What do you do when you fall? You usually try to catch yourself, if at all possible. You’ll reach for support, and when none is available, you’ll try to break the fall with our hands and arms. It’s simple instinct. This means that in many cases during a motorcycle accident, a rider’s hands are the first thing to make contact with the ground. If you’re a motorcyclist, you need your hands to be protected by the best possible motorcycle riding gloves.
While gloves are often overlooked by riders, they can be the difference between a serious injury and walking away unscathed. You have a lot of bones in your hands and wrists, and quality armored motorcycle gloves protect them all. Protecting your knuckles is particularly important, because a broken knuckle is never really the same again, and that injury can even keep you off a bike for good.
Metal knuckles will generally offer the best protection, but they may be difficult to fit and can limit your range of motion. Many riders consider rubber knuckles to be the best bet, because they’re more malleable and can move with your hand while still providing good protection. Armored gloves are particularly desirable in accidents involving low slides, when there’s a chance of your hand getting caught between the motorcycle and the ground. Naturally, acquiring this often overlooked piece of gear doesn’t mean you can get complacent about the rest.
What can be said about the importance of helmets that hasn’t been said already? Head injuries are the greatest risk involved with motorcycle accidents, and helmets are estimated to be 67% effective at preventing brain damage. Particularly for those planning on especially strenuous activities, such as racing or stunts, you’ll want a helmet that offers maximum protection. It’s a good idea to look for Snell-approved helmets in these cases, because they’ve have undergone tougher scrutiny than helmets approved only by the DOT. Ensuring your helmet is compatible with Bluetooth systems is also vital for those planning to ride in groups, because certain formations and poor communication increases the risk for accidents.
Choosing a motorcycle jacket is much more than a fashion statement. First, the material will determine your level of protection against abrasion as well as the type of weather you should ride in. Leather and textile are the two most popular materials, and it’s generally a good idea to own one of each, though any jacket should be highly visible.
Leather is significantly more durable than textile and offers better protection overall. Leather jackets also tend to have tighter fits. Disadvantages include increased heat during the summer, the fact that they’re weighed down in the rain, and they’re the more expensive option.
Textile jackets tend to have better ventilation, and they are lighter than leather. Many textile jackets are waterproof, making them a great option in the rain. They’re also easier to clean than leather, though they do show dirt more. Similar to gloves, it’s possible to get armored jackets, and it’s a good idea. Common areas with impact protection are the shoulders, elbows, and back.
Motorcycle boots mainly provide protection from the exhaust as well as from debris on the road. Naturally, they also protect against extreme weather. Motorcycle boots do more than protect your feet, however. They also help stabilize your motorcycle when you come to a stop. You’ll be resting your feet on the ground when not in motion, and the grip of your boots help determine how well you balance your bike. Good grip also helps you change gears without unnecessary strain, and ensuring your boots are comfortable will save you a great deal of undue stress on the road.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of each piece of motorcycle safety gear. From the obvious to the minute details, each piece plays a vital part in a rider’s safety and comfort.