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Motorcycle Safety Gear

Learn about motorcycle safety gear from professional motorcycle instructor Joonil Park in this Howcast video.


Hi guys, my name is Joonil Park. I'm the motorcycle expert for Howcast and I'm here to show you some things to look for when gearing up to ride a motorcycle.

Difference between motorcycles and cars is that cars have secondary safety, things and features there to help keep you safe if you have gotten into an accident. Motorcycles are excellent at primary safety, things that help you avoid an incident altogether.

The only source of secondary safety on a motorcycle is the apparel and the gear that you wear. For example, today's a very hot day, I have here a mesh ventilated, weather appropriate riding jacket. Things to look for are armor, articulation in the tailoring and the cut of the apparel. So you can see that these sleeves are pre curved for a specific motorcycles riding position. Also embedded within the jacket is CE approved armor. CE is a certification for quality control that the armor meets certain requirements that keep you safe.

Most jackets in the industry do not come with a separate spine protector, so, certain parts of the jacket have shoulder armor as well as forearm and elbow armor. You can add specific back protectors to help include your spine. Now, shoulder and forearm armor is great, but if I had to choose between my elbow or my spine, I'd rather keep my spine.

Other things, of course required by law, is a helmet. Now, helmets come in all different varieties, shapes, and sizes. It's very important that you fit yourself, with all your gear, but probably most important is the helmet that you wear. Everyone has different head shapes and skull sizes, as weird as that sounds. Different helmets cater to different head shapes, so it's very important that you try them on and make sure that it fits you comfortably, and appropriately, otherwise safety gear won't work.

There are several approval ratings in most states of America. DOT is required by law. Other things to look for are Snell approval ratings, and becoming more and more prevalent is the European ECE standard. Different helmets at different price points offer different features, ventilation, clarity in the visor, lightweight, and fit are very, very important and things to look out for.

Like the rest of your apparel, gloves have certain things you want to look for. Tailoring, fit, cut and weather appropriateness are definitely things you want to look out for. Gloves are very important. They affect the interaction between a rider and a motorcycle. Majority of the controls are worked through your hands. Manipulation can be influenced by the fit, cut, you want to make sure they are weather appropriate for today, it's very hot. You want good ventilation, while still not compromising the armor and protection that gloves give you.

Footwear is something that's often overlooked. You want to make sure that good riding footwear has over the ankle protection, embedded armor, a shank in the sole to help against hyperextension of your Achilles and foot, as well as other features, again, making sure they're weather appropriate, water proof. This one even has a shifter pad to help wear from repeated shifts and gear changes.

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