"I'm just about to start riding and I'm fortunate enough to have about £2000 to spend getting kitted out from head to toe. How should I spend that budget on everything from a helmet to boots?"
Hamish Raven, email
With that sort of cash you're spoilt for choice. The first thing a helmet has to do is fit properly, because then it will be able to do its job properly if you bang your head, but just as important is that it will be comfortable in day-to-day use so that you're not distracted by any undue pressure on your temples, cheeks or crown. Try a Shoei XR1100 at about £350.
Next, leathers. Arlen Ness offer a good-quality set off the peg for about £900 and there are similarly-priced suits to be had from Hideout, Scott and Gimoto. A pair of £250 Sidi Vortice boots suit a narrow foot, while Alpinestar Super Tech Rs will fit a wide foot. Alpinestar 365 Goretex gloves are a hefty £130 but you will get all-year round use from them as they are waterproof, thermally lined, yet offer summer-glove feel. Finally a Forcefield back protector for £80 will give you an added feeling of security.