Motorcycle riding gear comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from different helmet styles to more types and shapes of leather than you may have thought possible. Virtually every type of motorcycle rider uses gear, so it’s important to know the facts about it!
Whether you’re a Harley rider or a dirtbiker, knowing what to look for when shopping for motorcycle gear is essential. Check out these 4 fast facts below to make sure you choose wisely.
1. Helmets — Price DOESN’T Matter?!
Image: Helmet (Crash) Impact Zones
It’s no surprise that head injuries are one of the main results of motorcycle crashes worldwide, but did you know that preventing them is actually more complicated than choosing a good-looking or even expensive helmet?
When shopping for a helmet there are 3 main things to look for:
- Safety Rating: Almost every country has its own helmet safety rating. These include ECE 22.05 (Europe), DOT, and Snell M2010 (America). Pick a helmet satisfies at least the minimum required certification (and ideally more) for your region.
- Shape: Each helmet shell has a unique shape, be sure yours fits you! Try to also always wear a full-face helmet, as unfortunately the majority of impacts to this area are to the lower half of the face (see image above).
- Condition: NEVER buy a used or even old “new” helmet. Helmets are designed to withstand just one impact (even dropping a helmet counts) before they’re compromised. However, you can’t always tell if this impact has occurred from the outside. Helmet foam also degrades over time, so even old “new” helmets eventually become unsafe.
So do you need to spend all of your savings to buy a protective and stylish helmet? Certainly not! Just be sure to find a full coverage, new helmet with a verified safety rating.
2. Buy Gloves to Protect … Your Arms?
Amazon: J4B Street Riding Gloves
Most people will put out their arms to catch themselves when they fall. That same instinct applies in motorcycle crashes too! One of the most common injuries for motorcycle riders who have crashed is actually broken wrists from extending their hands out of habit.
This is why most safety-oriented gloves will have “palm sliders” built into the palm of the hand. These “sliders” help to dissipate the force of a crash, protecting your wrists and arms from dangerous sudden impacts.
3. Ditch the Leather
Revzilla: Alpinestar V2 Air
Ok — before you get upset, hear us out. Motorcycle gear has come a LONG way in the last 10-15 years, with textile gear quickly becoming a crowd favorite even among the most stubborn of leather fans.
Textile jackets and pants are lightweight, durable, reflective, vented, affordable, and often even waterproof! As a general guideline, jackets with a 500D Cordura rating may last 1 to 2 crashes, while a rating of 1,000D can potentially withstand even more.
4. Boots Can be Basic
Revzilla: SIDI Denver Riding Boots
Since we’re committed to motorcycle safety, we’re always going to encourage you to buy and use the best gear possible. However, sometimes a full road racing style boot isn’t a practical choice for commuting to the office…
Luckily most over-the-ankle boots with decent grip can work as motorcycle boots. A reinforced toe box and ankle padding will further help to protect your foot from damage. Most major manufacturers these days even office hybrid casual-riding boots as a stylish and safe option!
The wide world of motorcycle gear has options to fit just about any rider. From armored jeans to temperature-specific sets, there is safety gear tailored to meet virtually any need or riding style. Check out our comprehensive motorcycle gear article here for more in-depth information about how and what to choose.
Looking for more? Safety “gear” isn’t just for your bike! Click here to see how Ride Vision helps riders prevent accidents before they happen. Stay safe out there, and have fun!