Best kit for sportsbike riding | From club racing to pub cruising, MCN have got you covered

There’s lots of kit out there for sportsbike riders, from one-piece leather suits and FIM helmets to riding jeans and casual-style boots. Top-end sportsbike kit is some of the most expensive around and at the bottom end of the market it can be difficult to know what to trust.

MCN’s expert used bike buying guides

Whatever form of clothing you’re looking for, you should always check the safety ratings; SHARP stars for helmets and CE ratings for jackets and trousers, boots and gloves and don’t forget to check the armour ratings as these are often listed separately from the abrasion resistance ratings.

Here are some of the best bits of sportsbike kit we’ve tested recently, and they’re a good place to start your search. You can also find our list of the best sportsbike tyres here.

Ducati Panigale V4S wheelie

Helmets

Sports helmets normally have a relatively high-mounted visor aperture, as you may find yourself with your chin forward and your head back, looking up through the visor while in that tuck. You are also likely to get a lot of colour and pattern choices with sports style helmets as race replica designs are quite popular. Some sportsbike helmets will also have various types of fins or spoilers toward the rear of the helmet to provide additional aerodynamic abilities, and they look pretty cool too.

Tested by Gareth Evans for six months, 4,000 miles 

Price: £364.99 (was £399.99)
"l think it's a great look, somehow managing to tread the fine line between subtle and stylish, with an aerodynamic twist thanks to the spoiler.  But as well as the looks, it's the aeros that make this among the quietest helmets l've worn when travelling at speed. It's versatile in terms of venting too, which has been great for me because I've ridden in all manner of conditions, from frosty drizzle to 40-degree-plus heat.  
 
A CWR-F2 Pinlock keeps fogging at bay and once I'd learnt to use the vents properly this worked faultlessly. When you're adjusting the vents or indeed operating the visor, you get a real sense of quality in terms of the solidity of the materials and the way they all work together. Inside the shell, the removable liners snap into place with poppers that feel very strong, unlike a lot of cheaper helmets I've tested.  
 
There are a lot of sizing options, including five outer shell sizes and cheek pads in four thicknesses, which means it's worth getting the helmet fitted properly at a shop rather than buying blind online The strap is secured using a double D-ring and, while l've tried other systems, nothing offers the same simplicity. Should the worst happen, there's an Emergency Quick Release System that allows the lid to be removed. Sure, it's not a cheap lid, but if this design is too expensive, there are simpler solid colours on offer starting at a hundred quid less And to top it all off, the Shoei comes with a five-year warranty for additional peace of mind. "

Pros

  • Looks great 
  • Comfortable
  • High quality 

Cons

  • Not cheap 
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    3.0
Construction Muti-composite shell
Safety Rating ECE 22.06
Warranty 5 Years
  • Double d-ring fastener 
  • Emergency quick release cheek pads 
  • Washable cheek pads, liner and strap cover 
  • Vents 
  • Pinlock ready 

Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for two months and 1,000 miles

"For all the changes Arai has – and hasn’t – made to the RX-7V Evo, it’s a stunning helmet. Although historically pitched as their flagship racing helmet, the RX-7V Evo to me is now the ultimate road riding lid. The ventilation is supreme, better than any other helmet I’ve worn. It’s also remarkably quiet too, which surprised me given how heavily scooped it is on the exterior.

And as for the fit, well… Not only is the adjustable and washable anti-bac lining really plush, but it also cocoons my head in such a way that the lid itself is completely unnoticeable, even at high speeds. There’s no lifting or pushing back against the face, nor are there any pressure points at the forehead. There’s also space for an intercom."

Read Emma's full review here

Pros

  • Great quality
  • Sharp 5 star rating
  • Very well ventilated

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Construction Peripherally Belted Structural Net Composite
Safety Rating ECE 22.06
Chin strap Double-D
Warranty 5 Years
  • Pinlock included
  • Pill down chin spoiler
  • Speaker pockets
  • Antimicrobial liner
  • Emergency release system
  • Replaceable cheek pads, interior, chinstrap covers and neckroll
  • Vents

Tested by Ben Clarke for three months and 4,000 miles

The Bell Race Star DLX Flex is an impressive bit of kit. It’s well-designed, lightweight, comfortable and looks fantastic. It’s a true fit and forget lid, you know that you can pull it on for any journey and you’ll be well-looked after and comfortable whatever the conditions.

