If you're just getting into motorcycling there's a ton of things to consider. One of the most important decisions you will make is the protective clothing you wear, which can quite literally save your skin.
Don't fool yourself by thinking regular denim jeans will do the job. When getting into a motorcycle accident, and the statistics say that you probably will, the gear you wear is the only thing between you and the road.
Here we'll break down the essential pieces of riding gear that you'll need before stepping onto a motorcycle.
As a beginner, it might seem like there's an overwhelming amount of gear to choose from, but there are only six key items you really need.
You'll be spending a lot of time with the gear you choose, so it's important to find something that's comfortable, stylish and most importantly, keeps you well protected.
YOU'LL NEED SIX KEY PIECES OF GEAR ON THE ROAD
Does motorcycle gear really help?
As the saying goes, there are two types of riders: those who have crashed and those who haven't crashed yet. NHTSA data tells us that motorcycling is 33 times more dangerous than driving a car. You owe it to yourself to guarantee the best protection from these risks.
Good riding gear won't just protect you during a crash, but from the sun, rain, wind and debris. It's your second skin, protecting you from anything flying through the air and the natural elements. Modern motorcycle clothing not only offers solid protection but is stylish enough to wear once you get off the bike as well.
When it comes to protective gear, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Think about when you've fallen down as a kid while running. The bloody knees, the horrible scrapes down your leg. The human body does not handle sudden stops from speed very well.
Take it fromthose with experience, when things take a bad turn on the road, you'll be glad you invested in the best gear for the job.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF RIDERS: THOSE WHO HAVE CRASHED AND THOSE WHO HAVEN'T CRASHED YET
What gear does a beginner motorcycle rider need?
MOTORCYCLING IS 33 TIMES MORE DANGEROUS THAN DRIVING A CAR. THE GEAR YOU WEAR IS IMPORTANT.
You won't need to worry about any accessories for the time being. There are only six types of motorcycle gear that you'll really need to get started; a helmet, pants, boots, gloves, armor and a jacket.
The reality is that once you're on a motorcycle, no piece of skin is safe. A motorcyclist should be covered head to toe in solid gear that provides protection to every part of their body.
Also, consider that you'll want to wear clothes that look good once you get off the bike as well. There are motorcycle jackets and jeans that look great but still give keep you protected on the road, so you won't have to compromise style for safety.
A new helmet should be on the top of your shopping list. This is by far the most important piece of motorcycle riding gear. Not only are they legally required, but the surest way to prevent a head injury.
A good helmet should fit snugly, not moving up or down or side to side, but not so tight that you feel like your head is being squeezed.
A full-face helmet is highly recommended. Open-face or three-quarter helmets will not protect your face and chin, where 40 per cent of crashes occur according to a recent study.
Alternatively, a modular helmet will offer you the same protection but is more convenient than the standard full-face helmet.
Helmets are great for shielding yourself against the elements. Bugs can and will fly into your face, so the visor will come in handy. Flying at high speeds will produce some serious wind resistance too, and the helmet will also keep your face from getting sunburnt.
Motorcycle helmets are generally built to last five years. After this period the materials that help absorb impact will start to wear, so it's important to keep your helmet up to date.
Helmets won't hold up over multiple crashes. They're designed to absorb as much of the impact as possible and basically destroy themselves in an accident so that the skull receives as little impact as possible. So never buy a used helmet.
Many manufacturers make affordable helmets that still offer good protection. While more expensive motorcycle helmets may provide better comfort or ventilation, they won't necessarily give better protection.
Find a helmet that suits your specific needs and feels comfortable. Your head is unique and only you can tell what feels right. Consider weight, noise and aerodynamics. You can even get helmets with Bluetooth for added convenience.
REGULAR JEANS WILL LAST JUST 0.6 SECONDS AGAINST THE ROAD
Some riders choose to skip buying a decent pair of motorcycle pants, which is a huge mistake. Regular jeans have just 0.6 seconds of abrasion resistance before they are torn to shreds. A proper pair of motorcycle jeans will protect your hips, shins and knees from the road surface.
Motorcycle pants should fit snugly without restricting movement. When you try them out, get into a riding position and make sure you still have a good range of motion.
Try to grab some pants that are suited for both wet and dry riding conditions. Rain can cause a change in friction, making some pants less effective against gravel. You can always check the certified abrasion rating of pants when making that decision.
Another thing to keep in mind is armor. Some riding pants will include armor pockets for your knees and hips, which you'll want to keep protected. Knee and hip injuries can be particularly nasty and take a long time to heal.
