I often say "There's never been a better time to get into motorcycles!" No matter what type of riding or motorcycles you are into, the selection is huge. Well the same goes for gear. Whether you're a track junkie or a weekend warrior, a main street cruiser or an off-road explorer, there is plenty of selection for you.
The full-face helmet, through modern materials and technology (tested on racetracks, wind tunnels and labs around the world) has become a phenomenal piece of safety gear. The full-face definitely provides the most protection in the event of a crash. With anti fog lenses, better ventilation and aerodynamic wings these helmets are more comfortable to wear.
The modular helmet, or flip face, is probably the most convenient with the ability to flip up the entire front of the helmet. This is a really nice feature when it comes to slow speed operation on hot days or communicating with friends. Half shells are the smallest, lightest, and easiest to wear and there are plenty of designs and weights to choose from.
Virtually every type can be found with a retractable sunshade that hides in the top of the helmet. Super cool...Shark even offers a modular in which the chin bar opens and rotates over the top to become an aerodynamic hump on the back of the helmet. Also very cool...
With jackets, there's a plethora of options available as well. Winter coats with removable thermal liners and venting, summer jackets made with mesh and padding so you're protected yet the air passes right through. Both can be found with removable rain liners. These can sometimes be removed and stashed on the bike for when you're caught in the unexpected rain shower. And of course there's still leather, which is as popular as ever.
When gloves and boots are considered, remember that fit and comfort are of high importance. As with all gear, it is important to buy gloves and boots made specifically for riding. Glove will be made with pre-curved fingers and both gloves and boots will be reinforced in the areas that count.
Few riders get to experience the benefit riding pants bring to the table. Most of us figure our jeans work just fine, and for the most part they do. But riding pants, regardless of their material, will make a long ride much more enjoyable. And of course you have the added protection in the case of a fall.
Eye protection is crucial for those of you that don't wear a full-face helmet. I mean just keeping the wind out of your eyes makes the ride so much more enjoyable, and safer as well.
You can sometimes save money by ordering off the web, which is good. The negative is that if it doesn't fit well or look right they'll usually tack on a 20% restocking fee and shipping costs for returns. Wherever you buy, be sure to choose the gear that you love. If you choose gear because the salesman says it's the best, or your wife likes the way it looks on you it might remain in your closet after the new wears off...