No matter what kind of bike you have, your ride is only going to be a success if you’re traveling with the right gear on your back. Motorcycle gear can quite literally save your skin, save your life, and make sure you have a comfortable ride. Don’t skimp when it comes to investing in quality stuff and make sure you put in the time and effort to finding the best fit and level or protection for the sort of riding you’re planning to be doing. Here are tips to help you think about the specifics of what you need in jackets, pants, gloves, and boots to be prepared while you ride.
1. Size and length
Always try gear on before purchasing. You want to find stuff that is snug but not tight and that will stay in place. Look for features like adjustable waists and zip in lining that will help you incorporate different layers depending where you are riding. Don’t be shy about assuming your riding position and making sure things feel good around your knees, hips, and shoulders. Length is important too. Move around and ensure that your jacket overlaps your back and that your ankles are covered at all times.
2. Armour and construction
You want to find gear that has quality impact protection and extra coverage around the elbows, shoulders, and back. Pants should be armored at the hips and knees with protection that will fall just below the joint. The outfit should be constructed so that armor can be removed while cleaning. Likewise, make sure the construction of the gear is solid, with double or triple stitching and a smooth finish throughout. Make sure you opt for extra ankle and toe projection in your boot and go with oil resistant soles that have been sewed into place.
3. Closures and ventilation
You can gear that is safe but also comfortable. Choosing adjustable closures at the wrists and neck will make sure you can control your temperature. Although Velcro is an alright option for closures just about anywhere else on your body, avoid it around the neck where it can catch on helmet straps and damage the material. You also want to ensure enough ventilation throughout your outfit, on a hot day this will be a lifesaver. Zippered openings on the chest and back can allow for major airflow while still keeping you protected.
4. Details, details
Added details like waterproof material will cost you a bit extra but are generally considered to be worth the investment. You can also opt for separate rain gear if you don’t think you’ll be encountering moisture too often. Keep in mind that removable waterproof linings can be very hot and will track moisture. Due to the fact that nothing is breathing out through the fabric, you might end up just as wet. If non-waterproof material does get wet, it will become extremely heavy, soggy and will take a long time to dry.
Also keep in mind little things like the location of pockets and how accessible they will be in different positions. Ultimately you need to determine which features are most important to the kind of riding you want to be doing, and to continue your hunt until you find the perfect gear. Don’t be shy about asking lots of questions and choosing the best available gear according to your riding style, budget, and how much time you’re planning to spend on the road. Don’t rush and be sure to try everything on and sit on a bike in the same position as the one you ride in.