Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Appropriate Motorcycle Gear 2

Aside from the necessary head and eye gear, two other items you will want to invest in are a good riding jacket and a pair of sturdy gloves.

A riding jacket is made of some solid, sturdy material, usually leather, though other synthetic fabrics are available as well. Not only will these jackets protect you from the elements, but they also provide additional protection in case of an accident. Working at a dealership, I can tell you we get a lot of people in here who were in minor accidents but suffered an injury called "road rash" - sort of like carpet burn, but it involves asphalt instead of carpet. A proper jacket will easily protect you from this! While not particularly severe in most cases, it can be quite painful, and it is so easy to prevent!

There are also jackets that have built-in body armor to protect against injury from more severe accidents. With all of the options available, it should be easy to find a jacket that is affordable and gives you all of the protection you want, plus still looks great! The nice thing about leather is that you can customize your jacket with stitching and patches if you find a leather expert near you!

Gloves are another important thing to add to your riding wardrobe. Most people decide to ride without them, especially on hot days, but if you are a beginner, it's important to have all of the protection you possibly can! A good set of sturdy, full-fingered gloves can protect your fingers if you tip over and you can't get your hand out of the way in time. They do not have to be especially padded, as long as the leather is still a little bit stiff. For early spring/late fall riding, I strongly suggest investing in a pair of large, insulated leather gloves, called gauntlets. They provide the most protection against the elements. Think about it: on a bike, your hands need to be on the controls at all time, away from the warmth of your body. You want them fully functional, which means keeping them warm! Good gauntlets will extend past your wrists and you will be able to tighten them a bit to keep the draft out. They will also have grips on the fingers and palms.

Many people will opt for fingerless gloves. These are more decorative rather than functional. I suggest having two sets of gloves when you first start riding: thin, sturdy, full-fingered gloves for general riding; and a set of padded gauntlets for riding in the elements.

Remember to ride safe!

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