Motorcycle Equipment: The Definitive Guide

Safety is one of the highest priorities for anyone who is serious about riding motorcycles.

Because you don't have a layer of metal encasing protecting you like you do with a car, it's important to have the equipment that will be able to help make up for the lack of outside protection.

In order to help you get the kind of equipment that could potentially save your life in the event of an accident, we're going to take a look at several pieces of equipment as well as top motorcycle brands that can help you to be prepared. 

We'll also cover some pieces of equipment that can just add a little more convenience to your ride.

Why ride a bike?

Before we get into our motorcycle equipment breakdown, we wanted to take a second to discuss why you should even consider riding a motorcycle in the first place.

This is a huge decision that you have to make, because there can be a lot of time and money put into riding a bike.

You have to get a motorcycle license and eventually purchase a motorcycle.

So, what are the pros? Why should you even get one?

If you ask anyone who has ever been on a motorcycle, they will tell you that nothing else compares to it while being on the road.

man on a motorcycle

Trust us when we say you will never feel more aware than when you are on the back of a motorcycle.

You need to know everything that is happening around you and you can see it all.

Also, there is no better way to take in your surroundings, and this is why so many who own motorcycles decide to do joy rides through the most beautiful parts of the country.

We think that by doing all of this you are more likely to appreciate nature more.

Save Money

In terms of money, motorcycles are going to save you a lot of money over time. The main reason is gas and cost efficiency.

Filling up a motorcycle is basically nothing when compared to larger vehicles, and this is why a lot of people decide to take their bikes on their commutes to work every day.

Motorcycles also allow you to get where you need to go faster. We’ve all been there on the highway, and seen them weave their way in and out of traffic.

It is a way that is more convenient to travel.

Community engagement

Another reason to ride a motorcycle is the community that you begin to be involved with.

There is a really great community when it comes to riding motorcycles. There is no greater feeling than being on a motorcycle and waving to those that pass.

There is this communal bond between bikers, and you will love being able to join riding clubs and getting to know others.

At the end of the day, everyone can agree that riding a motorcycle is just so cool.

 Maybe it is because of the way the media has portrayed it (especially with Fonzie on Happy Days, the epitome of cool), but it just feels amazing.

You have the sun beaming down on you, the wind in your face, and cruising around the country.

Whether you are using it to go on vacation, or just using it primarily as your mode of transportation, getting a motorcycle is completely worth it.

As we mentioned before, people get up in arms about safety and being safe on a motorcycle.

We understand their concern, which is why we have included the motorcycle equipment breakdown below.

The first thing you need to do is take motorcycle lessons.

This is going to allow you to get a feeling for how to use a bike and also allow you to actually pass your motorcycle license.

We recommend going with a trusted learning center, as these can also allow you to get lower insurance rates.

Once you get your license, it is time to buy a motorcycle.

We could go on forever about the various types of motorcycles to buy, but we will just encourage you to purchase from a trusted brand such as Harley, Honda, etc.

These are going to provide you with equipment that will last a long time and is safe to use.

One of the biggest things to note is that you cannot get on your bike without the equipment listed below.

So, use this as a guide. Once you have purchased everything, it is smooth sailing and you will be riding around in no time.

Motorcycle equipment breakdown

When shopping for motorcycle equipment, there are six major things that you are going to need to look at in order to be safe.

We are going to break down each below, and explain to you the reasons why you need that certain piece of equipmen

motorcycle getting repaired

We want you to understand why you need these specific products in order for you to understand why you should buy them.

If you know the need, you will not think twice before purchasing these things.

Remember, all of the motorcycle equipment listed below is to not only give you a better experience on the bike, but it is to promote safety while driving.

All of this equipment listed below can actually save your life, so it is so important to have the proper equipment in place.

So, let’s dive in and see what you need to get. Remember, do not get on a bike without having this equipment.


We are going to start with obviously the most important piece of equipment for riding a motorcycle: the helmet.

eight helmet

A helmet does not need an explanation, and it is law in many places around the world to wear a helmet.

Even where it is not law, we cannot think of any situation in which you should even consider not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

It is the single most important piece of equipment to purchase as it will protect your head from injury.