The Protint reactive visor works brilliantly almost all of the time and means you never have to think about carrying a second or when you’re going to swap it. Small touches like the magnetic clasp for tidying the slack in the double-D ring strap leave you wondering why everyone doesn’t do that – and I’ll curse the next helmet I test for not having it.

Read Ben's full review here

Pros

  • Big emphasis on safety
  • Meets ECE 22.06
  • Antibacterial liner
  • Carbon shell
  • Cool designs

Cons

  • Protint visor is good but could be better
  • Not the best ventilation I’ve experienced
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Visor
    4.0
  • Ventilation
    4.0
  • Noise
    5.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    4.0
Weight 1560g (Large)
Construction Carbon fibre
Chinstrap Double-D ring
Intercom ready Yes
Drop-down sun visor No
Pinlock No (not needed)
Interior Flex impact liner
Shell sizes Five
Warranty Five years
Safety standard ECE 22.06
  • Flex impact liner
  • Magnetic chinstrap tidy
  • ProTint visor
  • Cool Jade lining
  • Chin, brow and top vents
  • Subtle but sporty aero wing
  • Fasthouse design

Tested by Alison Silcox for six months, 2000 miles

Price: £284.99 (was £379.99)
If you are looking for a sporty style helmet, but with the practicality of a touring helmet then this helmet is a great option. With a drop-down sun visor and anti-fog Pinlock and vents both front and rear. Comfortable and lightweight this helmet has been out for a while now so there some bargains to be found, however this means it does not meet the latest ECE22.06 standard.

Read the full review here

Pros

  • Good fit.
  • Stylish
  • Good value

Cons

  • Not the latest safety standard
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Construction Carbon fibre, aramid, carbon-glass hybrid fibre
Type Full-faced touring lid
CE rating garment ECE22.05
Warranty 5 years
  • Double d-ring fastener
  • Internal drop-down sun visor
  • Emergency removal
  • Vents
  • Pinlock insert

Tried and tested by the MCN team

The Arai Quatic helmet has been reviewed by a few members of the MCN team. The general opinion was that the Arai Quantic is very comfortable, well vented and of course quality as you would expect from Arai.

Both Michael Neeves and Richard Newland have written their reviews for you to see what they they thought of this sports helmet.

Read the full reviews here

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Comfortable
  • Top-Spec

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Construction Multi-composite
Safety Rating ECE 22.06
Chin strap Double-D
Warranty 5 Yeard
  • Pinlock included
  • Quantic ventilation
  • Emergency release system
  • Removable and washable liner
  • Facial contour system

Tried and tested by Justin Hayzelden fro 12 months and 2,850 miles

'The K1 S is AGV’s entry-level full-face lid, but with its race inspired shape, integrated spoiler and panoramic visor, it could easily be mistaken for a model higher up the range. Approved to the new and more stringent ECE22.06 standard, the polycarbonate shell features a fully removable and washable spectacle-friendly interior, with a plush, high-end feel to it. In use it is reassuringly snug, enhanced by a close-fitting neck roll and additional chin curtain, the latter proving its worth over winter by blocking out icy draughts. 

Where the K1 S does show its price point is in the lack of a drop-down sunshade, and although it comes Pinlock prepared, the insert is extra. Switching visors is a doddle though and only takes a few seconds, my only gripe being that the gap between just cracked and the first notch is a gaping 5cm. Air vents are effective, if a bit stiff to operate, and the traditional double-D ring strap fastener is simplicity in itself.' 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Meets latest ECE 22.06 standard
  • Quick release visor system

Cons

  • No internal sun visor
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    4.1
Construction High-resistance thermoplastic shell 
Safety Rating ECE 22.06
Chin strap Double-D
  • Pinlock ready
  • Five adjustable vents
  • Ready for a comms unit
  • Removable and washable interior

Related: Top motorcycle leathers

Jackets

Jackets are shorter than those designed for adventure riding, so that they don’t ruck up when you’re leant forward over the tank to the clip on bars. They tend to have a more form fitting design to allow more aerodynamics, some will have a race hump to further increase this. This in turn means there are less pockets usually and so a rucksack or leg bag may be an option if you need to carry more items with you. There are both leather and textile options, generally leather offers a higher abrasion resistance but textile can offer versatility with ventilation, waterproofing and machine washability that a leather jacket may struggle to offer.

