Valentino Rossi – The Incredible MotoGP Champion from Italy

In the mid of 1990s, an Italian racer appeared in the world championship, starting his glorious racing career. In the racing, just by a look, among all the other racers, he was outstanding with his sun and moon helmet (check out best motorcycle helmet here). When the race begins, he dominates all. His name is Valentino Rossi.
Valentino Rossi is considered as the greatest contemporary motorcycle racer with 113 race wins until now. He took the road to race following his father’s footstep. However, when Graziano Rossi led his son to the motorcycle racing career, he must have not known that Valentino would one day become the greatest racer of his time.

1. Valentino Rossi’s Early Life and Career

Valentino was born in 1979 and began racing at a very early age. When he was 5 years old, his father brought a national kart motor for him. He won the regional kart race at the age of 11. After that, Valentino moved to minimoto and won many other regional races.
In 1994, Valentino won the first Italian title for 125 cc motorcycle. He continued to race in Italian and European Championships. At the age of 18, he won the 1997 World Championship for 125 cc motorcycle. In 1999, he achieved the 250 cc World Championship. For these titles, he was offered the ride with Honda in 2000 in the ultimate class of World Championship at that time: the 500 cc class. In the next season (2001),
Valentino achieved his first 500 cc World Championship. Together with a change of regulations of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing, 990 cc four-stroke engines was going to dominate the race from the 2002 season onward. Valentino then moved on to race in a new class: the MotoGP. This is where his talent blossomed and he gained love from fans all over the world.

2. Valentino Rossi’s Legend in The MotoGP Racing

The first year of the MotoGP, 2002, saw a struggle of riders on trying to get used to the new bikes. Valentino proved his talent when winning his second world title in a row. Class change or not, he dominated the race.
The 2003 season was no better for his rivals. Valentino went on to get his third consecutive world championships. During the seasons for 2002 and 2003, Valentino rode the Honda RC211V to his victories. Yet 2003 season was also his last win for Honda. There were too much of the skepticism that Valentino’s win was due to the fact that RC211V was so good a bike. It was unavoidable that he would leave Honda. At that time, there were rumors that Valentino Rossi would join the Ducati factory team. In fact, Ducati tried to seduce him to their team. The Italian press was crazy about this since the image of and Italian champion riding for an Italian bike team was just too good news. However, eventually, Valentino chose Yamaha over all the other offers. He signed a 2-season contract with Yamaha for 12 million US dollars – the amount that no other teams were willing to pay. Some people criticized this and accused Valentino of “biting off more than he can chew”. Many people, especially Honda fans, expected to see him fail in the next season.
However, in his seasons with Yamaha, Valentino gave those who doubted his talent a big slap on the face. He won the 2004 and seasons on the Yamaha YZR M1. Especially in the season of 2005, he finished as the world champion and left the second place, a rider for Honda, by 147 points! Valentino proved that he was a world champion for his talent, not for the bike he was on. Yet he extremely favored the Yamaha YZR M1. Valentino later stated that the Yamaha YZR M1 of 2005 was the greatest bike he has ever been on.
In the next two seasons, Valentino suffered from mechanical problems in many circuits and failed to achieve the world championships.
In 2008 season, he won the title again. His win at Motegi was bitter for Honda because that is a circuit own by Honda and he became the first Yamaha rider to win there. In this season, he also had an impression race against his rival Casey Stoner.
Valentino went on to win the world championship in 2009 season.  In this season, he also got his 100th win and became the only one, except Giacomo Agostini, to do so. Alongside Agostini, he rode a Yamaha in an event call “The Laps of the Gods” in June 2009.
Rossi suffered from a shoulder injury in 2010. Initially, his injury seemed to be not serious and would heal in a few weeks. However, it got worse by time. Therefore the season was not successful for him. In three seasons from 2010 to 2012, including his two season with Ducati, he did not achieve the world championships. In 2013, Valentino left the Ducati team and joined the Yamaha team again.

