Put a lid on it...
Helmet? Oh yeah...
Leathers or textiles?...what?
Before you take off on your next bike adventure take a minute to consider this...
Learning to ride a motorcycle isn’t like learning to swim. It’s a skill that cannot be learned in its entirety, it’s a skill that is developed and improved through practice and experience. It’s also a skill that is inherently risky.
Road conditions, weather changes, other road users – these are all unpredictable elements that can influence your journey.
For some it’s the thrill that keeps them riding; for others using two wheels instead of four is simply more practical.
Whatever your reason for riding, the risks cannot be ignored.
Let’s think then, what can you do to make your journey safer and ultimately more enjoyable?
From the top...buy a helmet
In the United Kingdom it is compulsory to wear a helmet when riding on the road. All helmets sold in the UK must pass approved British safety regulations such as BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemark or meet UNECE Regulation 22.05.
When buying a helmet it is paramount that you buy brand new. Never ever buy a second-hand helmet. No matter how restricted your budget is, don’t comprise on your helmet choice.
A helmet is designed to absorb impact therefore the underlying principle is that it WILL ONLY WORK ONCE.
Helmet sorted, can I go now? Hold on a minute...
Don’t overlook the importance of protective clothing. Jacket and trousers or even a one piece jump suit, whichever you chose, they go hand in hand with riding.
A wide range of materials are used to make the protective suiting and it comes in a variety of sizes and styles.
The essentials to consider are functionality for your particular needs and of course, comfort. Potential injuries can be further mitigated through wearing suitable protective leathers or padded fabrics.
Generally motorbike clothing is designed to be tough wearing and resistant and afford greater visibility of the rider.
Protective clothing won’t make you invincible but it will go a long way to minimising injury damage if you were to have an accident...and it’ll help to keep the cold out!
A decent pair of boots is essential. Although boots cannot prevent injury entirely a good quality pair can make the difference between a little bruising and a serious foot injury. Most are also designed with good tread and ankle support to enable stability and comfort.
Surely now I can get on the road?
One last thing...invest in a pair of biking gloves. There is a vast selection to choose from but this small seemingly insignificant piece of kit is essential to keeping those fingers warm, dry and most importantly, protected.
Accidents will happen, it’s a fact. No matter how careful we are they cannot always be avoided. It is for this reason we must take all reasonable appropriate measures to minimise this risk.
And if a motorcycle accident happens...
Don’t assume that because it isn’t broken, that it doesn’t need fixed.
As we said above, a helmet should not be used again after an accident, under any circumstances. Identifying cosmetic damage from the impact should make you reconsider the protective capacity of the helmet.
With the other items of kit, take a reasonable attitude to assessing the damage and if in doubt...ask your insurer. If possible take photographs of any damage to your kit.
Whilst there are no guarantees that you will receive a like for like replacement, without evidence to support your claim quantifying damage can prove difficult.
Try to retain the original proof of purchase for your items, whether that is the receipt or your bank statement showing the purchase.
Bear in mind that wear and tear may be factored in to any offer of settlement for replacement kit, therefore supportive evidence showing the original cost can help demonstrate to insurers realistically how much you have lost.
The cost of your protective kit should be factored in to the cost when buying your motorbike.
The changing climates and road conditions are relentless therefore the more protection you can afford, the more you should consider buying.
And the bottom line is that protective clothing is designed to enhance the enjoyment of your ride. If you look like a pro...chances are it will help you to ride like a pro.
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