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Protective Gear To Wear When Riding a Motorbike

Author
Ari Kypuros Owner & Founder of Tyreman M/C
15 minutes March 12th, 2022
a woman riding a motorbike along the road

While we are all continually trying to ensure safety in our everyday lives, it is particularly more of a priority when it comes to motorcycling. Whether it’s your first time on a bike or you’ve been riding for years, the motorcycle protective gear you choose is imperative as it will save your life.

Making a worthwhile investment in your motorcycle safety gear will always pay off. Of course, there are cheap options available or the lazy and unsafe choice of no gear at all, but finding out these were the wrong choices the hard way is not what we want for any rider.

To ensure you are staying safe on the bike, we’ve listed the bike protective gear you need, what to look out for to ensure quality, and a dissection of the many options available. Read this list, make sure you are fully equipped and always keep safe when riding.

There are no compromises when it comes to safety, and we’ve listed all of the important motorcycle safety gear you’ll need the next time you jump on the bike.

a person wearing a motorbike helmet

Helmets

We’ll be very clear on this, and there is a reason why it’s at the top of the list; you always need a good helmet! We don’t care if you are just running down to the shop that is five minutes away. No helmet, no ride!

There are three basic types of helmets you can consider:

Full Helmet

For the most coverage, a full helmet will protect all-around your head and face, covering the base of your head as well. They will usually offer eye protection in the form of a visor that rotates up to open as needed. The visor can have a tint, colour variation, or just be clear. This is the highest level of helmet protection, but you should ensure ample ventilation and the ability to hear surrounding traffic to ensure defensive riding.

¾ Helmet

Similar to the full helmet, but with less facial coverage, the head’s side, top, and back are covered by a ¾ helmet with a flip-down visor. The chin and facial area will be less-protected when compared with a full helmet. You will still need to ensure adequate hearing and ventilation with this option.

½ Helmet

Also known as the “brain bucket,” the ½ helmet covers the top of your head while only partially covering the side and back. There is no cover for your face, and you will need some other form of eye protection.

a person kneeling down next to their motorbike wearing motorbike gear and a jacket

Jackets

A jacket is just as vital as a helmet, regardless of the weather or distance of your ride. Motorcycle jackets are made up of particularly designed parts to keep you safe.

Many people fail to realise that there are plenty of material options when it comes to motorcycle jackets, and you don’t have to get stuck with leather. In fact, these days, there are synthetic options that are far more comfortable while offering excellent protection. A well-designed synthetic is certainly the better option for longer rides.

Choosing the right jacket means finding something that fits comfortably without feeling big and bulky. The last thing you want is restricted movement due to your jacket (another pro for synthetics). Opt for both internal and external pockets (no need to have too many) and always choose function over style. Visibility is also very important, so while you may look cool in dressed all in black, it’s the worst option to ensure other road users see you, especially at night. Remember, a jacket is there to protect you from the elements, debris, and in the unfortunate event that you may come off your bike. This is not about fashion; it’s about safety!

a close up of a person holding a motorbike helmet wearing motorbike pants

Riding Pants

We’ll make this first point very clear; jeans are not acceptable riding pants. Proper motorcycle riding pants should offer protection as well as ventilation. Your Nudie Slim Jims simply won’t cut it!

Visibility is once again an important design feature. Choose bright coloured pants or retro-reflective coverings. Like jackets, pants are available in various materials, with textile and kevlar often used in combination with other options to suit different riding styles.

Textile pants are often designed as a second layer that can be worn over shorts or regular pants. When paired with a jacket they can form a complete suit, or you can wear them over your suit pants if you are riding into the office. Most options offer removable linings so you can add or take a layer to suit the weather and your temperature.

While we mentioned jeans are a bad choice, lots of motorcycle pants will have denim interwoven with another fabric for extra abrasive resistance. When choosing your riding pants, the main considerations are the weather, length of ride, and the type of motorcycle you have. Textiles are great all-rounders as they offer protection, visibility, and ventilation. Consider if you’ll be wearing clothes underneath the pants, and ensure that your pants fit comfortably when you sit in a riding position. Avoid anything too tight, too bulky or any exposure at the top of your boots.

a close up of someone wearing motorcycle boots

Boots

You should not just purchase motorcycle boots with riding in mind, as you’ll likely need to walk around in them. Motorcycle-specific boots are specially designed with various rider-specific features and a primary focus on safety. Usually cut above the ankle with built-in protection, riding boots will have increased stiffness for reduced flexing, soles that provide decent grip and oil resistance.

Laces should be on the inside of the boot so they won’t get caught on the shifter or footpegs. If you buy boots with exterior laces, there should be some ability to tuck them into the boot. Good motorcycle boots will also have a shifter pad, secure buckles, double or triple stitching and a comfortable fit.

Two primary tips when choosing boots are:
Make sure they are comfortable enough to wear all-day
Always consider the socks you plan to wear before choosing your boots

Your boots will also require abrasion resistance, but this is another area where we are seeing manufacturers move away from leather (that doesn’t always breathe well), opting for a textile instead. In addition, replaceable plastic can be a feature on high wear areas (toes, shifter pad, and heels). This allows you to replace the worn areas only so you don’t have to buy a whole new pair of boots.

a close up of knee pads for motorbike riders

Elbow/shin/knee pads

Additional protection in high-impact areas is never a bad idea. For example, protecting your elbows, shin, and knees with adjustable padding that can be fitted to your body shape means an unfortunate fall is less unfortunate. Just ensure these pieces fit snugly and avoid adding layers that make riding an uncomfortable activity.

a motorcycle helmet and goggles sitting on top of a motorbike

Eye protection

Even if you are riding in a full-face helmet, additional eyewear can be a good idea. Standard sunglasses will do nothing for impact protection or debris coming in from behind the lens. Instead, choose an eyewear option rated for impact protection. These will have padding to protect your eyes without your peripheral vision being impacted. Motorcycling goggles are a great choice as they will sit securely on your head.

a person riding a motorbike along the road with a helmet on

Ear protection

In case you didn’t notice, motorcycles are very loud. As a result, protecting your ears, even inside a helmet, with earplugs, is a good idea. Any form of earplug (even the cheap ones) will reduce the white noise and loud sounds of traffic while ensuring you can still hear everything around you.

Remember, your motorcycle gear is an investment in your safety, so buy the best you can afford and stay safe on every ride. Further this protection by choosing the right tyres as well. At TyremanM/C we stock a wide range of motorcycle tryes from some of the most reputable brands in the industry. Keeping you safe on the road with high-quality products is our job, and our expert team can help you make the right choices for your riding style. Let’s chat about your bike setup today.