Great Gear and Why You Should Wear It
Sneak a quick peek at your biker friends and check out their motorcycle fashion sense. See where they fit into the three classic styles for togging out as they cruise along.
In practice, we all tend to arrive at our own personal style, picking and choosing which items of safety gear we believe are absolutely necessary, paired with pieces that please our own fashion sense and clothing that maximizes comfort and convenience.
Now take a look at these key components of riding gear and consider the safety aspects, weighing them against the competing priorities of style, convenience and comfort.
Keeping your noggin in one piece is the main idea here but your helmet serves another important function as well − helping to preserve your hearing. Even wind noise can reach harmful levels at cruising speeds for extended periods. The bike itself generates as much as 110 decibels of noise while on the road. At that level, more than half an hour of exposure produces hearing loss. Without a helmet, your wind noise exposure alone may be up to 10 times higher than with a helmet. Your safest bet − a helmet with a full face visor plus a custom set of molded ear plugs. With all the graphic treatments available these days you can style it up all you want. Another advantage of a full visor is face and neck protection from bugs or airborne pebbles.
Supportive footgear is a must. And we're not talking high tops. Ankle support and soles with a great grip are important features in good riding boots. It's a smart bet to pay attention to some protective thickness as well to guard against rocks or other debris that may be kicked into your path by vehicles ahead of you.
The main thing here is to literally get a grip. Your attachment to the hand controls is critical to your safety and that's generally better accomplished with a good pair of gloves made expressly for that purpose. If you worry about sweaty palms inside the gloves during warm weather, look for a mesh panel over the back of the glove to help dissipate some heat.
The truth of the matter is that you can accomplish all the styling you want and still outfit yourself in great gear such as protective clothing and other accoutrements. The right gear goes a long way towards keeping you safe and keeping you on the road.