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MCN  says:

You ask/you answer: How much safety gear do I really need?

When I got my first big bike last year I bought an armoured jacket and trousers and decent gloves and boots. The problem is they are really hot and uncomfortable when the sun comes out. How much safety gear do I really need? Your advice could help. Leave a comment below and we'll publish the best in MCN. Got a question? Click here...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (23 May 2012 09:47)

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Aug 02

Posts: 70

slparry says:

not sure

A few years ago I had the misfortune to encounter, on my ZX12R, a Volvo estate with a trailer reversing around a corner on a busy main road. I was only doing 40 ish mph at the time, with the limited amount of space to brake I reckon I got it down to 20mph. Clipped a cats eye and went down. The bike slid from the trailer wheel to the drivers door which I guess displays how relatively slow it was.

However, my then girlfriend hit the trailer and suffered a ruptured spleen, broken femur and broken arm. This was despite the fact she was wearing full 1 piece CE approved race leathers with all of the armour installed.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because you have your armoured approved helmet, gloves, suit etc that you're somehow invincible!

We are all bags of water and guts that is a highly fragile structure. If you come to an immediate stop at anything above 20mph the chances are your brain will still travel at speed and pulp on the inside of your skull!

The old adage of "be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear" is a good one.


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Sep 11

Posts: 19

likesitfast says:


I like my skin attached to my body, wear leathers in all weathers. One piece summer suit and 2 piece all weather suit. Up to you how much you want to risk.

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Jan 10

Posts: 126

safety gear

Riding home with a pair of jeans on and a short sleeve shirt glorious weather and feels absolutely fantastic to feel free and warm air on the skin. Will let you know if I come off tomorrow or get knocked down by a bus, hit by a lorry or all the other million and one risks there are. Have a look at the french bike cops in the south of france see what they are wearing, american cops etc.... 

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Apr 03

Posts: 7

ascutt says:

I tell myself....

Sweat dries faster than skin heals When I was young and dumb (16) I discovered that jeans, Doc Martins, woollen gloves and an M1A jacket are no match for tarmac. Lesson learnt. For the hottest days of the year I have summer boots, gloves, mesh armoured jacket and kelvar jeans.

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Jul 10

Posts: 2

rosst1989 says:

Agree with Bikenutter

In town I will occasionally wear just a t-shirt and jeans... I ride a pushbike at 30mph so not really any different on a motorbike. However I won't wear shorts... the thought of coming off in town in a slow speed spill and getting caught under the bike is scary... the burns could be horrendous. As for out of town I always wear Kevlar Jeans, boots, gloves and a leather jacket at a minimum. Clothing technology is very good these days and it should be possible to buy well ventilated and protective gear, although you might have to pay for it!

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May 12

Posts: 1

Pekkers says:

After a reasonably low speed crash, four months, two weeks in hospital, five pins, two plates and a bone graft, I can safely say my kit saved my life. Always wear protection (snigger). Saw a guy today on a busa wearing shorts and flip flops........ If you're going to gamble you've got to consider the risks. I didnt always wear full kit, but I always will now!

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Sep 11

Posts: 24

lgoldup says:


All the gear...All the time! ;) Remember that squids!

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Apr 12

Posts: 24

david1991 says:


wear just a good thermal top (climate control or something like that i think they should say on them) under your jacket in summer keeps you cool, also my trousers have a removable lining which makes a big difference have a look for that

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Jan 09

Posts: 158

2 items

The bits either side of your nose and the thing between your ears!

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Apr 12

Posts: 24

momomomo says:


Mate, the only sensible comment I have seen is the one remind you that despite all the gear and the safety features there is no substitute for engaging your brain.  Easy to say that all the gear saves your life and yet I only ever wear the helmet and gloves (always) and a motorcycling jacket without the hard bits.  When its hot...  Suit and tie.    I have had a few accidents in 27 years of riding but with hindsight I could have avoided 90% of them.  Ultimately (and I know I am going to get bombed with bollocks like every other time I express my opinion) if you are that worried you get a car.  I can assure you that if we had proper summers we wouldn't even be having this conversation.  Wear as much or as little as you feel confortable.  If then you are the kind of prick that rides at 100mph in built up areas I am sorry to say that there is no amount of gear that will save you.  You will be just an accident waiting to happen. 

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