Riding Gear

If you are going to ride motorcycles or scooters, you should get yourself some good quality riding gear to wear.  Here’s the basic motorcycle riding gear that every rider should own.

Motorcycle Helmets – Whether for street bikes or dirt bikes, or even scooters, it might seem obvious to wear a motorcycle helmet, but not all helmets actually qualify as a motorcycle helmet.

Check with your local motor vehicle department before you buy a motorcycle helmet to see if it will comply with the laws where you ride, or ask your local motorcycle dealer about it.  Motorcycle dealers are a great source for information because the sales folks normally are riders also.

It is wise to look for one that has Snell approval.  Snell Memorial Foundation rigorously tests helmets in a variety of ways.  The ones that pass are listed by manufacturer at www.smf.org.  Having a motorcycle helmet that is “DOT approved” is great, but keep in mind that is just the minimum approval.

There are arguments about which colors are easier for other drivers to see, and also about which style motorcycle helmet is safer, but most of all be sure to get one that fits properly and comfortably.  Some good advice often heard is not to skimp and to buy the best quality motorcycle helmet you can reasonably afford to buy.

Modular Motorcycle HelmetThe main motorcycle helmet types are Full Face, Modular, and Open Face.  Modular helmets may seem like a good combination of safety and convenience, but it’s not that simple.  Aside from the great benefit of being able to flip up the front face to talk, get a drink, or just get some fresh air, modular helmets often have some negative issues as compared to traditional full face helmets.  These usually include extra weight due to the hinged design, extra wind noise due to the added seams, and none have passed Snell approval as of this writing.  This does not mean that all modular helmets are bad, it’s just some things to keep in mind as you decide which motorcycle helmet is right for you because you normally can’t try each one out on the highway before you buy.

A good full face motorcycle helmet should at least have enough air vents to keep you cool, a liner that can be removed and washed, and a good seal between then face shield to minimize noise.  Make sure the face shield is simple to open and close with one hand so you’re not struggling with it in case it fogs up on you.

Helmet Laws – This subject is touchy and the laws are always evolving.  We at Motorcycle Info believe in wearing a proper helmet for a variety of reasons, but you might feel different about this.

Historical Ducati Motorcycle JacketMotorcycle Jackets – The traditional leather motorcycle jacket is still a good choice, but jackets these days are high tech, comfortable and breathable.

Some of the new high tech jackets actually look like the cool nostalgic leather ones, but have all the modern comfort & safety features designed in.  There is nothing wrong with traditional leather either and it may just save your skin from kicked up road debris or worse.

There are also some really nice jackets for dirt bike riders or dual purpose motorcycle riders.

Puma Motorcycle BootsMotorcycle Boots – Sneakers are a mistake here.  Don’t be lazy.  Get some decent motorcycle boots that are designed for shifting, braking, etc.  They don’t cost that much more than a pair of good pair of shoes or fancy sneakers.

If you’re comfortable in sneakers, and don’t like boots that are tall, then take a look at some of the new styles are cut lower and have built-in protection for your ankles. These look more like racing shoes than they do boots, but they can be just as expensive.

Motorcycle Gloves – There are a variety of motorcycle gloves available for cold weather as well as warmer weather.  Motorcycle gloves not only help protect your fingers and hands from bugs and other foreign debris that can sting if it hits, but they also provide grip on the levers and handlebars.

Good quality motorcycle gloves have protection at the knuckles, have a comfortable grip on the bars, have reinforced material at the places that rub on the bars and levers, and are breathable.

Invest in some quality motorcycle riding gear for your safety, comfort and overall riding enjoyment. Be seen and ride safe!

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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