Gloves come off and go in your helmet. So don’t compromise protection here. Your hands are the first thing to touch down in a crash and the palms are the first part of your hands to hit. So, prioritize palm sliders over knuckle protection and make sure you spend enough to have high quality materials like good leather or even kangaroo skin. There’s no reason you can’t wear high-end race gauntlets day in, day out. But you may want to find similar protection in a glove that’s faster to take on and off. Please, just make sure they match your jacket’s color; this isn’t the place for Rossi reps.
Your Sun-and-Moon might look good on the track, but it’ll make you look like you’re carrying the world’s worst manbag if you take it with you off the bike. Want to retain good visibility while still looking good? Just get a plain white helmet. High contrast, high class.
You and I both want to wear a black visor when it’s daytime, but we need a clear one for coming home after dark. Stick it in an old wool sock and keep it in a Kriega tailpack (along with your Basic Motorcycle Toolkit, Xena Disc Lock Alarm and can of Fix-A-Flat) and swap it before riding home. Please don’t ride with a tinted visor of any kind at night, it’s just plain dumb.
An ECE 22.05 rated helmet will be better at preventing concussions than a Snell equivalent. Icon, AGV and Schuberth all sell high quality helmets made to that standard here in the U.S.
45 percent of all impacts occur to a helmet’s face region. Wear a full-face helmet. Losing your jaw is not a good look.
Find a good tailor and use him. Clothes that fit you are clothes that look good. If you’re having leather worked on, find a tailor that specializes in such and ask them if they can replicate the hidden seams; most can. A good tailor will also be able to add or change the position of armor in a jacket or jeans. And tailors are amazingly cheap.
A note on “fashion” leather jackets. Don’t. Just don’t. It’s not the same leather, it’s not held together the same way, it will not protect you in a crash and it looks cheap. Motorcycle jackets made for motorcycling only are all you should ever wear.
If you’re adding armor, don’t be romanced by the allure of D3O. It’s an exceptionally hard material to work with and requires a very form-fitting (think spandex) fit in order to stay in place, due to its thinness. A much better, nearly as thin alternative is Alpinestars Bio Armor. A full set of that is widely available for around $30, positions itself much better on your joints and is so easy to sew into a non-armored jacket.
Just some hopefully helpful answers to questions I get asked regularly.
Can I wear a separate armor rig under a street fashion jacket?
No. It’ll be a pain in the butt, look dumb and likely won’t fit. Just man up and buy a real motorcycle jacket. Fashion leather, no matter what it costs, is cheap junk.
Is there real (ie. trackworthy) motorcycle gear I can wear into the office?
No. If you want to ride to the office in the best possible protection, get off your bike and then go right into a meeting without changing, just buy an Aerostich Roadcrafter. It zips off in under 10 seconds and is designed not to wrinkle a business suit worn underneath. Riding in hot weather? Buy the Aerostich Roadcrafter Light.
But I don’t want to look like a biker!
So why are you riding a bike? The bus is cheaper. The whole point of this article is that you don’t need to go all sausage creature to ride a bike around town.
This stuff is so expensive!
So buy a cheaper bike. The gear is as much a part of riding as the machine you’re sitting on.
Are girls impressed by motorcycles?
No. And if you plan on putting one on the back, you’d better have full gear for her too. Paying for them to take a taxi home is going to win you more points than scaring them or putting them in hospital.
Now, what about you? What tips and tricks do you use to look good in motorcycle gear?