Motorcycle Gear for Staying Safe

The clothing we choose to wear during riding is the only thing between our skin and the road and it is incredibly important.

A study completed in Munich in 1986 found that motorcyclists wearing protective gear (heavy jacket, gloves, boots etc.) could expect a reduction in injuries of 30% or far more. (“Modern Armor”, Motorvike.com)

 

So what do you require?

 

Jacket

The head, arms, and legs are the most frequently injured in a crash. (Motorcycle Safety Brochure from the NHTSA)   Learn how to keep your head safe by reading our section about helmets.  To protect your arms, you need a good motorcycle jacket.

A good jacket will be made of nylon, leather, or Kevlar and be well constructed.  Check out the seams at any of your sharp points (elbows, shoulders, etc).  The stitching need to be strong and enforced at these points.  Also, a good jacket will include heavy padding on the elbow, spine (yes, that’s quite important!) and the shoulders.  Additionally, if the jacket is nylon or Kevlar, it should consist of reflective stripes.  Whether it indicates going to a store or ordering a couple of different jackets to try, the first time you acquire a jacket, you need to try it on and make positive it fits.  An ill-fitting jacket may well result in injury if the protective parts of the jacket shift during a fall or accident.  But it can’t be too tight, make sure you have room for a sweatshirt or vest on cold days.

Also, sit on your bike with the jacket on.  It may feel great standing up but make positive it’s long sufficient to cover your back while on your motorcycle and that it is not uncomfortable.  Make sure the sleeves should be lengthy enough to cover your wrists when your arms are on the handlebars.

If you are winter rider, check out jackets that have side laces and a belt that enable you to adjust the jacket to your body.  This enables you to fit the jacket after putting on some warm layers.  Numerous jackets have zip out linings, as a result they can be used all year round.

Pants

That covers the arms, now, let’s address the legs.  Quite a few riders wear jeans, but it’s worth it to invest in pants made specifically for motorcycle riders.  Like a jacket, very good pants will be made of leather, nylon, or Kevlar.  For winter riding, pants can not only provide protection, they can keep you warm.  Insulated pants or chaps are a very good selection and can be bought coated for rain resistance.

Riding Suits

If you are serious about riding, and want to truly protect your limbs, you can invest in a one or two piece suit.   Despite the fact that a bit pricey, these provide substantial protection in case of a fall and go on and off swiftly.  If you are going to the office, you can fit a suit right over your (other) suit or khakis.

Look for a suit that offers lots of armor pads, and has great venting; these can get hot in the summer.

Gloves

Gloves ought to be worn regardless of weather, and there are various kinds for warm and cold weather.  Warm weather gloves are generally leather or Kevlar and good ones have carbon fiber knuckle protection and are un-insulated but supply protection need to you fall.

Winter gloves supply the same level of protection, but are insulated. Waterproofing is also a great notion.

Watch the fit when purchasing gloves, if they are too bulky in the palm, you could lose the feel of the bike and the controls.  Excellent gloves need to also have lengthy gauntlet cuffs that fit over your jacket sleeve to prevent wind from acquiring up your sleeve. Watch any seams between your hand and the grip or between fingers.  A couple of hours with a seam rubbing your hand and you’ll be hurting.

Reflectivity and bright colors add to us being seen and this can be carried all the way to our gloves. 

Boots

You’re finally dressed and ready to go riding.  Until you look down and see your bare toes wiggling around.  Last thing you will need are some protective boots. 

A motorcyclist should have boots with a short heel; this permits the boot to fit on the motorcycle peg whilst still supplying great ankle support.  Boots need to be at least 6″ tall as that will provide some ankle protection.  Boots can be as high as 17″, which are useful for use against cold wind.

Leather is a wonderful choice for a boot, as leather gives significantly greater protection than that stylish, yet utterly thin, fabric on your new Nikes.

Make positive the boot has a good, durable rubber sole that gives traction and slip resistance.  The thicker the sole, the more the boot will absorb the vibration of the bike.

Details on Materials

Leather or synthetic?  Riders suggest and prefer both, here’s what we know about every:

Leathers

If you determine on leather, make sure you check what type of leather you are buying.

Cowhide, is recognized for its strength and is preferable.  Any leather jacket you purchase should be at least 1 millimeter thick. Yet another choice is Buffalo Hide, which is much less typical but also is extremely durable and is excellent for riding.  Pigskin on the other hand is extremely soft, tears easily and is not durable enough for motorcycle riding.  Despite the fact that we all love a very good deal, often times the greatest leathers are the most expensive.  This almost certainly isn’t the region to go low cost.

Synthetic materials

Man-made materials are increasingly common choice for motorcycle gear as they supply improved weather protection and can typically be far more comfy than leather.  Frequent materials contain ballistic nylon (also called Codura nylon), Kevlar, or blends of a number of materials.

When you are buying synthetic gear, be certain to check out the strength of the piece of clothing.  The piece should be able to maintain its structure and integrity in a crash.  Be positive that it has an capacity to slide, not grab the road.

Finally, be certain to check out the material’s capacity to stretch and breathe.  You want to be safe, but you also want to be comfortable.

Details on Reflectivity

One of the extra advantages of synthetic material is that they frequently involve reflective fabrics or extremely visible fabrics that improve visibility.

Fluorescent clothing could reduce motorcycle injuries and death. British researchers who analyzed 463 motorcycle drivers admitted to hospital following a road traffic incident and 1233 other drivers (control group) to evaluate how wearing conspicuous attire affected the risk of having an accident. They found that with reflective or fluorescent clothing the risk of a crash injury was reduced by 37%, with a white helmet by 24%, and with headlights by 27%. (“Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury: Case-control Study”)

If you are riding in a highly populated urban region, wear Day-Glo colors combined with reflective panels and tape.  High visibility colors are the very best way to be seen during the day and the greatest option is yellow, which is the color most visible to the human eye. Here are some reflective riding vests and reflective riding gloves.

A vest is a very good choice when you want to be seen on your bike, but not necessarily off it.  They are easy on, easy off.  Colors do not offer us much protection at night.  Advances in reflective technology, supply us a way to be effortlessly visible at night with retro-reflective materials.  These materials reflect light back at its source.  Leather can also be equipped with reflectively, usually in the piping or logo.

Reflectivity is often a good choice when selecting gear.  You can also add reflectivity to your existing gear with reflective tape kits, which enable you to sew or stick tape to your bike or clothing.

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