Once you’ve fallen in love with motorcycling, it can be hard to spend time doing anything else. The following will examine some of the gear you might need whether you’re living your life on the open road or just taking the occasional Sunday drive up the backroads.
Of course, if you’re out on a motorbike, you’re going to be needing a helmet (if we’re not mistaken, it’s legally required, sort of like a seat belt). Choosing a motorcycle helmet takes a bit more thinking than just selecting the one that you vibe with most. You also want to be sure that you’re getting something that is high-quality that will actually protect your head if you need it. You might also have additional preferences like a tinted screen since you’re usually driving in the sun or no screen because you want to feel the wind on your cheeks as you drive. Maybe you need something that’s fog proof because it gets cool and damp where you live. Whatever your needs, take some time to read up on the best modular helmets that meet your criteria. This is the category that you shouldn’t skimp out on. Don’t be afraid to spend a decent chunk of change on a good helmet.
More than anything else, the jacket is part of the quintessential biker look. Leather biking jackets were first manufactured in the 20s in New York City. Since then, the style has taken over the biking world. Depending on the climate you’re driving in, the warmth of the jacket you choose can vary. There are thicker jackets for biking in November in Canada and thinner ones for early morning drives in the summer. Typically leather or a similar synthetic textile are the preferred options for motorcycle jackets in case you do end up sliding on the road for a second. These sorts of materials are less likely to peel away, meaning your skin will be more protected from road burn should you skid or spin out.
Yes, if you’re going a short distance on a balmy day, you might not need to worry about gloves so much. If you’re going any amount of distance (or live somewhere cold), you might want to protect your knuckles from getting chapped by the dry wind as you rush past. Find something that’s comfortable that also keeps your hands at the right temperature. With more people getting into motorbiking than we’ve seen in years and more people biking earlier and later into the season, it’s crucial you choose handwear that’s season and weather appropriate. If you’re planning on taking a seriously long trip, you might also want some cushioning in the knuckle area of the gloves you choose. If it’s dreadfully hot where you are, but your knuckles still need some protection, try out fingerless gloves.
Besides your hands, your feet are also going to be feeling more wind than usual. This is why most bikers prefer to wear boots instead of shoes when biking. The height of the boot will keep the wind from running up your pant legs and freezing you out. Like with your jacket, this is a place you can really play around with style if you want to go for a specific biking look.
You don’t need to have pants specifically for biking, but you do need to have some that can handle biking. Thicker materials like denim will work fine; just watch out for some of those synthetic fabrics that wear out quickly and aren’t built to handle high speeds and strong winds comfortably. If you’re in a colder climate, you might want to get a pair of over pants or slush pants to help keep you from freezing on longer drives. If you’re in a wet and cold climate, something waterproof won’t hurt either.
Goggles or Sunglasses
Depending on your helmet choice and how fast you plan on driving, you might also want to pick up a pair of goggles. While they can be quite stylish, the main purpose of biking goggles is to protect your eyes from the whipping wind (or the occasional bug) so that you can keep your eyes open and on the road ahead of you.
Part of what we love about motorbikes is how lightweight they are compared to other vehicles. It can literally feel like it’s just you and the road. This being said, occasionally, we want to bring along a little more than will fit comfortably in teeny bike storage compartments. For those afternoons, consider a riding pack. These are similar to backpacks but designed to withstand the wind and speed of a lengthy bike ride. They often also have an additional clasp that can be worn across the chest to keep things from moving around too much while you’re driving.
The above items should have you covered for all your basic motorbiking needs. Of course, be smart about the weather and conditions in your area.