For many people, motorcycles are a worthy investment. However, riding one will always entail the possibility of getting involved in an accident. You may be a responsible rider, but you will not always have control over the things going on around you. So even if you are always careful on the road, another reckless motorist could still put you in danger.
This is why it is crucial to invest not only in the vehicle but also in the protective equipment that will keep you safe.
Generally, motorcycle protective equipment can keep you safe by resisting abrasions, absorbing impact, and distributing extreme forces while providing adequate ventilation and comfort. But while it may seem obvious that riding in full gear should be the way to go, many riders still treat motorcycle protective equipment as an option rather than a necessity.
Basic motorcycle protective equipment every rider should have
The different types of motorcycle protective equipment do not come cheap, but so are hospitalization costs and vehicle damages after an accident. Either way, you are going to spend a fortune, so why not just spend it on personal safety equipment that will protect you in the event of a crash?
Whenever you are riding a motorcycle, you are exposed, thereby making your head, legs, and arms vulnerable and likely to sustain injuries. But while motorcycle accidents are unpredictable and almost impossible to avoid, you can reduce the likelihood of being fatally injured by wearing the right protective equipment. But how exactly do the different kinds of motorcycle protective equipment keep you safe?
Helmets have a tough exterior shell typically made of polycarbonate for cheaper helmets or a fiberglass hybrid for more premium ones, an impact-absorbing liner, and a padded comfort layer.
The hard outer shell acts as a barrier between the head and the concrete to resist penetration and abrasion. It also prevents your neck from jerking when your head hits the concrete.
Meanwhile, the impact-absorbing liner is responsible for absorbing the shock and distributing the extreme forces throughout the surface of your head so that they are not concentrated on a particular area of the skull.
The padded comfort layer, on the other hand, wicks away sweat and keeps you cool while riding. It also allows your helmet to fit more snugly.
The other important components of a helmet include the cheek pads which are another layer of protection that also keep the helmet in place, face shields or visors that keep debris and other foreign objects away from your face, vents that provide airflow to keep you cool while riding, and chin straps that secure the helmet on your head.
High-quality and properly fitting motorcycle jackets protect the upper body by resisting abrasions and dissipating the forces of impact throughout a greater surface area. In a motorcycle accident, not only are your arms going to sustain cuts and lacerations but your internal organs are also likely to be damaged.
Because of this, motorcycle jackets are arguably the most important motorcycle protective equipment next to helmets.
Motorcycle jackets come in many forms, and there are plenty of materials available that will suit every rider’s needs. Whether it is leather or synthetic, motorcycle jackets should come with padding or impact resistance at the waist, on the back and chest, and at the shoulders and elbows to provide maximum protection.
We also advise that you choose jackets with bright colors or reflective properties because these features will make you more visible on the road and stand out to other motorists especially when you are riding at night or in bad weather.
Aside from protection and functionality, a motorcycle jacket should also be comfortable to wear especially on long rides. It should not be too bulky so you can still move and maneuver the motorcycle with ease.
Motorcycle pants protect the lower body the same way motorcycle jackets protect the upper body: by absorbing impact and distributing the energy to the rest of your legs so that your hip and knee joints do not bear the brunt of the crash.
The hips and the knees are considered high-impact areas that are extremely prone to injuries in a motorcycle accident, so wearing appropriate riding pants can significantly lessen the force they receive.
Moreover, severe open wounds and lacerations could also be avoided if you are wearing appropriate motorcycle pants.
Just like motorcycle jackets, motorcycle pants also come in different materials, and in finding the perfect pair of riding pants, several factors such as the type of motorcycle, weather condition, terrain, and distance of travel should be taken into consideration.
Leather is typically the most ideal material for motorcycle pants since they offer the most protection, but leather pants may eventually feel uncomfortable especially during a long ride.
Aside from checking the material, you should also check if your motorcycle pants fit perfectly and are comfortable enough when worn in the normal riding position. It should not be too tight, ride up too high, or be too bulky because it can make riding, maneuvering, or braking difficult.
A motorcycle’s exhaust pipes can get pretty hot during a ride, and if you are wearing only sneakers not built to withstand extreme heat, then your feet are likely to get burnt.
In the event of a crash, regular footwear will not be able to protect you when you let your ankles and legs take the force of the fall. They will either get twisted, suffer from open wounds, or have severe lacerations. To avoid all of this, getting proper motorcycle boots is crucial.
Motorcycle boots typically have outer protection around the toes for abrasion resistance, steel toe inserts for impact protection, and oil-resistant soles that have a better grip on slippery surfaces. So if you think regular footwear is enough for riding, think again.
Fit is also an important consideration when shopping for a pair of motorcycle boots. Riding with a pair that is too tight can hurt your feet and the pain will take away your focus from the road. Riding with a pair that is too loose can be just as uncomfortable because the boots would be slipping and sliding off your feet.
So to ensure safe riding, choose a pair of motorcycle boots with just enough room for your toes to wiggle but also snug enough that they stay in place.
In a motorcycle accident, falling is inevitable. When this happens, chances are your initial reaction is to put your hands out to catch yourself from falling. If you do this and you are not wearing gloves, then expect some serious lacerations and open wounds on your hands.
A high-quality pair of motorcycle gloves should be able to protect your wrists, knuckles, and palms. But aside from protecting your hands in the event of a crash, motorcycle gloves also help with grip and numbness.
In summer, sweaty hands can make maneuvering difficult because your hands could slip and slide off the handlebars. In winter, you might not even feel the handlebars at all, making maneuvering the motorcycle even more challenging. But regardless of the weather, you should wear motorcycle gloves every time you are out riding.
Just like motorcycle jackets and motorcycle pants, gloves also come in leather, textile, mesh, or Kevlar. Whatever material you prefer, always try to choose gloves that have extra padding and armor on the fingers, knuckles, palm, and back of the hand to lessen the force of impact and prevent abrasions.
Aside from the material used, you should also consider the fit of your gloves. They should be tight enough but still comfortable to wear. Ill-fitting gloves can make manipulating levers and buttons difficult, so having the right fit will enable you to handle the vehicle comfortably.