Motorcycle Riding Gear

A Dichotomy of ChoicesGeorge_Tranos_Outside_Edge

By George Tranos

Deciding to ride is not a simple choice. Whether you are new to riding motorcycles or a seasoned veteran, making that resolution to throw your leg over your chosen bike sometimes is difficult. Assessing the risks involved is part of the process. Convenience may be another. If you’re like me, then it’s not always a simple matter of jumping on your bike and riding off. For me, choosing and wearing the right gear is always a big part of preparing to ride. I have observed, however, that is not always the case for many others.

It always amazes me to see riders on the street with cutoff shirts, shorts, sneakers (or worse sandals or flip-flops) and no gloves. What are these people thinking? One small piece of debris thrown up off the road will certainly ruin their day very quickly. Besides the risk of injury, there is also the very real danger of exposure to rain or sun and dehydration. Wearing proper protective gear is no guarantee that injuries will not occur, however, you will lessen the chances of minor injuries and reduce your risk.

TourmasterVentureAirPantsNow that Fall is here and the cooler weather is beginning, many riders are beginning to wear riding jackets, long pants and boots. There are those who believe jeans are adequate leg protection. If you’ve ever fallen down in a pair of jeans, you will see how quickly cotton rips. It’s quite easy to sustain a large cut, gash or abrasion once jeans contact pavement. A much better choice is to wear overpants with shin, knee and hip protection. If you really like the look of jeans, there are Kevlar-reinforced models that offer a great deal more abrasion resistance. CE-approved armor helps improve your chances in any impact. These are available in riding pants and jackets to help lesson your odds of being injured in a crash.

 

 

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Gloves are another vital piece of safety gear. Someone once said that the hands have more nerves than any other part of the body. I’m not sure that’s true, but tandeertours-500x520falling down and scraping or cutting your hands can be very painful. A friend of mine recently fell down while walking and got gravel in their hands and told me of their difficulty and pain. Imagine what that would feel like if it happened at riding speeds instead of walking! Certainly we use our hands and fingers every day. They would be the first thing to impact the ground in a motorcycle crash so is there any reason not to wear gloves while riding? The most common excuse I hear is that gloves are too hot. There is a proliferation of great warm weather gloves available, most with mesh that flows air well. Feel on the controls is another excuse but there are some great materials manufactured to provide great feel. Deerskin and Kangaroo leather are some examples of high-end gloves that will be extremely comfortable and provide high levels of protection.

 

Good riding gear should provide comfort, protection and visibility. Technical, high quality riding gear will last for years and provide protection from the weather and the environment. Jackets, pants and gloves today are designed to make the user comfortable in many conditions. Waterproof membranes provide bad weather resistance and allow water vapor to escape preventing that wet, clammy feeling. Bright colors and retro-reflective stripes make you more visible to the ever more distracted drivers out on our roadways.

Sure it may be easier and safer to just take your car, but riding a motorcycle provides other joys that an enclosed vehicle cannot provide. The decision to ride should be an informed one. Making the choice to ride can provide enjoyment to an otherwise routine day. Deciding to ride with protective gear can make the ride safer, more enjoyable and reduce the risk associated with riding a motorcycle. After all, it’s your choice – why not choose to provide yourself with the best chance to ride again the next time?