On a motorcycle, proper clothing is a must. The same applies to a scooter. Compulsory on public roads, the clothing will protect you from both the weather and the consequences of a fall.
Let's start by dispelling a myth: safe motorcycle clothing isn't comfortable. Nothing could be further from the truth. The era of thick leather weave is over. Nowadays, protection comes in the form of high-tech products that combine the most diverse properties.
If you take a long look at the wide range available and the technical specifications of the items, you'll soon feel overwhelmed. Here's some information to help you find your way.
Motorcycle outfits are divided into three groups: outerwear, base layers or linings and rainsuits.
- The outerwear protects you from adverse weather conditions as well as damage from a fall or an accident.
- Below it, you can wear garments that are designed to work in conjunction with the outer ones. They regulate humidity and temperature. You'll find products that are suitable for the cold and sunny weather.
- Waterproof rainsuits are worn over the outer garment. They don't just stop the wet, they usually provide an additional wind barrier as well.
It's very important to choose the right size of clothes. If they're too tight, they will restrict your movement and restrict blood circulation. Your body then no longer works in optimal conditions and will also cool down faster. If they are too large, the clothes are less comfortable to wear and will catch the wind. The result is that they're less comfortable and you'll feel tired more quickly. To select the right size, always try out the motorcycle outfit with the clothes you usually wear.
Leather or Textile
The outer layer can be leather or textile. The leather effectively protects against tears due to a fall or accident. Textile is more comfortable, lighter and easier to care for.
The lining of the motorcycle outfit should preferably be removable. This makes it easy to travel in hot weather. The air entering through the ventilation openings is less restricted in its cooling and regulating action. Another advantage is that the lining is washable. This makes it more hygienic.
A good motorcycle outfit is always equipped with CE labelled guards. In the event of an impact, they are responsible for distributing the pressure over the largest possible surface area, to avoid or minimise injuries. Other areas covered by CE guards are shoulders, elbows, your back and knees.
Waterproof or not?
There are both waterproof and non-waterproof outfits. If you want a waterproof one, choose a product where the manufacturer explicitly mentions this feature. You should also remember that even clothes advertised as waterproof can rarely withstand rain for several hours. Only specific rainsuits, that can be worn over other clothing, will stop the water for as long as you want. However, they do have their own drawbacks. Condensation, for example, is almost unavoidable with a completely waterproof suit.
Value for money
The same thing applies to motorcycle clothing as it does to fashion in general: the most expensive items are not always the best. It's a good idea, however, to go for well-known brands. They have many years of experience and have invested time and money into the study of materials and structures. And it's not just motorcycle clothing brands that offer good products – you'll also find them as part of a manufacturers' range.
Maintenance and Care
It goes without saying that only a well-maintained outfit will guarantee years of service. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations carefully.
Another important precaution is drying out the clothing after you've been riding in the rain. It's generally not a good idea to dry clothing near a source of intense heat. It's best to dry them in a well-ventilated room at a normal temperature.