetooth. Is there a better way to answer phone calls or listen to your favorite music when riding your motorcycle than using a Bluetooth-enabled full face helmet?
- It makes you look extra cool. Wearing a full face helmet gives you a sense of mystery. And who doesn’t appreciate that?
So, which helmet should you choose? To determine what to wear when riding a motorcycle, you’ll need to factor in a number of things. Consider the type of bike you ride, the features that you want (weight, material, etc.), and the price.
Based on your preferences, you can choose from a variety of helmets (i.e. full face, half shell, modular, open face, or dual sport). However, for maximum safety and protection, choose a full face helmet. They can adequately protect you from dirt, dust, and insects when driving. Plus, they provide proper sound insulation, keep you comfortably warm during the winter, and reduce your risk of sustaining serious injuries.
If you’re just looking for a basic full face helmet that provides ample protection, you can get one for about $100. But be prepared to spend around $400 for a high-quality helmet from top manufacturers like Arai or Shoei.
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