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In our last few articles we have been talking about the importance of wearing appropriate riding gear and how to choose the best riding equipment. Good motorcycle gear will not only help you stay comfortable, but will hopefully help you to stay whole if you should have a mishap while riding.

In this article we are going to look at two of the last three articles of motorcycle clothing that we will talk about in these posts; gloves and pants or leggings. I say leggings rather than simply, chaps because there are now a huge variety of leg wear options that go way beyond old fashioned chaps.

Riding Gear for the Legs

We will start this piece covering our legs, pun intended. As always, I recommend wearing as much protection as possible. If your daily routine allows you to wear a full blown set of racing leathers, by all means do so. For the majority of riders though, this is not a practical option.

For those I will state what I consider to be a bare minimum; a good stout pair of denim jeans, preferably covered by leather chaps and/or shin guards. You notice I did not mention dress slacks, designer jeans or heaven forbid shorts. None of these offer any real protection and wearing them on the road is asking to get hurt.

Even if you are not in an accident, gravel, bugs and even rain drops can do damage ranging from puncture wounds to severe bruising. If you have been riding, any time at all, you know how painful it can be for anything to hit you at highway speed.

Motorcycle Gloves

To appear so simple, riding gloves are actually highly complex devices. They must allow you to have a good feel for your controls, riding here in Florida they must not cause you to overheat and they still have to provide protection to one of the most vulnerable parts of your body.

Next to the feet, hands are the most injured areas on a motorcyclist. The reason for this is twofold. Even if you ride with a jammer, your hands are subject to being hit by anything in the breeze. The skin on the back of the hand is tender and the fine bones on the inside are easily broken. Also, when you are in an accident, it is an instinctive reaction to throw your hands out and try to catch yourself. This is a reflexive behavior and you can’t stop it. All you can do is try and give those tender digits as much protection as possible.

Here is what I consider to be mandatory features in a riding glove.

  • Water proof- riding with wet hands can be a miserable experience and even worse, it can distract you from from the business at hand: riding safely.
  • Good fit- A glove has to be comfortable, but it has to be snug enough to allow a sure grip, easy manipulation of all controls and stay in place if the leather should meet the road.
  • Protection- You can’t have too much protection; that is a given. For the majority of situations that motorcyclists find themselves in, it is going to involve the palms, knuckles and top of the fingers. All these areas should be reinforced if not armored.
  • Internal Stitching- exposed stitching may look good, but if your hands go sliding on the asphalt, they will be cut and your glove will come to pieces, leaving you unprotected.
  • Wrist straps- Some would say that wrist straps are a matter of taste and style, but based on my clients’ experiences, they can keep your gloves secured better than almost anything.