With the cost of gas getting higher, the price of parking getting more and more outrageous in major cities and getting harder to find anyway, and the increased congestion on the roads, many are turning to a solution that they already own, but never gave any mind to, their motorcycle as a way to commute back and forth to work.
Even those who do not have a motorcycle currently are starting to look at the purchase of one of the great commuter bikes on the market. The low cost, ease of parking and ability to get though traffic more efficiently make them a great choice for those who the morning commute is a necessity, both a situation they are just not happy dealing with in the traditional way any more. Of course the choice to begin commuting on your bike is one that will lead to you having to make some major changes in how you commute.
You need to look at some of the best commuter motorcycle practices, which include the best commuter motorcycle gear that you need. Now that you have one of the best commuter motorcycles on the road, let’s look at the basics and some options you have to get the best commuter motorcycle gear you need for your particular style and type of riding.
Commuter Motorcycle Helmet:
Helmet laws vary from one state to another and even within states individual jurisdictions dictate different views on helmets and may have local laws requirement them. Make sure that you check with you local department of motor vehicles or your local state police office for more information. If you are required to wear a helmet on city streets, or if you choose to wear one yourself, it’s important that you not only find the kind of helmet that is right for you but also that is the best buy for your needs.
Half helmets and “brain buckets” are very popular with the cruiser crowd and sportster rider. This is especially true with those who identify with the “percentage” lifestyles among the biker community. In terms of half helmets the best on the market right now is the VCAN V531 Cruiser Half Helmet comes in a soft gloss black finish that offers a classic tough guy look while keeping you protected. The four point chin strap offers a quick release latch system that is reliable and easy to use. This DOT certified helmet is ideal for commuters as it offers a wide field of vision and lots of comfort.
For those who prefer the feel and added security of a full face helmet, or who just like the look and styling of one, the best one on the market for commuters is the Matte Black Dual Visor Modular Motorcycle Helmet is a full face helmet that offers the added convenience of a flip up face guard that can also be removed. This makes it easy to convert from a full face to an open face helmet any time. This helmet is also easily able to accommodate a Bluetooth communication system should you wish to install one.
“How to Buy the Best Motorcycle Helmet for You”
Motorcycle gear is a key factor in getting set up for motorcycle communing. It’s important that you have upper body protection, especially in inclement weather. Motorcycle leathers have always been a top choice for bikers but there are new choices now. You need to not only stay looking your best for when you get to work, but you need to stay comfortable as well. A happy biker is a biker who is concentrating on the road and not on the fact that he is cold or soaked to his skin in a sudden down pour.
The classic biker jacket is a nice choice is you are into the cruiser/touring style bike. A favorite among the “percentage” riders and the main streamers alike, the jackets offers a look and feel that invokes thoughts of simpler time and a feeling of adventure. There are lots of pockets to help keep your daily needs organized.
This jacket also has an added bonus of having a macho look that many enjoy. Among the best available on the market today is Hot Leathers Classic Motorcycle Jacket with Zip Out Lining. Rightly priced and made of extremely durable leather that is top quality and pebbled to look great, this is a perfect choice for the tough guy image but also provides comfort and peace of mind. The zippers are snag free, the lining comes out to be easy washed and the pulls are all large and easy to grab even with full finger gloves on.
For those who prefer the sportster style bikes or who just like the look and feel of something a bit more modern then the Xelement CF-624 Armored Race Motorcycle Jacket is a great choice. The jacket offers great two-tone styling that complements any personal style and at the same time provides a lot of pocket space while not skimping on the body armor factor.
A WORD ABOUT VESTS: No doubt when it comes to motorcycle leathers vests are very important. You will need two kinds of vests, a classic denim or leather vest for wear in warmer weather that can provide you with protection from road elements and offers a mild layer of protection for accidents and lay downs, and a Hi-Viz vest to wear over your regular vest at night if you plan to commute often in the dark. The Hi-Viz vest can also be slipped over your motorcycle jacket to provide additional visibility in inclement weather.
