What to wear (and what to avoid…)
Whatever the time of the year, it is important to always wear the correct protective clothing.
While there's no greater feeling than climbing on your moped or motorbike and going for a ride during the summer months, taking a tumble - even at low speeds – can be a painful experience.
You need a helmet, strong and sturdy boots, proper biking gloves and a trouser/jacket combination that will offer your skin and bones some protection in the event of a fall.
No matter what you're riding always wear protective clothing such as leathers or textiles. They may look hot and clumsy, but for the warmer months you can get ultra cool summer trousers and jackets with strong mesh panels for maximum airflow that are both waterproof and breathable to keep sweat down.
You are always better with a full-face helmet. An open-face helmet is appealing in hot weather, but it won’t offer as much protection as a full-face model. However, there are options that give you the best of both worlds. Look out for full helmets with a chin guard hoop and a sun visor built in, or open-face models with full visor and extended cheek guards.
All motorcycle helmets must meet one of the following standards:
• British Standard BS 6658:1985 (and carry the BSI Kitemark)
• UNECE Regulation 22.05
• A European Economic Area member standard offering at least the same safety and protection as BS 6658:1985 (and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark)
In addition, goggles and visors must meet either:
• A British Standard (and display a BSI Kitemark)
• A European standard offering at least the same safety and protection as the British Standard and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark (UNECE Regulation 22.05)
It is important to wear riding gloves or gauntlets. Buy two sets: a heavy-duty pair that will keep your hands warm in the winter, and a lighter pair with mesh panels, or ventilation on the back of the hands, to stop you getting sweaty palms when the weather is warmer.
Modern textile riding jackets and trousers are much lighter than leather and feature mesh panels to allow plenty of airflow and keep you cool. Kit like the WEISE Air Spin suit has CE-approved armour throughout, for added protection.
Some, like the Rev-It’s Turbine ladies’ jacket, combine mesh with a breathable waterproof membrane to keep you dry in sunshine and rain. They can also be stylish enough to wear everyday, not just when you are riding.
It's a really good idea to consider jackets and shirts that include a Kevlar lining which provides additional protection should you ever come off your bike or scooter.
Kevlar-lined riding jeans are a popular choice with scooter riders during the warmer months. Although they look and feel like normal jeans, super-strong Kevlar panels are attached inside around the hips, knees and bottom.
Never jump on a motorbike or scooter wearing trainers or anything even less substantial. The first thing that will hit the floor in the event of a tumble will be the soles of your feet or your ankles, so make sure you've got plenty of protection in the form of riding boots.
If you can’t face wearing high boots for quick journeys around town, there are plenty of short, paddock-style boots with impact protection and proper fastenings for a secure fit. They are comfortable to wear on and off the bike, and include a waterproof membrane which will keep your feet dry in summer showers.