Adventure Riding Gear: The Basics You Need to Get Out There

Becoming a motorcyclist can be a bit intimidating, motorcycles are a completely versatile vehicle as they can be used both to move around in the urban environment and to get away to a different city. Both in some cases and in others it is important to consider the equipment for the motorcycle, since in addition to protect the driver and the passenger, some accessories allow the trip to be much easier and comfortable.

After this COVID-19 chapter, much has been prognosed about how life will continue, and the emphasis on how a motorcycle lifestyle will be much suitable in every way, especially when commuting.

Commonly, adventure motorcyclists are seen as strange characters, always with all their protective equipment, and the truth is not very far away, but with big differences to what you think, if you are new to this world, all the information you may receive from friends, the internet and many other sources, may make you go a little crazy, confused and in the end it ends up stressing you, but hey, don’t worry, here’s a basic guide to solve this dilemma a little.

Below, you will find a list with the basic elements you need to start your motorcycle life as safe as possible. It should be noted that all these items are necessary for proper protection, both for the pilot and passenger, but we will number them according to its importance since over time you can acquire the others.

1.-  Helmet

 In short, the first essential item to be able to drive a motorcycle. This is the one in charge of protecting our head, which is why it is vitally important to choose the most suitable one.

When choosing an adventure helmet, the big difference you will find is the price, usually the difference lies in its weight, aerodynamics and noise reduction properties, in addition to the materials and details. As for the weight, at first it does not seem to be a great determining factor since when trying them for a few moments we do not notice this difference, but if you plan to make long trips, both your back and neck will notice and appreciate it, not to mention that they are safer and they have a greater number of certifications that guarantee their resistance and duration.

Things to keep in mind when buying an adventure helmet is the homologation, three of the most common and worldwide accepted: DOT, SNELL the most used in the US and, ECE used mostly in Europe.

Having a different riding position than a sports or city motorcycle, it is important to have a visor that blocks the sun light that may interfere with our vision, in addition to providing better air conduction towards the ventilation channels located in the upper part of the helmet.

Modular (retractable jaw) or full face, the closed ones offer greater security at the time of an impact, while the modular ones offer us greater comfort when, for example, take a photo. In hot climates we can open them and get more ventilation when driving at low speeds.

2.-   Motorcycle protective suit 

To protect our body is also a must. Once again, there are two main types, the mono piece and two-piece riding suit (jacket and pants)

Depending where mainly your riding will take place, even as a weekend street warrior or a long term adventurer, it could from a leather mono piece suit or a full adventure riding suit to  ride in a motorcycle tour with you friends. A middle term is something more casual to commute in the city.

Other point to consider is the type of climate in which we are going to use them, hot, cold, rainy,

The main thing that we have to take into account is that our suit is resistant to abrasions, blows and, if necessary, resistant to rain. 

In most cases our equipment will have two layers, an outer layer that will protect us from abrasion in falls and the weather, and an inner layer that is thermal to keep the body warm in case we need it. These layers can generally be separated, hence is highly advisable that we review this detail for better comfort and versatility of the garments.

In the event that our garments are not waterproof, since the material used has a higher cost, the most advisable thing is to always have a waterproof suit with us to put on, these suits tend to be much cheaper and with the possibility of storing them in small packages.

3.-   Boots

Protecting our feet is also a main factor. Choosing boots is a vital issue due to the weight of the motorcycle and its potential effect if it falls trapping an ankle or the whole leg in the process.

To start, trekking boots are not recommendable since they are very soft and we won’t have enough support with ankles, especially taking into account that when we start we might be prompted to use them.

As for adventure boots we have a wide variety to choose from, the specifications to check are: ankle protection, enough height to protect our calves, comfort and resistance to water.

In this case one of the best options is a boot designed for enduro, although they are not very resistant to water, they offer us the best protection against any fall. To help the problem of getting wet, you could use Gore-Tex socks if your boots are not fully waterproof.

4.-   Gloves

Gloves are paramount when riding our motorcycles, for protection and comfort.

In order to choose suitable gloves, we must take into account the following factors: comfort, abrasion resistance, knuckle protection, water resistance/proofing.

Although it is difficult to find gloves that meet all these characteristics, you can start with a pair that sustains abrasion and are water resistance with good ventilation. Later on, is advisable to have different gloves for different situations, You could have a pair that can be used for adventure, for cold and rainy climates, and another pair, lighter for hotter temperatures.

5.-  Hydration

Often the idea of adventure motorcycle is related to long riding periods in all weathers. This is true and been hydrated is a must if we want to continue enjoying our trip. We recommend to bring along a camel back with a bladder of at least 2 lt. Also is nice to have a half liter Thermus with a hot beverage in case of being stuck in bad weather. As convenient as it sounds, a camel back not only will keep you hydrated on the fly, but also will help you keep your valuables near you.

We hope this recommendation has helped you to clear any doubt. This is the basic gear we use in our motorcycle rental shop and it has worked out wonders for us.

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