It takes more than a great motorcycle to enjoy the ultimate riding experience. Without the proper motorcycle gear, motorcycle riders won’t be able to stay safe and get the most out of their ride. Whether you’re a brand-new rider or an experienced one, it pays to take a moment to remember what essential pieces of gear you absolutely must have — and what differentiates a great piece of gear from a merely serviceable one.
The gear you need
Motorcycles are a lot of fun. They allow riders to really feel connected with the road, and they offer unimpeded views of the world around the rider. They also make sense for travel, as they’re great for beating—and, in fact, reducing— traffic or for squeezing into tight parking spaces.
They are also, unfortunately, somewhat dangerous. As a rider, you need to make sure you are properly geared up so that you don’t get hurt in an accident. That means covering up and cushioning key parts of your body. So before you get on the road, here is your riding checklist.
Motorcycle helmets are extremely effective at avoiding and reducing head injuries. Your head is a fragile thing, and head injuries should be taken very seriously. That includes preventing them ahead of time! Never ride without a helmet, not even in the states that allow you to do so legally.
A good motorcycle jacket is what stands between your torso and the road in the event of a slide or other incident that leads to you hitting the pavement. Motorcycle jackets aren’t just for show, though. They’re essential pieces of safety gear.
Motorcycle gloves should fit like a second skin. You need to be able to control your motorcycle carefully with a sensitive touch. But gloves also need to be made of tough materials to protect your hands from road rash in a crash.
Motorcycle boots enhance the riding experience and protect your feel and ankles in the event of a crash.
Pants or chaps
Some motorcycle riders forgo this safety gear, but they do so at their own peril. You need to have tough material to protect your legs.
By wearing riding goggles, you can keep the wind out of your eyes, protect your eyes from debris, and see clearly when it matters most.
Picking the best gear: what makes great motorcycle gear?
Smart motorcyclists will always have all of the items above when they go for a ride. But quality matters, too. You want motorcycle gear that looks great, feels great, and — above all — does the job it was intended to do. So how can you be sure that you’re getting the best motorcycle gear? Here are some ways to make the best decision.
Trust great brands
There are lots of motorcycle jackets, motorcycle helmets, and other types of motorcycle gear out there. But not all of them are produced by companies that have been making motorcycle gear for a long time. Trust the companies that motorcyclists trust—you may pay more for a brand name, but you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the best possible protection when you ride.
Look for great materials
Motorcycle safety gear is designed to protect you, and it takes tough materials to do that. Don’t skimp on quality goods. Look for real, tough leather and other proven materials that will actually keep you safe.
Shop in the right places
Turn to reputable online or brick-and-mortar dealers to make sure that you’re getting quality goods. This is not the time to go bargain-hunting with sketchy alternatives — you want to be absolutely sure that you are getting the very best motorcycle gear possible.