Tested by Joseph Wright for 6 months and 4500 miles

Can be paired with trousers
Price: £408.99 (was £429.99)
The Alpinestars sports jacket is a premium and durable item with exceptional quality and attention to detail. It offers ample protection with flexible elbow and shoulder armour, but lacks a back protector. Its design strikes a balance between sporty and simplistic, making it a versatile choice that looks great on modern and retro bikes alike. Despite its high price, it's an ideal choice for those seeking the ultimate in motorcycle clothing.

Pair with Alpinestars Track V2 Trousers to create a full suit.

Read Joseph's full review here

Pros

  • Leather and mesh construction
  • Airflow zips are effective
  • Soft collar 

Cons

  • Elongated rear could be longer
  • Back protector should be included for the price
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    4.0
Construction 1.3mm multi-panel leather
Liner Mesh
External armour TPU shoulder sliders
Armour CE level 2 Nucleon Flex Plus shoulder and elbow - optional back protector
Overall CE rating AA
  • Maximum ventilation
  • Stretch panels in non impact zones
  • Soft collar
  • Elongated rear
  • Available as part of a two piece suit

Racing 3 Tried and tested by Michael Neeves for three years and 2,500 miles

Price: £299.97 (was £499.95)

The Dainese Racing 4 is an updated version of the superb, sporty Racing 4 that’s stylish, well made and not too racy… and smells good, too. Made with soft Tutu cowhide with a Nanofeel lining the jacket is comfortable to wear both on and off the bike. This jacket is surprisingly light, with it's mesh breathable lining and absent hump. The elasticated fabric sections allow stretch in the jacket during movement.

Read Michael's full review here

Pros

  • High quality
  • Stylish
  • Smells great

Cons

  • Baggy fit
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Verdict
    4.2
Construction Tuto leather with S1 bi-elastic fabric sections
Armour CE level 1 Shoulder and elbow
  • Pocket for addition of back protector
  • Option to add chest armour
  • Two internal pockets
  • Two external pockets
  • Four air vents

Tried and tested by Emma Franklin for four months

Can be paired with trousers
"Made from full-grain leather and featuring a sporty cut with Level-1 internal protectors as well as external shoulder armour, the S-1 meets the highest AAA rating for abrasion protection.

At first, the thick cowhide leather comes as a bit of a shock after wearing soft, retro leather jackets which feel instantly comfortable. As a result, it took a full day of wear for the S-1 to 'break-in' and give a little, but after that, although the fit is still very snug and secure, l've found the jacket to be all-day comfortable.

Extremely solidly built, the quality of the S-1 is impressive. It feels like a proper protective garment thanks to the way it's been stitched and also the inclusion of double-layered leather at key impact areas, such as the elbows. The only slight disappointment is the absence of a back protector element although you can add a Level-2 insert for an extra £29.99 if you so wish.

With abrasion-resistant four-way stretch panels under the arms and concertinaed leather at the flanks combined with Velcro waist adjusters, this jacket allows plenty of movement and as a result doesn't feel restrictive. It's been designed to be worn with jeans meaning that it finishes just over the hips, and also features a neoprene-mounted full-circumference connection zip. Inside, there's a zip-out thermal gilet which is fairly thin but does just enough to keep off the early morning chill from the smattering of ventilation holes on the chest area. The S-1 is lined with a mesh fabric which helps with comfort on very warm days."

Pair with RST S-1 CE Sport trousers to make a suit.

Pros

  • AAA rated protection
  • Sports styling
  • Great price

Cons

  • Needs a bit of breaking in
  • Back protector not included
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction Hard-wearing leather and 4 way stretch material
CE Garment Rating AAA
Armour Shoulder and elbow
  • Fixed quick dry mesh lining
  • Removable thermal liner
  • Pocket for optional back protector
  • Perforated leather for airflow
  • Available as a two piece suit as part of the S-1 Range

Tried and tested by Richard Newland for three months and 2,150 miles

Price: £299.99 (was £339.99)
There’s really nothing I can suggest to improve the Daytona 2 – beyond getting it up to the AAA CE rating to really deliver ultimate peace of mind. You’re getting a quality looking, quality feeling leather jacket that’s well lined, well spec’d, thoughtfully designed and well put together – with a decent AA CE safety rating – and all for a price that is entirely fair. It feels like it’ll last a decade, and I can’t imagine I’d be any less keen to wear it if it does.

