Are You Safe On That Motorcycle
Are You Safe On Your Motorcycle?
Sure, You Look Good. But Are You Safe On Your Motorcycle?
I have this image of a motorcycle rider in my head. He's got a tight white t-shirt on and a leather jacket, with form fitting jeans and black leather boots. He's got a woman with him, wearing tight black leather pants and a low cut shirt and a leather jacket. In these images, there is a lot of exposed flesh and not a lot of helmet hair! The reality of motorcycle riding gear is far different from my image. Motorcycle riding gear should have much more to do with safety than it does with a look.
Choosing a Jacket
The head, legs and arms are the areas most likely to be injured in a motorcycle accident. In order to protect your arms, you'll need a good jacket. This jacket should be made of Kevlar, nylon, or leather. The jacket should be very well made. Check this by looking at the seams on the jacket. The seams should be straight and the stitches should be uniform. Check to see that the stitching is reinforced at the stress points - the elbows and shoulders. A good motorcycle jacket will have padding in those stress points, as well as along the spine area. Ideally, the jacket should have reflective strips. I know they don't look good, but sometimes we all just have to suffer a little to be safe!
After you find a jacket that fits your needs, try it on. A jacket needs to fit correctly and not slip around. The padding won't be effective if the jacket slips around and pads a different area of your body! Try the jacket on with a sweater on underneath, to be sure there is room for the extra layer. If you know you'll be riding a lot in the winter, look for a jacket with side laces, so you can loosen or tighten the jacket over the layers you're wearing. You might want to find a jacket with a zip-out lining, so you can wear the same jacket during several seasons. If you life in a more temperate climate, you might only need a lightweight jacket.
Try the jacket on while you are sitting on your bike, with your hands on the handlebars. Be sure the jacket doesn't ride up uncomfortably in the back, and be sure that the sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists. Try on many different jackets and compare how they feel. The right jacket can make all the difference when you're riding in terms of how comfortable you are. And the right jacket can make all the difference during an accident in terms of how it helps to prevent injury. Once you've narrowed down a couple of great fitting choices, THEN decide which one looks the best!
When you're choosing pants, look for the same materials you were looking for when you were choosing a jacket. You'll want to look for leather, Kevlar, or nylon. You'll want to find a pair of riding pants that you are comfortable wearing for long periods of time.
Try the pants on when you're standing up, sitting down, and on the motorcycle. You'll need to think of climate and temperature when choosing a pair of pants to ride in. If you're riding in cold weather, choose a pair of pants that has a lining or some sort of insulation. If you know you'll be riding in the rain, find a pair of pants that is water resistant.
Lots of people choose to ride in a pair of heavy blue jeans. These are an option, and are especially good when you're layering a pair of rain pants over them. But if you're serious about riding and about protection, finding a pair of motorcycle pants that fits well can be a great investment.
Be sure than you're choosing a jacket and pants that you're comfortable wearing in almost any situation. You'll want to be safe out on the road, but you'll want to be secure in how you look as well.