Quality kit can save your skin

As a motorcyclist, what you wear is your only protection against injury if you’re involved in a collision.

It’s so important to always be kitted out correctly with the right clothing and equipment, whatever bike you ride, even if you’re just heading to the shop.

Whether you're commuting or out for a weekend ride; on a moped or a supersport bike; a short slide on tarmac will shred clothes and then take skin down to the bone in no time. Quality kit really can save your skin.

Make sure it fits well, is comfortable to wear and doesn’t restrict movement. To help other road users see you, consider fluorescent clothing in the daytime and reflective material at night.

Take a good look at your kit, is it in need of replacement?

It may be tempting to scrimp and save on the clothing after spending lots of cash on your bike, but what you wear when out riding is your only protection against injury should the unfortunate happen.

Good quality motorcycle clothing with a high safety rating will not only protect you from the wet and cold, it could make the difference between getting some bumps and bruises or sustaining injuries that could stop you riding again.

quality kit can save your skin

When choosing motorcycling clothing, look for abrasion resistant materials such as leather, as well as padding or body armour to protect from impact injuries. Also look to see if the clothing is waterproof or if additional waterproof layers will need to be purchased. Choosing fluorescent and reflective garments will also make you more visible to drivers.

It’s possible to get really good quality ‘casual’ motorcycle clothing made with a mix of heavy-duty denim and Kevlar weave. Whatever you do, never ever go out wearing jeans and a t-shirt - if you come off your bike, the tarmac will shred through them in seconds.

The first thing you do in a motorcycle crash is put your hands out to protect yourself - it’s just instinctive. A decent pair of gloves is essential all year round. They’ll protect your hands from cold, wet weather and from injury if you do come off.

Wear good boots or strong footwear which cover the ankle when riding. You may have spent £200 on your smart-looking trainers but they won’t protect your feet or ankles like a sturdy pair of boots will.

By law you have to wear an approved safety helmet when riding a motorcycle on the road. Make sure it complies with the relevant safety standards, never buy a second-hand helmet and always replace it if there's any damage. Choose a helmet that fits properly, is comfortable and use the fastener so that the helmet stays on.

Your helmet is your most important piece of kit so research your purchase thoroughly. Read helmet reviews, seek the recommendations of friends and definitely visit the SHARP website, where you’ll find a wealth of information on helmet safety ratings, helmet care, and on the importance of getting the right fit for you.

If you have an open-faced helmet, using a visor or goggles is vital to protect your eyes from wind, rain, insects and road dirt. Your visor and goggles must be kept clean, and if they become heavily scratched, they should be replaced. Never wear tinted glasses, visors or goggles if riding in the dark or when there’s poor visibility.

Wearing the right kit can reduce injuries and save lives. Hopefully you’ll never to need to rely on it, but quality kit could save your skin.

Tuesday, 26 March 2024