Read Richard's full review here

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Works on almost any bike

Cons

  • AA rated not AAA
  • Overall
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction Buffalo Leather
Protection D3O back, elbow and shoulder armour
CE Garment Rating AA
Attachment zip Short
  • Removable thermal liner
  • Retro shoulder stitching
  • Snap button neck closure
  • Available in black or brown
  • Unisex
A sports style textile jacket offering from RST, providing a more affordable alternative to some other sports motorcycle jackets. This jacket is made up of a hard wearing MaxTech outer with a waterproof, breathable SinAqua membrane and mesh lining. There is also a removable mid weight lining for those chillier days riding. This combined with CE level 2 certified armour at the elbows, shoulders and back have achieved this garment a CE garment rating of AA. There is also the option to add a chest protector.

There are vents across the jacket to allow airflow through, two pockets to the front of the jacket provide space for those small essential items. There is a full connection zip for pairing with compatible jeans and this jacket is available in several colour choices.

Pros

  • Less expensive than others
  • AA Rated
Armour CE Level 2 Back, elbow and shoulder
CE Garment Rating AA
Construction MaxTex outer construction
  • Fixed mesh lining
  • Waterproof and breathable SinAqua membrane
  • Removable mid-weight vest liner

One Piece Suits

One Piece motorcycle leathers tend to be more relevant to the type of rider who likes to ride hard and partake in track day outings. This being due to the additional safety they provide as there isn’t the possibility of separation in the event of an off. They are less popular for the more casual sportsbike rider due to the impracticality of them off the bike.

Tried and tested by Adam Binnie for one year and 1,000 miles

As a middle ground between road and circuit, with an airbag and a higher level of protection than more budget-focussed suits, the RST Pro Series Evo is absolutely bang on the money. It actually offers an incredible level of protection at this price.

It’ll best suit riders who want as much protection as they can get on the street, and plan on spending a bit of time on track too. I think it’s probably a bit much if you don’t have a trackday or two planned.
On the other hand, if you spent a lot of time on track the it’s certainly worth considering spending a couple of hundred pounds extra  on the kangaroo-constructed V4.1 Evo.

Read Adam's full review here

Pros

  • AAA abrasion rated, level 1/2 armour
  • Airbag protection
  • Flexible and well ventilated

Cons

  • Zero pockets
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    2.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Protection
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Construction Premium Drum Dyed Cowhide Leather, 4 Way Stretch
CE rating AAA
Armour Airbag, level 1 knee and back, level 2 elbow, shoulder, hip
  • Removable mesh lining
  • Aerodynamic race hump
Price: £809.90 (was £899.99)
The Ixon Demonio one piece is a leather suit made with track riding in mind so this option may be a bit excessive for the average road rider, however if you are someone who likes a track blast a few times a year this could be a great choice. The suit is compatible with Ixon's airbag system to enhance the safety and protection.

There are pleated stretch panels across the suit to allow for ease of movement and to allow for the activation of the airbag if required. The suit has an aerodynamic hump with 0.5L hydration system and fixed soft mesh vest with a removable lycra insert, with two internal pockets.

Pros

  • Great protection level

Cons

  • Probably overkill for road use
CE garment Rating AAA
Armour Elbow, Knee, Shoulder and Hip
Construction Perforated Cow and Kangaroo hide
  • IX airbag compatible
  • BETAC type B Level 1 shoulder armour
  • BETAC type B level 2 elbow and knee armour
  • Heptagon type B level 1 hip armour
  • Chest protection pocket
  • Removable, adjustable and replaceable RACE 2.0 Knee sliders
  • Removable vest liner with two internal pockets

Jeans and Trousers

You’re likely to want to pair your sport jacket with a pair of protective trousers. Whether you chose a matching pair of leathers with knee sliders or a more relaxed pair of reinforced jeans is probably going to depend on your personal preference and riding style. Once again leathers tend to offer a higher protection level however the textile options are equally as good if you are not going to be riding knee down.

Tried and tested by Ben Clarke for 12 months and 3,000 miles

Most riders, no matter what type of bike you ride, will probably want a good pair of motorcycle jeans in their wardrobe. These Taranis Elite jeans for Roadskin are a great choice, providing AAA safety rating they will give you the piece of mind that they will protect you if needed, and they achieve this while remaining remarkably comfortable and stylish.

They are not the cheapest option on the market but you get what you pay for.

