There are a lot of reasons to ride a motorcycle. When you’re on a bike instead of a car, you’re not trapped in a cage that restricts your views of the road and the world around you — instead, you get to enjoy the feeling of being right out there on the road, whether you’ve passing through spectacular natural scenery or feeling the rush of a high-speed ride on a straight-ahead highway. Motorcycles are great for getting through traffic, and they’re small enough to park in the tiniest of spots, making them perfect for urban life, too.
But let’s face it: for all of their practical benefits, one of the major reasons that so many of us are drawn to motorcycles is that they’re just so darn cool. For as long as they have existed, motorcycles have been symbols of the counterculture and of fearless and stylish heroes.
When you hop on your bike, you’ll want to look cool, but you should be careful because some motorcycle styles aren’t very safe.While you might want to attempt the James Dean no-helmet look, if you don’t wear a helmet yourself, you might end up in trouble. So find your balance, and get motorcycle gear that works as both a fashion statement and a safety measure.
Safety matters on a motorcycle
Motorcycle riders look cool, fearless, and maybe even a bit reckless — and not totally without reason. The unfortunate truth is that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. Of course, motorcycles are more dangerous than cars in part because of cars. Drivers are not known for their diligence in looking out for riders, and bulky trucks and SUVs bring more weight and momentum to a collision than a rider and a motorcycle does.
Motorcyclists face lots of dangers. Accidents on motorcycles are disturbingly common, and motorcyclists are more likely to get the worst of any collision with a vehicle. Even avoiding a full collision can be dangerous, as a motorcyclist may end up in a slide.
So when you gear up for a ride on your motorcycle, you need to take safety into account. Never ride a motorcycle without a helmet, of course, and be sure to cover yourself up with tough material. Any part of your skin that you leave uncovered is skin that you could lose in a slide, and you don’t want to have to think about that.
Balancing safety and the cool factor
Of course, no self-respecting motorcycle rider wants to hop on their bike looking like their mother dressed them. Nobody wants to be buried in bulky and heavy clothing, and nobody wants a goofy helmet.
That’s okay, because you can dress well while staying safe on your motorcycle. The key is to opt for the right materials and fits, and to buy reliable brand name products.
Take motorcycle jackets, for instance. Leather jackets are a motorcycle classic for a reason—they can take a beating. If you go into a slide while clad in leather, you’re going to tear that leather up, which is good. You’d rather shred your leather than your own body, after all. Leather is like a tough extra skin— one you can spare. And since leather jackets are iconic parts of motorcycle coolness, you’ll have no trouble balancing motorcycle style with motorcycle safety. Look for a jacket with classic, simple lines. You can’t go wrong with black, but a single contrasting color can work, too, and, if it’s a bright one, may help you be seen.
Leather is a great choice for motorcycle gloves, too, and even chaps or pants made of leather can be cool if you get the right fit. You don’t need to go with any goofy gear if you opt for classic fits and simple, proven safety.
Of course, a helmet is a must-have. Your helmet is your chance to be an individual, so don’t be afraid to get a graphic print helmet. On the other hand, a simple solid color like black or silver can keep your looking classic-cool and unaffected. Whatever you choose, though, get a reliable brand from a reliable motorcycle shop. Helmets save lives, and you can’t afford to gamble with your safety.
Motorcycles are cool, and you definitely want to look cool when you ride them. But it’s true what your mother said—there’s nothing cool about hurting yourself. You won’t look cool in a cast or after a disfiguring injury, do yourself a favor and find a look you love that will also keep you safe on the road.