If you go down without a helmet on, the chances of long-term injury or fatality goes up a lot.

You need a helmet, or else you should never get on a bike. In order to have the helmet actually do its job, it must have a great fit, and also a good field of vision.

When looking at purchasing a new helmet, you need to make sure you are buying from a source that is designed to meet the safety standards set in place by the government.

Don’t worry, this does not mean you have to buy the most expensive one.

In fact, there are plenty of great motorcycle helmets for under $100, if you just look at reliable brands that meet the requirements.

In The US, it must pass DOT (Department of Transportation) safety inspection. In Europe, it must pass the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) specs.

These agencies are in place to ensure the helmet you buy is made out of high-quality material that will do the job they are intended for.

All of the best helmets have been tested over and over again to ensure that upon impact they will do their job.

One of the most popular brands of helmets is the “Snell” brand, because they even meet the highest safety requirements on the market.

There are some helmets known to work during impacts at even at the highest of speeds.

When purchasing a helmet, the most important thing is finding the right size. If you get a helmet that is either too loose or too tight, it is not going to help you out at all.

You need one that is a snug fit, that is not going to go anywhere should you get in an accident.

The best thing to do is your measure your head from around your eyebrows, to get the full circumference of the head.

Then you can find your measurements.

If buying online, we strongly recommend that you first go to the store in person and try on some brands, because each of them will feel a bit differently, and the sizes will be different as well! So, go on and try the helmet.

Another thing to look for obviously is comfort level. There are going to be times you will be wearing this helmet for a good many hours.

You are going to want to be able to have the maximum airflow to cool yourself down, and also a way to shield your face from harsh winds.

You want one that is not going to be too hot on the head to ensure that you can wear it and still feel great about it.

Try to find a helmet with versatility, with a variety of features, as this is definitely going to help you out no matter the weather conditions (be it sunny, or a bit cooler, or even rainy).

This is the most important piece of motorcycle equipment and we encourage you to pay a bit extra for a helmet that is actually going to work up to par.


A jacket is an incredibly important piece of equipment that can go a long way toward keeping you safe when you ride.

man on a scooter

One thing that many people don't realize is you really shouldn't just go with an inexpensive jacket that only offers a little added protection in certain areas.

Many lower cost jackets will have some pads in areas like the elbows and back, which is great but the high quality jackets will have padding not only in those areas, but in the forearms and other areas as well.

The more coverage you have, the safer you will be in the event of an accident. It's always worthwhile to spend the extra money on a jacket rather than go for something that will offer less protection.

A few excellent brands to look into for motorcycle jackets are Cordura, Dainese and Alpinestars.

Keep in mind that the more you have covered and the better you have it covered, the less likely you'll be to sustain any serious injury.


While they can be something that are easily overlooked, gloves are a highly important thing to have.

Our hands are very fragile, but also incredibly important when it comes to doing pretty much anything.

When you fall, it's also a normal reaction for humans to put our hands out in order to try to stop the fall.

Because of this, a solid set of gloves is going to go a long way.

biker gloves

Many gloves will have added protection in the knuckles and tops of your hands, but your palms are going to be the first thing to hit the ground, so it's important to find something with padded palms as well.

A great set of motorcycle gloves will offer you the ability of your hands to slide on the pavement rather than catch.

Aside from the protective aspects, gloves can also keep your hands from getting cold while driving.

Even on a day that doesn't seem cold otherwise, the wind created while driving can leave your hands feeling numb and uncomfortable.

Pants and Riding Jeans

Motorcycle pants can do a great job protecting your legs. While they aren't typically a part of the body that generate the most concern, it's always great to keep as much of your body safe as possible.

For those who ride often, motorcycle pants can lose viability. In these circumstances, it would be worth looking into riding jeans.

These are jeans with added protection in order to keep you safe.

Normal jeans might seem like enough, but if you get into an accident they won't be able to offer a lot in the way of protection.

Riding jeans give you the comfort of regular jeans with a higher level of protection.

One brand that is well known for their high quality riding jeans is UglyBros, which might be more expensive than regular jeans but will also keep you a lot safer.

With any piece of equipment, safety is going to be worth a lot more than the money you might save by purchasing lower quality items.


Like our wrists, our ankles are very fragile.

