Riding a motorcycle offers an opportunity to experience the landscape in a unique way thanks to the awesome 360-degree views you're afforded. A motorcycle can save you money on things like gas and insurance compared to similar vehicle costs, but you are going to need a few resources to ensure a safe, convenient, and comfortable ride no matter what distances you plan to travel. As a new motorcyclist, you should find the following four resources helpful:
A Reliable Helmet
One of the most important tools you'll need for your motorcycle rides is a reliable helmet. Without a helmet on, you are 40-percent more likely to suffer a head injury that is fatal – in fact, helmets save thousands of lives every year. Look for a helmet with a Snell certification, as this indicates that it has passed 7 vigorous tests to help ensure optimal safety and protection.
A properly fitting helmet will gently grip your jaw and cheeks, as well as the top and sides of the head. Because any wear and tear in a helmet decreases its effectiveness, it's a good idea to stay away from used helmets and to replace your newly purchased helmets once every few years.
Another important resource for motorcycling is supportive footwear because they provide some stabilization while you're stopped and they'll hold up well to the elements so your feet stay clean, comfortable, and healthy. Boots with thick rubber soles will provide extra traction to help you better navigate and prevent you from tipping over on slick or unstable surfaces. Your boots should be reinforced at the ankle and calf for optimal protection from debris that may fly your way. Boots with buckles are your best bet as they're easy to secure and slip off between your travels. Check out boots that are designed for motorcycle use or active wear, like Gaerne boots.
Saddlebags are a must-have for any serious motorcycle rider, acting like a trunk to store everything you need for short or long road trips. Hard-mounted saddlebags can be directly bolted to your motorcycle for permanent convenience, many of which are made of either leather or fiberglass. Leather saddlebags need rain protection of some kind while fiberglass is waterproof, so if you plan to do a lot of all-weather riding it's a good idea to go with the latter. Make sure that your saddlebags have a solid base so they don't droop when filled up to help minimize wear and tear.
Rain protection should be another consideration, even if you don't plan to travel in extreme weather. After all, you never know when a rain will come through, especially when you are traveling more than a few miles at a time. You'll be happy to arrive at your destination dry by having some rain protection available during your travels. A poncho will do the trick, but it can limit your ability to properly handle your motorcycle while on the road. A waterproof rain suit that comes with pants and a light jacket is a great option if it will fit in your saddlebags.
Gloves and boot covers are also available, which when combined with a full rain suit you'll enjoy head to toe protection from extreme weather. Rain canopies that connect to the back of your bike and the handlebars will provide you with protection in downpours, and many can fold up small enough to be stored onboard when not in use. You may want to carry a polyester motorcycle cover along for the ride too – costs start at less than $50 and most covers protect bikes from rain, wind, and sun damage.
These resources should be pretty easy to implement once you've had a chance to do some comparison shopping, and you should find them useful for many years to come.