The most important piece of protective gear is a helmet manufactured to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation standards to protect the head and brain in a crash. All motorcycle helmets sold in the U.S. are to comply with FMVSS 218 and have certification labels on the back of the helmet. Motorcyclists and their passengers in Virginia are required to wear helmets.
Motorcycle riders with shields covering their faces suffer fewer facial injuries than those without. Helmets that provide full-face coverage with strong chin pieces and energy-absorbing liners are especially effective at reducing facial injuries.
Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots can help protect you from hot exhaust pipes and flying road debris while riding and from fractures in a crash.
Full-fingered motorcycle gloves protect hands from blisters, wind, sun and cold and will help prevent cuts, bruises and abrasions in a crash.
Protective apparel designed specifically for motorcycling will provide the best combination of comfort and protection. Leather or an abrasion-resistant fabric such as Cordura, Kevlar or ballistic nylon provide a high level of injury protection.