There’s nothing like proper riding gear. You never know what can happen out there, so it’s important to be as protected as possible at all times. Part of ensuring that your gear does its job is making sure it fits properly. Ill fitting gear could possibly compromise its effectiveness. Below, we’ll take a quick look at how to make sure your motorcycle gear fits you properly.
Let’s take it from the top. Literally. Everyone’s heads are shaped differently, and some helmets fit certain shapes better than others. The only way to achieve an optimum helmet fit is to try on several and decide which one is best. To do this, put it on and strap it up as if you were going riding. The fit should be tight, but not painfully so. If your cheeks aren’t being squeezed in a bit, then it’s loose. Move the helmet from side to side, from front to back, and then up and down. When doing this, it should not slide around on your head in any direction. If you feel even a bit of give in any particular direction, then move on to the next helmet. Lastly, just as different head shapes are a consideration, keep in mind that helmets from different manufacturers may have different feel.
READ MORE: How to Reduce Helmet Noise
The two measurements you will need when fitting a jacket are your chest size and your sleeve size. For your chest, you should measure around your nipples. For your sleeve size, measure from the top of your shoulder to the very end of the wrist (although some sleeve sizes are taken from the middle of the neck to the end of the wrist). As with helmets, manufacturers tend to have their own sizing nuances and slightly different ways of measuring. Thankfully, they also generally provide sizing charts, so use those to make sure your fitment matches up.
Fitment also depends on the type of jacket. Racing jackets will be snug and contoured for a forward lean or tuck. More relaxed sport jackets will lack the contour, but will still offer protection. Touring jackets (which will mainly be made of textile) will have a slightly baggier feel to them, but will still offer protection, as well as some adjustability in some cases. Whatever the case, you don’t want the jacket to roll around your body or ride up it as you sit on your motorcycle. The armour should not slide around as well. If you can, sit on your bike (or a similar bike) to make sure the jacket fits well and stays where it should.
Unless you are purchasing riding jeans, your regular pant sizing won’t generally work. Measure your waist around your belly button and your inseam from the middle of your ankle to the inside of your groin. You want the legs to be long enough to slide your boots underneath, but you also don’t want them to ride up your lower leg.
As with jackets, different types of pants will fit differently. Once again, you should sit on your bike to make sure the pants fit and that all the armour stays where it should. Leather racing or sport pants will have the snuggest fit, as they are purpose-made. Textile pants and riding jeans will have looser fits, but generally, you’ll want your pants to ride no further up than the tops of your ankle bones.
Gloves are absolutely essential because in the event of a fall, your hands are almost guaranteed to make contact with the ground. Fortunately, sizing gloves is easy, as you can use one of two methods: measure your hand across at its widest point, or measure around your entire hand at its widest point.
As above, fit varies between manufacturers, so it’s important to try gloves on. Your glove should fit with your jacket. You have the option of a short gloves, mid-length gloves (that are designed to fit underneath the cuffs of jacket sleeves), or full-length gauntlet gloves. Materials must be considered as well, as textiles do not stretch and break in the same way leather does.
We’ve previously covered how to choose the right pair of boots at length. Regular shoe sizes generally carry over, once again with some slight variation across manufacturers, models, and type of boots. Some people like to leave a little room for extra sock space in case they want to add some warmth, but your best bet is to go with the size you use for the majority of your footwear.
Sizing your motorcycle gear isn’t nearly as daunting as it may seem. In the end, it’s a matter of ensuring that your comfort and protection meet halfway.