Bike clothing is basically functional, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't fit well, or look good. In this section, we'll look at how to choose gear that provides the essential protection you need, while making your riding as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
There's bike clothing for every season, and to suit every budget. We'd recommend that you always buy the best quality you can afford: there may come a time when you're grateful you paid that bit more.
Fit is the most important consideration when buying a helmet. The best way to get this right is to try it on - in fact, try as many helmets as you can before you buy. Ideally, you're after a snug fit: your local Suzuki dealership will be able to help you.
Like any other item of clothing, your helmet's style and design says a lot about you, so make sure you choose one that looks and feels right for you. If you have any questions, ask your dealer, who'll have plenty of personal knowledge and experience of helmets from all the major manufacturers.
Motorcycle helmets are covered by various industry safety initiatives: always choose one that's approved by one or more of the following:
The SHARP system gives helmets a star rating, with 5 stars offering the best protection. You don't have to buy the most expensive helmet to get the best protection: a number of mid-priced helmets offer 5 star protection.
The Auto Cycle Union (ACU) is the governing body for motorcycle sports in Britain. They have their own approval scheme for helmets: while it's not a legal requirement, we'd strongly recommend that you don't buy a helmet without the logo above: most track days will require you to wear a, ACU-approved helmet.
ECE22/05 approval is required in over 50 countries. To obtain it, manufacturers must test a sample from each batch of helmets before they arrive in your dealer's showroom. The major helmet brands will all have this approval.
|Helmet Size||Head Circumference (CM)|
Gloves are undoubtedly an important bit of kit, if you come off, your hands are likely to be among the first parts of you to hit the ground, so you need gloves that offer good protection. You'll probably find you need several pairs to suit a range of riding conditions, from thick, warm, waterproof gloves for the winter, to lighter, cooler ones for the summer.
Like the rest of your gear, your gloves need to fit correctly, so try on as many different brands and styles as possible before you buy.
A few tips:
Glove sizes tend to vary between brands. The sizing chart below will help you get started, but there's no substitute for trying them on.
|Glove Size||Width of Palm (CM)||Width of Palm (inches)|
|XS||7||2 1/8 - 2 5/8|
|S||8||2 5/8 - 3 1/8|
|M||9||3 1/8 - 3 5/8|
|L||10||3 5/8 - 4 1/8|
|XL||11||4 1/8 - 4 5/8|
|XXL||11||4 5/8 - 5 1/8|
A bike jacket serves two purposes: to keep you comfortable while riding; and to provide protection if you come off. Your first choice is material, which basically comes down to leather or textile. Leather offers the best protection; textile is more practical and easy to care for.
Some things to consider when looking for a jacket: