Perhaps, one of the best ways to travel is by riding a motorcycle.
To get prepared for a biking trip, you need to know what to wear, as nothing else will protect you from the sun and rain.
In this post, an experienced biker Armughan shares the best clothing items to wear when riding a cruiser motorcycle.
People who don’t ride motorcycles think it must be the easiest thing in the world to buy motorcycle gear. Just grab the first thing that says “black” and “leather” in the store.
But Motorcycle aficionados would agree that nothing could be further from the truth than that. The amount of attention and consideration that goes into choosing motorcycle gear is insane.
Because unlike cars and four-wheel-vehicles, motorcycles are open and without any protective barrier. While it gives a motorcycle its biggest charm – that is the freedom, no one can deny that it leaves the rider vulnerable to all sorts of elements and makes riding a motorcycle an even dangerous task.
So, here’s the thing.
With the right motorcycle gear and clothing, you can not only protect yourself from threatening factors on the road but it’s also a great way to stand out in a crowd and express your personality.
In this article, we’ve rounded up some useful tips on how to choose cruiser motorcycle gear that is right for you. Make sure to consider them the next time you go shopping!
This post might include affiliate links, which means that you can use the links to purchase some items at no additional cost for you. All recommendations are unbiased, and wouldn’t change without affiliate links.
8 Tips on How to Choose the Right Biker Clothing
It can be pretty confusing to walk into a store and be bombarded with a multitude of choice, especially, while you are going to buy casual motorcycle clothing. You’ll encounter things that look exactly the same but the salesperson will try to convince you that it’s different.
And if you’re a first-time shopper, then good luck with not buying gear you won’t need at exorbitant prices. To alleviate your distress, here are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for cruiser motorcycle gear.
Choose by your Riding Style
First thing first, what is your riding style?
Are you a professional motorcyclist that has to take part in races or are you a casual rider who rides a bike in his free time?
If you’re a pro, then what kind of races do you participate in?
Are they off-road, on-road or endurance races?
Depending on the answer to these questions, your motorcycle gear will vary differently. Go to the store section that has gear according to your riding style.
Make sure it Fits Perfectly
If something catches your eye, make sure to try it on for size. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds because something that fits you might not cover you completely when you assume the riding position. Motorcycle gear should be snug without being too tight. Similarly, if you’re buying a size too large, it shouldn’t hinder your movements.
It must not hinder Visibility
Motorcycle gear like helmets and goggles are built to allow maximum visibility for the rider. Make sure they do not block your view with unnecessary props. Moreover, bikers are more likely to get into road accidents than cars because they are small and do not have large reflective surface area, which makes them invisible on the road. Therefore, choosing gear that has reflective panels is ideal.
It should allow proper Ventilation
Traditional motorcycle gear can be too hot and heavy on the body. That’s why you need jackets with adequate ventilation. Make sure it has big zippers that you can open on extremely hot days. Vents under your armpits also promote airflow. But more than anything, buying perforated jackets and shirts is the easiest way to good ventilation.
Pay attention to Fasteners
Although gloves are necessary for bikers, they can hinder movement. Choose cruiser motorcycle clothing that has fasteners which can be opened/closed with gloved fingers.
Zippers and snap buttons are ideal but you should stay away from Velcro fasteners. Things like helmet straps and laces can get stuck in it. Also, it degrades over time, making it impermanent.
Your Gear should be Waterproof
Since motorcycles do not have an external barrier to protect you from rain, waterproof gear sounds practical, right?
It can be a bit expensive but it’s better than buying separate gear for rain because no one has the time to check the weather forecast before heading out, which is often inaccurate anyway.
It should be Easy to Clean
Majority of motorcycle gear is made of leather, which can be hard to clean since you can’t simply toss it in the washing machines. And if you perspire a lot, your gear can stink really bad. The tip is to go for a material that is easier to clean but if you can’t find anything suitable, then make sure to clean your leather gear periodically.