Read our full Roadskin Taranis Elite AAA review

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Look like normal jeans
  • Piece of mind with AAA safety rating

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    3.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Construction Cotton, Kevlar, PE, Cordura, Lycra
Type Denim riding jeans
CE Garment Rating AAA
Armour CE Level 2 hip and knee
  • Available in three lengths
  • Mesh lining
  • Triple stitched main seams
  • Double belt loops to attach top layers
  • high and low pockets for knee armour for fit adjustment

Tried and tested by Justin Hayzelden for eight months

The Trilobite Parado jeans are something a little different to the mainstream, and in terms of functionality and comfort score full marks. The look won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if you think of them as an alternative to textile or leather jeans, rather than bike kit in disguise, they can certainly hold their own.

Having worn them for thousands of miles I would happily spend my own money on them, or better still throw in a few extra quid and trade up to the new CE AAA version, offering a higher level of protection.

Read Justin's full review here

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good ventilation
  • Good protection
  • Look good

Cons

  • Kevlar reinforcement only at impact zones
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    5.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction Outer 11.5 oz cotton denim 2% Elastane, Inner Kevlar lining for knees and seat
CE Garment Rating AA
Armour CE Level 2 hip and knee
Type Jeans
  • Removable knee and hip protection
  • Power stretch panels at crotch, knee and hip
  • Ventilation zippers
  • High waist at the back

Tried and tested by Joseph Wright

Price: £99.99 (was £149.99)
These are the first pair of proper riding jeans I have tried but with their knee and hip padding combined with stylish looks, I am now a convert. They offer a great balance of safety vs comfort from their lightweight single-layer material, which is flexible on and off the bike, twinned with Level 2 CE hip/knee protectors which mould neatly around your joints – all creating a fairly slim profile.

I opted for the slim-fit style which exceeded expectations though the winter and spring but seem to have more restricted breathability in summer. A straight-leg fit is available and the looser fit may encourage more airflow.

Pros

  • Level 2 knee and hip armour
  • Triple Stitched
  • Stylish Looks
  • Good value

Cons

  • Don't breathe well in hot weather
Construction Armourlite denim
CE Garment Rating AA
Armour Level 2 hip and knee
  • Triple stitched seat
  • Long or short leg options
  • Reinforced lined yolk

Boots

Unlike other motorcycle boots, sportsbike boots tend to be designed with the track in mind, with the ultimate safety at the forefront of their purpose. This style of boot will often include features like Rigid shin guards, toe sliders and ankle protection to help reduce the risk of injury in the unfortunate event of a crash. These boots will often have ventilation solutions to help keep the rider comfortable and focused.

Tried and tested by Gareth Evans for 3,000 miles

These boots are smart and sporty but more than that, I love how comfy they are considering their rigidity, which contributes to their protective capabilities. They’re rated as CE-approved EN 13634:2017 certification. Granted, you might expect that from the most expensive boots in the firm’s racing line-up, however. 

Read Gareth's full review here

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good protection
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
Armour Ankle, Shin, Toe Sliders, Heel
Construction Synthetic Leathertex construction
  • Waterproof lining
  • Stretch instep for additional comfort
  • Replaceable metal toe sliders

Tried and tested by Richard Newland for five years

Price: £485.99 (was £539.99)
You might think a range-topping boot designed for the racetrack isn't the best option for wearing every day. but they're beautifully comfortable. They're obviously a race-styled boot with sliders in all the right places (a big one on your toes, which is replaceable, and a smaller one on the outside heel, plus a back plate) and a shin slider.

There's additional reinforcement where the boots contact levers and the plastic 'cup' that encloses your heel provides a ski-boot-like degree of rigidity and sliding protection. But it's the separate inner boot where much of the magic happens. The SupR's articulated speed-Laced inner boot provides trainer-like levels of comfort. But, unlike trainers, its bio-mechanical structure offers protection that could save you from years of ankle rehabilitation should the worst happen, by offering torsional resistance to help reduce unwanted lateral or medial movement. A pair certainly saved me from worse injury back in 2005 when my foot got twisted and dragged under a bike (Long story). l've trusted them ever since.

This old pair is safety rated to the CE EN13634:2010 standard (new ones are CE EN13634:2017). While designed with dry, warm days in mind, I actually wear them in all weathers (with over-boots for long wet rides) But, baked by sunshine, sweated in on roasting hot trackdays, and abused by road salt in winter, the microfibre main upper still cleans up well.

