Motorcycle riding is a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it also comes with inherent risks. According to the World Health Organization, head injuries are the most common motorcycle-related injury worldwide, and wearing a well-fitting helmet can reduce your risk of brain injury by up to 74%. However, helmet use is not universal, and varies widely across regions and countries. In the United States, helmet use has increased in the past decade, but still remains below 100%. Moreover, helmets are not the only protective gear that riders should wear. Jackets, pants, gloves, and boots are also essential for preventing or minimizing injuries in case of a crash.
But how do you choose the right helmet and gear for your motorcycle? What are the latest trends, innovations, and products in the market? How do you balance safety, comfort, and style? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, by summarizing and analyzing some of the recent news and reviews on motorcycle helmets and gear from various sources.
Helmets: The Most Important Piece of Gear
Helmets protect your head and brain from potentially fatal injuries. However, not all helmets are created equal, and there are many factors to consider when choosing one. Some of the main aspects to look for are:
- Safety standards: Helmets should meet or exceed the minimum safety standards set by the relevant authorities in your region, such as DOT, ECE, or Snell. These standards ensure that helmets have passed rigorous tests for impact absorption, penetration resistance, retention, and visibility. You can check the labels or stickers on the helmet to see if it complies with the standards.
- Fit and comfort: Helmets should fit snugly and comfortably on your head, without being too tight or too loose. A poorly fitting helmet can compromise your safety and cause discomfort, fatigue, or distraction. You should measure your head circumference and try on different sizes and shapes of helmets to find the best fit for you. You should also check the padding, ventilation, and weight of the helmet.
- Style and features: Helmets come in various styles and features, depending on your preference and riding style. Some of the common types of helmets are full-face, open-face, modular, half, and off-road. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, in terms of protection, comfort, and convenience. You should also consider the design, color, and graphics of the helmet, as well as the additional features, such as visors, sunshades, chin straps, Bluetooth, speakers, cameras, and so on.
Gear: The Other Essential Items
Other items, such as jackets, pants, gloves, and boots, are also vital for protecting your body from injuries, weather, and road hazards. However, choosing the right gear can be tricky, as there are many options and variables to consider. Some of the main aspects to look for are:
- Material and quality: Gear should be made of durable and abrasion-resistant materials, such as leather, textile, or synthetic fabrics. These materials should also be breathable, waterproof, and windproof, to provide comfort and protection in different weather conditions. You should also check the quality and craftsmanship of the gear, such as the stitching, zippers, buttons, and snaps, and make sure they are sturdy and reliable.
- Armor and protection: Gear should have adequate armor and protection for the vulnerable parts of your body, such as the elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and ankles. These armor and protection should be CE-certified, which means they have passed the European standards for impact absorption and energy dissipation. You should also look for gear that has reflective or high-visibility elements, to enhance your visibility and safety on the road.
- Fit and comfort: Gear should fit well and comfortably on your body, without being too tight or too loose. A poorly fitting gear can compromise your safety and cause discomfort, chafing, or restriction of movement. You should measure your body dimensions and try on different sizes and styles of gear to find the best fit for you. You should also check the adjustability, flexibility, and ventilation of the gear, and make sure it does not interfere with your riding position, control, or communication.
- Style and features: Gear comes in various styles and features, depending on your preference and riding style. Some of the common types of gear are jackets, pants, jeans, suits, hoodies, shirts, gloves, and boots. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, in terms of protection, comfort, and convenience. You should also consider the design, color, and graphics of the gear, as well as the additional features, such as pockets, vents, liners, cuffs, collars, and so on.
One of the latest and most popular gear in the market is the California Riding Shirt 2.0, which is made by Tobacco Motorwear. This shirt is a casual and stylish option for summer rides, as it is lightweight and breathable, but also durable and protective. The shirt is made of 12-ounce selvedge denim, which is reinforced with DuPont Kevlar fibers, and has pockets for optional armor inserts. The shirt also features a snap-down collar, gusseted shoulders, antique brass snaps, and a hidden zipper. The California Riding Shirt 2.0 is available in various colors and sizes, and costs $359.
Conclusion: Stay Safe and Stylish on Your Motorcycle
Motorcycle riding is a fun and exciting activity, but it also requires proper safety precautions and equipment. We hope you have found this article helpful and informative, and we wish you a happy and safe riding experience. 😊