Save your skin
Tips on protective clothing written by riders for riders. Every month, we sort through the tips you send us, and publish a selection here.
We invite you to write a tip for us. Winning submissions are awarded a new pair of protective riding gloves.
Rider Comfort and Distraction (Video)
By James Erdmann (2009 rider safety tip competition winner)
Wear it or WEAR IT (Video)
By Michael Palmer
Be safe, be seen (Video)
By Heather Chapman
Summer Riding (Video)
By Rebecca Edwards
Motorcycle Boots (Video)
By Stephen Pascoe
Dress for the Conditions (Video)
By Rosie Leaver
Personal Safety - Summer and Winter GearBy Max Clark of Cranbourne
I have been riding bikes for around 25 years now and it still amazes me how many riders do not wear the correct personal safety equipment when riding. Yes, everyone (except a few) I have seen wears a helmet (got to protect the old noodle), but what I am talking about is - Jackets, Gloves, Boots and LONG pants.
So many riders just wear shorts, T-shirts/Singlets and runner/Thongs when it is summer. THAT REALLY IS STUPID.
You have no protection at all and I will say - Skin grafts really hurt. Ask my friend about it. My saying in summer is this - IF IT IS TOO HOT TO WEAR ALL THE SAFETY GEAR, THEN IT IS TO HOT TO RIDE. Basically, we all know what a graze feels like, now multiply it 100X or 1000X. That's the sort of pain you will get when you come off at the speed limit. Safe riding to all and see you out there.
Protective Gear for SummerBy Dennis Nichols of Taylors Hill
[Ed's note: This gets my endorsement. Always wear full protective gear in all riding and weather conditions.]
Need those glovesBy Martin de Haas of Werribee
"Coming Off" is not a pleasant experience, no matter what the cause, we all know that. There is no need to expound the virtues of the gloves in that situation - we all know them.
It is weather that is often overlooked, and even then, the most thought of is the cold.
[Ed's note: Always wear full protective gear whenever you ride regardless of weather conditions.]
Back Protector is a LifesaverBy Peter Elston of Frankston
The moral of the story is - Look at all the protective clothing you are currently using, and think hard whether it covers all the major impact spots of your body! You only get 1 body, 1 life, and sometimes 1 chance in an accident. Is your spine covered, the 1 part of your body that holds on your nerves, brain sensors, heart, lungs and generally your whole body up, so that you can walk?? Does your jacket incorporate a back/spine protector?? These protectors come in different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses - so it is up to you to purchase the 1 to suit your own body and back shape. Most jackets & leathers incorporate a holder or zipper insert to fit 1 of these. Think number 1 - think of yourself - go and get 1!!!!
Leg ProtectionBy Zoe Pfitzner of Hughesdale
Putting yourself in the in safe gear, will mean that there won't be any "should haves" if something does go wrong.
Tinted VisorsBy Matthew Keogh of Berwick
I thought this was the best purchase that I could make, until I went on a long ride and didn't plan for the fact that I would be riding back at night.
I would just like to let people know, especially those new to riding, that while a tinted visor is great in the daylight, it makes it very difficult to see at night and is quite dangerous. Try to plan your rides and if you are going to ride at night, change to a clear visor. This seems pretty obvious, but it caught me out and may catch you out if you are not prepared.
Clean Visor/Goggles/Glasses/MirrorsBy Chris Stroud of Wallan Wallan
Clean the inside of your visor as well and if your wear glasses, either sunnies or optical glasses, polish these as well. The bugs that splatter on the visor are now easier to clean off when you stop for a rest or to refuel.
I also carry a small bottle of windshield cleaner to clear my visor when conditions are bad. You will also find that by cleaning your visor with silicon that when it is raining the water will bead and run off the visor more easily than if you had not cleaned it at all.
Stay dry this winter (waterproofing your boots)By Steve Convy of Ormond
It works on boots too, especially on the left boot, where the gear shift rubs. Even on a good pair the stitches will eventually wear on the gear protectors. So there you go. Always carry some gaffer tape. You'd be surprised how handy it can be.
Rider comfort helps prevent fatigueBy Barry Park of Warragul
• Carry two sets of gloves. Leave one set inside your jacket to stay warm. If you stop for petrol in the rain, swap gloves. If one pair is damp, place them back inside your jacket and let your body heat dry and warm them.
• It's pretty difficult to keep boots dry. One way around this is to visit Melbourne's ski shops during summer. Pick up a pair of XXL cross-country ski gaiters out of the bargain bin that fit over the outside your boots. The ski gear is generally made to be form-fitting, so there shouldn't be any dangling straps to catch on anything. They will protect 80 per cent of your boots from the weather.
• Rain gets in everywhere. Buy a close-fitting rain set - anorak and overpants - and wear them underneath riding gear.
• Plan escape routes. If you're doing an extended ride and the weather is really bad, aim for a pre-planned place to get out of the weather and dry out or warm up. Friends and relatives are often quite sympathetic to a drenched rider showing up on their doorstep.
Wear protective clothingBy Chris Bouwemeester
Information on Protective Clothing and what it can do for you.
Spokes offers tips from fellow riders on what motorcycle protective clothing you need to wear to help save your skin including motorbike helmets, jackets, gloves, boots and full body suits. Check out the spokes section on protective clothing for the latest information.