Motorcycles – Riding with the Right Gear


Submitted By: William Brown

 You’ve bought that shiny new motorcycle, taken a safety course and are ready to hit the open road. But what else can you do to help protect yourself? Wear the right gear – an approved helmet, face or eye protection and protective clothing.



Accidents can happen to anyone. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF-USA), one our every five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injuries. These injuries can be reduced by wearing an approved helmet.

There are two primary types of helmets – three-quarters and full face. They provide different levels of coverage. To make sure you get the most protection from your helmet, make sure it meets U. S. Department of Transportation and state standards, that it fits snugly all the way around and that it has no obvious defects such as cracks, loose padding or frayed straps. Whatever type of helmet you chose, be sure to keep it fastened securely while riding or it may fly off your head in an accident.


Eye and face protection

Wind, dust, dirt, rain, insects and debris thrown up by other vehicles…you can protect yourself from these by wearing a face shield. A plastic shatter-resistant one will also help protect your face in the event of an accident. And goggles will protect your eyes if you’re not wearing a face shield.

To be effective, your eye and face protection must:

  • Be free of scratches
  • Be resistant to penetration
  • Afford a clear view to either side
  • Fasten securely so it won’t blow off
  • Allow air to pass through to alleviate fogging
  • Permit enough room for sunglasses or eyeglasses if needed


Protective clothing

The right clothing will help protect you in an accident, as well as providing protection from heat, cold, debris and hot and moving parts of your motorcycle.

Jacket and pants should cover arms and legs completely and fit snugly enough to keep from flapping in the wind. Leather is the best protection but sturdy synthetic materials are a good alternative. Boots or shoes should cover your ankles. Soles should be hard and slip-resistant; tuck laces in so they don’t get caught on your motorcycle. Gloves will give you a better grip and help protect your hands in an accident.

Wear the appropriate clothing for the weather you’ll be experiencing. If you’re too hot or too cold, you may not be able to control your motorcycle as well.

There are plenty of things on the highway that can cause you trouble. Making sure you have the right gear will help ensure that you have adequate protection should an accident occur.

William Brown is a State Farm Insurance Agent serving the Thurston County insurance market. William graduated from St. Martins College in Lacey and has been serving the Thurston County Insurance market for 35 years. 

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