Motorcycle Protective Gear
Motorcycle clothing is definitely stylish these days, but some of it sacrifices safety for good looks. Interestingly, in Europe motorcycle protective gear must pass a series of comprehensive tests involving abrasion, tearing, and impact. If the article passes all three, a distinct label designates its high level of protection. Oddly enough, the US does not hold motorcycle clothing manufacturers to any standards.
Many motorcyclists don’t realize that the majority of injuries associated with riding happen below the waist. Since your feet and legs are so exposed, you should invest in tall boots made of thick leather. Their material should bend naturally with your feet, but it should also be able to withstand pressure. Pants with extra padding at the knees and hips are also a must have. It is even better if they attach to your jacket with a zipper.
Protective motorcycle gear has traditionally been made of leather, but technology has made it possible for reinforced nylon and other synthetic materials to work just as well. If you insist on wearing jeans, those that are constructed of Kevlar will offer greater protection during a crash than basic jeans. A typical pair of jeans lasts a mere .6 seconds during a European abrasion test, but reinforced riding pants will endure an addition five seconds of friction before ripping. This gives the biker a much greater chance to escape with minimal injuries.
Just like the pants, motorcyclists should wear thick leather jackets that are durable with uniform stitching. The elbow and shoulder areas should also be reinforced and impact resistant. Some leather jackets may look great, but they will not shield you in the event of an accident. Remember, never sacrifice safety for fashionable looks.
It is your body’s instinct to put your hands out in front of you if you are falling or sliding headfirst. For this reason, you should be wearing gloves that guard the palms with specially placed patches that will help prevent major hand abrasions caused by friction on the asphalt. Knitted Kevlar is the perfect material for this role, but reinforced leather is an acceptable alternative.
Collision protection is sold separately, but it is not recommended because there is no guarantee that riders will remember to wear it consistently or may choose not to entirely. If you think you may get lazy, it is in your best interest to buy clothing that already incorporates impact protection into the material. This way, you will never be without it and be prepared in a time of crisis.
Lastly and most important, select a comfortable helmet that you are willing to wear at all times–even if your state doesn’t require one. The odds of sustaining an injury to your lower extremities may be higher, but suffering a head injury is by far the most devastating and potentially deadly.
Next time you’re in the market to purchase a riding outfit, imagine what it would be like to be thrown from a bike with normal clothes on; you’ll probably think twice about what kind you buy.
If you or a loved-one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we would be happy to review and evaluate your case. Please call us at 615-844-4034 or complete the Case Submission Form to the right.