So you’re doing it. You’ve saved your money, you’re headed to the dealership, and you’re finally going to buy that stylish motorcycle you’ve been eyeing for years. There’s no question that the purchase will be well worth it. While it’s often tempting to immediately take your bike out for a ride, don’t forget about getting your hands on some proper motorcycle equipment.
If you’re ready to get riding, here are a few key pieces of gear that you need to grab ahead of time.
A quality helmet
This is perhaps the most important piece of motorcycle equipment you’ll ever purchase. While it may be tempting to buy a partially open helmet, a full-face helmet is your best bet. It’s estimated that almost half of all motorcycle helmet impacts occur directly to the face so it’s paramount that you invest in great protection. Plus, a good helmet keeps the wind out of your face, and bugs out of your teeth.
A quality helmet has a lifespan of around five years. After that point, the binding components of a helmet tend to start degrading which has a clear impact on safety. Quality motorcycle helmets operate in a similar fashion to the crumple zones in cars. This means that they take the energy transferred during an impact and work to dissipate it before it reaches your head.
In America, street-legal helmets have a Department of Transportation sticker permanently affixed to them, typically on the back. Avoid purchasing a helmet that doesn’t have this sticker. While you may think this means spending top dollar, there are plenty of affordable helmets that won’t leave you with an empty wallet, while keeping your head in tact.
Be it summer or winter, a high-quality motorcycle jacket will help keep you safe in the event of a spill. If you’re looking into purchasing a summer jacket, mesh builds are going to be your best friend. They’re lighter than traditional leather and won’t cook you as much when you’re idling. As you start to hit higher speeds, mesh hybrids feel as though you’re not wearing a jacket at all. They also still provide necessary protection in case of an accident.
When it comes to winter-ready motorcycle jackets, leather is definitely your best bet. It looks classic, it’s resistant to abrasion, and it’s dense enough to keep you warm on a particularly cold and wet day. While it might be tempting to buy a jacket from a department store or fashion outlet, opt for motorcycle-specific brands. Their clothing is intended to hold up against wear and tear and keep you safe while you’re on the road.
Your feet and legs are the appendages most likely to be damaged in a motorcycle wreck. While any reinforced boot is a good option for optimal protection, boots that are specifically made for riders are the top choice. Motorcycle boots often have reinforced toe boxes and soles to prevent regular wear and tear as well as foot twisting while you’re riding. They also often have padded ankle armor for added protection.
Regardless of what footwear you use while riding, it’s important to always tuck your laces. You’d be surprised at how many riders struggle with snagging an untucked lace on a peg. Often, it’s a good idea to replace your boot laces with shorter ones to prevent this from happening. Reinforced laces are also a great purchase for keeping your boots on in the event of an accident.
While the best part of owning a motorcycle is the excitement of each ride, your safety is the number one concern. It’s important to take preventive steps to avoid injury while you’re on the road. So while you may be ready to rev up your new ride, make sure you’ve purchased the proper gear beforehand. It’ll make your time on your motorcycle that much more enjoyable.