Riding is one of those passions that set people apart. This is for those people, who have already chosen their desired bikes to mount. Here, we discuss the various gears that will make your ride more comfortable, safer and generally, a more enjoyable affair.
Helmets are the basic necessity, irrespective of whether you are riding the city lanes, the highways or off-roading. They are not only life-savers in case of accidents, but will also keep the wind, dust and insects away from your face and eyes. It’s always advisable to buy helmets from a reputable retailer, to ensure that they are capable of protecting you even in severe conditions. They are designed to destroy themselves in a crash, dissipating the energy that would otherwise be transferred to your head. Sometimes a helmet can experience a crash without external signs of damage but still sustain unseen effects. Hence, have it checked after an accident. And while we are at it, let me tell you that helmets usually have a life span of 5 years. So remember to get them changed after that.
There are 6 basic kinds of helmets; full face, modular, open face, half helmet, off-road and dual sport. Your use of the bike will decide which kind of helmet you need to invest in.
Most often bikes weigh 150 kg or more. You’ll need to support that weight and your own with your legs, on varying surfaces; smooth, crooked, unpredictable. Your feet and ankles are vulnerable in a crash too, so you’ll want to protect them. Thus, a sturdy pair of boots with oil-resistant, non-slip soles and good ankle support is another bare necessity if riding is your passion. They should lace tightly to a point above your ankle as, otherwise, they will just fly off during an accident and won’t be of any protective use. No doubt, a good pair is expensive, but they are a good investment. And like with any other gear, check for safety ratings.
In case of a crash, hands are the most fragile and that’s why you need gloves. Motorcycle gloves should fully cover the fingers, palm, the back of your hands and wrists, with significant overlap between glove and jacket so that no skin is exposed. While buying, look for a firm retention strap, which is what will make sure the gloves don’t fall off during crash. Next comes abrasion-resistant materials and protected stitching. While armour too is important, make sure they don’t come in the way of your grip and handling of the motorcycle controls. Since, it’s mainly the base of your palm that will feel the impact in any crash, look for gloves that protect that region.
Motorcycle jacket not only give you an extremely desirable look but also work towards safety. Hence, while investing in one, make sure it’s a motorcycle jacket and not just another fancy leather jacket because they are not made to withstand either the windblast or crashes that real motorcycle jackets are built to deal with. Broadly they come under three categories, leather, mesh and textile. Irrespective of the type, they come with enviable features like seams that are doubled up multiple times to protect the stitching from abrasion and increase strength against bursting, body armor — impact absorbing material that cushion your most vulnerable parts in a crash. They’re designed to fit snugly in high-speed wind blast; they can seal out cold air or let in cooling air via vents. While choosing your jacket, make sure your arms are loose enough to move freely.
You need proper gear to withstand conditions that become extreme once you are facing it at a speed humans were technically not meant to be.