Choose depending on the Season
There is no such thing as motorcycle gear for all seasons. Because, obviously different weather demands different requirements. Perforated Gear that is suitable for summer is not appropriate for winters. Moreover, riding a motorcycle in the snow is harder and may need more adjustments, not only to your gear but also your motorcycle as well.
Don’t Skimp on Style
Functionality is, of course, the most significant thing while shopping for cruiser motorcycle gear. But that doesn’t mean there is no room for style.
You can choose gear that expresses your personality or customize it according to your style and preference. And yeah, badass girls who ride motorcycles can like pink too, okay!
Check the list of the best places for a biker to visit
The Essential Cruiser Gear You must Wear on a Motorcycle
With that said, here is a list of motorcycle gear that is essential for every rider. You must wear all of these things when riding your bike. They are built to provide protection that is otherwise lacking in motorcycles. Wearing them ensures your safety on the road and prevents fatal injuries.
Helmets are the most important part of motorcycle gear. They protect your head during collisions and prevent fatal injuries to the brain. Helmets have become versatile depending on their use, such as dirt bike racers and motocross racers wear helmets that are entirely different from each other.
There are various types of helmets available in the market. For example, full face, modular, dual sport helmets as well as open face and half shelf helmets.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing a new helmet.
- Its functionality – whether you’re using it in a race or to commute daily.
- The material of the helmet – Polycarbonate absorbs and flexes energy upon collision. Carbon fiber distributes energy equally over the shell from collisions while EPS has multiple layers of foam in the inner shell that serves as a shock absorber.
- Price – although price shouldn’t be a factor while choosing helmets, some of them can be quite expensive. Polycarbonate and EPS are cheap while helmets made of Carbon Fiber are the most expensive on the market.
- Extra Features – if you like riding in groups, then built-in Bluetooth communication is a must for you. It allows you to communicate to your friends without the sound of roaring wind disturbing you. Some helmets also have integrated sun-shades that eliminate the need for goggles.
Here’s our top pick:
Bluetooth integrated Full face helmet – check it out on Amazon.com
Goggles are necessary for proper visibility on the road. If you opt for half-face helmet or open shelf helmet, then you’ll have to buy goggles and face mask separately.
Goggles clear your vision by preventing dirt and debris off the road from falling into your eyes.
Ideal motorcycle goggles should have the following features:
- It must be dustproof and windproof, meaning it shouldn’t allow any wind inside the goggles, which can dehydrate your eyes and cause discomfort during ride.
- It must prevent fogging – a lot of riders complain about fogging while wearing goggles. It can be lethal if your vision is blurred while riding a motorcycle. Choose goggles that have a proper ventilation system to prevent fogging.
- It should fit your face – people have different face types and that’s why one-size-for-all goggles are not suitable for everyone. Buy goggles that fit your face without being too tight. An adjustable strap is also ideal.
- Lightweight – motorcycle goggles should be lightweight and durable as well.
Here’s our pick:
Bobster Bugeye Goggles – check it out on Amazon.com
Jackets cover the largest surface area on your body. It’s essential that you buy a jacket appropriate for different seasons. For summers, you’ll need a perforated leather jacket that ensures airflow.
Or you can try a jacket made of mesh. In addition to proper ventilation, your jacket should also keep you safe from rain and wind.
Here are some things you need to look for in a motorcycle jacket:
- It should be multipurpose – that is, it should be suitable for hot summer days but also protect you from sudden rainstorms. Make sure the jacket you buy is waterproof.
- It should have removable thermal linings – in case it gets too hot to stay inside your jacket, it should have thermal linings and zippers that you can remove.
- Ventilation – it’s really important for motorcycle jackets to allow proper ventilation. Mesh and perforated jackets are perfect for this.
- Protective Padding – the main purpose of a motorcycle jacket is to prevent injuries in case of accidents. Protective padding around the shoulders, elbows and chest is integral for motorcycle jackets.
Here’s our choice:
Alpinestars GP Plus R Perforated Motorcycle Jacket – buy on Amazon.com. If the color doesn’t suit you, here is a black one from the same producer.
It can quickly become uncomfortable to ride on a motorcycle while wearing jeans. You can get abrasions and rashes from constant contact with the bike, that’s why you should choose pants that are comfortable for long rides.
