A Quick Guide to Essential Motorcycle Safety Equipment

Whether you’re a chopper-loving long-distance rider or a thrill-seeking dirt biking maniac, there’s one element that all of us bikers share—the love of the ride! But before you flip that kickstand and hit the open road, it’s imperative that you wear the correct gear. Check out our helpful guide on essential motorcycle safety equipment. Learn more about the ideal characteristics of quality safety items while discovering the many benefits of proper riding gear.

Everything You Need To Know About Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets are perhaps the most recognizable and important items a biker wears on the road. As such, you must consider various factors when shopping for the perfect motocross on-bike head protection, from preferred fits to ideal impact management systems and everything in between. Before diving into the definitive characteristics of quality motorcycle helmets, we must cover these PPE items’ crucial role in protecting bikers from injuries or worse.

Always Wear a Helmet!

Only 19 states in North America feature specific laws enforcing helmet use for all motorcycle drivers. Out of the other 31 states, 28 include partial helmet laws with age restrictions, and three—Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire—have no helmet regulations at all! Despite most states not supporting blanket helmet rules and regulations, there’s no denying the cold hard facts—protective head coverings save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, conducted a study in 2006 that examined 4,810 motorcyclist deaths and 88,000 injuries throughout that year. Their research showed that bikers without helmets were 15% more likely to suffer an injury, including a 40% increase in fatalities caused by head trauma.

Conversely, helmeted individuals were 67% likely to avoid brain injuries altogether. Ultimately, the NHTSA concluded that the benefits of widespread helmet law enforcement are far-reaching. For example, the existing helmet legislature saved the US nearly $20 billion in economic costs from 1984 to 2002, with a potential addition of $15 billion had all 50 states included these safety regulations during that period. More importantly, normalizing helmet laws increases usage across the motorcycle community, even in non-regulated jurisdictions. You can’t ignore these statistics, as they express a crystal clear message—always wear a helmet!

Ideal Motorcycle Helmet Characteristics

Now that you know the importance of wearing head protection while biking, it’s time to pick out the perfect motorcycle helmet. Ultimately, there are three key elements that every worthy motocross helmet share—comfortable fit, advanced ventilation, and robust impact systems.

Helmet Fit

Obviously, you don’t want a loose helmet shifting around as you ride. A loose-fitting helmet is an incredible safety hazard and a massive nuisance that negatively impacts your experience. Opt for something that is tight enough to prevent movement instead. More specifically, find a helmet that provides even pressure while avoiding sensitive pressure points like the temples. Use a cloth measuring tape to calculate the thickest point on the back of your head to accurately determine your helmet size.

Helmet Ventilation

Motorcycle helmets can get fairly hot, even on mild days. Moreover, certain weather and temperature conditions can cause your helmet visor to fog up, restricting your visibility and threatening your well-being and the well-being of others. Many top-of-the-line products feature a plethora of vents and exhaust ports on each of their helmets to counteract uncomfortable and hazardous helmet conditions. These elements provide superior airflow, maintaining more comfortable conditions for the wearer.

Helmet Impact Systems

Ultimately, the most important aspect of your motorcycle helmet is its robust impact system and configuration. Two common impact technologies used in high-quality products include MIPS and EPS lining. MIPS, or multi-directional impact system technology, is a revolutionary safety feature that artificially mimics your brain’s cerebrospinal fluid. MIPS systems reduce rotation motion transfer to the brain, preventing minor and severe trauma.

You might know EPS (expanded polystyrene) by its common brand name: Styrofoam. EPS liners absorb shockwaves, minimizing the impact on your brain. Helmets with just EPS liners are completely safe and very affordable, while products with MIPS systems are more effective and expensive. Alternatively, consider investing in a helmet with EPS liners and a MIPS system.

Biker Jackets: A Guide to Body Armor

Now that you have the perfect motorcycle helmet, you can purchase comfortable—and stylish—on-bike body armor. Most bikers wear special jackets with built-in reinforcement, especially for long-distance rides or drives to non-motorcycle events. Additionally, many cyclists prefer thick jeans or armored pants for further body and impact protection. Learn more about the ideal characteristics of quality on-bike jackets and pants below.

Biker Jackets & Pants

The most popular biker jackets consist of leather, denim, or synthetic fabrics, with each material affording the wearer unique functions and advantages. Leather jackets are arguably the most stylish on-bike gear, often boast superior durability, and even offer additional impact and scrape protection. Conversely, denim jackets provide bikers with a more traditional aesthetic and better weather resistance, while synthetic fabrics offer more ventilation. But wait…how do these jackets keep you safe while riding? Armor!

Kevlar composite abrasion panels and high-density foam lining are the two most effective forms of on-bike body armor. This combination provides superior coverage for your vulnerable areas, including tremendous impact prevention, abrasion resistance, and a CE 2 safety marking. However, any jacket with CE 1 level safety markings is suitable for motorcycle activities.

Regarding your pants, you don’t always need armor. It’s up to the driver’s personal preference when deciding on the best legwear for riding. However, we highly recommend wearing long pants that completely cover your exposed skin. Furthermore, thicker materials like denim or leather are ideal for preventing abrasions and injuries. Consider investing in pants with knee pads and related armor for the most secure on-bike outfit.

Quick Accessory Considerations

Many biking accessories are worth considering when riding to maximize your protection. First and foremost, we highly recommend wearing reinforced gloves in any environment. These products protect your hands from injuries caused by falls or flying objects. Additionally, they keep your extremities warm in colder temperatures, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Similar to armored gloves, motorcycle boots are an important aspect of your on-bike attire. Cruising and touring boots are ideal for casual or distance riders. These footwear products feature a classic silhouette and fit, although some brands carry models with weatherproofing liners and exteriors, removable insoles, and other helpful elements. Dirt bikers and racing enthusiasts should invest in high-quality dual-sport and race boots with replaceable reinforcement and inject-molded characteristics. Lastly, consider ditching armored jackets and pants in favor of reinforced biking suits!

Use this quick guide to essential motorcycle safety equipment to ensure optimal personal protection while riding. Check out our quality selection of high-performance and stylish motorcycle gear here at Tucker Powersports today!

A Quick Guide to Essential Motorcycle Safety Equipment