A wonderful choice for a classic motorcycle vest is the Men’s Leather 10 Pockets Motorcycle Biker Vest. This vest offers 10 pockets in total so you have lots of pocket space to carry along the most important things in your life as you commute. The side laces make it easy to adjust sizing for a perfect fit and the four snap front accommodates extender chains to make it more comfortable in warmer weather.
The best reflector vest on the market is the VT Motorcycle Green Reflective Visibility Base Vest. This vest has a nylon zip front and adjustable side Velcro closures that make it easy to adjust the fit over your regular jacket or vest. The high visibility color and retro-reflective panels make it a perfect choice for night and inclement weather riding as it make sure that you are seen and therefore safe. The vest can accommodate the addition of “CAN YOU SEE ME NOW” Campaign neon orange flags sold at most biker outlets easily for even further visibility on the road.
“Leather Motorcycle Jacket Buying Guide”
Gloves are a very important part of your daily commuter kit. Gloves are great of course for inclement weather when they can keep your hands warm and dry, but many bikers don’t realize the importance of gloves to daily riding in good weather as well. They can help cut down on sweat that can make hand control usage difficult, can keep grit and road grime from making you uncomfortable and most of all can help keep your hands clean. A good pair of well-fitting gloves can make your daily commute easier. Motorcycle gloves come in full coverage and fingerless styles. Here are a couple of great choices for commuter riders.
Full coverage gloves are perfect for cold weather, but many find that with the new breathable fabrics that they are a wonderful choice for warm weather as well. Black Leather Fingerless Motorcycle Biker Glove by Leatherbull offer the classic look and feel of open finger biker gloves at a great price and with a durability that is unmatched.
Fingerless gloves are perfect for warm weather. Many bikers find that they provide less constriction and as such make it easier for you to manipulate the grips and handles on the bike. For cold weather a pair of glove liners are a great choice and usually can be picked up where you bought your gloves or at your favorite biker shop or bike supplies and repair outlet around the start of fall a favorite of fingerless gloves is Police Biker Short Motorcycle Leather Gloves in BLACK. These great looking gloves are a wonderful choice for every rider who prefers full finger coverage. They have a flared cuff that will not bind and can help protect your watch at the same time. They also can accommodate wearing of wedding bands easily.
Everyone knows that the wear of jackets and vests can not only protect you from the elements and other things that you may encounter on the open road but also the injuries that can result from an accident or laying down of your bike. For the commuter rider they also provide a bit of protection to your clothing so that when you get to where you are going you can still look your best.
What many bikers fail to think about however in terms of motorcycle gear is the lower body, and in many cases this is where you need the most protection from not only road hazards and injuries but also where you may find your clothing has the best chance of getting affected by riding back and forth to work.
Those on long distance trips have the benefit of chaps to keep them safe and comfortable, and lifestyle rider such as a large section of the “percentage” riders and many blue collar workers can wear them as well. But if you are a white collar type, you may find that chaps either are not practical or are just not comfortable for your riding or personal style.
Over pants are a great answer and provide full protection for you and your clothes when commuting. Again traditional motorcycle leathers are great but you do not have to go that route. Here are a couple of different alternatives you might find better suit your style.
Bilt Iron Workers Motorcycle Cargo Pants are ideal for those who want a classic look without sacrificing comfort and durability. They look like traditional cargo pants but are oversized to fit over regular pants. They have a soft touch lining that is incorporated fully and provide pass through access to regular pants pockets in the front.
Motorcycle Pants with Removable CE Armor are a great choice for those who want a more modern look and feel. They provide a great style that matches well with armored upper body wear as well as traditional wear. They also have a full lignin and easy to use Velcro opening at the fly that can be used even when wearing gloves.
