Gloves are invaluable not only for safety but comfort; cold hands make braking and clutch control much more difficult. The gloves should be a snug fit but also enable you to reach the controls and be able to maintain an accurate ‘feel’. Many bikers will wear summer and winter gloves. The latter tend to be a lot thicker, heavier and waterproof in order to withstand harsher weather conditions. The use of heated grips, hand guards and handlebar muffs can enable you to wear the lighter and more flexible ‘summer gloves’ further into the colder seasons.
Motorcycle boots will cover various different parts of the foot including toes, shin and ankles depending on height and design. Manufacturers now offer quite a selection from race styling to a shoe like design for town riders. Many others offer all day comfort but are fully protective and waterproof.
In town it is common to see riders wear trainers or army boots. It is really worth bearing in mind that if the bike is to drop on you the majority of the weight will come down on your feet and it is not uncommon for people to lose a foot because of this.
Jacket and Trousers
Man made material textiles now offer a lot more flexibility and are probably more ‘user friendly’ than leathers particularly if you want to be able to wear your normal clothes underneath. They also tend to be more waterproof and breathable as well as being CE armoured. Motorcycle leathers still offer excellent protection and usually one or two piece zip together leathers are insisted upon by track day organisers. Waterproof suits that go over leathers are also available though try and get them on before the thunderstorm hits!
Although it should not replace your own awareness, high visibility clothing can help reduce the odd SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You) and is particularly useful in the dark or poor visibility. Hi Vis clothing can vary from the Sam Browne belt put across regular jackets to integrated fluorescent outfits. It is worth bearing in mind that the use of high visibility clothing (including helmet colours) may also help with insurance compensation in the event of an accident.