What to Wear Riding a Motorcycle
The list of gear you need to where when riding a motorcycle include:
- A full-face or 3/4 helmet with eye protection and a face shield.
- Long pants made out of sturdy, protective material.
- Find the best motorcycle pants here.
- Long jacket made out of sturdy, protective material.
- Check our reviews and features for the best motorcycle jackets.
- Over-the-ankle, sturdy boots.
- Find our top picks for the best motorcycle boots and shoes.
One of the major differences between cars and motorcycles is the operator’s exposure to:
- Weather and elements.
- Road conditions & debris.
- Injuries in the event of a collision.
In order to ensure you get the most enjoyment and the most protection while riding, you need to make sure you are wearing the appropriate gear.
Motorcycle riding gear serves the purpose of keeping you comfortable and protecting you from potential injury. In the event of a crash, it’s designed to reduce the chances of more serious injury.
Protective gear is important for not only the motorcycle operators, but their passengers too.
Purpose of Motorcycle Riding Gear
Motorcycle protective equipment and riding gear serves a few purposes:
- Comfort: What you’re wearing while riding should be comfortable so that you can focus on the road. This means protective gear that fits comfortable and protects you from the current weather conditions – be it heat, cold, rain, etc.
- Protection: Riding a motorcycle can expose you to more hazardous situations than driving a car, and you need to be protected. Riding gear is designed to protect you from hazards ranging from flying road debris to crashes.
- Visibility: Proper riding gear should help you become more visible to other motorists. Whether your gear includes reflective patches or visible colors, making sure other drivers see you is a big part of staying safe.
As a general rule of thumb, good protective equipment and riding gear shouldn’t make you think about it. You’ll be able to remain comfortable, focus on the road, and enjoy the ride.
What Protective Gear Do You Need to Ride a Motorcycle?
Obviously, your motorcycle riding gear needs to be able to protect you and reduce the chances of more serious injuries in the event of a crash. It also serves some other important purposes, including helping to prevent you from getting into an accident altogether.
For one, proper gear is designed to protect you from flying objects, debris, and bugs as you’re riding. Colliding with a bug or a rock at even low speeds can be painful and distracting. Without the proper equipment, this simple incident can lead to a more serious crash.
Next, you’re much more exposed to the elements when you’re riding a motorcycle. Even on a warm day, wind chill can lead to hypothermia. If you’re too hot or too cold, you’re going to have less control over your bike and less focus on the road.
Being prepared is a big part of being a safe motorcyclist. This includes wearing the right gear and dressing in layers for changing conditions.
Here’s the gear you and your passengers should always wear while riding a motorcycle:
- Motorcycle Helmet.
- Face shields and eye protection.
- Sturdy, over-the-ankle riding boots.
- Protective jacket.
- Protective pants.
Your gear should fit comfortably without being too snug or too loose.
Remember, different weather and different times of year call for different types of riding equipment.
Can You Ride a Motorcycle in Shorts and Flip Flops?
Legally you can, but you’d be foolish to do so.
Wearing the wrong clothing while riding a motorcycle puts you at a greater risk of crashing and a greater risk of getting seriously injured or dying if you crash.
Here are some things you should never wear while riding a motorcycle:
- Flips flops or sandals.
- Short sleeves.
- No helmet.
- No eye and face protection.
What to Wear When Riding a Motorcycle in the Summer?
Keeping yourself at a comfortable temperature while riding in hot weather is important. Overheating can be dangerous when you’re operating a motorcycle.
However, as tempting as it may be to forgo your riding gear for a t-shirt, you should never sacrifice safety for comfort.
When you’re riding a motorcycle during the summer, you should wear all the necessary gear you would during cooler months.
Be sure to choose gear with adequate airflow, vent pockets, and removable insulation to keep yourself as cool as you want.
Motorcycle Body Armor
Motorcycle armor is another component of good motorcycle safety gear.
Armor can be found standard in some of your main pieces of equipment like your gloves, pants, and jackets, and it can also be added as an extra piece of protection.
Motorcycle armor is typically made from kevlar, carbon fiber, leather, and other strong materials designed to keep your body safer during impact.
Some popular options for additional motorcycle armor that can be worn under/over your other gear include:
- Body armor vests.
- Armored jackets.
- Armored pants.
- Elbow guards and knee guards.
- Spine guard.
- Hip guards.
Certain styles of motorcycle pants and jackets have pockets where you can easily add additional body armor.
Learn more about motorcycle body armor.