If you want to ride a motorcycle, then you need to prioritize safety.
One of the most common sayings amongst seasoned bikers is to “dress for the slide, not the ride”. This is a crucial piece of advice because it illustrates that motorcyclists fully understand the probability of crashing or falling off their bike and know to prepare accordingly.
In other words, you need to dress correctly every time you ride to avoid nasty motorcycle injuries like road rash or worse. Motorcyclists have the least protection of any vehicle on the road and need to compensate by wearing safety gear.
Fortunately, taking the time and spending the money to pick out top-quality riding gear will be well worth your investment when it saves your life and prevents a serious injury. To get you started, we’ll take a look at the most important pieces of motorcycle gear below.
You shouldn’t even think about riding without a sturdy helmet.
A helmet is likely the most important piece of safety gear because it protects your head. Even minor blows to your head can result in serious injuries, so a helmet is essential to preventing those.
However, you can’t wear just any helmet. You need a helmet designed specifically for riding a motorcycle. Furthermore, you need one that is high-quality, fits properly, and is safe to wear.
In addition to protecting your head during a crash, a helmet will also fight off bugs, dirt, flying rocks, raindrops, and even the glare from the sun. It directly improves your riding experience and greatly improves your safety level just by plopping it on your head.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that you wear a thick jacket.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, you don’t want to leave any skin exposed. Any exposed skin is just asking to be forcibly rubbed off if you fall off your bike. Because of this, you need to wear a jacket to protect your torso and arms.
Just any jacket won’t cut it, though. Most jackets are fairly thin, leaving you little protection in a crash.
Would you trust your average hoodie sweater to stay together and not rip apart when thrown against the ground at high speed? Hopefully not, because a simple cloth jacket offers no defense.
You need a thick, padded jacket that offers physical defense. Good motorcycle jackets are heavy and equipped with armor to absorb impacts and provide a barrier between you and the road.
When picking a jacket, find one that provides adequate protection while also being comfortable to wear. How you feel affects your experience and likelihood of wearing your safety gear, so make sure that your jacket is safe and comfortable.
High-quality pants are another crucial part of your riding outfit.
This is where most riders make a mistake. You need to cover all parts of your body and this includes your legs. Unfortunately, shorts and fairly thin pants like your average jeans are all too common choices.
Similar to your jacket, you need pants that are thick and provide a physical layer of protection against the road. Motorcycle pants are designed with this in mind, providing a thicker barrier over your legs and lower midsection.
Some motorcycle pants are jeans, but the distinguishing point is that they are thicker than normal jeans. Considering this, keep an eye out for particularly thick and heavy pants that aren’t too bulky and offer flexibility.
Protective Gloves and Boots
You’ll also need some protective gloves and boots to complete your safety gear.
First, your gloves. This is another safety piece that gets overlooked. It may be more comfortable or you may feel like you have more control without gloves.
However, this leaves you exposed to any crash. Most people instinctively reach out with their hands to protect themselves when falling. Doing this when falling off a motorcycle with gloves will rapidly cause a severe injury.
The answer to this is well-made gloves that offer a layer of protection without detracting from your flexibility. Find a pair that gives you great grip and feels natural to wear.
Then there are your boots. Speaking of which, you should always be wearing boots rather than sneakers or any other form of footwear.
This comes down to the construction of your average shoe. Most shoes are fairly weak and can’t endure any serious stress. A motorcycle accident may involve your feet and sneakers won’t provide any protection.
On the other hand, motorcycle boots are designed to absorb impacts and protect your feet and ankles. Look for boots with excellent grip, ankle support, and fairly rigid design for your safest option.
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but accidents are often devastating. This makes motorcycle safety the top priority for anyone wanting to ride.
This starts with wearing the right safety equipment. In particular, you’ll need a sturdy helmet, thick jacket, high-quality pants, and protective gloves and boots.
Motorcycle gear certainly isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for protection that you simply cannot skimp on. Suiting up before a ride undeniably keeps you safer and neglecting your safety is irresponsible riding!
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