PPE or Personal Protective Gear is all the rage right now in the time of Covid-19. For motorcyclists it has
been part of attire all along. In fact some articles of protection like leather chaps, jackets, pants and
gloves date back to the wild, wild west.
The proper riding gear is important for your protection and for your enjoyment of the ride. If your gear
is too big and beating you like a drum any kind of highway ride will become annoying really soon. So
how do you know when the fit is right? The main consideration is that you want to fit your gear for the
speed you ride, not just what feels comfortable at 0 kmh in the store.
Helmet fit is critical. An old saying says “Don’t buy a one hour helmet for a 10 hour ride”. Helmets need
to be snug fitting. They should sit about a finger’s width above your eyebrows. If you roll the helmet
around it should move your eyebrows too. Most new riders will tend to fit a helmet too loose. On the
other hand, be wary of hotspots or pressure points. Helmets are sized by circumference (i.e. a medium is
56-58 cm). A round head and an oval head may be the same circumference but the fit is totally different.
Take your time at your local dealer, try on different brands until you find the one that’s right for you.
Newer riders also have a tendency to fit riding jackets too big. Common mistakes are trying to
accommodate a big sweater. Fit a jacket so it won’t flap. Fit it snug but not restrictive. If you need extra
warmth think about an electric vest or high-performance base layers. Try a jacket at a dealer where you
can sit on a bike with similar ergos to your bike to make sure you’re comfortable in riding position.
Buy your riding gear to act as a second protective skin. Fit it so it won’t flap at speed. Remember to
always dress for a slide, not just for the ride!