3. Rivalries in His Career

Motorcycle racing sees rivalries, especially between great riders. The rivalries are, normally, not friendly. Rossi has several rivals during his career.
In his early career, Rossi had a rivalry with Max Biaggi. Their rivalry began as early as in the mid-1990s even though they would not race face to face against each other until the year 2000. Their rivalry was intense sometimes, to the extent that Biaggi once tried to make Rossi risk dangerous falls on the race. However, together with Rossi’s consecutive world championships and Biaggi’s struggles in career, the rivalry died down.
The next rival of Rossi was Sete Gibernau. They started off quite friendly. Yet like other rivalries in this sport, there were intense incidents between them. Gibernau retired from the Grand Prix in 2006.
In 2007, there emerged Rossi’s new rival: Casey Stoner. The peak of their rivalry was in 2008 at the Laguna Seca Raceway. Their competition in this race was described as “historic” and was loved by many motorcycle racing fans (especially Rossi’s fan). The race was very dramatic with Rossi winning in the end.
Later on, Jorge Lorenzo became Rossi’s rival. Until now, they’re still in competition against each other.

Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Gears (Beginner’s Edition) (Part 1)

Part 1: Guide to Purchasing a Good Helmet

Have you just started to take motorcycling so seriously that you want to learn something cool about it? You can find everything you need to know in this article about motorcycle gears, helmets, boots, and jackets.

One of the most asked questions I have had isn’t about which kind of motorcycle you should buy (because you have already had your dream bike or some personal preferences) but what kind of gears you should buy and how to use them correctly. Here is all you need to safely turn a monstrous-looking vehicle into a comfortable and not ‘so expensive’ hobby.

Good gears: What’s the need?

First let’s talk about friction and abrasion! Normally as known from the rule of thumb, given the average road surface, you suppose to lose about 1mm of your flesh for every mph (mile per hour) you are going over the 30 mph mark if you crash. I am sure that the result are just as bad as you can imagine.
Secondly there is the weather. What if the weather is a little cold outside? Even if the temperature is fairly normal like 50 Fahrenheit degrees, with the wind chill at about 55 mph, it will make you feel like it is 25 degrees. So depend on the kind of weather and temperature, you will need ‘shelter’ from either a light sweater or long undies with a thick jacket.

From head to toe! Let’s start with the helmets

Dietmar Otte is a Safety Engineer from Hannover Medical School, who has published his study on motorcycle impacts. His study showed that over 45% of the impacts affect the face area, usually the area that is not covered (mostly from the open face helmets or the ¾ ones). I insist on you using the full face helmet, I really do! The full face helmet not only offers you a complete protection but also keeps your vision clear while getting rid of bugs or the wind blowing to your face.

Helmets normally have a five-year lifetime and after that, the glue used to keep the layers of shock absorption material will begin to degrade and fall off. That material is not just a normal Styrofoam as it look like, but a precisely adjusted densities Styrofoam.

The helmets are designed to impair itself after the accident just like the crumple part of a car. The meaning of this is to let the material absorb the kinetic energy of the impact in place of your head, and then let the shock be dispersed. The material will take a lot of damage after a crash so keep in mind that there will be some cases in which you have a crash, the helmet does not show any kind of external damages whatsoever; however the invisible risk and weakness are there waiting for you.

You always need to buy your new helmets from a reliable seller and take good care of it (never let it fall to the ground,…) to ensure the protective capability of your helmets. If you are thinking about buying a dirt helmet, you should know that dirt helmets should go together with goggles; however they are only meant for a soft impact, not for real road one. The dirt helmets will protect your face alright, but the protruded chin area will actively increase the torsional forces you may get when crashed. That would be too much stress you put on your neck, not to mention it would be annoyingly noisy and unstable with highway speeds. You need to make sure what kind of riding you will have, then you can choose the perfect helmets (or just buy 1 of each and use it whenever you need to).

If you are living in America then you will need a DOT-authorized sticker on the back of your helmet to wear it legally when riding on the road. The DOT- authorized sticker is just a minimal legal recognized though. You can choose a higher quality helmet with two additional certifications on it and it will, of course, offer better protective capability (it will also cost you a few extra bucks). Remember that they are just voluntary! The European Union’s legal standard is “ECE 22.05” and there is also a “Snell” standard for a few helmet manufacturers from the USA. The Snell standard ones should not be worn in my opinion if you have a smaller or bigger head than average. The reason is that Snell manufacturers did not take this head ratio and weights into consideration, therefore the shock absorption in the helmet will not be enough to handle all the impact energy.

