Ok, so, you’re planning on getting your first motorcycle. Awesome, but now there’s a dizzying amount of gear that you need to get! Helmets, gloves, the all important jacket, boots, and everything in between. What should you get? Should it depend on the style of bike you pick up? Well, I’ll answer all of that. And I will remain price conscious too!
- HJC CL-17 Full Face Helmet $130
A HJC CL-17 saved my life when I was rear ended on the Long Island Expressway. These helmets are Snell rated, which means they are tested in the Snell foundation’s state of the art safety laboratory. These helmets meet far higher standards than the regular DOT (US Department of Transportation) standards and are suitable for multiple impacts, are penetration resistant, can withstand harsh weather conditions, and the even the chin bar is tested, independently. DOT standards only require the helmet to be able to withstand one impact at 50 mph, from the top of the head, and the certification is performed by the manufacturer, not an independent laboratory (it’s not very trustworthy, lots of companies fake it and get away with it). Not really very safe huh? Next time you go to your local motorcycle shop, grab a DOT helmet and a SNELL helmet. Try to flex the helmet by pressing the cheeks together, and examining how thick and rigid the material is. You will find the SNELL helmet to be far more rigid and protective.
Back to the CJ-17. The CJ-17 is an breathable, anti-fogging, safe, and badass helmet. The helmet is very comfortable. I wore mine all day, on long rides. The vents on the top and back of the helmet flow air quite well. The helmet has the best damn anti fog system, PERIOD. PINLOCK. Pinlock prevents the helmet from ever fogging. You will never need to worry about whether you will be able to see. No conditions will interrupt you. And you can choose your color! Smoke, lime, clear, dark, whatever. You just pop it on, and away you go! Now, the helmet isn’t perfect. It only costs $130 dollars. It’s pretty heavy. It weighs about 4 pounds. But that’s the only drawback. Its a great helmet for a great price.
2. Any Icon Textile Jacket with full D30 Armor $250–$125
Icon Motorsports textile jackets are a great way to protect yourself, save some money, and have some serious style. These jackets all have a full compliment of D30 impact absorbing armor. This flexible substance becomes rigid on impact and can absorb a tremendous amount of force, which makes for great wearable armor. It meets CE level 1 standards (CE is the metric for general EU safety certification, CE level 2 is typically required for race track use. CE 2 is usually less comfortable and more bulky, but also more protective). They come in at a great price. Typically you can find one of these bad boys for less than $250.00, sometimes less than $150.00. One of the other awesome things Icon has going for them, is their jackets are STYLISH AF. I get complements on my Icon Contra jacket all the time! You can get them to match your bike, you can wear them on the street whatever! They make great 3 season jackets too. Icon sells these jackets with a liner, and they breathe really well. When it is 95 degrees outside, you typically do not want to be wearing a 6 pound winter jacket. The textile solves that problem. When it is cold you can bundle up under the textile jacket because it does not fit quite as tightly as leather. These textile jackets are, admittedly, NOT as protective as leather. On the other hand, they will protect your wallet, look sharp, and keep you comfortable while still protecting you pretty well.
3. Sedici Ultimo Race Boots $180
These badass race boots have all day comfort, look fantastic, and have tons of slider panels. When I wrecked, these boots saved my ankles from getting broken. They are fantastically comfortable and I get tons of compliments on them. I cannot recommend them enough. The plastic sliders and re-enforced heel will prevent your ankles and shins from being completely destroyed in a crash(or at least reduce the degree of trauma inflicted on them). the re-enforced toe box and shifter panel rock for changing gears. They may be a knock off of a real Italian brand with much more prestige and very high quality gear (We’re looking at you SIDI), but, they really kick a ton of ass, and perform like a boot that costs double its price.
4) RAM MOUNT X-Grip and USB battery tender port $50
Want to mount your phone to your handlebars and use your GPS, Rider apps, or listen to tunes with your earbuds or sick bluetooth motorcycle helmet system, like a SENA? Sure you do! Pick these these badass accessories up and you’ll be rocking your cell phone on your bike!
5. Tools and a bike specific manual $100
If you have a bike and you are serious about riding, you need to be able to fix your ride if it breaks down. You might blow a fuse in your headlight, or you get a flat tire, or you might need to clean your carburetor. Whatever the case is, order yourself a bike specific manual from Amazon, get yourself a torque ratchet with metric and standard bolts, a set of fuses that match your bike, some tough screwdrivers, a small air compressor, and you are ready to go! If you want to go all out, get yourself a bike lift ($400 from harbor freight) and some tire irons ($20–$50 depending on the quality you want).
HAVE FUN AND RIDE HARD!