Riding Gear

Motorcycle Gear

Most of the motorcycle gear is designed to help the rider survive an up close experience with the road surface at high speed. None of us intend on having this close encounter, but it happens regularly and good crash padding can make a big difference. For a long time the best protection was racing grade leather. There are several synthetic fibers that approach the durability of this heavy leather and offer a different set of benefits.

My external gear is made by Olympia Motorsports and has liners that are easy to remove from both the jacket and the pants. This makes the riding suit more comfortable in warmer weather. The outer shell is made of abrasive resistant CORDURA® material. The numerous pouches on the inside of the outer shell hold all the armor and skid plates inside the jacket. These can be removed so the jacket and pants can be washed. The pants have zippers that run the length of the legs making them easy to put on over jeans or take off.

Figure from The
	  Proceeding of the 1991 International Motorcycle Confernce

I got a basic three quater helmet and some light weight gloves for the motorcycle safety course. I was not sure if I would really like motorcycling, so I did not want to spend a lot of money to meet the requirements of riding in a closed area. After the course, I invested in gauntlet style gloves from Held and a full face Arai helmet. The opinions on helmets cover the entire spectrum and some states have mandatory laws requiring helmet use. To me this seems like a real no-brainer, and some of the most compelling information I have found is from Dietmar Otte and Günter Felton published in The Proceeding of the 1991 International Motorcycle Conference. Other data from various state agencies show that when helmet laws are repealed, fatality rates for motorcyclists increase.

A good pair of motorcycle boots help protect the lower leg from debris and many have oil resistant soles. The added traction may be needed when coming to a stop and putting a foot down in drippings from other vehicles.

Motorcycling involves risks and how one balances those risks is a matter of personal preference and particular circumstances. Be Safe!