#1 Full-face helmetDon’t think that you will get away with wearing a shorty for your first year or so of motorcycling. You still have a lot to learn - and you will fall off your bike. An open face helmet is going to lead to serious injury if you are even slightly unlucky, which is more than likely when you are just starting out. So, go for a proper defence with a full-face helmet - and don’t save on the cost. Cheap helmets are inexpensive for a reason - they are next to useless. A good helmet will save your life - so there’s just no contest in quality.
#2 Proper riding clothingFirst of all, in your first year of riding, you are going to come off - perhaps, even, on many different occasions. In simple terms, it's going to hurt, and even the slightest graze on the knee can affect your biking technique. You need to be comfortable, and you need protection. Think about heavy duty Rukka Trousers or something similar to give you the protection you need. Also, get a heavy set leather jacket to protect your elbows and upper body. Again, it’s worth investing a little in something that looks great and feels perfect.
#3 BootsFootwear is just as important as anything else you will wear. But, they are especially important if you are riding a fast bike rather than a cruiser. Sportbike riders should look for something lightweight and durable. There is a huge array of technology involved in riding boots these days. The trick is to find something that you feel comfortable with, so head down to your local bike store.
#4 Something for the rainWhen you live in the UK, you have always got to be ready for rain. It’s just the way it is - and without protection, you will regret it. Leather isn’t the greatest material when it comes to water, so get something waterproof to ensure it stays dry. We know of bikers getting caught in thunderstorms miles from home, with no option other than to ride on. The added water in their leathers almost doubled their weight - so think carefully before skipping the kagool section in TK Maxx.
#5 SunglassesFinally, always have a good pair of shades. For a start, no biker worth their salt would go without. But, it’s also a much safer way of biking when the sun is out, and the roads are looking hazy. It only takes a stray reflection to hit your eye at the wrong angle, and you could be toast.
Image source: Flickr / Adam Kuśmierz