Thursday, October 4, 2007

Optional Riding Gear

Before getting into this week's topic, I just wanted to mention for anyone interested and living in the Chicagoland area, Woodstock Harley-Davidson is having a special event called "Ladies... So You Want to Ride?" on October 20th starting at 12 PM, CST. It's an opportunity for any woman who is interested in riding but is just now starting out or wants more information before giving it a try to come in, ask questions in a casual environment, and learn a bit more about finding a motorcycle, taking a class, etc. If you're interested, check out their website, which is listed to the right!

If you're looking for some little extras to add to your riding wardrobe, there are lots of neat things that can add some style and functionality for special situations. One thing most riders learn never to leave home without is the all-important rain gear. Let's face it: you head out on a long trip, and no matter what the weather man says, chances are you will run into some inclement weather. Stuffing a set of rain gear in your saddlebags as an extra precaution never hurt anyone. Good rain gear does not really have to be expensive. It should consist of rain-proof material and can be worn OVER your leathers! So if you go and try some one, and it seems a bit big, keep in mind that the extra room is so you can wear something warm underneath it.

Good rain gear will also have leather sewn into the inner legs of the pants. This is to prevent melting if you have to put your foot down and your leg is close to your exhaust pipes. Remember to add a set of rain-resistant gloves to top off the outfit! I purchased mine at a Farm & Fleet for just over $80 - I haven't really had to use it yet, thank goodness!

A step up from the rain gear would be heated riding gear. Yes, it does come with special heating technology! You can get everything from heated gloves and boots, to pants and jackets! The pants and jackets I have seen actually connect to your motorcycle's battery through special wiring - read the instructions before attempting use. Boots and gloves are typically battery operated and need to be recharged regularly. If you plan on heading out when there's snow on the ground, you DEFINITELY don't want to leave home without this stuff!

Another item you may want to consider is a skullcap, especially if you ride without a helmet. Wind can be damaging to hair, and even the most adventurous of us would like to keep ours around for as long as possible! Skullcaps come in both cloth and leather varieties. They can also be worn under your helmet - if you had a hard time finding a helmet to fit your head, you can often wear a skullcap underneath to help fit it more snugly to your skull.

These are just a few functional items to supplement your riding gear. Does anyone else have any useful suggestions? Leave a comment and share with the rest of us!

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