Here is a list of motorcycle and scooter basic riding gear essentials every rider should wear when suiting up for a ride. Whether it is a quick blast on your scooter to the gas station or a multi-week motorcycle tour through the Pacific Northwest, these items are the bare minimum.
Although Minnesota is not a helmet law state, I still wear one every time I saddle up. They come in a variety of styles but more importantly, they come in a variety of head shapes. Not all heads are the same shape so if you have had a bad experience wearing a helmet, it is either due to head shape or incorrect sizing. My A1 stop for head shape is always webBikeWorld because they break down helmets based on the shape. Once you understand your head shape, you can avoid ill fitting helmets that will create hotspots (pain points) on your head after a short time wearing them.
My personal helmet of choice is a Shoei Multitec Modular Helmet. I prefer a modular because I like to gas and go when I am on the road but I do have to wear ear plugs as they are definitely louder than a full-face helmet. I also choose lighter colors as it gets hot in the summer and I want my helmet to reflect the heat, not absorb it.
Jackets are the 2nd most important essential after a helmet. When is is hot outside wear a vented jacket and when it is cold, wear a non-vented jacket but ALWAYS wear a jacket. Always choose a jacket that has CE approved armor in the elbows, shoulders and back and offers good abrasion resistance.
When I was a kid riding around the mini-bike my Dad hand built for my brother and I, he had a few rules that we had to follow before we could ride it. We had to have shoes, long pants, a helmet and gloves. It may have only had flintstone brakes (feet on the ground) but by god, we were going to dress properly. To this day, I can’t even do a test ride around the block without gloves.
Your hands are probably going to be the first thing that hits the ground in the event of an accident. If you are uncomfortable wearing gloves, I suggest you force yourself to wear them for a week. After that wearing gloves will be like putting on your seat belt. You’ll just feel weird not wearing them.
My personal go-to glove is the Corazzo Cordero in tan. They are soft, comfortable and the tan color really looks the business when you are out on the road. Plus they really stand out when using hand signals!
Shorts are definitely not going to cut it, sorry folks. Whether you are riding a Honda Spree or a BMW R Nine T, cement and asphalt is terribly abrasive. My dad always tells a story about how they clean road rash when you are at the hospital. He says they use a stainless steel brush! Can you imagine a more horrible experience then having a wound get worked over with a brush to get the gravel out?
You can get jeans made explicitly for riding or even armored overpants but as the bare minimum, always wear jeans.
#5: Closed-Toe Footwear
This is another bare minimum. Yes, you should wear boots but tennis shoes are better than flip flops or sandals. Being from Minnesota, I recommend that you grab a pair of Red Wings. Red Wing offers a broad range of stylish choices that are made right here in Minnesota!
Obviously everyone can wear more gear but this is what we recommend as the absolute minimum before getting on the saddle.