What to Wear
No Matter the Season, Dress for the Fall
A properly fitting helmet, manufactured to the standards of the Department of Transportation (DOT), is more important than any other single piece of gear. A helmet provides protection in the event of a crash. The helmet’s outer shell and inner layer work together to shield a rider from abrasion and penetration by foreign objects while reducing the force transmitted to the skull and brain.
Ensure a helmet fits your head perfectly. You will likely need to try on several brands and sizes before finding that perfect fit. Wear the helmet for several minutes to ensure that it is comfortable. A helmet that doesn’t fit your head is otherwise worthless.
Additionally, the rider’s helmet is usually the first piece of gear to be seen — so consider a bright color or design, or apply reflective tape to your helmet yourself.
For in-depth information on helmets, go to helmetcheck.org.
It’s best to start with leather or motorcycle-specific textile. The right material and construction is very important when it comes to resisting abrasion, more commonly known as “road rash.”
The good stuff is more expensive, but the right choice will pay for itself if you’re ever to crash. Quality leather or textile will always provide the best possible protection.
The best, safest jackets have armor—both stiff plates and soft pads of material, designed to absorb the energy of the crash. Jacket armor should protect elbows, shoulders and even the spine.
In addition to abrasion-resistant material, think about being seen out on the road. A brightly colored jacket, with reflective strips, goes a long way towards visibility both day and night.
Don’t overlook the importance of a proper pair of motorcycle pants. As with a jacket, riding in pants of the right material can greatly minimize injuries in the event of a crash. And armor in the knees, hips, and waist all go a long way in protecting you, too.
Comfort and fit are critical. Imagine yourself riding for an extended period of time when trying anything on. Baggy pants can flap in the wind; pants that are too tight can inhibit circulation.