The best standard I think is the European ECE 22.05 and I am sure it will offer you the best protection. The fact that every single racer participating in the MOTOGP (the top tier of motorcycle racing) having chosen to get an ECE standard helmets shows how good it is. The ECE standardized helmets are also lighter and it can avoid the concussions better than normal ones.

But don’t worry whether you have to spend a lot of money on the best helmet! Icon Airmada is an example: we love the brand, we love the top tier ventilation they can offer, we love the ECE 22.05 European standard and we love its price at just 180 bucks.

Airmada uses a plastic hull just like many other economical helmets. With higher price the helmet will be made of further expensive materials for the hull such as Kevlar, carbon fiber weave or fiberglass but keep in mind, these materials only make the helmets lighter, not stronger. Mostly when you pay for a more expensive helmet, it means you will not have more protective capability but fancy colors, better ventilation and better brand name.

Every single person has a different head size and shape so you have to look for the right helmet that fits your head perfectly. The size and shape vary a lot from brand to brand and from model to model. Basically you just need to visit a big store and try every helmet you can grab. A good helmet will fit your head evenly in all angles and give you no pressure points. You need to hold your chin and try to rotate while restraining it with your head because the helmet is not supposed to rotate like that. The helmet should not be too loose to rotate and too tight to stop the ventilation.

Yamaha Motorcycle Gears

Everyone knows Yamaha, one of the biggest motorcycle and engine manufacturers in Japan, who seems to always surprise us, motorcycle lovers, with their bleeding edge technology. In this article, I will talk about two of their latest inventions, which will add an “expert” touch to your knowledge on motorcycle gears.

The Inline Triple “Cross plane concept”

At the Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne Yamaha has reviewed their new three-cylinder engine with its unique ‘cross plane concept’. It was informed that the concept is under developing process so that it will be ready to apply for next generation of motorbikes. This next-gen model has been either released or given a confirmed release date yet, so there is only speculation about how the inline triple concept will fit in with the new models. This new engine concept was promised to bring the ‘race-inspired performance’ to the normal street motorbike, according to the Yamaha Motor Europe website. Even though it is true that three-cylinder engine is meant to serve street bikes with its addition of racing features, sport bikes seem to never lose their favor as Yamaha had made a solid announcement before about the four-cylinder engine for the Yamaha YZF-R1 and the Yamaha YZF-R6. With that in mind, the suggestion of a slimmer yet lighter sport bike will no longer be just a fascinating dream.

Now back to the triple cylinders, it is believed that the new engine can serve a number of purposes depending on the street bikes’ owners. Just imagine the epic moment when a normal and small street bike can move nip and tuck along with the monstrous BMW F800GS and the beasty Triumph Tiger. This new Inline concept could also be applied to the Street fighter market as well and it may turn out to be an extremely good idea. The price and the specs for this concept have not been revealed, so we have all the right to dream about a lightweight and powerful engine that can compete with the sport ones and come with a fair price. The options are wide open and Yamaha themselves are quite hyped up about this investment.

Both the YZF-M1 MotoGP and the YZF-R1 super engine have been tested with the cross plane concept and the result was rewarding for the Yamaha’s engineers. With the traditionally impressive linear power delivery and sounding exhaust system, we have a lot to look forward to with this new concept. Kunihiko Miwa, Yamaha’s Senior Executive Motorcycle Business Operations, has described the cross plane engine as the engine that can give the riders the perfect torque they want every time they need.

Sadly this is everything we got on the cross plane concept that Yamaha had to offer up until now; however the future is ahead and with all the technology advances we have at the moment, what we desire will not be just a fantasy.

Electronic Suspension Offering to New Models

Yamaha has introduced their new models: the FJR1300 sport touring series coming along with a new electronic suspension. It comes with a new limited edition Raider SCL from the Star cruiser line, and a new version of the 50cc Zuma (the so-called Zuma 50FX). This new change only applies for a few versions, which means the Tuning Fork brand’s R1 Superbike and R6 Supersport series will be left untouched.

