There are numerous benefits of being a motorcycle rider. Namely, other than increasing your core strength and stability, you get to burn more calories, improve your mental health and increase your brain power. Even without these health benefits, you get to enjoy a fun activity, meet a lot of like-minded people and develop an interesting hobby which can lead you to numerous adventures in the future. The biggest downside of motorcycle riding is a fact that it can’t really be considered as safe. Nonetheless, with an adequate gear, it can be made significantly safer. Here are several suggestions on what pieces of equipment you need to get.
1. Getting a helmet
It goes without saying that a head injury is probably the worst thing that could happen to you while riding a motorbike. Not just because you’re in danger of injuring your brain but because a hit to the head may make unconscious, thus preventing you from further controlling your behavior during a fall or an accident. Even if the impact is not that hard, you still might badly injure your face, leading to a weeks-long recovery process, during which your self-esteem might suffer. To avoid all of this you need to pick the right helmet.
As for the type of helmet that you choose, you can get a full face, a modular helmet, an open face, an off-road (motocross helmet), half helmet or a dual-sport helmet. Depending on how big of a portion of your head they cover, they might provide you with a certain degree of protection. Still, this also affects the cost, the number of models available and several other factors. In general, full-face helmets offer the most protection, due to the fact that they also protect you from wind, insects and dust. On the other hand, they limit your field of vision and may cause some people to become mildly claustrophobic.
2. Picking an adequate jacket
A protective jacket is more than a fashion statement, due to the fact that it protects your back, your arms and your ribs. Therefore, it protects the majority of your internal organs. However, there’s a plethora of choice for you to go for, which is why the choice of which jacket is the right one isn’t an easy one to make.
First of all, you have two major types, based on the materials that you use – leather and textile. This determines their resistance to abrasion and bad weather, as well as the weight and visuals of the jacket. The simplest method of estimating the quality of the jacket is to look at its CE rating. This will help you avoid a scenario where the jacket you get has a piece of foam instead of real back protection. Another method to protect yourself is to only buy your motocross accessories from reliable retailers, both online and offline. The type of weather that you expect to encounter plays a major role and it also depends on your location.
3. Finding the right boots
Driving a motorcycle in inadequate footwear is an incredibly dangerous trend, due to the fact that an uneven surface or a slip may result in a major accident. Other than this, in a potential crash, your feet and ankles will also be endangered, so protecting them might become paramount. Most important factors to look at are a strong heel and toe box. In fact, you want the entire sole to be twist-resistant. You must also look for some armor over ankle and shin to protect these sensitive, yet vita, areas. Also, you need to have footwear that laces to the point above the ankle. Only in this way will you get the footwear that’s truly capable of protecting you.
4. Buy a quality pair of gloves
In a standard crash-scenario, regardless of the circumstances, your hands will be the first thing you’ll hit. Sure, a quality pair of gloves won’t dampen the impact but it will prevent scratches and cuts, both of which can be quite severe. This is one of the main reasons why Kevlar is getting more and more popular material in motocross gloves manufacturing. Additional armor is always a welcome sight, as well. Most importantly, they protect your skin from the wind which becomes a bigger problem as you go faster. Make no mistake, even if you never get to use the protective properties of your gloves in a crash, a wind will always be a factor.
5. Additional equipment
The reason why we mentioned the above-listed items in separate categories and now choose to go with everything else is due to the fact that these four are mandatory while the rest is optional. Now, optional doesn’t mean unnecessary, seeing as how all of these items improve your overall safety or contribute to the driving experience. As for the specific items that you should get, long underwear, earplugs and eye protection are just some of the suggestions. This last part is particularly important in a scenario where you’re wearing an open helmet. The choice of how you get to customize your gear is all yours and may depend on various non-situational factors, like your budget.
Keep in mind that, as a beginner, you won’t have a reliable way of telling quality gear from low-end one, other than the price of course. Nonetheless, even within the same price range, the discrepancies in quality may sometimes be quite staggering. This is why it’s important to do your research, look at forums and even go through customer reviews before making a purchase.