If you’ve just bought your first motorcycle, you probably can’t wait to rev it up and roar down the highway at high speeds. But before you burn that asphalt, you’ll need to make sure you have the essential gear necessary for a fun and safe ride.
Leather Jacket — Outfit yourself with a premium leather jacket, that not only provides protection against the wind and cold weather but can also prevent your skin from tearing up if you have an accident. Leather jackets built for motorcycle riding are typically made from cowhide leather and include a liner for increased protection and warmth. For maximum protection, you should buy one that has shoulder cups, foam back pads, and what is known as a ‘perforated’ style, which means there are built-in ‘cool’ openings in the chest, stomach and arm area so air circulates when the weather is hot. You should also buy a jacket with a neoprene collar, which is sweat-absorbent, and reflective panels for increased visibility during night riding.
Helmet — Helmets are required by law, so this isn’t really an accessory. Helmets come in many styles, so this choice is really dependent on your personal style. Closed face helmets have visors that cover your face. These are ideal for high-speed riding, racing and riding during frigid weather because of the protection they provide your head. Open face helmets are made without visors for the most part, although some feature retractable visors. These are best for easy riding and optimal weather conditions when you want to experience the elements without obstruction.
Pants — You need a good pair of motorcycle pants made from premium cow leather with mesh lining and multiple seams that provide the strongest protection against ripping and tearing. Motorcycle pants also feature padding in the shin, knee, back and hip area. However, if you don’t like the feel of leather, you can invest in some kevlar jeans or kevlar cargo pants. Kevlar jeans are jeans that have been super-constructed with kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests. The kevlar is lined into the knees, thighs and buttocks of the jeans. Kevlar cargo pants have the same protection as kevlar jeans but have a distinct military look.
Gloves — You’ll want a pair of motorcycle gloves made from cowhide leather with a lined interior and extra padding in the palm, thumb and knuckle area for protection in the event that you fall off the bike. One important thing to remember is to buy gloves that have ‘pre-curved’ fingers, which means the manufacturer has shaped the fingers for a motorcycle handlebar grip, like from Everything But The Bike.