Whether you have just found your dream bike or are just getting ready to start shopping around, you'll soon find that there is an overabundance of motorcycle clothing and accessories to complete your experience. It has been said that there are almost as many options for different types of motorcycle clothing as there are for clothing in general. With so many different options, it can be confusing and almost mind-boggling to try to figure out what you'll need and what will be most appropriate for your particular bike and riding experience.
The good news is that with the advent of the internet, shopping for motorcycle clothing and accessories has never been easier or more convenient. By using the Web, you can shop around and compare prices, shipping costs and times, etc. Before you start shopping, read on to have an idea of some of the basics and what to look for.
Your needs in terms of a motorcycle jacket will vary a bit depending on certain factors. The main factors will be the geographical area of where you live and/or ride, and whether you need maximum comfort for longer rides or just something easy for quick commutes. Consider your lifestyle and how your new motorcycle will fit into it.
A leather motorcycle jacket is classic and also very good for protection. However, jackets made from animal hide can be expensive and get very hot, especially during longer rides. Another suitable material for riding jackets is Cordura, which is reinforced fabric. If you choose this option, you'll want to make sure the impact areas (shoulders, back, elbows) are padded.
You will want to choose a motorcycle jacket that can be versatile enough to use through a wide range of weather conditions. Look for a jacket that contains a zip-out liner (available as a vest liner or full liner) and also vents that can provide good air movement during hot days.
Just as important as having a strong protective jacket is having tough motorbike jeans / trousers to protect you. If you do go down, the first point of contact is the knee to the floor. So a pair or reinforced motorcycle jeans with knee pads should not be under estimated.
The helmet is for certain the most integral part of your safety gear when riding motorcyles. The job of the motorcycle helmet is to save your life should something go wrong. There are various types of different helmets for using on a motorbike with different levels of padding, shapes, styles, etc. Below is a list of some of the more popular ones.
This type of helmet protects the top and sides of the head, and in many cases also the ears. The Half Helmet protects more protection than the Pudding Bowl and is still very easy to put on and take off.
Helmet (Open-Faced Helmet)
This type of helmet protects the head, neck, ears and eyes. Though putting on and taking off the Helmet is not as easy as with other helmet types, many things (taking a drink, eating a bite, shooting a photo) can be done by simply lifting up the face shield.
The Full-face Helmet provides the most comprehensive protection for the head, neck, eyes, ears and face. This type of helmet also protects you from elements such as wind, rain, dust, leaves, particles and insects. Putting on and taking off this type of helmet is a bit more cumbersome, especially if you wear glasses. Also, sounds may be muffled while you have it on. The Full-face helmet is usually more expensive than other types of helmets, but well worth it.
The Flip-up Helmet provides much of the protection that the Full-face Helmet provides, while making it easier to put on and take off without having to slide the entire helmet on over your head.
Motorcycle gloves are another important safety garment that you should invest in before you even take that first ride. Because most of us tend to reach forward with our palms down when we fall, not using good gloves can increase your chances of losing some skin and blood should you take a fall.
There are many different styles, materials, levels of protection and temperature ranges available in motorcycle gloves. The vast majority of gloves designed for use with motorcycles are made from leather or other textiles. Look for motorcycle gloves that will be comfortable and provide the level of comfort and protection you'll need for your rides. Good riding gloves should be snug and not bulky, and allow you to extend and contract your fingers freely.
Motorcycle boots are interesting in that most motorcycle riders agree that it is safer to ride while wearing boots, but there is no real standard for boots in terms of street riding.
Motorcycle boots for racing and dirt-biking can be very expensive and exceed the scope of your needs. A good pair of boots for riding will be tough and durable, made of leather or another suitable material, completely cover the ball of your ankle, and have good traction.