BEGINNERS GUIDE TO MOTORBIKE GEAR
If you’ve just bought your first motorbike you might need to be pointed in the right direction when it comes to motorbike gear. You need to buy the right motorbike gear to make sure you’re safe, comfy and you don’t get ripped off buying a helmet! So, what are you going to need? In the end it comes down to 5 things, helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and trousers as well as that you can use amour, motorbike suits and a whole host of other motorbike gear! Hopefully our motorbike gear guide will help clear up some questions you had about biking gear. Riding down a road at 50mph on a motorbike obviously has its dangers but these dangers are only doubled when you don’t have the correct motorbike gear on (you don’t want to get thrown off a bike at that speed and scrape down the road, bye bye knee caps!) so it’s important to get educated about what motorbike gear you need and why. First things first a helmet, almost half of all motorbike accidents impact the head and face of the rider before anything else and a lot of the time it’s an injury you couldn’t prevent if you buy a ¾ face helmet (Look after your chin!). Whatever you’re riding you need a full face helmet whether its 1300cc superbike or a 50cc scooter you don’t want your face to meet the gravel at any speed and along with keeping your face intact and your brain in place they keep out bugs, debris and shield you from the weather. Make sure you buy a high end helmet; this is one thing you can afford to pay out for and a good helmet should last you 5 years if it isn’t damaged at all. Be aware that even if your helmet doesn’t look damaged it quite possibly could be so treat that helmet like your own kid, don’t drop it or damage it which will make it more reliable and saves you money buying a new one each year! You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a helmet if you don’t want to, a couple of great helmets for £150 include the Caberg V2R (£120 for a plain one or £140 for funky designs), a Lazer LZ6 can be found for between £50-70 and the Nitro N100VF for £120. Always look for a sharp rating which is a government stamp and a mark out of 5 for safety, you can check helmets ratings here http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/ Your jacket will be your first line of defence in the event of a crash it protects your ribs, organs, shoulder blades, collar bones and countless other delicate body parts so it needs to be reliable. Safety MUST come before style and fashion, leather jackets might be a tempting idea seeing as they look cool and are half the price of a proper biker jacket but they just won’t protect you the same, they won’t protect you from wind, weather or any collisions it’s basically betting with your life any time you ride. Before you buy a jacket you need to decide which kind you want, there two type’s leather or textile, a textile jacket will resist abrasion just as well as a leather jacket, usually come with water proofing and are cheaper than leather jackets. A leather jacket is a more expensive option but you do get the look of the classic biker jacket and last longer than a fashion jacket. A good jacket will do wonders for you when you go for a ride with doubled up seams to protect the stitching, good ventilation and insulation as well as body armour worked into the jacket to protect against impact! No matter what you think or what people tell you normal jeans will offer you know help when you’ve been flung off your bike at 70mph so you should always go with a pair of proper motorbike pants. If you really do want to wear jeans for one reason or another then you might want to go for a pair made from or including Kevlar panels for more protection from abrasion but to be honest nothing can beat a pair of real riding trousers. Like the jackets these also come in either textile or leather the best thing to do is to try on each and get on your bike to see which one offers the best movement and comfort for you. In a crash you ankles and feet are very vulnerable to damage a pair of regular boots probably wouldn’t survive the impact of a crash or being twisted in awkward positions so your feet are definitely going to take a lot of damage. A pair of motorcycle boots can take a huge amount of damage and won’t succumb to the twisting and turning that a normal shoe will, and you need to consider that your motorbike probably weighs upwards of 400lbs weight that you need to support whenever you come to a stop so the extra support, grip and oil-resistance should keep you up right at the traffic lights! The last bit of gear you definitely need to have are gloves, when you crash you will fall straight onto your hands a lot of the time which is a bit of a pain seeing as they are crucial to riding a motorbike… Luckily motorbike gloves cover your entire hands from the tips of your fingers to your wrists and overlap the end of your jacket so no skin is exposed. Gloves will normally comes with some armour already in them around the knuckles but it never hurts to add a little more on the palms where the impact would probably happen (basically the more armour the better). Not only do they protect you in a crash they give you better grip and protect you from the elements! Getting the right gear for riding a motorbike doesn’t need to be a pain and cost a load of money, if you start with the basics you can always add things like body armour and other extra bits of gear as you go along. Always remember safety first! One last thing we will say is consider colour, you do want to be seen on the road!