8 Things You Must Not Wear on a Motorcycle

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You’ll hear a lot of critics out there discussing what you should be wearing while riding a motorcycle. To keep themselves safe, there are many items that a motorcyclist should wear.

But what about the things you shouldn’t wear? Some clothing and merchandise can be easily identified by motorcycle riders as being unsafe when operating a vehicle such as this. I could list a million things to never wear on a motorcycle, but I’ll point out the most common ones that some motorcyclists think is safe when it’s actually not.

Used/Expired Helmets

It’s somewhat common for a motorcyclist to purchase a secondhand motorcycle helmet. I don’t blame them; a decent helmet can be expensive. This is bad practice, and it should not be done.

While riding, there are many dangers associated with wearing a helmet that is not brand new. It is impossible to know the history of a helmet that you are buying secondhand. There are many possibilities that could happen to your helmet, including drops, heavy collisions and even expiration.

When a helmet is dropped, especially at a notable distance, it tends to lose it’s potency in helping protect your head. Expired helmets provide less protection. Due to heat, sweat, continuous wear, and constant contact from others, glue and protective gear can begin to wear down.

You should only wear helmets that you have purchased new. Also make sure it’s DOT and SNELL certified. That way you know it’s complete history and know it’ll give you the protection your head needs in the case of an accident.

Scarves

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not wearing a scarf while riding a motorcycle is safe. It all depends on the scarf you choose. Regular scarves are best avoided while riding a motorcycle.

You’ll have to think about the physics when it comes to wearing such attire going at high speeds. The ends of the scarf will trail back behind you while you’re riding. If it’s long enough, it’s completely possible for it to catch on to something and yank you back.

Scarves are also prone to becoming undone when riding. The fast wind will whip the scarf, making it tumble off the windshield and distracting other drivers. Additionally, a scarf may flip up on your face and block your view for a few moments.

If you want to wear a scarf while riding a motorcycle, make sure you get one that has it’s ends sewn together. A motorcyclist will need a way to keep their neck warm in cold weather and there are plenty of minimalist motorcycle scarves out there that don’t require you to wrap it around your neck and tie it.

Loose Clothing

It is possible that you have noticed that many motorcyclists don’t wear much clothing, such as leather or synthetic. It’s a good thing. Wearing tighter clothes is safer than wearing loose clothing.

Before you go on a motorcycle ride, take a look at your clothing to see if there are any items that might be missing. Sometimes this can be hard to calibrate until you’re actually out on your ride.

For motorcyclists, loose clothing can be very distracting. Loose clothing is dangerously distracting for motorcyclists. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to have it flail around the place.

Dark Clothing

A mantra I tell all new riders, or any motorcycle rider, is to assume everyone else can’t see you. Because chances are, most drivers around you aren’t aware you’re there because of how much smaller motorcycles are compared to cars.

In this instance, dark clothing will not help. Dark clothing will make it harder for other drivers to see you, regardless of whether you are driving at night or day. This is especially true at night.

Many motorcycle gear is available in grey or black. If you’re out of options or have no choice, ensure that you have enough reflectors in your clothing and helmet. You can buy reflector tape and put a desired amount on in any place you’d like.

Half Helmets

It is always a cause for concern when I see motorcyclists riding with a half helmet. Half helmets are helmets that basically only cover the top of a rider’s head. The main advantage of these is to have minimal visual obstruction as well as being able to hear better since most of them don’t cover the ears.

While half helmets are better than wearing no helmet at all, they’re not really a whole lot better. Half helmets are often called “Half Helmets”. “shortys,” Or “brain buckets” because that’s all they’re protecting. Even though riding a motorcycle can be dangerous for your brain, This helmet will not cover any other objects.

Statistically, the most likely place for a motorcyclist’s head to collide with something during an accident is the chin area. For such an event, a half helmet will not provide any protection. If you’re going to ride a motorcycle, always wear a full faced helmet that will give you the best protection.

Shorts/Sandals

You should follow some basic guidelines when riding a motorcycle. Shorts and sandals don’t make that cut. This clothing will not provide protection and leave your skin exposed.

A lot of people will argue that wearing shorts is no different than wearing long pants that’ll rip instantly once collided with the asphalt. Even though long pants can rip very quickly, it still provides a little less direct impact on the road and your skin.

Additionally, Shorts and sandals won’t provide protection for your motorcycle. Remember that your feet and legs are directly next to very hot exhaust pipes, and an extremely hot engine. Protective clothing such as long pants and boots can help protect these parts.

Shorts and sandals should never be worn while riding a motorcycle, even if it’s just for a few minutes or a quick ride. Wear the appropriate motorcycle gear to ensure the safety of your feet and legs; they’re what get you around when you’re not on your bike.

Headphones

It can be a great way to make riding more enjoyable by listening to music. But there’s a right way and a wrong way of doing so. It’s best to not wear headphones while riding a motorcycle and there are a few reasons why.

First, it’s actually illegal in a lot of states in the U.S. to wear headphones while riding AAA. Wearing headphones could inhibit your ability to hear what’s going on with your surroundings, especially if your music is loud enough. Anything that’s stuffed into your ears will make it difficult to be aware of sounds around you.

You can listen to music while riding a motorcycle using many different methods, including a speaker set and helmets with Bluetooth. Check out my article about safe music listening while riding a motorcycle.

Heavy Backpack

Storage space on a motorcycle is very limited unless you have multiple bags or compartments. My first motorcycle ride was to college. I had to use my backpack a lot to transport my stuff, especially for frequent trips to the library.

While backpacks are generally safe to wear while operating a motorcycle, it’s not a good idea to wear a backpack that’s heavy. There’s a lot of safety issues that can go along with this; You might be more at risk depending on the contents of your backpack. (for example, having heavy books means there’s additional heavy objects that could hit you).

Additionally, riding with a heavy backpack can make it very uncomfortable. I know this one from experience when I had to haul all those books to the library during school (which wasn’t a good idea at the time). It can cause you to have a bad posture, which can make riding more painful than enjoyable.

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