Top 10 Motorcycle Gear for Real Riders
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
December 21, 2010
Filed Under Motorcycles
Contributed by David Galassi, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Whether you are traveling to the corner store or across the country, there is a list of motorcycle gear for real riders that is non-negotiable.
These are the items that real riders own for both safety and comfort. Check out our list of the top ten pieces of riding gear for bikers:
10. Tire gauge
You only have two tires. A blowout due to a low tire can be extremely dangerous. Check your pressure often. Air-up to the max for long trips with bags full. Low tire pressure shortens tire life as well. Consider this: $7 for a good tire gauge vs. a $200 tow. It’s easy to carry and a must have.
9. Bike cleaner
Always keep a rag and bike cleaner handy in your saddle bag. All purpose bike degreasers are readily available and work on both plastic and paint. Every stop, clean the windshield of bugs and haze. That means, keep some in your saddle bag. You need to see clearly. Also fresh bug splatter comes off easier if you catch it right away. Cleaning your bike with 3 week old bug splatter makes for a long day.
8. Accent lights
Add accent lighting to your bike. Whether it be color accent ground effects or add-on tail light kits. Flashing brake light kits and reflectors make you visible and thus less likely to have an accident because a driver just didn’t see you.
7. High visibility clothing
Highly visible clothing or accessories can save your life. Bright and reflective clothing atop your leather make you visible, and the more visible, the less chance someone will pull out in front or side wipe you. Dark clothing, although stylish, keeps you somewhat INvisible. Toss style aside for night riding in lieu of a reflective vest. Even applying reflective decals to your helmet or the heels of your boots can make a difference.
NOT SHOES, SANDALS, or FLIP FLOPS. Over-the-ankle boots are the rule here. Any abrasion will have your ankle bone take the brunt. Cover it with leather. When your pant leg inches up a good leather boot also protects from ankle burn. Oil resistant soles and waffle pattern keeps you from slipping and gives traction.
Your fingers and knuckles are the first thing flying debris will hit if encountered. Always wear riding gloves. Insulation from heat and abrasion keep gloves at the top of any motorcycle gear list. Not to add, warm fingers don’t cramp as badly.
Leather or Denim. NO SHORTS. Pants offer protection from flying debris, bugs and rain pellets. Your calves will cheer when they come in contact with your hot exhaust and a layer of your pant leg is there to insulate any burns.
Denim, leather, nylon or even cotton … breaking the wind always makes your ride a tad nicer. Water repellent jackets are a must for long trips. Leather stop most abrasions but not rain. If you are expecting wet weather, get raingear. For hot days get a jacket designed with zipper vents.
2. Eye wear
Your eye protection does not have to be $400 Maui Jims, but eye protection is a key factor in riding. Bare eyeballs are a bad bet at best. Road debris can scratch a cornea in a split second. Your fairing is not your eye protection. Clear for night riding, yellow for overcast days and dark for high glare. This is a must.
Many states have helmet laws, so that makes this one a non-negotiable. Even if your state doesn’t, you might drive through a helmet-law state at some time or another. At any rate, mandated or not, you should protect your head at all times. Be sure your helmet has DOT (Dept of Transportation) approval. That means it meets rigorous safety standards. It also, other than protection, cuts down on wind noise and prevents UV rays from pounding atop your head. Make sure your helmet fits properly and always tighten the chin strap. Your helmet can be custom painted to match your bike for added character.