So you’ve decided to make the shift to two wheels. Congratulations, a world of fun and excitement awaits you. However, before you hop onto that shiny new motorcycle of yours, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly geared up to ensure you stay safe and minimize the risk of injury in the event of a crash. It doesn’t matter what motorcycle you ride, in the event of a spill, the human body will always succumb to the forces of gravity, metal, and concrete. That said, here’s a rundown of the top 5 essential riding gear for beginner motorcyclists.
It’s an all too common sight. You’re riding down a side street or along a provincial road when some guy on a little scooter buzzes past you. Unsurprisingly, he isn’t wearing a helmet, and is probably going twice as fast as you were. Yeah, don’t be that guy. In the event that something untoward were to happen, there’s a good chance that guy won’t walk away from it. That said, it’s an absolute must to pick out a good helmet as your first lid, as the chances of you dropping your bike are greatest when you’re learning how to ride.
Do note, however, that the price of a helmet isn’t exactly equally proportionate to the level of safety it can offer. We recently wrote a guide on what motorcycle helmets are legal and safest to use in the Philippines. Be sure to check it out here. When shopping for your first helmet, you'll be surprised to learn that some of the safest helmets out there don’t come with a gargantuan price tag.
It's a natural human instinct. When you trip while walking, fall off a skateboard, get in a bicycle crash, and yes, figure in a motorcycle accident, you extend your hands ahead of you in a futile attempt to cushion your fall. At the slightest you end up skinning your palms, at worst, you could end up with broken wrists and trauma that goes all the way up to your shoulders and back. While there’s little we can do to combat this instinct, we can however, protect our hands while riding a motorcycle.
Gloves serve not only to keep our hands clean and comfortable while riding our bikes, they also serve as vital protection in the event of an accident. Most decent motorcycle gloves come with knuckle and finger protection, as well as plastic, carbon fiber, or resin sliders situated on the palm area. We recommend going for full-finger gloves to ensure all your digits receive utmost protection at all times.
It’s all too easy to get your foot caught in between the road and your motorcycle in the event of a tip over. Likewise, in higher speed accidents, your lower extremities tend to take quite a beating as this region of your body tends to impact the ground first. That said, getting a pair of riding specific boots that go over the ankle is a good way of preventing injury while onboard your motorcycle. Now, while it’s always best to get boots designed specifically for riding, these tend to be rather expensive. As such, you could get away with a decent pair of hiking boots—so long as they go above your ankle slightly.
Nonetheless, if you can manage to shell out the couple thousand pesos for a pair of riding specific boots, we highly recommend you do so. This is because most decent riding boots are constructed out of robust materials which are both slide proof and adequately impact resistant. Additionally, some even come with sliders on the ankle and toe sections for times when the rider corners a tad too aggressively causing his or her foot to graze the pavement.
The human torso is a rather fragile amalgamation of components. Unsurprisingly, it’s where most of our vital internal organs are housed. Suffering even mild trauma to the torso can result in various complications such as internal bleeding and hemorrhages—things which when left unattended can be life threatening. That said, it’s important to keep your torso, chest, and back safe while riding a motorcycle.
There are tons of choices when it comes to motorcycle specific body armor, however the easiest and most comfortable way around it would be to get a motorcycle specific jacket equipped with a spine protector, shoulder and elbow protectors, and chest protection. These pads are usually made out of D30 armor which does a considerably good job of reducing impact trauma. Additionally, higher spec jackets come interwoven with aramid fibers which offer slide protection
Last but not the least would be a pair of riding jeans. Although you could get away with riding with a normal pair of jeans, road rash and possibly broken bones are not what you want on your post-ride checklist. Riding pants come in all shapes and sizes with some pairs disguising themselves nicely as normal pants, while others scream form and function in the way they’re styled.
That said, for a beginner, a pair of riding jeans equipped with knee and hip protection should do the trick. Several name brands such as Komine, Tai-Chi, and Rev’IT! make really good motorcycle jeans which make it perfect for keeping a lowkey aesthetic that’s both functional and comfortable.
There you go folks, a quick and easy rundown of the basic motorcycle riding gear best suited for beginners and advanced riders alike. Motorcycles are indeed tons of fun, but it’s always important to ensure our safety while riding, so we can all enjoy riding motorcycles for many years to come.