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The start of a new riding season is here. But is your motorcycle gear ready for it? We have some tips.

Motorcycle Gear

The riding season is here, and in the northern parts of the country, it’s time to roll out your trusty motorcycle and begin a new year of riding adventures. As experienced riders, we know to a perform careful pre-season inspection of our bikes and take care of the necessary maintenance before the first ride. But do you give your riding gear the same careful attention? You should.

Time ages gear

The old saying that “time heals everything” doesn’t apply to motorcycle safety gear. Over the winter, your riding gear material ages and may deteriorate. Here are some things to include in your gear inspection—starting with helmets.

Helmet inspection

Your helmet has a finite service life. In fact, many helmet manufacturers recommend replacing them five years after they’re made.

A full-face helmet has five major systems that help to protect you. We’ll start our check with the inside and move outward:

  • Comfort liner and padding: Look for telltale signs like frayed cloth, failed stitching, or collapsed foam. The foam is especially important for creating a snug fit, and shouldn’t allow the helmet to move when you gently shake your head.
  • Impact absorbing liner: Look under the comfort liner for damage to the protective paint covering the impact liner. Feel and look for any missing liner material, indentations, or signs of discoloration and decay.
  • Outer shell: Inspect for dents, punctures, deep scratches, chipped or flaking paint, and delamination.
  • Face shield: Examine for scratches and discoloration that degrades visibility. Make sure it fits solidly and functions properly.
  • Retention strap system: Check the strap for fraying and failed stitching. Also make sure the straps are securely attached to the shell.

Jacket, chaps, riding suits, and boots

There is a dizzying array of riding gear available. Your inspection will vary depending on the style, construction, and materials. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Abrasion or dry-rotted material
  • Zipper function
  • Velcro function
  • Stitching integrity
  • Armor component and retention system condition
  • Boot soles and where the shifter makes contact
  • General fit 

All the gear, all the time

Proper gear improves your comfort and safety while riding, and is a large and worthwhile investment. Giving your helmet and riding gear proper maintenance helps ensure they’ll do their job over their service life. But getting and maintaining your gear is just the beginning—it’s important you use it every time you ride. Remember, there’s no ride too short to leave your gear behind.

Till next time, ride safe!

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If you’re looking for more events and ride suggestions, check out our Events section.

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