Pros

  • Work well in all weathers
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Armour Toe Sliders, Heel, Ankle and Shin
Construction Hardwearing microfibre
  • Replaceable aluminium toe sliders
  • Micro-adjustable ratchet strap
  • Bio-mechanical 3D mesh inner boot
  • Replaceable shin sliders
  • Replaceable heel plate
  • Inner boot has external soft TPU armour
MCN Rated
Price: £224.99 (was £299.99)
Tested by Dan Sutherland for 2,00 miles and two race meetings

“These Forma race boots tick all the right boxes for me. They’re well made, have plenty of adjustment, leave enough room for your leathers, and look fresh from a MotoGP paddock. They’re also quite literally all-day comfortable, having spent the bulk of a 24-hour endurance event in them in the peak of the summer."

“In 2000 miles of road and track riding, they have shown no signs of age barring slightly worn soles and the inevitable splats of dirt captured by a white boot. They also hug your ankles nicely and can be tailored to your exact dimensions with a rubber strap across the foot and ratchet calf closure."

“My only real gripe is that the main zip is quite short, which can make putting them on a little awkward. Depending on the cut of your leathers, the leg zip may also clash here, too and don’t expect them to tuck under riding jeans.”
  • Quality:
    4.0
  • Value:
    4.0

Tried and tested by Ben Clarke for 1,500 miles

Price: £227.00 (was £239.99)
The TCX S-TR1 WP are an excellent pair of boots that genuinely keep the weather out and are comfy on and off the bike. They may not be the highest-rated for abrasion but I feel perfectly secure using them on the road with jacket and jeans, my leathers or textiles.

If I was looking for a great looking, waterproof touring boot, I would certainly consider these but if I wanted to use them on track too, I’d opt for something with CE level 2 ratings across the board.

Read Ben's full review here

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Watertight
  • Sporty looking
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Very squeaky
  • Bulky shin protection
  • No inner lacing for ankle support
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction Microfibre
Type Sportsbike, waterproof
CE Rating 2-1-2-2
Armour Toe sliders, shin (reinforcement) and ankle
  • Torsion Control System to reduce the risk of over-extension of the ankle joint
  • PU shin and ankle reinforcement
  • Replaceable abrasion-resistant PU toe slider
  • Side stretch fabric inserts
  • Air-Tech breathable mesh lining
  • TPU gear shift pad
  • Orhtllite footbed with long-term cushioning and high levels of breathability
  • Reinforced polypropylene insole with differentiated thickness

Tried and tested by Justin Hayzelden for six months and 3,700 miles

I absolutely love these boots, and over the three seasons I’ve tested them they’ve been my go-to choice for any shorter ride or one that’s likely to involve significant time off the bike, such as going to the office, shopping, bike meets or hanging out with mates. And perhaps not ideal for the job due to the lower CE protection level and short height, I’ve toured in them too and they were great for wandering off and exploring on foot.

They’re comfortable for wearing all day, have more than proved themselves when the going gets wet and feel durable enough for a few seasons yet.

Read Justin's full review here

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • Look good
  • Durable

Cons

  • Could. do with a gear shift pad
  • Laces are quite long
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Verdict
    5.0
Construction Full grain leather upper
Type Waterproof urban/casual
CE Rating 1-1-1-1 WR
Armour Reinforced heel and toe, TPU ankle inserts with memory foam
  • Double density rubber sole
  • External plastic heel cup
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Zip and lace closure with reinforced eyelets
  • Rear and side reflective inserts
  • Forma Drytex tubular lining (waterproof and breathable membrane)
  • PP Mid Dual Flex with anti-shock EVA midsole
  • Antibacterial replaceable footbed with A.P.S. (Air Pump System)

Gloves

There aren’t a huge number of differences between sports gloves and any other motorcycle glove, they tend to be made of hard-wearing leather with a higher level of knuckle and finger protection. They may also have a palm slider and a joint between the last two fingers for added protection. You will likely find that most race focused gloves have a gauntlet style cuff to ensure your wrists are kept safe. Freedom of movement and good feel is also important in this type of glove to help reduce the chance of an incident.

Tried and tested by Jim Blackstock

Price: 370.49 (was £389.99)
Admittedly these are not cheap gloves but they are exceptional. Derived directly from the Italian brand's MotoGP products, the Supertech gloves are formed in a mixture of kangaroo and cowhide leather for abrasion resistance and feel with pre-curved fingers and a bridge across the third and fourth fingers to protect them in an accident.