  • FJR1300ES

The FJR1300ES will be one of a few models receiving the electronic suspension advantage. The electronic suspension system regulates damping in the fork and helps to preload the setting at the rear impact. Yamaha offers a total of four preload settings to regulate the system: ‘One Up’, ‘Two Up’, ‘One Up with Luggage’ and ‘Two Up with Luggage’. There are also three more sub presets offered as ‘Soft’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Hard’ for each of the preload settings. In addition to that, users can adjust the damping system even more with three stiffer rates and three softer rates from the based setting. Electronic suspension adjustment is set to function on a handlebar-mounted switch, together with its setting being displayed on right rear LCD display.

Along with the basic FJR1300, the electronic suspension model bundle includes a 1,000$ premium at the price of 16,890$. The bundles are redesigned from the 2013 released to also contain the new overhaul of the 1298cc Inline Four, the traction control, the adjustable engine maps and most importantly, the chassis updates. The FJR base model will have some changes as the Candy Red color will take the place of the Stone Gray.

  • FZ-09

Some color adjustments will be made on the much-favored FZ-09 series. The Liquid Graphite and Rapid Red options that we have already known will be accompanied by the new Blazing Orange one. The positive responses for the FZ-09 model design have encouraged Yamaha to add this new color option.

  • YZF-R6 & YZF-R1

The YZF- R1/R6 superbike and supersport lines will remain unchanged this year. The R1 had already had itself completely redesigned in 2009 to introduce its trademark cross plane Inline Four engine, and later in 2012, added the traction control. The R6 has undertaken an even longer period of modification and vital overhaul change. However their prices will not be changed, making the R6 with the price of 10,990$ as the most ‘economical’ bike in its class.
  • Zuma 125

The Zuma 125 has also been updated for the New Year, which is now offering a new and more efficient fuel economy, a better rear brake and an enhanced electronic suspension system. It also comes with bigger storage and more spacious ergonomics, making it even more convenient. Under its new look, the Zuma 125 is made with an enduring steel frame base, big aggressive tires with strong aluminum wheels. The front of it is rugged and equipped with rear suspension, protective deflectors and improved fork tube so that the off-road features of the Zuma 125 can be highlighted, along with its normal daily commuting.

The Zuma 125 is powered by a compact, 125cc, four-stroke and four-valve engine which includes a ceramic composite cylinder liner and an electronic fuel injection that can boost the bike’s performance and its economical aspect to the top. A strong frame, strong engine and powerful suspension advantage together give the Zuma 125 the capability to operate easily on various terrains while providing plenty of amusement. The Zuma has an estimated 103 mpg on average and it also carries a 1.7-gallon fuel tank to ensure that you can ride for a long period before having to refuel it.

Motorcycle Chain – Types, Maintenance and Adjustment in Maintenance

Previously I have shown you a guide on motorcycle gears for beginners and I am sure that many of you now have all the basic knowledge to show off to everyone. However that is not the end of the story, as the hardest part is always left behind: maintenance. It may be easy for those who just want to have their motorcycles checked up at a garage; however for those who want to enjoy every single moment with their motorcycles, here is what I have got to offer.
Chains are a popular choice for motorcycles because of their characteristics: they get the job done flawlessly and remain at a cheap price. Their only downfall is that they require frequent checkup, adjustment, replacement and maintenance. Normally a well-cared chain can offer up to 15,000 miles or even more (applied on a street bike). However if the same chain gets neglected or even mistreated, its lifespan will be seriously reduced. When a chain fails to function, serious things may happen which will cause damage to the engine case.
Chains are divided into two types: the O ring and the non-O ring. You may have heard of some familiar designs called the X ring but they are just different variations of the O ring. You can recognize the O ring chains from the tiny rubber rings it has between its side plates. That is where the chains hold its lubricants. Because of this feature, it makes the O ring chain’s lifespan last longer, but it also makes this kind of chain to cost much more. No matter which kind of chains you are using, both need to be checked and cleaned up frequently to prevent dirt and grit being built up inside the chain. Remember that grits will speed up the erosion process and that is not something you are in for. You also need to be careful about the amount of lubrication you are going to put in the chains because it only needs the right amount. Too much or too little of lubrication will not do any good.

