Riding a motorbike means you're exposed to the elements, whether you're commuting to work or enjoying a leisurely cruise through the countryside.
One minute you could be riding through a torrential downpour, the next you could be battling an onslaught of road debris. It's important to prepare for the unexpected whenever you take to the road, and that starts with investing in quality riding gear.
Road safety charity Think! explains that motorcyclists are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in an accident than people in cars, per mile ridden. In a car, you're protected by a solid metal body. On a bike, there's nothing between you and the object you collide with, whether that's the ground, a lamppost, or another vehicle.
There's no law stating what motorcyclists must wear while riding — apart from a helmet — but a pair of jeans and t-shirt are unlikely to give you decent protection in the event of an accident. Specialised riding gear could save your life one day, so it's worth the investment.
The law states that motorbike and moped riders must wear a safety helmet that meets British safety standards at all times. The helmet worn must meet one of the following:
If you haven't bought your helmet yet, make sure you check out the government's Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) website. The search tool allows you to find out the safety ratings of hundreds of helmet makes and models.
Seeing as our heads are all different shapes and sizes, it's important to try on any helmet before you buy it, paying particular attention to:
The Think! Essential Guide to Protective Gear for Bikers explains that helmets should hug the head and feel snug around your cheeks. If you wobble your head and it moves, then it's too big and won't provide sufficient protection if you come off your bike.
If your head feels tight or there are any pressure points when you put the helmet on, then it's the wrong fit. Wear the helmet for a few minutes in the store before deciding to buy it, as you won't be able to return it.
Think! recommends choosing a light and brightly coloured helmet, as this will help other road users to see you.
The helmet strap should be secured at all times when you're out on the road. Even if the helmet fits well, it's likely to come off in an accident if you don't use the strap.
A set of decent leathers and quality safety helmet could set you back hundreds of pounds, so they're worth protecting. Besides, you've spent a lot of time and effort choosing the right riding gear, so you don't want to lose out if you were involved an accident.
With cover from Hastings Direct, you'll receive up to £750 worth of protection for your motorcycle leathers and bike helmet. For just £2.67 a month, our bike helmet and leather protection covers the cost of your riding gear if it's damaged in a motorbike accident anywhere in the UK.
Along with your protective clothing (leathers) and helmet, your riding boots and gloves are also covered under this policy.
What's not covered:
Our bike helmet and leathers cover is provided by Canopius and is available to Hastings Direct bike customers.
Further information can be found in our optional additional products booklet.