Should You Spend Your Money on Motorcycle Gear or Motorcycle Training?

Most riders have it drummed into them the importance of wearing a full range of protective clothing, colloquially known as ATGATT. Yet surely the phrase “prevention is better than cure” applies to riding motorcycles equally as much as our general health? So why is there so much emphasis on covering ourselves head to toe in protective gear at the expense of motorcycle training? When you only have so much money spare, should you spend it on motorcycle gear or motorcycle training?

For the vast majority of riders the only training or coaching they receive on a motorcycle is when they go for their license. Depending on the country you live in that could amount to a single day of training by a qualified instructor. Can you think of any other highly dangerous pursuit which requires such a small qualification period before handing you the keys and letting you go on your way? Yet as riders we seem happy with this and don’t give it a second thought.

A small amount of riders will at least head to the track which does teach motorcycle control in a relatively safe and controlled environment. But that itself can give a false sense of security on a surface with huge amounts of grip. It does nothing to teach recovery techniques on poor surfaces that are often coated in oil, sand and other debris that is the norm for public roads. Nor does it do anything to train riders on the dangers of other traffic.

Motorcycle track days are a good way to gain experience, but don't teach defensive riding.

Motorcycle track days are a good way to gain experience, but don’t teach defensive riding.

The issue with protective gear is that at the end of the day it does very little to prevent broken bones or internal injuries. If you’ve read our article on ‘Where You’ll be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident‘ you’ll see that studies have shown that motorcycle gear – even the best money can buy – can only do so much. Gloves, pants and jackets are fantastic for reducing or eliminating nasty abrasion injuries (and the potential for skin grafts) but save for helmets, current technology used in motorcycle gear (at least until airbag technology becomes commonplace) won’t do a great deal more – the energy at play when a two ton car hits you is just too great.

This is the argument many make about rider training – you’re far better off spending the money on advanced training and defensive riding courses than motorcycle gear if it won’t actually save your life in a seriousness enough accident. Being a competent rider means you’ll have less chance of being involved in a crash.

In an ideal world, advanced rider training would go a long way to preventing or eliminating accidents. The trouble with a heavy emphasis on rider training is that it doesn’t eliminate the one variable that we have little control over – other drivers.

Quality motorcycle training does provide guidance and advice on how to read traffic, position your motorcycle correctly to minimise risk as well as a host of other defensive riding techniques. But at the end of the day, you cannot avoid every single eventuality on the road. No matter how good you are or how alert you may be, there are situations that you cannot avoid. It might be a drunk driver crossing on the wrong side of the road, the inattentive soccer mum texting and running a red light or perhaps the car up ahead has dumped its oil all along the blind corner up ahead. Perhaps on one day you’re not in the right head space and are not concentrating as much as you should – and that’s when the worst may happen.

Physics and human imperfection will and can intervene and its because of this that one cannot solely rely on advance motorcycle training – gear is your backup and it’s a very important one.

It only takes a moment of inattention for this to happen - gear or no gear.

It only takes a moment of inattention for this to happen – gear or no gear.

So what should you spend your finite resources on, gear or training? The answer obviously is both which may mean buying cheaper gear in order to have enough funds to pay for advanced training. You can always pick up some ‘cool’ Dainese or Alpinestars gear in the years ahead – but you may not have the opportunity to if you don’t get proper training.

Our article on motorcycle helmets showed emphatically that expensive helmets don’t equal safer helmets. Certain helmets that are cheap are just as safe as top of the range ones. It’s the same story with gear – CE2 rated armor is CE2 rated armor – regardless as to whether it’s fitted to a REV’IT jacket or an Icon one.

What everyone should always keep in mind is that getting a motorcycle license isn’t the end of your training – it’s only the beginning. Don’t take the lazy option and purely concentrate on top of the range gear – train yourself every time you ride your motorcycle and try your best to get qualified professional training. It may do more than just save yourself from a case of road rash.

Redverz Gear Motorcycle Tent Range Expanded

Like to go camping by yourself? And when we say by yourself, we mean with your motorcycle to keep you company? Redverz Gear, designers of the industry’s original motorcycle tent has expanded its range to include a slimmed down version of what they describe as being the most versatile motorcycle tent on Earth.

The Solo Expedition Tent’s two-pole construction makes for fast and easy set up and one less pole than previously lightens the load. Double-wall construction and a bathtub floor in the Solo sleeping bay affords maximum nighttime comfort and protection in a smaller foot print, 90 inches x 41 inches to be exact. At just 12 feet and 3 inches in length overall, the entire Solo Expedition Tent fits more easily into smaller predetermined camp spaces and the lighter pack weight make carrying it less taxing.

“The essence of motorcycle travel is simple, stripped down. We ride and camp to feel free. The design of our tents adds to that feeling of freedom, literally gives you room to breath. Creating a solo version was always on the horizon, it was just a matter of when,” says Kevin Muggleton, owner of Redverz Gear who also shares that, “The Solo is officially my go-to tent.”

Redverz Gear also produces motorcycle tents that can accommodate two or three people, plus retain room for your bike.

 

Dainese And Regenesi Recycle Old Leathers Into Accessories

Do you really like Dainese gear but can’t stretch the budget to afford a full leather suit from them? Well, now you can own at least part of an old Dainese suit with their new partnership with Regenesi, a company engaged in the design of products made of discarded consumer items.

The collaboration has given life to the first moto-recycling project with a line of accessories and small leather items made of riders’ suits. The concept of waste in Regenesi is seen as a new opportunity: part of the leathers, in fact, become new objects with new functions.

Each Regenesi product is a unique piece made with leather parts from the original suits used by Dainese riders. Some even contain scuff marks and other imperfections courtesy of a crash.

If you were hoping that these recycled items would be fairly affordable, think again. The cheapest items available are smartphone holders which cost $79. Prices go up to $134 for the range of credit card holders. All items are available on the Dainese D-Store.

 

Gear Up Every Ride Initiative By The Motorcycle Industry Council

The US Motorcycle Industry Council – the industry body that looks after the interests of motorcycle manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of bikes, gear, parts and accessories is launching a a new initiative built around ways to encourage riders to use proper motorcycle apparel.

The official launch will happen during May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. The website is already up but will officially launch this Friday with an online contest featuring nearly $10,000 in prizes and growing.

“Gear Up is designed to be more of a movement than a public awareness campaign,” said Eric Anderson, chair of MIC’s Rider Safety Committee. “We want to inspire a fundamental shift in the way riders think, encouraging them to express themselves and the independent spirit of motorcycling through their riding gear. At the same time, we want to help motorcyclists make educated decisions. It’s not about shaming riders to do the right thing. It’s about providing good information and encouragement to make wise choices.”

According to the Council, Gear Up Every Ride is based on the core principles of education, preparation and inspiration. The Gear Up team believes that informing riders of the latest developments and trends in protective equipment will allow them to make the best decisions about the gear they wear. Gear Up is also designed to better prepare riders for the road ahead, guiding them toward the right apparel to take on the challenges that the road and weather might present.

It’s a great looking campaign and is in stark contrast to the American Motorcyclist Association that continues to hold on to its archaic view on the use of motorcycle helmets. Their official position statement on helmet use includes such gems as, “Mandatory helmet laws do nothing to prevent crashes”. At least the Motorcycle Industry Council realizes that in order for its members to remain profitable, it needs customers that are alive.

Gear Up Every Ride Initiative By The US Motorcycle Industry Council