The topic of motorcycle gear and our recommendations for staying comfortable and safe continues with Part 3 of our Free Download: "Motorcycle Gear Advice."
Starting with a product that could very easily mean the difference between life and death in an accident, please keep one important thought in mind when you shop for motorcycle gear: "What's more expensive, this gear or hospital bills and lost producitivity?"
Neck Braces & Supports
With a start in the motorsports industry in NASCAR and Formula 1 some years ago, motorcycle racing has since adopted the use of neck supports & braces to keep catastrophic injuries to riders at a minimum. The good news is you don’t need to be “racing” to enjoy the protection that these devices provide.
By acting as a “support” around the neck, units like the Alpinestars Bionic Neck support help make sure a rider’s helmet will be limited as to how far it can move (how far the neck can bend) in the event of a crash. Alpinestars is the industry leader in research, design, and fabrication of these neck supports, and once properly fitted, you’ll quickly recognize how a) the neck support is completely comfortable to wear and doesn’t inhibit movement unreasonably, and b) how it will work to prevent neck injuries, in the event of a crash. Put simply: Many riders over many years would have been better off with something like the Bionic Neck Support, and we hope you’ll take advantage of a simple safety item like this:
Especially in the case of something as important as our feet and legs, please don’t let the intimidating size, comfort, or price of full motocross boots keep you from suffering a severe foot, ankle, or lower leg injury. While they might seem large and heavier than average when you first pick them up, all that structure and weight inherent in motocross boots will mean plenty to you if and when your 500+ lb. motorcycle crashes down upon your ankle.
Full size motocross type boots might seem uncomfortable when you first try them on, but rest assured, a top-quality boot like those made by Alpinestars will break-in and feel great after just a few short rides. Likewise, don’t let the price tags scare you away…these are your feet we’re talking about! Be glad if you still have use of them, and think about those who wish they did, but might have settled for a bad idea like cheap and non-protective motorcycle boots. Without any hard plastic or rubber around your ankle like those in the Alpinestars Tech Series or any structural rigidity, motorcycle boots will offer the minimum in protection. Is that what you want for your feet?
We recommend maximizing your protection by wearing full motocross type boots such as:
With gloves the key thoughts are “Warmth – Waterproofing – Protection – Grip”
As these 2 crucial connections (your hands) to the motorcycle are of the utmost importance, please take your gloves seriously!
In terms of insulation, riders will need to figure their own warmth demands and choose the appropriate glove. In terms of waterproofing though, you simply must have 2 features: GORE-TEX and Length! Don’t expect any traditional “short” gloves to keep the water out, because water will easily seep up into your hand from the wrist. To prevent this, always make sure you’re using a long glove that either tucks under your sleeves or seals over the top of them with some sort of Velcro or a drawstring.
In terms of protection and grip: The more you spend, the better you’ll likely have both of these issues covered. Lean toward a glove that has hard plastic or metal protection in key impact areas throughout, and then when you’ve decided on a less expensive pair: Think about how much you use your hands each day. Likewise with the fitting and material of the glove, think about how important a connection your hands are to the motorcycle. If you need to buy a larger pair or find one that “sticks” better to your handgrips, spend the time and money to do this right!
Note: Often your gloves will get wet on the inside throughout the day, as you’ve put your wet hands into them repeatedly (wet because you just took the gloves off and did something in the rain.) This in mind, and given how difficult they may be to dry out over night, it’s always good to have a 2nd pair of gloves with you.