Certain pieces of safety equipment are designed to help protect a rider’s body from serious injuries if a motorcycle accident occurs.
5 Essential Pieces of Riding Gear for All Conditions
- DOT Approved Helmets: Wear a properly fitted helmet and replace it every five years. A helmet reduces a rider’s risk of death or traumatic brain injury by at least 40% if he/she is involved in a crash. Helmets can be customized for unique style. While full-face helmets offer the best protection, open face helmets offer more life-saving protection than no helmet at all. Florida does not require riders to wear helmets, but we strongly encourage riders to wear them.
- Long / Reinforced Pants: Always ride wearing long pants that cover the ankle. Exposed ankles can be burned by hot exhaust and engine parts. Consider purchasing special reinforced motorcycle pants. Some varieties are designed to withstand a slide across pavement at high speeds. Others are fitted with protective panels in the hips and buttocks. Protective pants can reduce or eliminate road rash injuries in the event of an accident.
- Vibrantly Colored Jackets / Helmets: Bright yellow and orange stand out at considerable distances. If you prefer dark riding leathers, a brightly colored or white helmet may still provide a strong contrast against dark clothing and can help a rider to stand out. If black gear is not a necessity, consider a vibrant riding jacket or protective jackets with reflective trim/panels. Riders might also add a reflective belt or vest over existing gear when riding at nighttime.
- Riding Gloves: At minimum, leather riding gloves can protect a rider’s hand from potential road rash injuries. Several common motorcycle clothing outfitters offer reinforced nylon, composite, and Kevlar gloves fitted with protective panels in the palms and knuckles. In a crash, a rider may instinctively put his/her hands down to break a fall or to stop from sliding. Gloves with reinforced palms may protect hands from being torn apart in the event of an accident.
- Boots / Protective Shoes: Boots or heavy duty hiking / construction shoes offer the best protection. Full size boots covered by protective pants provide a rider the best insulation against ankle burns. Boots are more likely to hold up and protect feet in the event of an accident. Boots or shoes with a heel are recommended for motorcycles of all makes. The heel provides a stronger grip point and helps to keep a rider’s foot secured over the foot peg. Heeled boots also provide the ideal positioning for a rider to pivot the foot on the peg and shift gears or apply the brake.