Riding a motorcycle on or off-road is not an addiction, it is a way of life. Anyone that rides does it for the love of it. There is no other way to experience the freedom and the camaraderie that comes with riding. Riding also means that an understanding of basic motorcycle gear is no longer something that you have to think about. You already know.
Unlike a car, the design of a motorcycle offers no protection to their rider. There are no seat belts or air bags in case of a collision, no reinforced framework to help lessen the impact. These are the things that the basic motorcycle gear is designed to do. Protect the rider in the best ways that it can to lessen these shortcomings during an accident.
When the news broadcasts an accident involving a motorcycle, we all hold our breath and wait. There are not many adults that do not understand the seriousness of these events. Almost instinctively, we wonder if they had their helmet on. That is because the motorcycle helmet is the most well-know piece of safety equipment for riding.
There are several other pieces of equipment for the rider that are equally as important although they may not always be thought of as safety equipment.
1. Motorcycle helmet
During an accident, the helmet is designed to protect the riders head. The idea is to keep the impact to a minimum by absorbing the major parts of the shock received by the landing. This is the single piece of safety gear that has been credited with saving lives.
Once the helmet has been involved in an accident it is time to replace it. No exceptions! Any protection offered by the helmet has been compromised since the impact could cause fine cracks or other damage that is not noticeable. A second impact could shatter the helmet on impact and add to the injury rather than lessen it.
Gloves are a desirable piece of gear for the rider since they will help keep the hands from being exposed to the weather and protect from windburn and bugs. Wearing gloves goes beyond that as far as protection.
The hands are usually the first to hit during any impact. A good pair of gloves can really make a difference in any injuries that are received to the hands during this impact.
A good pair of boots does a lot more than just give the rider a certain image. Boots protect the feet when stopping and shifting as well as during a crash. They help protect the feet and ankles from the heat of the tailpipes as well.
Clothing designed for a motorcycle rider consists of long sleeves and long pants. This design is to protect the rider from the heat of the motorcycle while they are riding as well as during an impact. While riding, some of the hazards that are common include being hit by bugs, dirt and small road debris that is thrown from the tires of other vehicles.
Motorcycle clothing is available in several fabrics. There is the traditional leather and synthetic materials.
- Leather has long been used because of its ability to protect the skin of the rider, severely cutting down the results of any abrasive injuries.
- The newer synthetic materials, although not quite as tough as the leather, offer the additional benefit of being breathable.
During an accident, there is no time to put on any of the needed safety gear. If the rider has not prepared for the ride by donning their basic motorcycle gear, the results of any accident are going to be much greater.