Preparing yourself with the proper riding gear is the first step to maintaining yourself and your bike. Boots, gloves eye protection, leather jacket and helmet, (optional).  You can be the world’s greatest rider but that doesn’t stand against the other guy on the road that “just didn’t see you.”  So be smart and be safe. You are responsible for yourself; you must do all you can to insure your well being with your bike and body.  Day after day I see people  on their bikes wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals, yes, sandals. Imagine how that big toe is going to feel if you slip off your foot peg and slam your toe into the pavement cruising at 45 mph. OUCH, please wear full covered shoes preferably boots that will support and protect your ankle. Ya, o.k. I know it’s hot, you’re sweating but come on you need to be smart. Have you ever seen what road rash looks like? It’s not pretty and the pain is worse than it looks! Worse yet is how it’s treated at the hospital, wire brush to clean it out, need I say more? OUCH.  Road rash won’t win you any beauty contest that’s for sure.

Before we maintain our bikes we need to maintain ourselves. Please, invest in proper riding gear. A simple leather jacket is a great defense against road rash.   A great pair of riding glasses will keep your eyes safe from debris and tears which will leave you with full vision so you can see where you’re going, that’s a good thing isn’t it? Being able to see clearly is important especially on a motorcycle. Have you ever been blinded by the sun while driving your car? It’s impossible to see anything.  You start to swerve and slow down to a crawl because you can’t see what may be coming your way. Now your traveling so slow the car coming up behind you can’t see either because the sun is blinding them and they have no idea how slow you are going, can you see how this is a recipe for disaster.  Imagine dealing with that loss of vision on your bike. Not a safe situation on a bike or in a vehicle.  Impaired vision is one of the leading causes in most automobile accidents.

In my opinion this next piece of equipment is a vital piece of riding gear. I know so many people disagree on this issue and being it is a free country some states will let you choose whether to wear one or not. Regardless of what I say or anyone else says it does come down to your choice.  A DOT helmet will protect in ways I don’t think I need to get into, we all know what protection a helmet can provide.  My instructor in the Motorcycle safety course saw me ride into the class with one of those fake beanie helmets on my head. My instructor then asked me if I had a $40.00 brain. I asked “what” he asked “what is your brain worth?” I asked again “what?”. He then asked what kind of an education I had, “high school, college?” Well at this time I was in my 2nd year of college so I answered “high school and my second year at college”, he then said “so you’ve probably invested some good money on your brain right?” “Tuition isn’t cheap, is it” I answered, “ya I guess it’s costing me some.” He then said “so why don’t you wear a helmet that equals what your brain is worth”.  Needless to say, I now wear a DOT helmet when I ride my motorcycle. Last and definitely the most important part of riding gear are the gloves.

Gloves are something you should always ride with.  If something were to happen and you needed to lay your bike down the first thing to hit the ground due to your first reaction will be your hands, when falling initial human reaction is to put your hands out in front of you to keep yourself safe.  So keep those hands one-step ahead of the game and keep em covered. Skidding down the road on bare palms can be rather painful. A decent set of riding gloves will protect your hands from being chewed up by the gravel and pavement. Riding gloves will also give you better grip on your handlebars. Being in control of the handlebars is always a top priority.  Make sure to get a pair of riding gloves that fit properly. Not too loose, not too tight.  All of this information is not to scare you; it’s to help you build a better rider in yourself.  The best way to be a better rider is to be smart, and to be smart you must know your bike as well as yourself and maintain them both properly.  Trust me your rides will be much more enjoyable knowing that you are prepared and your motorcycle is as well.

If you do find it’s time to upgrade your riding gear, be sure to check out Hot Leathers they have everything you could possibly need to suit your riding gear style, ps they offer FREE SHIPPING for Garage-Girls readers, use coupon code GGN.  Time for new riding boots head over to Harley-Davidson Footwear, amazing selection, you will find a good riding boot that suits your style!