“Motorcycle Pants Sizing & Buying Guide”
While there is no hard and fast rule that you cannot ride in your street/work shoes and boots but you may not want to. Dress shoes are expensive and they provide little protection to you in an accident.
They also generally have smooth souls that cannot, even in the best of conditions operate the foot controls of the bike at the most effective. Running shoes and the like, no matter what Hollywood propagated images of bikers on popular TV shows and New York fashion ads would like you to believe are the worst possible choice for motorcycle riding.
Work boots are better but not ideal. It’s no biggy to wear a comfortable and effective pair of motorcycle boots while riding and change to regular shoes when you get to work. You can either leave a pair of nice dress shoes at the office or take them with you in the cargo pod of your bike. The important thing is to make sure that you are comfortable and safe while operating the bike. Fashion and dress codes can be accommodated on the back side.
Xelement Mens Zipper Harness Motorcycle Boots are a great quick change boot, they can easily be stashed under your desk or in the bottom drawer of a file cabinet when you are at work and slipped back on quickly at the end of the day to go home. They offer a great look at a great price and are comfortable to wear. They have a gripper sole that keeps tread on the foot controls and holds the pavement when stopped.
Durango Men’s 11 Harness Boots offer high leg coverage and a great looking under a pair of suit trousers or dress slacks if you choose to keep them on. The western styling works perfect with casual clothing as well. They also offer full grip soles and a comfortable memory foam foot bed that offer support yet remains breathable.
“Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide”
Motorcycle Travel Bag:
If you are going to be commuting regularly on your motorcycle you will want to invest in some motorcycle luggage, specifically a good travel bag. While it’s a great idea and even encouraged to get a cargo pod for the tail of your bike and you more than likely already have saddle bags, motorcycle luggage such as a travel bag is also a great choice.
A couple of great travel bags in the back pack style are the AXO 29101-05-000 Black Commuter Backpack and the Osprey Packs Celeste Daypack. Both offer a lot of storage space for what you need to carry along with you. These packs are perfect for taking everything such as your cellphone, laptop, tablet and more with you in a waterproof and padded case that can fit across your back without being binding or cumbersome.
If your job requires you to use a briefcase then you need to select one that is made with motorcycle commuting in mind. Luckily motorcycle luggage such as this is pried right and offers the kind of durability that you would expect from any other briefcase. These briefcases provide all of the features that you want with the classic styling of a soft side briefcase while still giving you’re the durability and smaller size needed for motorcycle travel.
The Commuter Leather Motorcycle Tote Bag by Vagabond Traveler and the Vagabond Traveler 11 Full Leather Motorcycle Camera Bag w/iPad Pocket L17 are both wonderful choices.
They can each accommodate a full letter size file folder as well as most commonly sized small electronics. They can also fit easily on the passenger seat of a motorcycle and be secures to the sissy bar with a cargo nets system for easy transport.
You may also want to invest in a cargo net which attached to your sissy bar to retrain your briefcase if you choose to use one. They can be found online or at most bike supply shops. They are perfectly sized for holding small piece of luggage or a grocery tote and secure with a six or eight point bungee clip system. A great choice is this one available online, the 15×15 Powertye Cargo Net featuring 6 Adjustable Hooks & Tight 2×2 Mesh.
These are just a few of the things that you will need to build your motorcycle commuting survival gear kit. Buying one of the commuter bikes on the market is just the start of getting properly equipped. Motorcycle apparel and accessories are perfect for making your life easier as you join in the trend of commuting via bike.
Commuter bikes and the idea of commuting via motorcycle is hot right now. If you have a motorcycle already or are looking at purchasing one of the best commuter motorcycle models on the market make sure that you understand that this style of commuting is different and will require changes to your daily life in significant ways.
Having the best commuter motorcycle gear is a great start. You will also, as you go along undoubtedly discover other ways that you can make your daily commute on your bike easier. You will soon discover as well that with a motorcycle the commute may become the best part of your work day.
Ride safe, ride free