Everything is Smooth with Lubrication

With the average riding street case, you will need to oil the O ring chains after nearly every 500 miles.  Specific specs and recommendations for your chains should be acknowledged before you start doing anything. If you are using a non-O ring chains or the weather is so bad that you have to ride in dust, rain, mud or under some other hard conditions, then I advise you to oil them sooner. When you are washing your bike, try to prevent hitting the chains directly with water. Also you should always remember to oil the chains back right after you finish washing your motorcycle to prevent any future rust.

When cleaning your chains, you have to avoid using some harsh or combustible solvents (gasoline?) as it can damage the O rings or cause fire. I would recommend using the cleaner specialized for chain cleaning rather than other normal ones. You can use a rag and a small brush, however I think a handy cleaning tool can help you get the job done much easier. Chain lubes have a large variety from brands to types so every biker has their own favorite, but usually the waxy kind of lubes tends to be more effective and stick better than other oily lubes. Normally the kind of lubes that is heavier tends to last longer; however it also tends to create a mess around the chain and the wheel rim. It could take a while and a lot of tryouts until you can find the best lubes for your bike.

You should oil your chain while its temperature is still high and usually after a ride is the perfect time to do it. Remember that you must not oil it while the engine is still on! It is always easier to do the maintenance job if your bike has a center stand. Lift the bike up, rest it on the center stand and then set the transmission to neutral so that you can grant the access to the rear wheel which is now able to be rotated by hand. If you don’t have the center stand, you could oil a part of the chain first, then move your bike forward a bit and then oil the next section. You will want to distribute the lubricant on the chain evenly and thoroughly. The spraying can lubes usually come with a tiny straw-like component which helps you oil your chain more accurately.

Chain Adjustment

If you do not take care of your chain and it is loosen too much, it may jump the sprockets or even grind on the swing arms. On the other hand if the chain is tightened too much, it will break or cause damage on the countershaft and ruin the bearings. Specific specs and recommendations for your chains should be acknowledged first as mention before, and you should always read the manual about the adjusting procedures. If you have somehow lost your manual, just remember that the vertical slack measured midway between two sprockets should be approximately 0.75 to 1.25 inches.
Normally you will need to remove the cotter pin and loosen the axle nut if you want to adjust the tension of your chain. The proper slack is achieved by either turning adjusting cams or lengthening/shortening adjusting bolts. Normally it will have one lock that should be loosen at first, and later you can tighten it again after your adjustment had been made. Old chains that had been worn off will create uneven areas, loosen areas or tighten areas, so they require different methods of slacking. Therefore it is necessary for you to check the slack many times and in many different spots of the chains to find these problems. You can do so by rotating the wheel and take a careful look at where the chain lands on each of the sprocket teeth. Remember to check the slack again after tightening it because the bike setup may have altered after you have done with the process. A recheck is never a waste!
Normally swing arms will have a small alignment mark on both sides to simplify the process and to make sure the wheel is straight during the chain adjustment process. To measure the length between the axle centerline and the swing arm pivot bolts centerline, you can just use the tape measure and it will work wonderfully.

Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Gears (Beginner’s Edition) (Part 3)

Part 3: Guide to Complete your Safety Gear

Following my previous guide on jacket, pants and boots, this is the third as well as the last part of the motorcycle gear guide. They say “last but not least”, this part contains information on choosing the perfect gloves, suit and many other stuffs which are small, yet very necessary for your safety.

Let’s put on some gloves!

Your hands are powerful but they are extremely fragile; you need to offer them some protection. The motorcycle gloves must cover your fingers, your wrists, palm and the back of your hand altogether. There must be a significant overlap between the jacket and the gloves to fully cover your skin. Believe me, you would not want to expose any of your skin during a crash.
Your gloves must remain on your hands during the crash in order to work and it will need a strap near your wrist to do so. This feature is essential and it is a minimum standard for any riding gloves. After the strap, you will need a kind of material which is strong and durable enough to handle the abrasion and prevent bursting problem.
The riding gloves also have their armor plates and although many qualified gloves have the armor plate located on the knuckles, it does not offer that much protection as the friction and road contact will mostly damage the base of your palm (it is still useful especially when you get caught in a bar night fight). You will want to look for gloves made from durable material and having strong stiches so that they can stay on your hand longer rather than stuck on the road, which will bring more abrasion resistance. Beside the base of the palm which is definitely a must, you are welcome to fit the armor plates anywhere else. Just make sure it will not affect your control and ability to freely ride your bike.

