What to Wear for Motorcycle Safety

Written by Greg on August 11, 2014


While most motorcyclists might give a lot of insight into the selection of the motorcycle itself, such as ensuring proper maintenance, additional consideration must also be drawn to safety in regards to clothing and accessory choices as well. Before a motorcyclist prepares for a ride, they must ensure that their clothing and accessory choices meet the following basics:

  • A U.S. Department of Transportation approved motorcycle helmet.
  • Face, eye, and ear protection.
  • Protective clothing.

In this regard, each of these basics can be broken down as followed:


As mentioned, all motorcyclists are required by law to wear a motorcycle helmet that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, a helmet should be worn if one is riding a motorcycle, or a motorized bicycle or motor-driven cycle. In order to determine if the motorcycle helmet is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation, one needs to check with the manufacturer. Aside from this imperative fact, one must also consider the following additions to the helmet selection:

  • The helmet has a hard shell surrounding the head. Typically these are made from a resin fiber composite.
  • The helmet is equipped with a face shield and face protector.
  • A chin strap is used to keep the helmet in place.
  • The helmet is made using strong rivets, and has a comfort liner to absorb the energy from any direct impact.

Typically, helmets come in three specific types: full face helmet, three quarters helmet, or a half shelf helmet. The full face helmet would have all of the above specifications and thus, would be the ideal choice for protection. Remember, that helmets can protect the head from injury, which can vary in degree of severity.

Face, Eye, & Ear Protection

Whether or not a full face helmet is used, one must still give thought to protection of the face, eyes, and ears. With a face windshield there is still the potential for damages that can arise from an accident or simply getting backlash debris from the road, such as small pebbles or compacted dirt. For proper face, eye, and ear protection one must ensure that face, eye, and ear wear:

  • Does not solely consist of sunglasses, which does not do well to combat flying debris.
  • Is resistant to punctures or impact.
  • Is free from scratches.
  • Gives a full view to one’s peripheral vision.
  • Is retained through fasteners, making it difficult to pry loose, pull up, or come apart.
  • Permits air to pass through appropriately.

Protective Clothing

While many can rightfully argue that head protection bears the utmost consideration, a motorcyclist should also put thought into what kind of clothing they wear. In this vein, clothing can act as secondary protection in the event of flying debris or impact from a collision. The right kind of clothing, while never culling damages completely, can at least lessen them. One should ensure the clothing:

  • Covers the arms and legs completely.
  • Should fit comfortably, but still fit snuggly enough to not flap or come loose.
  • Offer protection without overheating the wearer.


Source: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/mcycle_htm/preparing.htm

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Posted Under: Motorcycle Accidents

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