Experienced riders prepare for the unexpected, because they know hazards appear without warning. You can tell these riders apart often by their gear, donned from head to toe—some of it weathered, some shiny new. Should you lay a bike down in a crash, it’s that aforementioned gear that can make the difference between being laid up, and getting up to ride again.
Rider injuries and fatalities are on the rise, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s why the Motorcycle Industry Council is launching a Gear Up Every Ride public awareness campaign this spring. The intent is to encourage fellow motorcyclists – longtime riders and those new to the lifestyle – to wear the great safety gear available today.
Putting it on can enhance your sense of personal freedom and expression while providing protection from the sun, rain, debris and pavement. Knowing you’re geared up for the elements, and the unexpected, provides peace of mind, too, while on the open road.
There’s gear for all styles of riding in every season at several price points. Modern, high-tech materials help reduce fatigue and improve focus. Many riders feel more comfortable with it on, and won’t roll without it. And by wearing it, you stand a better chance of walking away from a crash unscathed. A helmet alone can reduce your risk of suffering a brain injury by 67%, and death by 37%.*
Here are the essentials of effective head-to-toe protection:
- DOT compliant helmet; wear eye protection if it’s anything less than full-faced
- Long-sleeve jacket and pants (or suit), which are cut longer in the sleeves and legs and fuller across the shoulders to accommodate your riding posture. To enhance protection, consider body armor
- Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots to protect against burns and impact
- Full-fingered gloves