Before you hop on your bike and explore the world, it’s important to buy the right gear. Good quality motorcycle gear will keep you safe and protect you during an impact. You’ll be glad you were wearing a helmet if you fell off your bike and hit the ground. Because having the right gear is important and can in fact save your life.
Good quality leather protects you against chafing while textile keeps you warm on cold days. It is good to understand a few things about how the right gear works and what it should be made of. In this article, you’ll find different pieces of motorcycle gear and what you should know before you buy it.
Always buy a new motorcycle helmet
Motorcycle helmets have saved many lives as they protect the neck, chin, and head of the wearer. One important thing to know before you buy a motorcycle helmet is that it should always be purchased new. Buying second hand motorcycle helmets or using those that came with the bike if you purchased it second hand is strongly discouraged. Motorcycle helmets go through an extensive safety protocol when they are produced. Afterwards, they are tested and certified.
However, a helmet that has been damaged due to impact or wrongful usage could not be so protective anymore. Motorcycle helmets are made with special parts made of specific materials. Once these materials are damaged, they just don’t do their job anymore. Even when the motorcycle helmet looks perfectly fine on the outside, it could still be faulty on the inside. Always buy your helmet from a renowned motorcycle shop and look for helmet certifications. Certifications that you may encounter are DOT, ECE, SNELL or FIM and can be found on a sticker on the back of the helmet.
Choose a jacket for the right weather
A motorcycle jacket offers the right protection when you need it. Some of them are made completely out of a protective material and some of them are enforced with patches on vulnerable body parts. The most common materials in motorcycle jackets that you’ll find are leather and textile.
Leather jackets offer great protection on the road. If you fall, it’s likely that you’ll hit the pavement and slide for a while because of the high force of the impact. If you’re falling on asphalt, it can burn textile so much that the material can rip or disappear, which can cause serious injury. Leather does not burn on asphalt and will prevent this kind of injury. However, leather is not waterproof and not suitable to keep you warm. Wearing only a leather jacket during cold weather will be very uncomfortable. In this case, it is better to choose a warmer, textile jacket or simply layer up.
Textile motorcycle jackets are more suitable to wear in all kinds of weather. Choose a jacket that has sufficient ventilation to make sure that you won’t overheat on a sunny day. The textile jacket is usually made of several layers of textile. Some even have a (removable) thermal layer. Because textile does tear and burn upon impact, tactile jackets are usually enforced with protective patches made of Kevlar or other strong materials to protect vulnerable body parts, such as the elbows.
Whereas textile layers are usually black or brown, textile jackets come in uncountable variations. If the style is important to you, a textile motorcycle jacket can be adjusted to or matched with the rest of your gear. Go for an all black look or add some color to your motorcycle outfit with a colorful textile jacket.
Don’t forget your tools
Protecting yourself against injury and keeping yourself comfortable is very important. But did you know that tools are also an important part of your gear? If you find yourself with a flat tire, or a mirror that is about to come off, you should be able to fix it on the spot. Imagine being on a motorcycle trip in the mountains and not being able to continue or find shelter because of a broken part. Following are some tools that you should bring with you at all times.
A set of wrenches and screwdrivers
Wrenches are a basic part of your toolset and should be brought with you when you drive your motorcycle. Whether you’re planning on taking a multi-day trip or commuting to work, a part can come loose at any time. Basic wrenches that you should have are open-ended wrenches, combination wrenches, socket wrench sets, and torque wrenches. If you have these wrenches with you, you’ll be able to tighten and attach almost any part.
Screwdrivers are also an essential part of your toolbox. Make sure that you only bring the necessary screwdrivers that have the right sizes for your motorcycle in order to not overload. You can also choose a screwdriver set that has removable screwdriver bits. These sets are often smaller and lighter to carry. This set is not only useful for your motorcycle, but can also be used in your workshop, and for other repairs around the house.
A tire repair set
Some parts are not as important as others and can wait to be fixed, but once your tire is flat you are stranded right away. For this reason, you should always have a tire repair set with you. Tire repair sets are often very small and light, so they aren’t a big bother. Most kits include patches, plugs, a plug insertion tool, a hole cleaner, glue, a pressure wheel with surface preparation tool, and a knife for plug trimming. More advanced tools also include gloves, CO2 compressed air cylinders, and an air valve. Remember to bring a portable tire inflator or compressor to inflate the tire after it has been repaired.