Minimum Riding Gear for Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists know that essential motorcycle riding gear includes a helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves, and careful consideration should go into selecting each piece of gear.

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When choosing head gear, you should consider a full-face helmet rather than an open-face or three-quarter type. Nearly half of all helmet impacts occur around the face area. A full-face helmet also protects your face from wind and flying debris. In the U.S., helmets are required and must have a DOT-approved sticker affixed to them.


A jacket protects your upper body from wind and crashes. Look for a jacket that is made specifically for motorcycle riding. These jackets will be either leather or textile and will include safety features not found on regular jackets. Body armor for the back, shoulders, and elbows and chest protectors for the lungs, heart, and ribs should be built into any jacket you choose.


While a jacket protects your upper body, pants protect your lower body. Riding pants come in both leather and textile and should include armor built into the knees, shins, and hips areas. It’s a good idea to select jacket and pants together from the same manufacturer.


When riding, you must be able to support your bike’s weight as well as your own weight, especially when riding on surfaces that are uneven, unpredictable, or slippery. This support comes from the legs, ankles, and feet. A good pair of boots should be sturdy, above the ankles, and have non-slip soles.


Besides a helmet, gloves might be the most important piece of gear you wear. You use your hands for all kind of tasks while riding, and they are usually the first impact point in a crash. Good riding gloves should cover your entire hands and wrists with overlap between gloves and jacket. It’s important that they have a retention strap around the wrists and be abrasive resistant.

Proper gear can provide a comfortable riding experience and save your life in the event of an accident.