Even though taking your motorcycle out for a spin isn’t your first thought around the holiday season, you might find that the perfect time to buy gear for yourself or as a gift is when the weather outside is frightful.
Besides, with a high-quality suit and top-of-the-line gloves, you may just be able to turn your bike into a 100-horsepower open sleigh.
The law in Indiana doesn’t require riders over 18 to wear a helmet, so buying one may be last on your priority list, but having a good helmet can do more for your riding than you might think.
First and foremost, having an enclosed helmet protects your head in the event of a motorcycle accident. You might think you’re too good a rider to ever get yourself into one, but thousands happen every year in Indiana.
Statistics show helmets are 67 percent effective in protecting riders from brain injuries and 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities. That should be enough information to make wearing a helmet cool again.
Second, helmets can protect your ears from hearing damage. Nothing’s less cool than having to shout over the ringing in your ears after coming back from a roaring joy ride.
Third, even if you already own a decent helmet, you may be due for an upgrade. Helmets can degrade over time due to exposure to UV radiation and contact with your skin and hair.
Finally, a helmet can save you money on buying extra gear (like ear protection and goggles) because it combines all your head protection needs into one piece of equipment.
If you’re looking for a foolproof way to make a motorcycle rider’s holiday, a helmet may be your gift of choice.
If you or the person you’re buying for really isn’t the full helmet type, you will need to buy eye protection. And don’t let him or her tell you their stylish sunglasses are “protection enough.”
Not only should the proper eyewear keep you from blinking excessively in the rushing wind, it should also protect you from flying dust and debris. Only helmet visors or proper motorcycle goggles offer the correct protection.
And if you do buy just a replacement visor as a gift, consider splurging a little to ensure you or your friend has both a tinted visor for daytime rides as well as a clear one to use at night.
Although these necessary bits of equipment are about the least attractive part of riding a motorcycle, they are important. Even wearing a fully encased helmet can’t protect your ears from the roaring, sputtering beast called Harley.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers are safe to be around noises between 85–90 dB for 8 hours. However, with noises over 100 dB, the safe exposure time drops to just 2 hours.
Now consider that just the sound of rushing wind past your ears at highway speeds is 103 dB. Depending on the bike, the engine may contribute even greater noise and increase your risk for hearing damage.
Helmets can’t offer the same targeted protection that ear plugs can, which is why they should be a standard part of your gear. If you’re worried about getting a bad reaction from this gift, just tell them, “It was either ear plugs or socks.”
If you really want to make a splash at your holiday get-together, give the motorcycle rider in your life the slim-cut leather jacket they’ve had their eye on.
But don’t waste your money on cheap leather; make sure your gift is motorcycle-certified. The most protective jackets have plates of body armor sewn in to protect critical areas: heart, lungs, and spine.
Even though you may be tempted to buy something that’s not too bulky, also make sure the jacket isn’t so tight that it restricts movement; your top priority is being able to handle the bike well.
You’re probably not looking to go whole-hog on a full body suit as a casual holiday gift, especially when that means dropping over $750. A more affordable solution is to buy a pair of pants that can zip into any jacket someone else might think of getting as a gift.
Good motorcycle pants help protect against nasty abrasions in an accident and fit snugly without reducing maneuverability. If you’re looking for an even more cost-effective approach, consider buying a pair that fits over jeans. This will make it easier for the commuter to transition between work and joyriding in just the blink of an eye.
Gloves not only keep your hands warm on an autumnal ride but can also protect you in the event of a crash. The best motorcycle gloves will have qualities like these:
- Covers both hands and wrists
- Thick but not bulky
- Retention straps to keep them on your hands
- Palm protection
Buying a good pair of gloves is almost as important as picking the right jacket and can save you a lot of pain if you ever end up in an accident.
At the bottom of your outfit and our list is a solid pair of waterproof boots. To make sure your gift doesn’t reappear during next year’s White Elephant exchange, you’re going to want a tricked-out pair.
Buy boots with non-slip soles, and get ones tall enough to protect both feet and ankles. You wouldn’t want to twist your ankle running down the street, so it’s even more important to protect your ankles when you’re moving at highway speeds.
These are hard purchases to make for someone else, because their feet must fit comfortably but securely in the boots for the best control and most safety.
More Than an Outfit
When you purchase high quality motorcycle gear for yourself or a loved one, you are purchasing part of their safety. Despite every precaution, however, accidents can still happen. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Evansville motorcycle accident lawyers at Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation.