The Indian two-wheeler market has come a long way in terms of technology and safety features. Two-wheelers are one of the most popular modes of transport in India and safety of the rider is paramount, especially, given the Indian road conditions. It’s just not the riding behaviour that ensures the safety of the rider, but also the protective gear a rider wears. Protective gears offer safety and comfort to the rider. Choosing the right riding gears might be confusing with a plethora of options in the market. Read on, as this article will provide you with the Tips for choosing the Best Motorcycle Gear.
- How to Choose the Best Bike Protective Gear?
- Additional Safety Motorcycle Protective Gear to Consider:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
How to Choose the Best Bike Protective Gear?
The motorcycle safety gear list is a long one, and choosing the right, and the best bike protective gear can be a challenge. With so many options in the market, you need to be specific about your requirement. Factors like budget, the motorcycle you own and the riding distance matters while buying motorcycle gears. There are a host of motorcycle protective gears you can buy to protect yourself while riding a two-wheeler. Here’s the list of bike protective gears:
A helmet is basic protective gear for a rider, as it protects the head, one of the critical parts of the human body. Head injuries can be fatal, and a helmet can save you from such situations if you have an accident. Buying a good quality helmet is crucial as a low-quality helmet might not withstand the forces of a fall. Below are the different types of helmets available in the market:
- Full-Face Helmet: A full-face helmet provides the best protection for your head as it covers your face and head. The visor protects your eyes, and you can also get different types of visors, such as clear or tinted. A full-face helmet also comes with air vents for ventilation, and you can also hear the surrounding noises while wearing a full-face helmet. It’s better to go for a full-face helmet, as it provides good protection.
- ¾ Helmet: A ¾ helmet is almost similar to the full-face helmet, but it does not provide protection as a full-face helmet. The ¾ helmet does not cover your face and covers only the top, side and back of your head. These types of helmets come with a flip-down type visor which partially covers your face. The only downside of a ¾ helmet is it does not protect your face. Ventilation is very good in these types of helmets as it does not fully cover your head. You can use this helmet if you do not ride for long distances.
- ½ Helmet: A ½ helmet provides the least amount of protection for your head. It covers the top portion of your head and partially covers the side and back of the head. A ½ helmet does not cover your face, and it also misses out on a visor. These types of helmets are light-weight. However, these types of helmets are not at all recommended as the protection it offers is poor. You can avoid buying this helmet, and instead go for a full-face helmet.
A jacket is must-have gear for a rider as it protects you from the harsh weather. High-end jackets also come with protective armours which protects your shoulders, back and elbows. Jackets are made of different materials such as leather, fabric and mesh, and they also come with rain/winter liner for protection against harsh weather. Some jackets are even completely waterproof. Choose the material as per your requirement and your usage. Mesh jackets breath and are good for summers while leather jackets are non-breathable. Also, choosing the right size is crucial as an oversized/undersized jacket can be irritating to wear.
Most of the riders do not realise the importance of gloves. Usually, your hands are the first to absorb the impact when you suffer a fall. Like a helmet and jacket, gloves are also an important piece of gear to have. Gloves are built in such a way that it protects your palm, knuckles, fingers and back of the hand. Gloves also improve the grip on the handlebars. Long gauntlet gloves also protect your wrists, and these types of gloves are ideal for long-distance riding. Gloves are available in different materials like leather, fabric and combination of both. Also, you can buy waterproof and winter gloves, if you ride in extreme conditions.
It is crucial to wear good quality boots while you are riding as your foot can get hurt badly in a fall. High-end boots made specifically for riding offer superior protection as they are usually ankle-height boots. Normally, riding boots are made out of leather and come with velcro fasteners instead of laces. Riding boots also come with a shifter pad, heel and toe protector and ankle protector. Some high-end boots also come with steel toe protectors. Lastly, you can also buy waterproof boots, which are good for monsoons. Always pick up the right size while buying boots and make sure they are comfortable to walk.
Usually, most riders think that riding pants are an overkill. But in reality, riding pants are way more comfortable than your regular pants or jeans. Apart from that, riding pants also offer protection to your knees, shins and hips. Riding pants are made of different materials such as leather, denim, fabric or even kevlar. A riding pant can also be used to form a complete riding suit when combined with a riding jacket. Pants also come with liners, and like riding jackets, there are even waterproof pants available in the market. If you wish to wear clothes underneath the riding pant, you have to pick the size accordingly.
Instead of buying a jacket and a pant separately, you can buy a riding suit, which also offers the same level of protection. Riding suits are available in one-piece or two-piece sets. Riding suits are also made out of different materials like leather and fabric. A one-piece suit offers better waterproof protection when compared to a jacket and a pant. If you are an occasional track rider, then a riding suit is a must. A leather riding suit might not look that great, but it offers superior protection. Motorcycle racers also wear high-quality leather riding suits, so you can imagine the level of protection it offers.