There is hard knuckle armour and a hard plastic section on the outside of the wrist and protective nibs on the fingers too. There are additional Superfabric panels on the fingertips and landing zones of the palms and venting and perforations allow plenty of cooling air in. They are also rated to the higher of the two standards for gloves, 2 KP.

Read Jim's full review here

Pros

  • Safety rating 2 KP
  • Good quality

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
Construction Kangaroo and cowhide leather
Armour Wrist, knuckles and fingers
CE Rating Level 1
  • CE rating: 2 KP
  • Stretch insert on palms
  • 3rd and 4th finger bridge
  • Moulded knuckle protection air intakes and exhaust ports for increased ventilation

Tried and Tested by Adam Binnie for eight months and 1,500 miles

These gloves are a very practical option for any rider. If you hate getting caught in the rain wearing the wrong kit – especially when your hands get cold and wet, which can have a massive effect in how confidently you can use the bike’s controls. In an ideal world all gear would be waterproof as a matter of course, and then it wouldn’t matter what you are wearing when the weather changed unexpectedly.

If that’s you then these gloves are a great choice. Granted there are cheaper ways to do it, but the reassurance that comes with the name Gore-Tex and the way it has been so stealthily integrated into the construction makes them worth the extra money, in our opinion.

Read Adam's full review here

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Good protection
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • Tight to get on and off
  • Not touchscreen compatible
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction Leather and textile
Type Sports/sport touring
CE rating 1 KP
Armour Knuckle and wrist
  • Gore-Tex
  • D3O
  • SuperFabric
  • Integrated visor wipe

Tried and tested by Adam Binnie for three months and 600 miles

These Oxford Nexus 1.0 gloves are a pretty perfect balance – thin in the right areas, and sturdy in others, at a price where rivals are offering lowlier Level 1 protection.
A waterproof membrane would open them up to an extended riding season, while those of you with hotter hands might want more ventilation on the warmest days of the year. Otherwise I don’t have a bad word to say about them.

Pros

  • CE Level 2 protection
  • Comfortable
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Not weatherproof
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Looks
    3.0
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Protection
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction 100% Aniline leather
Type Sports
CE Rating Level 2 KP
Armour TPU finger and knuckle protection
  • Aramid reinforcement
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • TPR cuff protection
  • Sweat wicking lining

Earplugs

Earplugs are another piece of kit to consider, protecting your hearing against wind noise and loud exhausts is important. Getting a pair that fit comfortably is important as you do not want the distraction of irritating earplugs getting in the way of your windy roads or track ride. There are lots of options available but the thing to look for is the SNR (single number rating), this is the level of noise reduction offered by the earplugs. The higher the number the more effective they are. This is also backed up by a CE approval of EN352-2, this is the PPE certification for hearing.

Tried and tested by Justin Hayzelden for more than 10 years and over 50,000 miles

These squidgy little 'rhubarb and custard' foam plugs were my introduction to hearing protection. They're so easy to use - simply roll between thumb and forefinger, insert into the ear canal and then hold them in place for a few moments as they expand to make a seal. Providing your ears aren't particularly greasy, they should stay in place for the day. I've worn them for in excess of eight hours continuously, and comfort is certainly not an issue. In fact, you can't feel they're in at all.

At 35 dB, the SNR is just about as effective as earplugs get. For keeping out noise, they can't be faulted. However, it is a total block and useful sounds such as engine noise, traffic and voices are heavily muted.

Howard Leight Laser Lites are designed as a disposable, single-use item, which does have environmental implications if you wear them on a regular basis. I've binned countless pairs over the years, and the lack of biodegradability is the reason I no longer use them. It's also why I've marked them down for quality.

Despite those drawbacks, they're still the choice of many professional riders, as they do exactly what they're supposed to and are dead cheap - especially if you buy in bulk.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Economical

Cons

  • Not great for the environment
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction Polyurethane
Number included 100 pairs
  • T-Shape for easy handling
  • Made for long term wear

Tried and tested by Justin Hayzelden for three months and 2,400 miles

"Without using a controlled scientific method, testing earplugs is a very subjective process. Although the MotoSafe have a lower SNR than others I’ve tried, I’ve found that they are among the most comfortable to wear, easiest to fit and offer a reduction in noise that keeps fatigue at bay. I’d gladly shell out £15 a couple of times a year on these, as the fact that they don’t leave my ears ringing is perhaps the best indication that they’re doing a good job."

