Clothing

Bike clothing is basically functional, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't fit well, or look good. In this section, we'll look at how to choose gear that provides the essential protection you need, while making your riding as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.

The basics

There's bike clothing for every season, and to suit every budget. We'd recommend that you always buy the best quality you can afford: there may come a time when you're grateful you paid that bit more.

Helmet

Fit is the most important consideration when buying a helmet. The best way to get this right is to try it on - in fact, try as many helmets as you can before you buy. Ideally, you're after a snug fit: your local Suzuki dealership will be able to help you.

Like any other item of clothing, your helmet's style and design says a lot about you, so make sure you choose one that looks and feels right for you. If you have any questions, ask your dealer, who'll have plenty of personal knowledge and experience of helmets from all the major manufacturers.

Motorcycle helmets are covered by various industry safety initiatives: always choose one that's approved by one or more of the following:

Sharp - The Helmet Safety Scheme

The SHARP system gives helmets a star rating, with 5 stars offering the best protection. You don't have to buy the most expensive helmet to get the best protection: a number of mid-priced helmets offer 5 star protection.

Auto Cycle Union (ACU)

The Auto Cycle Union (ACU) is the governing body for motorcycle sports in Britain. They have their own approval scheme for helmets: while it's not a legal requirement, we'd strongly recommend that you don't buy a helmet without the logo above: most track days will require you to wear a, ACU-approved helmet.

ECE22/05 Approval

ECE22/05 approval is required in over 50 countries. To obtain it, manufacturers must test a sample from each batch of helmets before they arrive in your dealer's showroom. The major helmet brands will all have this approval.

Helmet Size Head Circumference (CM)
XS 53-54
S 55-56
M 57-58
L 59-60
XL 61-62
2XL 63-64
3XL 65-66

Gloves

Gloves

Gloves are undoubtedly an important bit of kit, if you come off, your hands are likely to be among the first parts of you to hit the ground, so you need gloves that offer good protection. You'll probably find you need several pairs to suit a range of riding conditions, from thick, warm, waterproof gloves for the winter, to lighter, cooler ones for the summer.

Like the rest of your gear, your gloves need to fit correctly, so try on as many different brands and styles as possible before you buy.

A few tips:

  • Leather gloves may be tight and stiff to start with, but will stretch and soften over time.
  • When trying on gloves, replicate the actions you will be doing when riding. Clench your fist and open your hand a few times to check the gloves are comfortable.
  • If the gloves contain armour, make sure you’re happy with where the panels sit and that there's enough flexibility.
  • Make sure you’re happy with how the gloves are secured. You don't want to be messing about trying to get your gloves on as the rest of your friends ride off.

Glove sizes tend to vary between brands. The sizing chart below will help you get started, but there's no substitute for trying them on.

Glove Size Width of Palm (CM) Width of Palm (inches)
XS 7 2 1/8 - 2 5/8
S 8 2 5/8 - 3 1/8
M 9 3 1/8 - 3 5/8
L 10 3 5/8 - 4 1/8
XL 11 4 1/8 - 4 5/8
XXL 11 4 5/8 - 5 1/8

Jacket

Suzuki Jacket

A bike jacket serves two purposes: to keep you comfortable while riding; and to provide protection if you come off. Your first choice is material, which basically comes down to leather or textile. Leather offers the best protection; textile is more practical and easy to care for.

Some things to consider when looking for a jacket:

  • When you're trying on jackets, go wearing clothing of a similar weight to your riding clothes. You want a nice snug fit; not so tight that you can only manage half-breaths, but not too loose either. You also should make sure your arms are not tense at any point. If you go for leather, remember it will stretch slightly over time and should start to feel like a second skin.
  • A jacket with double or triple stitching on the seams will be more resistant to tearing. If you can, go for a jacket with triple-stitched seams.
  • Buy the jacket that matches your bike's style and riding position. A jacket that feels fine on an upright scooter may be impossible to wear on a sportsbike where you're more hunched over.

Armour

Armour gives you added protection in the event of a fall. Make sure the armour panels are CE approved, and that you're comfortable in the jacket in your riding position. If it feels even slightly awkward, or the panels are digging in, try another jacket.

Trousers

Like your jacket, your biking trousers fulfil the dual functions of keeping you warm and dry while you're riding, and protecting you in the event of a fall. Obviously, trousers need to be comfortable, well-fitting and cut to suit your riding position: ask the dealer to let you try them while sitting on a bike similar to your own to check the fit.

Boots

Boots make a world of difference to your safety and comfort. They'll help keep your feet dry and warm, provide more support when you put a foot down to wait at the lights, and protect your feet and ankles should you come off.

As with all bike kit, there are loads of brands, styles and designs to choose from, but your first, most basic choice is one of material. Leather boots last longest and offer the most protection, but are generally more expensive. Plastic and rubber boots are better than leather than in the wet, and are usually cheaper, too.

For commuting and general riding, a more basic motorcycle boot will be fine in most cases. If you have a sportsbike and plan on getting your knee down on track days, you'll probably want to consider a racing style boot, which is flexible and close-fitting for riding at speed, but offers high levels of protection and support where it's needed most.Click here for Suzuki Clothing