There are few greater feelings than being out on the open road with no traffic ahead and a powerful mechanical beast of a bike at your command. However, this feeling can be abruptly cut short in an accident, and can quickly turn into a serious hospital trip without the right protective gear. Fortunately, modern biker gear has come a long way since the old strap-on cranial helmets, and many of the top brands now actually focus on offering stylish gear that accommodates the lifestyle of a modern biker.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the gear available to bikers, as well as how the various pieces of gear can protect a biker from serious injury.
The Basics – Protecting Vital Parts of the Body
It’s not surprising that the most fundamental pieces of gear for a biker are commonly known as Bikers’ Basics, because they protect the most important parts of the body, including the head, ankles, hands and even organs.
The Helmet – There have been so many examples in the past of how serious even seemingly light head or neck injuries can be, such as when the legendary Christopher Reeve – or otherwise known as Superman – was paralyzed when he fell just a short height from the back of horse. From brain damage to spinal injury, helmets ensure that small accidents don’t become life-changing disasters.
The Jacket – While many people just assume that a biker’s jacket is there to make them look cool, the truth is that these jackets are intelligently designed to hold organs – specifically kidneys – in place. This protects them from harsh vibrations on long rides, since they are actually able to float around slightly within the body. Fortunately, because these are essential pieces of gear, many manufacturers offer very stylish and unique designs.
The Gloves – Gloves, while not being obvious at first thought, are actually essential for a biker, as they protect the hands from the harsh, constant vibrations of the handlebars. They also provide extra grip to ensure full control at all times, and are fortunately small and easy to put away below the seat or even in a back pocket once the destination is reached. Gloves with protective padding are also recommended, as they protect the hands and fingers in case of an accident.
The Boots – The ankles are parts of the body that, despite being used almost constantly, are surprisingly susceptible to injury. Even the simple act of starting a bike could leave an unprepared individual with a sprained or broken ankle. Fortunately, modern biker boots enforce ankles and provide protection against kick starter kick-back and other common injuries – while maintaining a stylish appeal even in social or work environments.
Secondary Protection – For Off-Roaders and Adventurers
For those who enjoy taking bikes to the off-road, on adventurous dirt tracks, more than just the basics will be needed. This is primarily because crashing is far more common when ramping motorbikes, gliding and spinning through the air, although most off-road bikes are designed to handle such activities. Unfortunately, the human body is not so well equipped, which is why the following items are essential for protection – so that riders who crash can continue enjoying the excitement, rather than taking a trip to the hospital.
The Chest Guard – Designed to prevent the torso from twisting or enduring harsh impacts, chest guards add an extra layer of plating on both the front and back of the torso, which is capable of enduring high impact force without breaking or shattering. This can be easily worn over typical clothing, ensuring that riders can simply strap it on or off as needed.
Elbow and Knee Braces – When falling from even short heights, it’s easy to twist or injure a joint such as an ankle, elbow or knee. Braces protect these joints from twisting the wrong way while providing basic protection against scrapes and impacts.
Additionally, other pieces of gear like off-road helmets and goggles can be acquired for those seeking the optimal setup for dirt-track adventures, and many off-roaders also invest in cleaning and maintenance kits to cater to small breakdowns or problems without having to travel home or to a garage. For hot climates, some riders may also consider specialized light-weight and breathable gear, which is sometimes more expensive, but often a worthwhile investment.
Biker gear is about more than just looking the part, and actually offers essential protection for bikers who don’t have a protective shell surrounding them when out on the road. Fortunately, however, modern gear is deigned to not only protect bikers, but also look great while doing so. As such, bikers can now look good while keeping safe – even if they want to be adventurous on off-road and dirt tracks – and can choose from a wide range of different styles and designs to match their preferences or cater to their unique needs.