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Wearing the Gear: Safety Smarts for Modern Motorcycle Riders

Wearing the Gear: Safety Smarts for Modern Motorcycle Riders

The question to get a motorcycle is a no brainer. From there, you need to put serious thought into safety and protection. In addition to a separate license and safety classes, motorcycle riders wear protective gear to guard them against weather, road elements, and crashes. Get smart before you get on your bike, and start wearing the following safety gear.

Helmet

Never ride a motorcycle without a helmet. The law requires you wear one. Also, it protects you from damage to the brain and head trauma in the event of an accident. Some scoff at the thought of wearing a helmet, claiming they are good enough riders. Unfortunately, that is foolish since so many factors are out of a rider’s control. Slick surfaces, blind turns, drunk drivers, and wild animals pose hazards.

Gloves

Depending on location and temperature, you may opt to keep your riding gloves at home. But, be certain that you’ll need them at some point. Gloves protect your hands from the wind and cold. Also, gloves help maintain a firm grip on the cycle handles. Lastly, it’s impulse to throw your hands out during a fall. It doesn’t take a lot of speed to get injured. Gloves protect your hands and knuckles during a fall or slide. Some manufacturers offer gloves made for warmer temperatures that keep hands cool.

Jacket

The motorcycle jacket is the quintessential piece of equipment. Motorcycle jackets look stylish, brand riders as part of a group or club, and like other articles, protect riders from weather, elements, and crashes. Jackets come in varieties, with seasons being the biggest reason for variety. Unlike a helmet, a jacket is not required by law but is very practical, and in many cases, pretty much mandatory for comfort. Jackets offer many features; for example, some have pockets in the shoulders, arms, and back for protective armor.

Boots

Like a leather jacket, boots seem to fit the ‘biker’ image. Similar to jackets, riders are not required to wear any specific kind of footwear, yet boots are popular for several reasons; firstly, they protect the feet and calf area from engine exhaust and road debris. Secondly, in the event of an accident, sneakers or shoes can come off, which exposes the feet and toes to the pavement and serious injury. If you prefer wearing a shoe, you have a number of options from a range of manufacturers.

Pants

Are jeans sturdy enough to withstand a motorcycle accident? Not at all. However, special jeans with Kevlar inserts offer protection. Motorcycle pants are made with abrasion-resistant materials. Also, a variety of styles suits those who are going for a weekend drive or using their cycle to get to work and need to keep up appearances as they pull up to the office. Also, some pants will have armor or padding in the seam or that can be pulled out.

Vests

Vests are worn in combination with a jacket or idly. As with particular jackets and pants, vests feature pockets and sleeves with sewn-in padding and armor. Additionally, high visibility vests ensure that riders are seen in the rain and evening hours. Bright, neon colors, in combination with reflective material, makes a rider stand-out at considerable distances.

Hydration Pack

Some go for long hauls. However, some things are more convenient for car and truck drivers. For example, a driver may easily reach over to the cup holder and take a sip of water when needed. Such is not possible for a cyclist. That’s why some wear hydration packs that feature a bladder filled with water and a nozzle that reaches over the shoulder and up into the helmet so riders may stay hydrated while on the road.

Suits

In some cases (rain and cold weather), riders need even more protection from the elements. Suits can be worn over one’s normal gear. It’s entirely waterproof and breathable so riders stay dry yet comfortable. It’s a great piece of equipment to have since you never know when you could get caught out in light to heavy rains. Just keep a suit in a saddlebag or other kind of luggage.

Luggage

Well, motorcycles don’t come equipped with trunk space, so riders must be creative or decide to bring along few items. Cycle luggage takes the shape of saddlebags or larger cases resembling hard-surfaced travel luggage. The fragility and importance of items dictates the kind of case riders choose. For example, while a leather saddlebag looks great, it may not protect items inside during a fall or accident.

Lara Gibbs works as an ER nurse who is also a biker in her free time. She loves to help people be safer by posting her insights on a variety of health and wellness websites.

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