Suit up!

There is absolutely nothing like a completed, head to toe riding suit that offers you satisfaction and protection from both accidents and exterior elements. But then the reason why I put it down here is because the suit usually costs a fortune (that’s a bit exaggerating, but you know what I mean).

My suggestion for low budget suit is a pair of pants and jacket that can zip together. This is actually quite nice because it allows you to be flexible on choosing your outfit so you can show off your t-shirt if you want to. A whole piece suits generally offers more flexibility in movement but then your outfit option will be limited. The armor advice is the same as the above mentioned gears (prioritizing to protect vital organs, ensuring the rider control capability, etc.).

Armor

As mentioned before, riding gear’s armor plate can protect riders from impact by absorbing the kinetic energy that ought to transfer to your limbs, joints and your body in general.

The riding armor can be purchased separately or be included inside an item. The armor should fit the rider perfectly and does not move around because it will ruin its purpose. The rider movement should not be affected by the armor he is wearing, however he also needs to cover himself with as much armor as possible. You can recognize the cheap elbow armors by judging how far they run down your forearm because the quality armors do not run down at all. Moreover the back armor should cover everything from the bottom of your neck to your coccyx. Back armors are divided into two ranks: CE1 and CE2. CE2 is stronger but also heavier while the CE1 is more universal because of its lighter weight, cheaper prices and ability which allows the rider to move and breathe more comfortably.

You can always upgrade your armor plate by ordering a new and better armor plate to replace the old one. Before doing this you need to check to see whether the item you want to upgrade has removable features or not. Just like all other riding gears, it usually has a special size and shape depending on the brand and model. Therefore you should always carefully check out all the recommended specs. Most riders replace their back armor with an armor plate having straps as it helps cover almost everything.

Other stuffs

Riding underwear has summer and winter styles, both of which are possible to be worn under the riding suit and pants. The long underwear for summer uses allows you to cool off and also affects your natural cooling systems (sweat), hence creates a cool and sweat-free experience for users. On the other hand, if you want to stay warm while riding, your long underwear should have some wind resistant features like an additional membrane. You can be shocked knowing how many drafts having got in your gear during cold weather. Areas that usually allow the wind to enter are your hands, feet, head and neck, therefore the underwear will help cover them up for you.
Motorcycle helmets are cool but have you known about this? When you have your helmet on while running at a highway speed, your head will have to take on some really loud noises which are nearly the same as the jet engine. If you do not want to take the risk of hearing loss, you will need some earplugs to protect your ears. I personally recommend the Howard Leight Max Lite earplugs because they are really comfortable yet economical.

Sunlight and gale are also some of the elements that you want to protect your body from, however wearing a pair of sunglasses inside a helmet while running at high speed can be tricky. Goggles or sunglasses that are designed specifically for motorcycle are what you need. Remember to use the visor if possible because gale and speed can bring dust, bugs or unknown particles to your face, which can be very dangerous on the highway. Also notice that wearing tinted visor at night will only bring you more troubles than benefits.

Conclusion

Motorcycle riding as well as other extreme sports can expose you to many risks so you need to focus more on protecting yourself. Luckily we have gears that offer us as much help as we need to pursue our dream. Gears are now considered a necessity which offer safety, comfort and convenience and you  need to also account the cost of gears into the bike price.

Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Gears (Beginner’s Edition) (Part 2)

Part 2: Guide to Must-Have Items: Jacket, Pants and Boots

Have you ever seen a guy wearing a really cool helmet (who knows if he may have followed my helmet guide, yet with a t-shirt and jeans? It looks less impressive, not to mention how dangerous it is. That’s why beside helmets, a good jacket, pair pants and boots are what you need to complete the look, while increasing your chance of surviving if being caught in an accident.

Jackets: It’s not just about looking cool!

