By Rob Beswick, resident journalist
What - and what not - to wear this season
Motorbike riders out in the cold weather and top celebrities on the awards red carpet might not seem like the most obvious soulmates, but surprisingly they both share one big dilemma at this time of year… what to wear!
As Beyonce will tell you, it’s all about having exactly the right outfit… and it’s the same for moped and scooter riders. But while Ms Knowles will favour eye-catching plunging gowns, we bikers know that safe riding starts by making sure we’re warm, dry and comfy in good-fitting, hard-wearing gear. Read on for our ‘what to wear’ guide!
Start with your hands – and never neglect them. Riding in cold weather leaves your hands exposed to the freezing air, so make sure they’re kept toasty and warm in good quality gloves. You don’t have to go the whole hog and buy big bike gauntlets, but leather gloves with extra protection for the knuckles and palms are a must – and can be yours for as little as £30. Don’t scrimp and wear a pair of skinny woollen gloves your mum’s throwing out… get a grip and look after your hands.
Moped and scooter riders usually think that full bikers’ leathers are a bit too much, but don’t be tempted to ride in your every day jeans, trousers or, Heaven forbid, a skirt!. The rain and spray will have you soaked in no time and there’s no protection for your legs if you take a tumble. Even worse, when you are cold and damp your attention levels fall and you stop paying attention to the road around you, leaving you vulnerable to a rookie biker mistake.
It’s better to invest in a pair of riding trousers and a tough bike jacket so you’re warm, dry – and sharp.
You can pick up a pair of lightweight moped/scooter trousers that are tear resistant and 100% waterproof for less than £40, and they’re a sound investment.
Above, pair them with one of the very latest scooter jackets. There are loads of great designs to go for. Look for one with a waterproof membrane and removable thermal lining so you can wear it in all weathers - warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
Good footwear is vital too. Look for boots with strong support around the ankle and sturdy soles and uppers, just in case you have to put your feet down in a hurry.
One last thing on kit: make sure you’re seen. Gloomy nights when the rain’s coming down makes it hard for other road users to spot a rider dressed all in black. If you must channel your inner Batman on the road, get some hi-vis strips for your jacket and helmet so you’ll be seen by
other road users.
Editor’s note: Motorcyclists’ clothing is covered by a suite of European Standards specifically produced to enable garments, gloves and footwear to be tested and certified according to product safety legislation. Approved clothing, footwear, gloves and impact protection carries the CE and/or UKCA marks. This is a highly specialised topic in itself, so we will be producing supplementary information for anyone who wishes to have more detail about the legislation and standards, but brief details are currently provided here.