The essentials

Here’s a quick rundown on the essentials you need:

Helmet

By law, you have to wear one whenever you ride your motorcycle. Head injuries are among the most serious you can have.

Boots

Feet and leg injuries are some of the most common in riding accidents. Proper motorcycle boots with built in armour make a big difference. Breathable waterproof boots make a good choice.

Gloves

The first thing you do to protect yourself when you fall is put your hands out. Never, ever ride without proper motorcycle gloves. Look for good armour, comfortable fit and water resistance where necessary.

Back protection

Next to head injuries, spinal damage is the worst issue you can face. An approved back protector, in or under your jacket or leathers, is highly recommended.

Jacket or leathers

One-piece or zip-together two-piece leathers offer the ultimate protection. Modern textiles come very close. Look for elbow and shoulder armour (and a proper back protector if built-in). Waterproof if necessary.

Jeans

Choose leather or abrasion-resistant textile with knee and hip armour. Zipped to your jacket is best. Kevlar-lined jeans may suffice for a short, casual ride; many have pockets for knee armour.

Visor

Tinted visors only work in bright sunshine. After dark they are a danger. If you’ll be riding after sunset, go with a clear visor and sunnies. In rain and poor visibility, only use a clear or high-vis yellow visor.

Get-you-home kit

Apart from your bike’s tool kit, a few items packed under your seat can make all the difference to getting home safely:

  • A lightweight, stowable waterproof jacket or oversuit for rain and cold
  • Jacket liner. If you can stow it on the bike, zip it in when the cold bites
  • Chain lube. A mini can for longer rides
  • Duct tape five $2 coins together and stow under your seat to buy fuel in an emergency.