Women are lucky in this department because leggings with Kevlar lining are available in the market, which they can wear on a daily basis. Look for these things while shopping for motorcycle gear pants.
- Abrasion Resistant – it should be made of soft material with extra linings to prevent abrasions.
- Sweat-proof Pants – unlike jackets, you cannot open extra zippers on pants to allow ventilation during hot weather. Buy pants which are well ventilated and do not trap sweat.
- Knee padding – pants also serve as a protective layer during accidents. Since knees are vulnerable to more damage, buy jeans with extra padding around knees.
Here’s our choice:
Denim Motorcycle Jeans with Kevlar Lining – buy at Amazon.com
No one will deny what a significant role gloves play when it comes to motorcycle gear. Gloves make certain that you have complete control over the handle.
And since some people are prone to extremely sweaty hands, they are likely to lose grip over the handles. Gloves prevent that from happening.
When buying gloves as part of your cruiser motorcycle gear, ensure that they have the following characteristics:
- Perfect Fit – do not compromise on fit when buying gloves. It can prove to be a fatal mistake.
- Shock absorbers – some gloves have palm gel that is specifically designed to absorb shocks from the motorcycle. It prevents hand injuries during accidents and also ensures comfort during long rides.
- Velcro Strap – if your gloves come off while riding, you can lose concentration and end up in an accident. However, Velcro straps prevent this from happening.
- Perforations – to allow airflow and prevent palm-sweating, buy gloves that have small perforations built in them.
Here’s our choice:
Motorcycle Leather Perforated Gel Gloves – buy from Amazon.com
If you don’t wanna spend so much time and concentration on buying various gear items, then motorcycle body armors are just for you. Body armors are the all-in-one type of gear that provides protection against all sorts of dangers and injuries.
For riders who want to wear casual and comfortable clothing but still don’t wanna compromise on safety, body armors are an excellent choice.
Here’s what to look for in a motorcycle gear body armor:
- Overall Protection – make sure it has protective layers in all the right places, which includes the front as well as the back. There should be protective pads on shoulders, elbows, chest and stomach.
- Lightweight – body armors tend to be heavyweight since it’s one piece. But if your armor is heavyweight, you’re less likely to wear it during rides. Makes sure the armor you choose is made of light material.
- Rainproof – like I said, if you’re not wearing a separate rain gear, then it makes sense that your armor is waterproof and keeps the moisture away.
- 3DF material – it’s a material which is soft but hardens on impact, which is perfect for collisions and accidents. Buy an armor that uses 3DF material in its construction and provides you maximum protection.
Here’s our pick:
Leatt Brace 3DF AirFit Body Protector – buy from Amazon.com
It’s insane, the number of motorcycle boots available in the market. Depending on riding style, season, specific requirements, you can find hundreds of rider boots in each category. It’s understandable if you’re confused. However, the best boots should have two qualities, they should fit perfectly and must be light.
Here are some other features to look for in motorcycle gear boots:
- Perfect Fit – since feet play an important role in operating a motorcycle, it is essential that your boots do not hinder you. Boots that fit perfectly allows freedom of movement.
- They must be light in weight – for the same reason, motorcycle boots must be lightweight, which is not the case with majority of the boots in stores. Heavyweight boots will obstruct your movements, which can lead to accidents.
- Breathable – boots made of leather are not breathable and ventilation is poor in them, which is quite uncomfortable for long rides. Buy boots that are made of microfiber and suede to allow proper airflow.
- Dirt-proof and Waterproof – during rainy season, you need boots that can keep out all the moisture and dirt from puddles. There are boots specially made for rainy days but they can be expensive.
- Protection and shock absorption – ankles are particularly vulnerable during accidents. Therefore, you need boots with additional soft foam padding around the ankles for protection.
Here is our choice:
Alpinestars Mens Belize Drystar Boots – check out on Amazon.com
In conclusion, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right cruiser motorcycle gear but the key, here, is to choose according to your needs and not become blinded by high-tech specs that sure, are cool but unnecessary.