Thankfully, motorcycle jeans have come a long way. In past years, the only choices were leather pants or ballistic nylon. Nowadays you can buy a solid pair of jeans that look good on or off the bike.
Like regular jeans, you'll have a few options. You might prefer a traditional blue, or maybe something dark. Black, gravel and light bleached colors are all available so you can make a choice according to your own personal style.
THE BEST MOTORCYCLE JEANS ARE STYLISH WITHOUT COMPROMISING SAFETY
A sturdy pair of motorcycle boots is a must for any rider. Motorcycles are really, really heavy. Most are at least 150kg. You'll want a solid pair of boots on your feet that can support that weight and handle slippery, uneven and unpredictable surfaces. They should be oil-resistant, have non-slip soles and have good ankle support.
As a rule, motorcycle boots should cover your ankle at the very least. They should also lace tightly because a loose-fitting pair of boots or shoes can literally fly off your feet in a crash.
Heel and toes boxes are a good feature to look out for. Just think of whenever you've hit your toe on something and how much it hurts. Those small bones are incredibly fragile with the right protection will take significantly less impact.
A good way of testing how boots will go in an accident is to grab them by the heel and the toe and give them a twist. If it looks like your feet and toes won't survive a crash then you'll need to get some better boots.
In an accident, you'll probably stick your hands out to break your fall. It's a natural and powerful instinct. That's why motorcycle gloves are an essential piece of gear. They'll provide the best protection to your skin and the fragile bones in your fingers. In some crashes, riders have not just broken their fingers but lost thementirely.
Your hands should be completely covered with no skin exposed. The best motorcycle gloves will have high abrasion resistance and strong stitching. Thin, dodgy gloves with uneven stitching are to be avoided.
Try to find a pair of gloves that you find comfortable. They should be easy to pull on and off, feel natural on your hands and touchscreen compatibility can be quite handy as well.
You'll want to try on the gloves before making a purchase. They should be a firm fit but not so tight that they restrict mobility and dexterity. It's important that the gloves don't affect the safe operation of your motorcycle.
IN AN ACCIDENT YOU'LL PROBABLY STICK YOUR HANDS OUT TO BREAK YOUR FALL
Body armor is designed to protect your upper body and absorb impact in a crash that would otherwise have been taken by the rider. It can be included in motorcycle clothing or purchased separately.
Armor should be worn so that it's comfortable but tight. You don't want it moving around in the event of a crash, so keep it snug while you're riding.
Good armor will protect you but will be thin and flexible enough to not feel like an inconvenience. The best body armor is so light that you'll forget it's even there.
If you buy motorcycle clothing but you're unhappy with the in-built armor, you can always upgrade it. The best upgrade you can make is to theback protector. If the existing one in your jacket is floppy foam, you can fit a better one in the pocket or opt for one that fits you independently of the jacket.
GOOD BODY ARMOR IS SO LIGHT THAT YOU'LL FORGET IT'S EVEN THERE
A motorcycle jacket is the second most important piece of gear that you'll need behind a helmet. It covers more of your skin than anything else and provides impact absorption during an accident.
Motorcycle jackets will also protect you from the elements. The tight fit reduces the chill of the wind and many jackets are also water-resistant. A good motorcycle jacket will have pockets for armor that you can add for extra protection to your back, shoulders and elbows.
Jackets are designed to be worn snug so they don't flap around in high-speed wind. You should still be able to move your arms freely, so keep manoeuvrability in mind when deciding on the right fit.
Leather and denim jackets are both fine choices. As long as they provide adequate protection, it's really just a matter of personal preference. Try them both on and see which style and fit you like better.
Another option is a vest if you want to opt for a classic look. Vests will give you more freedom of movement and will be cooler during summer.
If you're a beginner, you shouldn't get too caught up in trying to make the perfect decision. Odds are you'll end up owning multiple motorcycle jackets anyway. Just keep your specific needs in mind, such as what weather you'll mostly be riding in.
A GOOD MOTORCYCLE JACKET WILL HAVE ARMOR POCKETS FOR YOUR BACK, SHOULDERS AND ELBOWS
What's the best place to buy motorcycle gear?
The best motorcycle gear will protect you but look stylish enough to wear off the bike as well. Sa1nt Unbreakable Jeans and Unbreakable Jackets tick both of these boxes. You'll look good without the compromise of safety.
Sa1nt jeans are woven withDyneema, a fibre that stops bullets, tethers space shuttles and armors helicopters. This fibre is unique for being incredibly strong but lightweight as well, which makes it perfect for riding gear.
Sa1nt is a trusted producer of motorcycle gear in the USA and Australia. The combination of style and materials make us one of the most unique brands in motorcycling.