Comparing with the head already having protective layers such as a skull and hair, your fragile body has to protect a ton of important organs. That is why you need the jacket to cover it up. The need for motorcycle specialized jacket is real, for both your own safety and convenience. The normal leather jackets or some ‘fashion’ suits are not suitable for handling either the charging gale or hard collision

Motorcycle jackets are divided into two types: leather jacket and textile jacket. Yes you read it right, textile jacket! There are textile materials that are as strong as leather and capable of handling windblast and abrasion. Some even have water resistant feature that can keep you dry from bad weather. Leather has its durable characteristic and usually fits more tightly to your body. Leather also offers you a look that everyone has in their mind when you mention a biker. But then again, textile jackets usually are more of an economic choice.

But whatever your choice is, leather jacket and textile jackets are alike. They both offer you a lot of features that you cannot find anywhere else.

Motorcycle specialized jackets have their seams double up many times to ensure the stitching will not burst while protecting it from abrasion. These jackets are designed to perfectly warp around your body to be able to handle the high speed and windblast. They can also prevent or allow cold air to sneak in by regulating the vents.
These jackets also include armors and cushions to absorb the impact energy for some of the body vulnerable parts. You also need to have the ‘CE’ standard on these kinds of armors in order to use them legally. The armor is usually located at the shoulders, the back and in your elbows while some brands have it located at the chest and called it the ‘chest protector’ to provide protection to your heart, ribs, lungs, etc… Again, I should remind you to look for the CE standard because many jacket manufacturers try to reduce the production cost by simply put a foam piece in place of the real protector. Then they will try to sell the real armor plate separately (of course, they will create a hole for you to take the foam out and put the real one in).

So before making a decision on purchasing this particular jacket, there are two things you need to carefully take into consideration:

  • Firstly you should consider the type of motorcycle you will ride and then buy the jacket that can fit your riding position. For example sport bikes require you to hunch over; therefore your jacket will need some additional joints to allow you to feel comfortable riding.
  • Secondly you need to consider the kind of weather you are most likely riding in. Your jacket could be made from mesh so that it will offer a lot of ventilation and perfect for warm weather. Zips are also good and jackets which have a lot of them can easily adjust the ventilation without bothering much whether it will be warm or chill outside.

Few jackets offer zippers near the bottom that allow you to connect it to a pair of pants to form a riding suit. This idea actually works as it prevents the exterior elements as well as keeping the suit in one piece during the crash. Their only downfall is that the pants and jacket need to be matched (size, brand, model,…) for the idea to work.

What is your plan for pants?

I hate to break it for you, but normal jeans will not do any good in protecting you from a crash. As mentioned before, the abrasion damage is a real deal so even the jeans that are made from Kevlar can only offer you a little better resistance.
Riding pants are usually made from two materials: leather or textile, and they also contain the armor that offers protection for vital areas such as knees, shins and hips. They also have the CE standard and much like the jacket, the pants should fit you perfectly and have enough joints that allow your movement to be as free as needed. Again, consider the type of motorcycle you will ride and then buy the pants that fit your riding position.

If you want to combine your riding pants with your jacket, please make sure to try them out for the compatibility first. I give you a good hint: try to look for identical names as they usually need to be matched to be able to work.

Boots! Boots! Boots!

A lot of street bikes weigh around 350lbs or even more; you have to handle your own weight and the bike’s weight at the same time. Moreover you will usually be involved in walking your bike on slippery, crooked or unpredicted terrains, which will sure put a lot of pressure on your ankles, feet and legs. With all that reasons you should at least have a firm pair of boots, maybe with oil resistant and non-slip soles featured along with a good ankle support.
The feet and ankles are also very susceptible in the crash so protection methods are needed. If you don’t have proper protection for your feet, it will be twisted by the rotation force and, (God help me!) I just want to help you out so try to imagine what will your toes and toe nails will be like in such situations. Your normal footwear will be twisted, rotate and fall off in no time.
The riding boot soles will keep everything from twisting usually by having a metal plate rigged with the sole. Riding boots also have sturdy  boxes that help to tight down your heel and toe while offering some impact energy absorption effects and preventing those areas from getting scratched. The minimum standard you should have for your motorcycle footwear is the ability to lace it tightly and above your ankle. If your footwear is lower than the ankle mark, it will fall off during the crash and leave you with no protection whatsoever.