Gear up

PC Simon Burgin –  Road Policing Unit

AS a 365 days a year rider, excluding snow, I never ride without full motorcycle protective equipment. Ask any accident and emergency consultant and they will tell you they would rather deal with a broken bone, than serious gravel rash any day of the week.

It’s important to protect yourself on your bike. Some of the advice below may seem obvious but you would be surprised what I see on the road.

Gloves: Make sure they fit well, no extra material at the end of the fingers is a good start, and a wrist strap, that way should the worst happen they won’t come off easily over the hand.

Jacket:  A good fit with room to move about, but without flappy bits. The ability to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, removable linings are good. Armour at the main impact points are essential. You must be able to secure the jacket to your trousers.

Spine plate: My jackets have them built in, that way it is less of an inconvenience putting extra stuff on and off, but separate items are also available. IMG_5072

High visibility vest: Not the best fashion statement maybe, but you are 40% less likely to be involved in a collision if you wear one. You can buy two for as little as £15. I never ride without one.

Trousers: Good fit without too much flapping about. Armour at the hips and knees as a minimum. Again you must be able to zip the trousers to the jacket.

Boots: Waterproof is good, a minimum of over the ankle in length, sturdy is better than fashionable.

Helmet: Make sure it is of European Standard and “Kite” marked or ”BS” stamped. Check the sharp rating to see how good it is in an impact. Look after it, keep it clean, and don’t store your gloves inside it. When you do put your helmet away store it neck side down, not on its top, it is less likely to roll about or fall off a shelf. Don’t be tempted to leave it on your bike seat when you are out and about. I have seen many land on the floor, or stolen… slide 3

If like me you do ride in all weathers, it is most important that you are comfortable.  If you get cold and wet, or too hot you can become fatigued and that will affect your ability to concentrate.

THINK! have produced an essential guide to protective gear for bikers. The PDF is available to download on their website.

Essential guide to protective gear for bikers

And please remember – ride safe, stay safe.

Simon Burgin

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