7. Insurance Protection
It’s not only the riding gears that protect you while riding, but a two-wheeler insurance policy also protects you and your motorcycle/scooter. You can consider buying a comprehensive bike insurance policy as it comes with personal accident cover, vehicle damage cover and also third-party liability cover. Buying a bike insurance policy form a digital-first insurer like ACKO is simple as you can buy insurance online.
Also, read: 3rd Party Bike Insurance
Additional Safety Motorcycle Protective Gear to Consider:
Apart from the above-mentioned riding gears, you can also get additional motorcycle protective gear for enhanced protection. Below are some of the additional riding gears which you can buy to protect yourself:
1. Body Armour
As the name suggests, a body armour vest provides additional protection as it is made out of armours protecting the vital areas of your body. The armours protect your back, chest, shoulders and elbow. Similarly, you can also buy armour pants which can be worn inside riding pants. The body armours are good at absorbing the impact and perform better than the regular protectors provided in the jacket and pant. Body armours are light and have a snug fit, and they also breathe well when compared to a regular riding jacket/pant.
2. Elbow/Shin/Knee Guards
If you are not comfortable with wearing a riding jacket or plant, you can get individual gears to protect different parts of your body. You can buy knee guards, elbow guards, shin guards and even back and chest protectors individually. Usually, these protectors are affordable when compared to riding jackets and pants. Also, individual guards are not bulky and easy to wear. Another advantage of these guards are you can also wear them underneath your clothes.
3. Eye Protection
A full-face helmet provides adequate protection to your eyes, but it’s not completely safe. And if you wear a half-face helmet, eye protection is a must. Normally, goggles or sunglasses cannot withstand impact, and they also do not offer protection if something hits your eyes from behind the lens. You can buy eyewear rated for impact absorption and also go for riding goggles which comes with padding to cover your eyes. A riding goggle offers superior protection as it completely covers your eyes, and there is no chance of any debris hitting your eyes.
4. Hearing Protection
If you ride for long-distances, then you should consider ear protection. Constant noise from the motorcycle and surroundings can affect your hearing on a longer run. It’s better to wear some sort of earplugs when you set out for a long ride. Earplugs are inexpensive, and you can wear it easily. Earplugs reduce the amount of sound entering your ear, especially, the constant wind noise you get from the helmet. You can still hear the surrounding sounds such as horn and other noise while wearing earplugs.
5. Protection Against Weather
Two-wheeler riders are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Even though there are rain/winter liners available with the jackets/pants, it is not enough. If your gear is not fully-waterproof, then riding can be a difficult task. To avoid such situations, you can get an additional rain/winter jacket/pant to isolate yourself from the unprecedented weather. You can also get rain suits which are one-piece gear and easy to wear.
As the old acronym ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) goes by, wearing riding gears is of utmost importance. No matter what you ride, mishaps can happen, and they are unpredictable. Good quality riding gears can save your life if you are involved in a fatal accident. So, always consider wearing proper riding gears while riding. It doesn’t matter whether you are going for a short spin or going on a long ride, riding gears are a must if you ride a motorcycle/scooter. It is worth investing in good quality riding gears because one day it might save your life!
Frequently Asked Questions:
If you are someone who is buying riding gears for the very first time, then the number of options available in the market can leave you confused. Choosing the right bike protective gear is crucial, and you cannot afford to go wrong with it. Below are some of the most common questions related to motorcycle gears:
You can consider buying a good quality full-face helmet. A full-face helmet protects your head and face, and the flip-down visor also protects your eyes.
Riding boots offer better protection when compared to regular boots as they are equipped with toe protectors, gear shift pad and ankle protectors. But if riding boots are out of your range, then consider wearing at least proper boots.
It doesn’t matter whether you ride a motorcycle or a scooter, wearing gloves is important as it will protect your hands in case of a fall.
Riding jackets are made out of materials such as mesh, fabric or leather. Apart from that, riding jackets come with protective armours for back, shoulder and elbows. Riding jackets are specially designed for riding, so they are expensive when compared to regular jackets.
Knee guards are inexpensive and light when compared to riding pants. But when it comes to better protection, knee guards cannot match riding pants. It also depends on your requirement. If you do a lot of long rides, consider getting a riding pant, and if you do only daily commutes, knee guards should be sufficient.
Below are the points you should consider while buying a helmet:
>Buy the right helmet for your head size.
>A helmet should have a good retention system.
>Should have a clear visor for better visibility.
>Proper cushioning for comfort.
>Always bike helmets with ISI mark.
Normally, mesh riding jackets come with a rain liner, which can handle light rain. For fabric jackets, you need to buy a separate rain jacket, which you can wear over the riding jacket. Also, you can go for a dedicated waterproof jacket, but they are not ideal for summers.
Earplugs reduce the amount of noise hitting your ears. On long rides, the surrounding noise and the noise from your bike can be unbearable. In such situations, you can use earplugs.
No. Helmet goggles are made for off-road helmets, which offer better ventilation when compared to full-face helmets. However, you can buy protective eyewear, which is specially designed for riding.
Yes. A half-face helmet does not protect your face, eyes and lower part of the head. You can consider avoiding a half-face helmet and go for a full-face helmet.