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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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Sep 10

Posts: 120

daveire says:

But leathers for the summer, they're much cooler than textiles. Better abrasion resistance also.

Depends how you are going to ride, You have to wear a Helmet (its the law) everything else is optional. I always wear leather race gloves if you come off your hands will touch the ground its a natural reflex, I always wear a jacket also.

On track I wear everything including a seperate back and chest protector. The ones that come with all leathers are shite and only there to get the CE mark.

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Feb 11

Posts: 87

draper12807 says:

leather gloves definitely as its a reflex to put your hands out. I'd say a good pair of boots as I've heard of people loosing feet in accidents due to not wearing boots. A decent jacket as well so if you slide down the road you will keep your skin relatively intact. No amount of gear can help if the rider is a right twat.

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Mar 11

Posts: 464

johnlad1 says:

its down to personal prefrence

personaly i always where full gear but in hot weather supstitute fully armourd bike pants for kevlar lined jeans as well as doing things like living pockets in my jacket open to let a breeze in but as has been said the most important thing is to engage your brain before you ride you can get things like kevlar lined jeans and various other light weight clothing tht still offers some protection enough for a low speed crash atleast leather is best tho

you could be one of those lucky people who can crash wearing odinary clothing and a helmet and comes out of it fine but and its a big but if your not then it could mean skin grafts or worse its all about how much risk you feel comfortable with some acept the dangers other choose to do there best to negate them the truth is motorcycling is dangerous and its your job as a rider to decide what is and isnt aceptable for you

best advice i can give is the one day you choose not to wear it all will probably be the day you make a mistake and end up in hospital better safe than sorry

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Mar 07

Posts: 1464

joeslow says:

A Vented Leather Jacket...

With after-market armour that's comfortable and high quality is my choice.  Check out D3o, Knox and Forcefield for more info.

Good boots and gloves are just as important, boots should fit well but not feel tight around the ankles and calf. Remember to try all footwear on in the afternoon when your feet are a little larger and wear the socks you'll be biking in, not a thin pair you use with your trainers.

Gloves, vented with armour but again not too tight and carry a waterproof pair as back up.

A lightweight over jacket is really useful if the temperature drops when you use a vented leather jacket.

Trousers, leather, vented or kevlar jeans. If leather then make sure they zip up with your jacket.

Finally, drink , hot weather riding will de-hydrate you, so take a small bottle of water on journeys longer than an hour. If you're dryed out you'll make mistakes and all the armour in the world won't protect you from that...!


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Oct 10

Posts: 138


A smart tweed cap(reversed),flying goggles,stout brogues & an armadillo skin posing pouch suffice for most situations while i'm out riding,tho it has been a trifle chilly the last few weeks & it does smart somewhat when dragging one's knee on one's favourite roundabout,WHAT!!!

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Fly by night


Sep 07

Posts: 225

Fly by night says:


That which is legally needed, and a good pair of gloves.

Helmets are too hot but we have to wear them by law otherwise if on the continent only wear it on fast roads.

Gloves are a must have no matter what, knee pads optional depending on how you ride, boots tend to generally be heavy and cumbersome unless you wear the short one's.

I've always found moving one's leg out the way to be the best option when potential collision is in progress, and if you can't then boots probably woun't save you by much if at all, but may be good for grazes again depends on what kind of riding you are doing.

If motorway most of the time then full top to toe is best, if mostly around town where you are more likely to encounter slower collisions you may well be better off going light, that way you can move faster when potential collisions come about.

Some times it's better to jump off the bike at slower speeds so long as you see it coming of course, done that a couple times saves me and the bike, less damage for both.



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Apr 12

Posts: 320

DazLoczy says:

All season clothing

If you're on a budget get some all season gear. Decent jacket with armor and zip out lining always a good start. My jacket is warm enough in the winter and cool enough when travelling over 30mph in the summer. Of course my mate rides in shorts and a tshirt with under-armor strapped to back, elbows and knees but that won't save your skin in a slide. Never ride without gloves. You could always go for an open face helmet for sunny rides.

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Apr 12

Posts: 320

DazLoczy says:


There's some great denim jeans on the market designed for bikers with as much armor and slide factor as most textile trousers and they are a lot cooler for town riding and positively chilly at motorway speeds even in the summer!

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:


For cutting around town I normally wear Hein Gericke Cruise jeans and jacket (these have openable vents).  Fine on the bike, but can get a bit sticky off.
For longer trips, I wear a pair of HG leather jeans with vents and Kevlar stretch panels.  Comfy on the bike, but a bit hot when off.
I always wear proper boots, gloves, back protector (Knox/Forecfield) and lid.
I know you can now get neck brace (circa £350) but I do not wear one.

There is a variety of safety gear on the market, some more vented than others and it is always a trade-off.  The safer the kit is, the heavier it is, the hotter it is.

It is also a function of the type of ride.  Nicking to the shops and not going over 30?  That's not much worse than a pedal bike, you might be OK in decent jeans.  Going faster?  Wear proper kit.

Just my opinion, it's your body of course.  One thing to keep in mind, if you get injured any insurance may be diminished as the insurers could argue you were culpable in the severity of you injuries by not wearing  reasonable amount of safety kit.

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Aug 10

Posts: 11

jhandley says:

Just throw something else in for debate.  Lots of talk here about different gear for different journies (short = jeans, long = full leathers etc), but what about different types of bike?  I was in Paris recently where the whole world and his wife ride maxi scooters, and the standrad gear is "as trendy as you can get".  Slingbacks and skirts included (and the girls were no better!).  Lots of scooterists here only ever wear casual clothes.  Why??

Anyway, its an old maxim, but "always dress for an accident".

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