Not only do bikers make riding motorcycles look easy, they make it look. Hundreds of articles have been written on how to stay safe while riding a motorcycle. Those same articles always focus on head gear, since protecting the head is usually a top priority. However, what about some of the other articles of clothing bikers wear? And are they worn to look cool or to stay protected?
The Famous Leather Jackets
To the inexperienced eye, a motorcycle jacket looks like just a regular leather jacket. Interestingly enough, motorcycle jackets are much more than a fashion statement. They are designed for comfort and safety (to which everyone can agree that fashion leather jackets do not have the same purposes).
Since the introduction of the first motorcycle in the latter half of the 19th century, formerly known as ‘safety bicycles,’ gear has developed significantly. Motorcycle leather gear was originally inspired by the gear of tank corps following WWI, and developed from then on out. Duster coats were switched to short coats, wide-pegged breeches were first worn by bikers in World War II, and leather chaps were made in the 1960s with cowboy gear as the inspiration.
Specifically, jackets either made of leather or textile materials. Even though textile is the more affordable option, it keeps you warm during the cooler seasons (and vice versa), often comes as water resistant, and can withstand extreme wind. However, leather jackets do provide that “classic look” and can last a lot longer than the textile ones. Not only are these jackets easy on the eyes, they’re made to protect the body against crashes and are comfortable, too.
More than Just Pants
Did you know that motorcycle-specific pants exist? While the majority of people who don’t ride motorcycles thinks that the pants bikers wear are just plain leather pants, they’re actually much more. Those motorcycle pants come in the same material as the jackets–leather and textile.
Riding pants are made to fit snug, but comfortably. They also give you the proper protection you need from any crashes. Regular denim jeans are also a common option. Unfortunately, they’re not that great for protection, since they’re made out of cotton. However, jeans with Kevlar panels (designed to protect certain areas of the lower body) are becoming more popular among manufacturers so bikers are still able to sport their jeans.
The Unsung Hero
Gloves are also a hidden gem of the motorcycle world because there are so many different types that provide various functions. I know what you’re thinking: won’t my hands be too hot if I wear gloves in the summer? Absolutely not! There gloves specifically tailored to keeping your hands cool in the summer while you’re enjoying a nice ride.
There are also gloves tailored to style and protection. Consider the leather gloves with knuckle armor; they can protect your hands from a crash if you’re flying through the air. Or, think about the gloves with armor on the palm, which not only looks badass, but protects your hands if they slide on the pavement during an accident.
You can also find leather gloves that not only look cool, but are weather resistant and can be worn any time of the year. Think of how handy that could be–especially if you live somewhere where the weather is always changing.
Last but not least: motorcycle boots. They look as intimidating as they do great. Because most bikes way more than 300 pounds, motorcycle boots are designed to help support your weight and that of the bike.
So, not only are they stylish on the outside, but most boots are oil-resistant, non-slip, and have a metal plate that runs through the sole to help keep your feet grounded on the bike and prevent any damage to your ankles, feet, and toes in case of an accident.
Looking for motorcycle gear doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t even have to be boring. There are hundreds of ways to find the perfect gear that fits your style and how you ride. Although motorcycle gear protects bikers from extreme weather conditions, it also protects in the event of an accident. So, not only can you protect yourself, you can look badass, too.
Ivan Diamond is a New York lawyer and freelance writer.