Many riders take to roads without realising they are putting themselves in danger, wearing the incorrect clothing. This week’s tips offers advice on clothing to all riders from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.
Make sure your crash helmet it fits correctly, have your head measured and try a number of makes to ensure a correct fit. It should not move around and must be secured with the chin strap when you are riding. A full face helmet will offer the most protection. If you choose a helmet with an opening chin guard, ride with it down for maximum protection, only ride with it up if the helmet is approved for such use. All safety helmets must be tested to BSI 6658:85 or equivalent (ECE 22.5 in Europe)
Keep your visor clean and remember a black visor is illegal at night
Do not be tempted to ride without gloves, even a low speed off can result in a nasty injury to your hands. If the weather is warm you can get gloves which will offer protection that allow air flow
Boots will offer good protection to your ankles in case of an incident. There are a number of different types available which offer a balance between protection on your bike and also make it able for you to walk around at your destination. A sturdy pair of work boots is much better than a pair of trainers
Your clothing needs to be comfortable. An abrasion resistant fabric is best, and there a number of cheap options available with this type of material and armour in your most vulnerable places. If the weather is warm try an airtex type material which will allow the cooling breeze. You need to be able to move and turn so make sure the fit is not too tight but remember a loose flapping jacket will also be uncomfortable
Waterproofs, a high viz and a good waterproof suit will allow you to stay comfortable in all conditions, make sure it fits comfortably over your normal motorcycle clothing and does not restrict movement. The high viz is a personal choice but if you are going to wear it make sure it fits properly, too tight or flapping around will be a distraction
Richard said: “With the summer upon us it is tempting to miss out a bit of the protective kit to stay cool. This may be a mistake, shorts and flip flops are not motorcycling equipment and the results of even a slow speed drop can be devastating. Dress comfortably but sensibly to stay safe. Good rain gear that you can carry and light layers covered in a protective shell may prove best. Stay comfortable and protected and enjoy the summer weather.”