How to Dress when Motorcycling

Motorcycling is the most dangerous thing some of us will do. Motorcyclists have little protection besides what they wear. It is important to dress appropriately for motorcycling to reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury. This guide also helps you look good as a motorcyclist.


  1. Wear a helmet when you ride a motorbike. It reduces the likelihood of death in a crash, is legally required in many countries, does not impair your hearing or vision and does not contribute to neck injuries (in fact, sometimes a helmet can PROTECT against neck injuries). It should guard the top,sides and rear of the head and preferably should be full face, though open face helmets are acceptable. Avoid half-helmets (also called skid lids, shorties or pudding basin helmets) as they are capable of preventing very few types of head injuries sustained in motorbike crashes. Make sure you fasten your helmet securely. Avoid black helmets - you are much easier to see if you wear a white or a brightly coloured helmet.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%201.jpg
  2. If your helmet is an open face helmet, wear sunglasses or motorbike goggles with it (if you wear glasses, this may not be necessary). If there is a face shield, you should have it down when motorcycling. This will protect your eyes from flying debris and keep the wind out of your eyes.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%202.jpg
  3. If your helmet is a full face helmet, you should wear it with the visor down when riding. Use a tinted visor if it is sunny, and a completely clear visor when riding at night or in fog. Sunglasses do not look good with full face helmets.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%203.jpg
  4. If your helmet is modular, wear it with the face shield down when riding. Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%204.jpg
  5. Wear motorbike leathers. While not required by law, they are strongly advised by experienced motorcyclists, and in the UK by the government. Armored leathers protect even better than ordinary leathers. If you don't have leathers, get a jacket made of tough leather (NOT ordinary fashion leather) or Kevlar and pair it up with some jeans.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%205.jpg
  6. DO NOT wear camo trousers. They will not protect you in a motorbike crash and do not look good when riding a motorbike on the road.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%206.jpg
  7. Wear motorbike boots. Trainers (sneakers) will not protect your feet in a motorbike crash. If you can find them, buy boots with titanium plating for enhanced protection.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%207.jpg
  8. Wear motorbike gloves. In a motorbike crash you will almost certainly fall off your motorbike. As it is human nature to stick your hands out to break a fall, it is important to protect your hands.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%208.jpg
  9. Wear ear defenders under your helmet or wear a helmet with built-in ear defenders. Motorbikes are very noisy, and the danger to your hearing is exacerbated by the noise of the wind.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%209.jpg
  10. Consider wearing a bandana under your helmet to keep the helmet lining clean. Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2010.jpg
  11. Don't do 'matchy match' with your pillion passenger. The rider and pillion passenger should not dress exactly the same as each other. They look much better if at least one item of their gear is different from that of the other (different colour helmet, leathers etc.).Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2011.jpg
  12. Only wear leathers with the logo of a motorbike brand if that is the brand of motorbike you ride. Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2012.jpg
  13. Wear a high visibility jacket when riding at night or in fog, or if your motorbike jacket/leathers are black. You really need to make sure that other road users can see you easily.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2013.jpg
  14. Wearing a fleece over the top of one-piece leathers does not look good - if it's cold, wear a fleece over the top of two-piece leathers. Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2014.jpg
  15. Avoid comedy knee sliders or bunny ears that attach to your helmet. These do not make you look any better - in fact they make you look worse.Dress%20when%20Motorcycling%20Step%2015.jpg
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