The right gear to protect bikers in winter months
One of the things that makes motorcycling enjoyable is the freedom of riding in the open air, but sometimes being out there can have its drawbacks especially when riding in cold weather.
Winter is here and warm, well-fitting clothing is essential if you want to keep riding throughout the months ahead.
Wearing the right gear is just as important as having a properly serviced bike. Selecting the best protective gear can make the difference between getting some bumps and bruises and sustaining injuries that could stop you riding again.
Choosing what to wear when riding is also about comfort. Properly fitting gear means you stay comfortable, warm and dry on your bike, helping you to fully enjoy your ride without getting distracted from the road.
The right motorcycle helmet can save your life
The most important piece of protective gear you can wear is a helmet, choosing the right helmet could save your life. We recommend that you:
- Make sure the helmet doesn’t move and is secured. If it moves around on your head, it will not offer the best protection in a crash. Always secure the helmet properly using the chin strap. Even with a good fit, a helmet that is not properly strapped on is likely to come off in an accident.
- Don’t buy a second hand helmet – and replace after an accident. Why? The external appearance can disguise the damage to the protective material inside the helmet. That is why a helmet should be replaced after an accident, although it may appear fine, internal material could be damaged.
- Try before you buy. Always try a helmet on before you buy as sizes can vary. There should be no tight spots or pressure points. Helmets providing full-face coverage with strong chin pieces are effective in reducing facial injuries.
Motorcycle gloves to protect your hands in winter
Motorcycle gloves protect hands from blisters, wind and cold and will help prevent cuts, bruises and abrasions in an accident.
- Get gloves that fit properly. This will improve your grip on the handlebars. If your gloves are too loose or too thick, you may have problems operating the controls of your motorcycle. If they are too tight, circulation will be restricted and your hands will become cold.
- Change your gloves to suit weather conditions. Motorcycle gloves are available in many styles. Lightweight gloves may be more comfortable in summer warmth while heavier and lined gloves are available for additional protection from winter cold.
Motorcycle boots to help control bike and protect you
Motorcycle boots are available in a range of designs and can be bought to match your bike or other bike gear.
- Above the ankle height and sturdy. This means the boots will provide support and protection for the ankle area.
- Good quality leather and waterproof. In case of an accident, boots help provide valuable protection against foot and ankle injuries.
- Consider buying boot covers. These can help keep your feet dry and may offer reflective piping to help ensure you are seen when visibility is low.
- Ensure boots properly fit you. Too tight and they will make your feet numb, too loose and you will find it difficult to maintain control over the gear lever and brake.
Jackets, trousers and riding suits for protection and comfort
Many motorcycle dealers carry a varied line of motorcycle gear and will tailor their service to meet your own individual tastes and requirements.
Shop wisely, making sure your purchase fits properly and is specifically made for motorcycling. Remember we are all different shapes and sizes, so what fits someone like a glove may not be good for you.
There are many motorcycle stores that supply motorcycle gear made specifically to your shape and size. We recommend:
- Leather or abrasion resistant fabric. Covering your body with leather or an abrasion resistant fabric provides a high level of injury protection.
- Protective clothing designed specifically for motorcycling. This will afford the best combination of comfort and protection. A short slide on tarmac – even at 30mph – will shred through clothes.
- Good quality leather with internal body armour. This will provide the best all round protection and leathers should feel comfortable and fit well, without being tight.
- Wind-resistant, waterproof and high visibility clothing. It is important to be prepared and protected against the elements of ever changing winter weather and do everything you can to be seen on the roads.
Enjoy the freedom of biking but protect yourself at the same time. Use motorcycle protective gear every single time you ride and remember to choose light, bright colours as these can help other road users see you.
Stay safe this winter.