8 Pieces of Essential Motorcycle Gear

Motorcycle Safety Gear

Riding a motorcycle in San Jose is, unfortunately much more dangerous than operating an automobile. While there are more car crashes by volume, there is a higher percentage of motorcycle accidents in San Jose per rider. Also, riders involved in motorcycle accidents are statistically more likely to suffer severe injuries or death compared to car accident victims. As a San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney, I’ve seen my share of very serious motorcycle accidents. So, safety gear is absolutely essential. Below are three of the most essential pieces of motorcycle safety gear for enthusiasts and hardcore bikers alike.

  • A Helmet (preferably full-face)

While a lot of motorcycle riders don’t like to wear helmets (or choose “minimalist” type helmets that don’t really protect you in motorcycle accidents) the vast majority of serious and fatal injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents in San Jose are head injuries. Helmets can help reduce the risk of serious head injury by as much as 70% or more. Plus, a full-face helmet will keep your face protected from road rash and additional hazards like debris tossed up by passing vehicles and insects (which hit like bullets when you’re riding at highway speeds).

  • Gloves

Gloves are absolutely essential for keeping your hands in one piece while you’re riding. Not only do leather or reinforced gloves protect you from road debris, they can help save your hands from looking like they went through a cheese grater if you do dump you bike. As an added bonus, padded gloves can help relieve some of the strain your hands and forearms experience on long rides. Look for gloves with reinforced “armor” (especially on the palms).

  • Eyewear

Impact-resistant eyewear is a must—especially if you still refuse to wear a helmet that has a face shield. A seemingly minor injury from a piece of road grime or flying beetle can lead to partial or complete vision loss. If your eye’s lens gets scratched or if any portion of your eye is punctured, that vision loss could be permanent. Look for riding glasses that actually reduce glare and increase ambient lighting—they make riding at night much easier on your peepers.

Motorcycle Rain Gear

You don’t usually hit the road when it’s pouring buckets but when you ride your motorcycle to work or take long road trips you run a very good chance of getting caught in a storm or brief downpour. Not only that, dramatic temperature changes (or just getting sopping wet) can make a fun day on the road absolutely miserable if you don’t come prepared. Here are a few essential pieces of weather gear that every motorcyclist should have stored in the saddlebags before they hit the road.

  • Packable Rain Jacket (and Pants)

Riding in the rain is miserable. Your leathers soak through, you get cold, everything chafes. Not to mention it can be dangerous when you start to lose muscle control as joints stiffen up. The best way to have fun (and stay safe) is to stay dry. Thankfully technology has come a long way since the old rubber-coated canvass Nor’easter jacket and overalls were standard issue foul weather gear. Modern rain-repellent fabrics are lightweight, breathable, and packable—perfect for saving space in your bike’s limited cargo capacity. When in the market for rain gear, look for something that’s big enough to wear a layer or two underneath but not too bulky or oversized to make riding uncomfortable. Brands like Frogg Toggs and others even make boot covers to keep your feet dry.

  • Warm Under Layers

Layering is the key to staying warm in colder conditions but when you’re riding you don’t want to bulk up too much or you’re apt to be stiff and uncomfortable. Instead look for performance under layers like Under Armor’s Cold Gear. These thin under layers are actually coated with a reflective surface that channels your body’s own infra-red radiation (a.k.a. body heat) back to you. You get maximum performance with minimum bulk.

Motorcycle Navigation Gear

Everyone knows that paper maps are a thing of the past, but cellphone GPS systems can be spotty and unreliable if you travel outside your home network’s range. Your best option for not getting lost on your bike is to invest in a good-quality GPS unit. The satellite connectivity is much more reliable than cellphone coverage (but beware of tunnels) and the single-use design means they’re uncomplicated and less likely to fail. But standard GPS units are built for automobiles so you’re going to have to dig a little deeper than your local Best Buy to find a motorcycle GPS unit that works for you. Below are two of this year’s top contenders for best motorcycle GPS.

  • Garmin Zumo

Available in multiple models (and price points) the Garmin Zumo is a small GPS unit that packs a punch. It features a weatherproofed casing designed to be sturdier than standard GPS units and motorcycle-specific functionality like the ability to plot routes based on how curvy a road is. And though it may not be something you even think of, the glove-friendly touch screen is crucial for easy re-routing while you’re on your bike.

  • Tom Tom Rider

Tom Tom was once the king of GPS (before Garmin outpaced them). However, their units are still solid entries in the field—with the added bonus of having lower retail prices. The company’s Rider series of GPS units are specifically designed for motorcycles with options like “plan a thrill” mode and a stripped down interfaces that are much easier to use on the fly. The touchscreen is also head and shoulders above most of the car GPS systems and responds every bit as smoothly as a smart phone would.

Navigating the Road Less Travelled

As carefully as you plan your rides, there is a distinct possibility that you may find yourself the victim in a motorcycle accident in San Jose. Unfortunately, automobile collisions are one of the leading causes of accident and injury to motorcycle riders. That means your fate is essentially out of your hands.

But there is help. Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers specializes in motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and can navigate the legal system to get you the compensation you deserve. Our experienced San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers offer stress-free claims resolution—they handle all of the “heavy lifting” leaving you to concentrate on your recovery. Submit your case online to see if we can help you or call (408) 878-3070 today.