Spring means one thing for bikers: time to hit the road! But first … make sure your gear is set. Getting your apparel ready for spring takes just a little planning, so don’t worry. You’ll be carving asphalt soon. Here are a few quick tips to get you started on your spring readiness duties.

1) Check your helmet.

If your brain bucket is older than 5 years, you may want to consider replacing it. According to the Snell Foundation and most helmet manufacturers, glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can deteriorate over time. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal “wear and tear” all contribute to helmet degradation. Plus, you can usually see a noticeable improvement in the protective characteristic of helmets over a five-year period due to advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards.

“I heard that if a helmet hits the ground, it should be replaced.”

This old biker’s tale isn’t necessarily bad, but it can get expensive. If you dropped your lid on the garage floor this winter, don’t despair. You don’t necessarily need to replace it. Look at the manufacturer’s specs. If it says replace it, follow instructions. But common practice with today’s helmet technology is that if it’s not visibly cracked after it’s been dropped, then you don’t need to replace it. Dropped helmet FAQ source

2) Gloves – the unsung hero of apparel.

Protecting your hands is important as a biker. You know this. Gloves are so much more than “something bikers wear to look the part.” In the spring, you may want to find the right cold-weather motorcycle gloves to start your season. Of course, this depends on where you are geographically and how cold it is for you.

Once spring rolls on and the temps go up, it’s time to consider summer gloves. Do you go with fingerless gloves or Kevlar-filled safety gloves? Riding can be a challenge in blistering heat, under the hot melting sun. Wearing gloves during warm-weather riding is important for hand protection, and to keep cool and comfortable, choose the right gloves for the season. 

3) Riding pants or chaps?

The battle lines are drawn. Harley riders don chaps. European and Japanese motorcycle fans seem to wear full riding pants. But is that the only difference? If you throw your leg over a Triumph cafe bike, do you have to only wear leather riding pants? Or if you’re on a Road King, is your only option fringed chaps?

Of course not. It’s your personal choice when it comes to what you put on your legs. When spring hits, it may be a bit chilly so you’ll naturally have gear. But as the weather warms, you might be inclined to shed the layers. There’s no law against it, but keep safety AND comfort in mind. Chaps and riding pants are definitely a safety choice when it comes to riding. 

The Bottom Line

As spring blossoms, your gear will help keep you warm and safe. Be sure to prepare for changing climates as well as finding your personal style. Ride on.