Read Justin's full review here

Pros

  • Fit well
  • Good sound reduction
  • All day comfort
  • Re-usable
  • Fitting tool and case included

Cons

  • Tour version are not that effective
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction AlpineThermoShape material
Number in pack 1 pair
  • Reusable
  • Come in a travel case
  • The race version offer higher protection

Tyres

Tyres are an important thing to consider for your bike, there are several different types depending on which motorcycle you have chosen . It is also important to consider the type of riding that you do, track-day tyres are going to perform differently to a sporty road tyre. We have put together a short list of some of our sportsbike tyre picks. For more information have a look at our sportsbike tyres page or choosing the best motorcycle tyres for you.

Tested by Michael Neeves

Price: £399 inc VAT ( was £502.86) per pair
Michael tested these tyres at the Pergusa circuit in Sicily on the BMW S1000RR and Ducati Panigale V4. These tyres warm up fast, grip well and give you good feel. These tyres are aimed at track riding.

Read Michael's full review here

Pros

  • More grip and better feel than previous generation
  • Gives you confidence
  • Stable at full lean

Cons

  • Not great in the wet
  • Don't last as long as they could
  • Steering
    5.0
  • Confidence/Grip
    5.0
  • Stability
    5.0
  • Ride Quality
    5.0
  • Feel
    5.0
  • Warm up
    5.0
Sizes available Front - 110/70 x 17, 120/70 x 17 <br>Rear - 140/70 x 17, 150/60 x 17, 180/55 x 17, 180/60 x 17, 190/50 x 17, 190/55 x 17, 200/55 x 17, 200/60 x 17
  • Has the latest evolution of patented tread pattern.
  • Reduced number of lateral grooves allows more rubber in contact with asphalt surface at mid-lean and full lean for better cornering grip.
  • 100% slick closed-loop on shoulder sides provides enhanced thrust at extreme lean angles.
  • The FLASH head enhances upright water drainage.

Tested by Michael Neeves

Price: £271.00 inc VAT (was £387.14) per pair
Sitting between winter sports touring rubber and fast road/trackday tyres, the new Bridgestone replaces the S21. These tyres have been tested on a  KTM 1290 Super Duke R, the 2019 BMW S1000RR’19 Honda Fireblade SPHonda CBR650R and Suzuki GSX-R1000 the front tyre is particularly impressive, offering strong, consistent and reassuring grip.

Read the full review here

Pros

  • Great for road riding
  • Warm up fast
  • Wear consistently

Cons

  • There are better tyres for avid track day riders
Sizes available 120/70 ZR17 (58W) 160/60 ZR17 (69W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 180/55 ZR17 (73W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 190/50 ZR17 (73W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 190/55 ZR17 (75W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 200/55 ZR17 (78W)
  • Enhanced wet weather grip
  • 5 layer compound
  • Mono spiral belt

Tested by Michael Neeves

Price: £273.00 incl VAT(was £390.00) per pair
'If you'll never turn a wheel in anger on. a track (or you're happy to swap tyres for the job) then the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR sportsbike tyres might suit you. Still at the sporty end of the tyre spectrum, the M9 RR is still sticky and plush compared to most OE tyres but well-suited to poor road surfaces and weather.'

'Fitted to our S1000XR test bike they help carve out assured, accurate lines straight to an apex. Just pick a line and boom, the BMW darts there, transforming this sports adventure into a crisp, svelte-steering sportsbike.'

Read the full review here

Pros

  • All round tyre
  • Good in wet conditions
  • Warm up quickly
sizes available 110/70 ZR17 (54W) - 150/60 ZR17 (66W) , 110/70 ZR17 (54W) - 160/60 ZR17 (69W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 160/60 ZR17 (69W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 180/55 ZR17 (73W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 180/60 ZR17 (75W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 190/50 ZR17 (73W), 120/70 ZR17 (58W) - 190/55 ZR17 (75W), 120|70 ZR17 (58W) - 200/55 ZR17 (78W), 120/70 ZR19 (60W) - 170/60 ZR17 (72W)
  • 100% Silica compounds both front and rear
  • Cap&Base dual compound construction

What makes sportsbike kit different?

Just like getting the right kit for retro bikes, for example, is all about making sure you are protected and look right on your ride, it’s the same for sportsbikes – perhaps even more so.

You may be riding more quickly on a sportsbike or you could even be tackling the odd trackday, so getting the right kit is key to making sure you stay protected and are as comfortable as possible.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.