How to Choose the Riding Gear - Basic Tips
The basic elements of a good riding gear are: helmet, gloves, jacket, pants and boots. Whenever purchasing one of these, you have to put safety, comfort and cost into balance. Most of you have fashion as the main priority, but trust us when we say that nobody cares how nice you look when picking you off the ground, piece by piece. Now that you have this picture in your head, let’s move on to what you have to do to avoid it.
The right gear is the one that makes you more visible in traffic
Adapt the gear to the weather - the right glasses for when the sun might blind you, mesh jackets for good ventilation during summer
The gear should be as one with your body - don’t buy bigger or smaller sizes than what fits you, because your chances of crashing might increase
Choose the specific gear for your riding category: sport, street, touring, motocross, cruiser etc.
The cost should not pass 20-25% of the total cost of your motorcycle
It’s better to go and try the helmet at a dealership and avoid purchasing it online - it's the only way of establishing its true comfort level
Check if it complies with the international safety standards
When trying a helmet on, wear it for about five minutes and then take it off. While you have it on, try and introduce the thong between the helmet and your forehead. The right helmet should not allow you to do that and also it shouldn’t put pressure on your neck. rotate the helmet back and forth and to the right and left. The helmet should move the skin on your head and face as it moves. If the padding is moving over your head, then you need to try a smaller size. You should check your field vision as well.
Also, the full face helmets should allow you to introduce one finger between your chin and the front side of the helmet. After you take the helmet off, see if it provided you any discomfort and even use a mirror to look for any red marks on your face.
If the helmet fulfills the above mentioned requirements, ask about additional information. The interior should be made of EPS liner system (it absorbs the impact force without transmitting it to the head), with fog shields and chin vents to prevent misting. A removable lining is also recommendable, as it allows to be removed and washed easily. The helmet should be manufactured from a single piece to prevent its penetration by a sharp object and to distribute the impact force.
And last, the helmet’s closing system. Double D is the safest and the easiest, ‘quick release’ is the most used and the easiest to use, while the leverage is the least used and the easiest to break.
We have to say no more about the importance of gloves when riding a motorcycle. Cold, wet or over heated fingers can be a cause of losing control of your ride. When choosing the gloves make sure that there is a wrist strap, double stitching at the seams, hardened protection on the knuckles and that there are tops on the fingers. A rubber strip on the index finger is useful when wiping your visor clean. It’s better to test them by holding a motorcycle handlebar. Some gloves have a removable lining, but make sure it is fixed and does not pull out when you take the gloves off. We don’t have to mention the importance of choosing the right size. Leather gloves are the most recommended for the summer season as they offer good abrasive resistance, while for the winter is very important to have gloves with extensions to keep the cold air out.
Whether it's mesh, textile (Ballistic Nylon or Kevlar) or leather, the jacket is all about comfort and protection. You should be able to lock the sleeves to your wrist and that the seams on the shoulders and elbows have at least one row of concealed stitching in addition to the exposed stitching. A summer jacket has a shorter, thinner liner, while a winter jacket has a longer, detachable liner. If it's an all season jacket, make sure you have zip open vents in the front and back of the jacket. Removable linings are recommended, but they should fasten securely. At least one interior pocket should be provided for keeping the wallet and personal documents. If you don’t have money to buy a separate one piece riding suit, then it’s better to buy a jacket with a full length zippered pants connector.
Most riders often put the pants on the bottom of the list when they begin purchasing the riding gear, as they wear them only when going on long distances. However, they are just as important as the jacket. That is why most rules from choosing the jacket also apply to the pants.
They have to be armored, hard on the knees and soft on the hips. You should be able to lock them around your waist for a better fit and to keep the cold air out. If you wear big motorcycle boots under your pants check that your cuffs are wide enough to accommodate them. The lining, stitching and the zippers should abide the same rules as the jacket.
Whether they are made from leather, rubber or plastic, used for racing, touring, cruising or motocross, you should always buy boots that are above ankle height. Make sure they fasten securely. When you try them on, wear them for about 10 minutes to see the level of comfort they provide to your feet. They should have a shifter pad on the sole or heel shifts. Soles should be flexible lengthways but rigid width ways and at least 4mm thick, without indents include. The armor should be made of foam padding and plastic shields. Boots with thick abrasion resistant uppers are recommended, as well as water resistance. It’s better to try and get on a motorcycle to simulate shifting gears.
Never buy a second hand helmet as it is very difficult to see any previous damage. The helmet should be replaced every 5 years.
Avoid buying jackets with collars that are too bulky or have straps or pocket that could catch on anything. Think cheap and it may cost you your life.