The Importance of Riding Gear
The number of fatalities in our country because of road accidents involve a huge number of two wheeler accidents. Lack of basic safety gear is one of the main reasons behind the loss of life. There has been a major myth that riding gear is very expensive and is only necessary when you are riding on a track. Here are some basic tips that you must follow to keep yourself safe at all times and experience one of the best feelings in the world.
Get a Certified Helmet
Yes, this is as basic as it gets. There are certain grades and tests that have been set by various road safety organisations like SNELL, DOT. So whenever you are planning to buy a helmet, ensure that your helmet either has a ECE R22-05, SNELL or a DOT protection rating. The ECE R22-05 protection is one of the most common helmet certification internationally and is compulsory in over 50 countries worldwide.
I have been using the Royal Enfield Street Nimbus (as seen in the image above) which is a classic full-face design helmet. It is a ECE R22-05 rated and a DOT approved helmet. The shell has been made out of lightweight fibreglass which has been designed to absorb the actual impact over a larger surface area which ultimately helps in improving protection. The Liner is made out of expanded polystyrene which further absorbs the shock in case of a crash. I have been using this helmet during warm 30 degree afternoons and it comes with two vents on the top which help in passing some air, keeping my head cool during stressful traffic conditions (the exact reason I have stopped driving to work everyday). The liner is also removable and washable and so is the chin curtain. The polycarbonate visor is wide enough to give you view of the road ahead as well as the parallel traffic. The helmet has a Shiro badge at the back and has been basically been rebranded for Royal Enfield. At the end of the day, you can’t put price on your head and buying a helmet after doing some research is a thing that is recommended by any professional rider.
Yes, they look cool, identify you as a serious rider and save your upper body from a major crash as well. I have crashed at speeds around 60-70 kmph and got off unscratched because of a good quality riding jacket. So make sure that you always invest in a good quality riding jacket. There are a number of Jackets available in our market which offer great crash protection. I have been using the Royal Enfield Darcha Four season Jacket from the past one month. It has been made by a Dutch brand called Rev’It and just as the name suggests, it offers protection from heat, water and is a boon in cold temperatures as well . It comes with Knox Flexiform shoulder and elbow protection which is CE1 approved and you can also add a back protector inside the jacket.
Basically, a three-layered jacket – the topmost layer is made from water-resistant polyester on the outside and a mesh layer on the inside. You can remove the inner two layers if you are riding in warm temperatures and use it as a summer jacket. It has a couple of vents at the front and two at the back as well which help in ventilation once the mercury level rises. Both the inside jackets are strapped onto each other and you cannot use just the inside layers as a separate half jacket. Once you put on all the three layers, the jacket does become slightly heavy and can be a bit bulky during long rides. It has a plethora of storage pockets all over and a huge pocket at the back which means that you can carry all of your necessary stuff while touring. It even gets a waist, arm, neck strap adjuster- ensuring that you can adjust the jacket as per your requirements.
Stay tuned to thewheelz.com for the second part of this article which will talk about riding gloves, boots and riding pants.