Riding Gear Essentials
You’ve got a brain, so protect it with a helmet. All helmets should be DOT-approved, at the very least, and better, full-face examples will have comfortable inner liners, venting for airflow, and optically clear, easily removable visors. Most important, though, is how it fits: The helmet should feel comfortably snug on your head. What to Get: The BiLT Techno Bluetooth Helmet is a great choice for riders who want to stay connected. Don’t need Bluetooth? Check out the offerings from Shoei and Arai.
Put simply, you want a sturdy jacket built expressly for riding motorcycles. That means it’ll have a tough outer shell that’s not binding, some adjustability and strategically placed impact protection. Many riders prefer lighter-weight textile jackets because they’re more versatile, but good old leather will protect you better against abrasion. And don’t settle for just any leather—you’ll
want the competition-weight stuff, with solid stitching and vents to allow for air circulation in summer. What to Get: The BiLT Techno Mesh Jacket is perfect for those hot summer days. If your riding season extends into the cooler months, the Sedici Alexi Jacket provides three-season comfort.
Long pants, people! Serious street or track riders know to go with armored riding pants, and here, too, leathers will offer better protection. But many of us like to wear jeans for the ride; in that case, get a pair reinforced with Kevlar, which offers much better abrasion resistance than standard- issue Levi’s. If you want to kick it up a notch, pick up a pair of leather chaps, which go on easy over jeans. What to Get: BiLT’s Blaze Mesh Pants provide protective panels as well as ventilation. Good leather options for the street are the BiLT Trackstar or Sedici Rapido Pants.
For more casual rides, the BiLT Iron Workers Steel Jeans are a great bet.
After your head, your hands are absolutely crucial for operating a motorcycle. Protect them with full-finger gloves (preferably leather) that have additional reinforcements at the palms, knuckles
and fingers. What to Get: BiLT Spirit Gloves offer comfortable protection and sleek good looks.
Look for sturdy, over-the-ankle leather or textile boots with reinforcements at the toe, heel and ankle. Make sure they have grippy outer soles, too, which will act like another set of tires when you put your feet down at a stop. What to Get: The BiLT Pit Boots are a great choice for riders who like a casual style.