When it comes to choosing your motorcycle gear, protection and performance–factors that should take precedence–are only part of the equation. Your gear also has to enhance your look.
Whether that look is edgy, cool or fierce is up to you. Knowing what’s out there is a great way to begin shopping, so I’ll give you a rundown of the products you can expect to come across and tell you my take on the best motorcycle gear available.
Your head may be the first thing you think about when you think of protecting yourself, but a jacket protects some very important organs in your torso. The best motorcycle gear is often something that speaks to your own personal style, and nowhere is that more true than when you’re purchasing your motorcycle jacket.
Currently selling on Ebay for under $100, a Bilt motorcycle jacket for women is stylish and waterproof. We’d be remiss if we didn’t list a stylish leather look like this Joe Rocket Classic ‘92–tailored in a relaxed fit, with pockets for armor at the shoulders, elbows and back. It’s pricier, though, coming in at just under $300.
At the end of the day, there are loads of choices when it comes to jackets. The classic leather jacket has stood the test of time, and, in my opinion, it’s often the best choice for riders. After all, it’s long lasting and highly protective.
The cafe/vintage style jacket is a favorite of mine, too, because it’s a jacket with a versatile look. Have a look at this Roland Sands Ronin RS Signature Jacket. A good leather jacket will always have a place when you’re talking about the best motorcycle gear: There are tons of leather options, whatever your ride style is.
Sons of Arthritis patches emblazoned with phrases like: “Sons of Arthritis: Titanium Chapter” and “Old Bikers Never Die: Our leathers just get tighter” are a good way to have some fun with your style.
Whether or not your state requires it, there’s no denying you need a helmet to protect your noggin. As a beginner, it’ll be especially important to get one that covers your entire face. You won’t always land on top of your head–sometimes you end up in a face plant if you crash.
More than one regulatory body oversees helmet certifications. DOT is the most basic certification, set by the Federal Government’s Department of Transportation. There is a more rigorous standard set by the Snell Memorial Foundation.
On the low end, you’re looking at something like this Bell helmet. It’s not feature rich, but it will protect you. At the higher end, the HJC helmet boasts a smoke-tinted sunshield and is offered in a variety of shades of gray and black and white. For an added bonus, you can open the HJC with one hand, even with gloves on.
Ultimately, your choice of helmet may be based on your style, but my pick will always be one with maximal safety in mind. The Shoei RF-SR is both DOT and Snell rated. It’s lightweight and strong, fairly quiet and well-crafted.
For a finishing touch, Sons of Arthritis offers helmet stickers with sayings like: “Sons of Arthritis: Ibuprofen Chapter.”
If you’re thinking about how suave you’ll look riding up in your blue jeans, think twice: Jeans are about as protective as not wearing anything at all.
You can buy jeans reinforced with Kevlar in the seat, hip and knee, which are much more protective, like these Joe Rocket Men’s Accelerator Jean.
The way I see it, though, Pilot Motorsport pants are among the best motorcycle gear because the traditional pants are still far superior in terms of how much they protect you over jeans. These ones have reflective panels for increased visibility, may be more comfortable for longer rides over jeans, and have more room for armor in the pockets.
Complete your look while staying safe and protected with SoA t-shirts. This long sleeve Ibuprofen Chapter is made of 100% cotton to shield your arms from the sun, featuring the popular SoA logo on the front, back and printed down the sleeves. For members of the military who need to wear bright colors while riding on base, SoA has a Safety Green Ibuprofen Chapter option.
On the other hand, if you need to stay cool, SoA’s dri-fit short-sleeved ‘Piss and Moan Chapter’ or skull and piston shirts may be up your alley.
Your boots play a big supporting role in your ride. Oil resistant, non-slip soles with sturdy ankle coverage will play a large part in keeping you safe.
The Forma Adventure Low Boots are our pick for the best motorcycle gear in this area because they protect you where it counts: your ankle. At the ankle area, they have molded internal plastic protection. Other great features of this boot are its anti-slip, lightweight rubber sole and waterproof and breathable liner. It’s easy to walk around in these, and pants can easily fit over them.
For an affordable boot with attitude, there’s the Harley-Davidson Men’s Boxbury CT Industrial Boot, which features oil- and slip-resistant resistant rubber outsoles.
The Adtec Men’s Harness Motorcycle Boot is another solid choice. These pull-on boots have an oil-resistant outsole, with a padded insole. You also can’t beat the classic biker look of these babies.
Obviously, these are important for you in a crash. They provide some protection for your fragile hands, which may take a beating when your body goes on auto-pilot and you automatically use them to keep your other body parts from skidding along the pavement. They also offer an extra layer of protection against the cold air, which is protective in and of itself–it may be dangerous if you’re struggling to hold on to your handle bars in colder temperatures.
The Fuyuanda Full Finger Glove is a top choice of riders. The price is right, and its plastic knuckle guards provide some extra protection. The material may be a little too thin for colder weather, however.
My pick for gloves are the Icon Pursuit Stealth Touch Screen. The sheepskin backhand in these gloves helps to make it a perfect fit. These gloves have integrated knuckle armor and are suitable for cool and warmer temperatures, but may not be as effective in the rain. For a cozier pair for those dealing with snowy winters or rain, there's the Dainese Jerico EVO.
Choosing a set of the best motorcycle gear is not an afterthought or something to cheap out on. Think of all the scenarios you’re liable to see on your bike: dicey weather, the rays of a bright summer sun (think: sunburn), or just a windy day with debris flying around...and of course: road rash.
A good fit is paramount–you need to be comfortable in what you’re wearing to minimize distractions on the open road. And don’t forget: An appropriate fit is also highly relevant in keeping you safe and protected.
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