Beyond Purchasing Two Wheels: How to Buy Motorcycle Gear

When you first purchase a motorbike of any kind, you should factor in the cost of gear with motorcycle values as part of your total price. Whether you’re looking at a sports bike, a cruiser, or even a 3 wheel motorcycle, gear for your body is imperative for your safety, comfort, and is among the first accessories you should invest in. Wondering how to buy motorcycle gear and where to start? Read on.

What to Buy

While there is an abundance of gear you can purchase for your motorcycle, including motorcycle luggage, action cameras, communicators or intercoms, and GPS devices, there are a few essentials to buy first. If you’ve just made your first motorcycle purchase and need gear, start with protecting your body.

Helmet

If you buy nothing else and must purchase only one item of motorcycle gear, get a helmet first. Even if you live in a place that does not have universal helmet laws required by your state and insurance for adults over a certain age, there is something to be said for electing to wear one on your own. Helmets provide several benefits and ideally should be worn by everyone riding a motorcycle.

First and foremost, helmets protect your brain and your face. You might think you will never be in a bike accident, but if an unexpected moment arises and a lousy driver or deer crosses your path at the wrong time, you will be thankful you had a helmet.

This vital piece of equipment can protect your brain from severe injury and literally keep your face on. At the risk of being grim, people have been known to grind off skin or body parts in motorcycle crashes, literally. If your face hits the pavement, you will want it to be protected. Chin injuries are among the most common in motorcycle crashes, so do yourself a favor and get a full face helmet.

Not only do helmets protect your brain and your face, but they also keep bugs and pebbles out of your eyes when they have a face shield. Both insects and small stones can be quite painful at high-speed and even dangerous for your eyes.

A full-face helmet offers the most protection and guards the chin, which is the spot bikers are likely to need it the most. Get a DOT approved helmet, and if possible, a Snell-approved model. Snell-approved helmets have to meet more rigorous safety regulations.

As a bonus, many helmets today come equipped with Bluetooth to allow you to listen to music, get directions, or talk on the phone while keeping your hands on the handlebars. One more benefit, helmets look mysterious and edgy. They also look smart.

It should be noted that purchasing a used helmet is not a good idea. You never know if it was dropped or hit when you buy a used one, and while a small drop probably won’t harm the integrity, it doesn’t take much impact for a bike helmet to become obsolete and no longer entirely safe.

Jacket

Motorcycle jackets are another perk of riding a bike and owning corresponding gear. Bike jackets are a timeless look that always gives you an edge but also protects your skin while riding. Motorcycle jackets come in mesh, perforated, and full coverage styles to suit the season in which you are riding.

Bike jackets can also protect you from items such as pebbles and bugs the way a helmet can protect your face, and they help guard against road rash if you fall. Not to mention a jacket will help keep you warm when traveling at higher speeds in less than hot weather.

Gloves

Motorcycle gloves are another item that should be among your first pics when selecting gear. There are a variety of styles of gloves, primarily short cuff gloves and full gauntlet gloves. Full gauntlet gloves extend up your forearm a bit higher than short cuff models, which stop right around the cuff of a shirt or jacket.

Wearing gloves can protect your hands not only from the elements, but also provide better grip on the handlebars, protect from small stones while riding, and potentially assist you to keep fingers if you fall in a crash. Remember the part of your body you tend to extend first if you are falling. Keeping your hands shielded if they have to shield the rest of your body is a wise move.

Pants

Pants are unfortunately an item to many people neglect to wear when riding a motorbike, opting for shorts, which is unwise. Choices of pants for motorcycles might have been limited in previous eras, but today there are leather pants (which will protect you the most), and even jeans with Kevlar panels designed specifically for protecting your body while riding a motorcycle.

Standard jeans will not protect your legs if you happen to fall. Remember ripping the knees in your denim as a kid when you fell down? Now picture grinding jeans even just a few feet on the pavement and think about how well that cotton will protect you.

Leather motorcycle pants are your best bet for safety, but if you just can’t stomach the idea of wearing leather pants, check out some of the Kevlar jeans options and get yourself at least one pair to have one riding your bike.

Boots

Boots are another part of the essential gear you should purchase. In accidents, sometimes motorcyclists wearing tennis shoes will have the sneakers literally fly off during impact. If you’d like to protect the fragile bones in your feet, invest in a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots.

Even if you do not want boots that cover your calf, at least get a pair that protects your full ankle. Like helmets and jackets, motorcycle boots also have a timeless, edgy appeal as well as helping you be safe on the road.

Tips for Buying Motorcycle Gear

When purchasing gear for your bike, particularly items that will be worn, there are a few things to consider. Size is imperative with all gear. The length of jacket sleeves should cover your wrists while reaching forward for handlebars. Jeans should be long enough to cover your ankles when in the seated position. Nothing should be so tight that it’s constricting, but it also should not be loose enough to flap around in the breeze.

Make sure you get items that have quality construction. Double or triple stitched seams with a smooth finish our sign of solid construction and gear such as jackets. With boots, it should have a steel shank, ample ankle protection, and designed to protect your toes.

Consider the elements when selecting your gear also. You want gear that will have ventilation for hot days and water resistance when you come upon rainy weather. It is possible to get some separate raingear if you can’t afford waterproof motorcycle apparel.

Sometimes removable waterproof linings can be hot to the extreme. Selecting items with external waterproofing or separate gear to wear over your jacket is a smart idea.

Keeping yourself visible is also essential, went on a bike. At least some of your apparel and gear should have reflective surfaces and contrasting colors.

What to Buy First and How

When you purchase your gear, you can find deals on like-new items from impulsive buyers-turned-sellers who quickly decided that owning a bike wasn’t for them. A helmet should be purchased alongside—or even before—the motorcycle itself, and this item should always be bought brand new. Gear such as jackets and gloves can be found on consignment or online through various outlets such as Cycletrader. Revzilla is another site worth checking out, as they have virtually anything you will need to get started, and even have items such as wearable airbags. Get gear to guard yourself before dabbling into the fun but possible unnecessary gadgets for around your bike.