You're going to need something that will be comfortable to wear and be able to withstand a lot of weight for those times when you're stopped in traffic and need to put a foot down to keep yourself and your bike up.

motocross rider in the dirt

At a minimum, some solid work or combat boots can do the job.

However, if you ride often then you may want some motorcycle-specific boots.

There are a couple different varieties that you can look into.

There are touring boots, which are made to be comfortable, offer support and hold up well in all kinds of weather. 

You can also find dirt boots, which are made to offer you something comfortable to stand on when needed and also limit the movement of your ankle so that it won't be able to get twisted or rolled easily in an accident.

Boots that are made specifically for motorcycle riding will also have a better fit when worn with motorcycle pants, which can add to the overall comfort and protection.


Depending on the helmet you have or choose to buy, goggles may or may not be something you'll need.

Many helmets already have a visor that you can close down to keep the entirety of your face covered while still being able to see the road ahead of you.

In the circumstances where that isn't the case, it's a good idea to get some goggles in order to protect your eyes from wind, rain and other weather as well as any debris that might get swept up on the road.

This will keep your eyes safe and make sure you'll be able to see and drive well.

Check out: Best Motorcycle Goggles (Buyer's Guide)


After purchasing a motorcycle, you will soon realize that you need to purchase a GPS to get the most out of your motorcycle trips.

GPS systems allow you to not only maximize your safety by not getting lost, but they also enhance your trip by allowing you to plan more scenic routes.

destination sign

A GPS for a motorcycle is something a lot of people tend to overlook but it is crucial to never get lost and to feel comfortable while out on the road.

There are GPS devices that have been designed specifically for use on motorcycles, and it is important to opt for these styles because they tend to be more durable than the typical car GPS options.

They can often handle being dropped, rained on or even getting into oil much more easily than other options.

They typically offer extra weather protection as well as the ability to control your music through the screen and even allow people to track you for an added layer of safety.


Just like cars, motorcycles need the right battery. We recommend that you do your research on your particular brand that you buy, whether it is Honda, Yamaha, etc., and get a battery that complements it.

In order to store an extra battery or other important items, it's a good idea to have some method for carrying things on your motorcycle.

There are several different ways you can store your important items. You can wear a backpack specifically designed for motorcycling.

These backpacks are often designed to limit the effects of wind and can be more resistant to inclement weather than a typical backpack.

There are also bags and other kinds of more structured luggage that can not only hold but protect the items you keep inside.

Things like scarves and lighter waterproof jackets can help you with staying warm and dry during your ride.

These items are more for the sake of comfort rather than safety, but are a good idea for those chilly days when the cold wind can be biting to your skin.

Ear plugs are also a beneficial tool. The road can be noisy, and so can your motorcycle.

In order to keep your hearing from being damaged or even just for a little peace on your ride, ear plugs can be great. 

It is important to make sure that you don't get ear plugs that are going to block everything out entirely because you will want to be able to hear what's going on around you for the purposes of safety.

Read this: 12 Best motorcycle covers

Best motorcycle equipment brands

Now since you know the equipment that you should purchase, you should also know what brands to buy one.

There are a lot of knock-off products these days that you should definitely stay away from.

All of the brands we have outlined for you are known to be some of the best. The best brands are: Aral, FOX, Shark, SHOEI, TRUMEN, TRIUMPH, and BMW.

We believe all of these are going to offer you high end equipment for your motorcycle.

No matter what you're looking for, there are reputable brands that can offer you the utmost in safety.


Remember: The main reason we are going over all of this equipment is for one reason only—safety!

Being on a motorcycle can be fatal if you are in a serious accident without any equipment.

Remember, there are no doors or air bags protecting you; there is only your equipment.

The only way to increase your safety is to buy high-quality equipment that we listed above.


At the end of the day, it is crucial that you purchase every piece of equipment we talked about.

You need it to increase your safety, just in case anything were to go wrong.

While many of these pieces might be on the expensive side, they're going to be a lot less costly than potentially losing your life, or at least the medical bills you can rack up in the event of a motorcycle crash.

Luckily, you won't need to worry about style, because many of these pieces of equipment can also offer you a tough biker look that will keep you stylish and safe.