Riding a motorcycle off-road comes with some inherent risks. Quality motorcycle gear protects your body from an impact in case of a fall and makes riding more comfortable in harsher elements. Off-road and adventure riding gear tends to offer better protection from the rigors of off-road riding than street focused gear and certainly much better protection than jeans and work boots. When budgeting for your first motorcycle purchase, leave room in the budget for adequate projection as you might take a few falls while learning to ride off-road.
Helmet – We get 10 fingers and 10 toes but aren’t born with a spare brain. Protecting your head from injury with a quality helmet should go without saying. Look for a new DOT or ECE 22.05 rated full-faced helmet in the correct size for you. The light weight carbon helmets are a great choice as they offer the ultimate protection and hours long comfort. Some examples of quality helmets are the Touratech Aventuro, Klim Krios Pro, Arai XD4, and for a more budget friendly option, Bell MX-9 Adventure. If you’re unsure of your size you can visit your local motorcycle shops and get fitted for an appropriately sized helmet.
Boots – We cannot overstate the importance of boots. There is a chance the motorcycle could fall on your leg, trapping your leg between the frame of the bike and the ground. Good off-road riding boots provide protection for your foot, ankle, and lower leg. High quality off road riding boots while pricey, will last you for years to come and more than likely pay for themselves the first time you end up underneath your bike. Even the most expensive boots on the market are cheaper than any hospital bill. Some examples of top notch off road riding boots are the SIDI Crossfire, the Gearne SG-12, or for something a bit more budget friendly, The Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro.
Riding Suit – You will also need to protect your body and limbs. A good riding suit, jacket and pants, provide protection from the elements, impacts, and abrasion in the event of a crash. A quality, fully armored, preferably Gore-Tex riding suit is essential. A few great options for apparel are from brands like KLIM, Rev’It!, Touratech and others.
Gloves – When adventure riding, your hands are always vulnerable to the elements or crashes. Invest in a nice pair gloves with genuine leather palms, armored knuckles, and an abrasion resistant shell. We suggest taking along two pairs of gloves when riding. Something more lightweight and breathable for working hard off-road, and something waterproof and insulated when you get caught in a deluge and the temperatures drop. We love the offerings from Touratech, REV’IT!, and Klim.
Base Layers – This is often overlooked, but don’t underestimate the importance of a good base layer. High quality, lightweight and breathable underwear, riding shirt and pants are a must. Skip cotton, as its heavy, hard to dry, and takes up too much pack space. A synthetic polyester blend works great. Merino wool is an amazing fabric that comes with a premium price, but it will keep you cool when hot, and warm when cold. We also suggest a fleece, down puffy coat, or merino wool mid weight layer for those chilly mornings on the bike or relaxing around the campfire after a long day.