Updated March 2021
Motorcycle track boots might look outlandish to some, but you don’t fully appreciate your feet or your ankles until you can’t use them anymore – that’s why you want the best boots you can afford. seemingly benign motorcycle accidents can be brutal if there’s damage to the feet or ankles. It used to be (and sometimes still is) the norm to simply wear leather work boots or military-style boots on a motorcycle, but if you’re piloting technologically advanced vehicles like sportbikes, you should have the best motorcycle track boots out there. Here, we’ve gathered some of the best track boots currently available on the market. Though they all perform the same basic function, each brand has its own specific methodologies.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Updated March 2021
Let’s consider the daily rider for a moment. Those hardy souls who choose to ride their bikes year ’round represent a small but important group of motorcyclists. Without them, many commuters wouldn’t know that motorcycles exist. These most frequent of all motorcycle flyers have needs that go beyond what your typical weekend warrior requires (though they, too, could benefit from the items listed below). Many of the recommendations are for combatting the elements, but others address common issues like flat tires and carrying things on a motorcycle. Read on to see our picks for the best motorcycle gear for daily riders, and you may find the special thing you are looking for.
Updated March 2021
Non-riders will never understand that riding in the rain can be quite fun, provided you have a properly maintained bike and motorcycle rain gear. However, what constitutes proper rain gear covers many more items than just a slicker over your regular riding gear. You need to prevent more than just your body from getting wet. You’ve got both your feet and hands to consider if all-day, wet-weather riding is part of your plan. Finally, your ability to see in the rain needs to be considered.
Cover all of these areas, and you’ve got a prescription for a fun day – or days – riding in the rain, and you can smile inside your helmet as car occupants look on with pity as you cruise down the highway.
Motorcycle rain gear fits into a two different categories. First, there are items that augment your existing gear by simply providing them with a waterproof covering. The others have the waterproofing baked in for maximum versatility, making them ideal for long-distance tourers or riders who live in wet climates.
Finally, these items represent a sampling of what is available out there for wet weather riding. They provide guidelines as to what to look for in quality rainy day riding gear. So, if you don’t find what you want here, take heart; find gear with similar features, and you’ll be set.
Updated March 2021:
If you’re heading into the horizon in search of adventure, you need to be well-equipped. Your gear needs to be as versatile and ready as you are when the pavement ends and the terrain begins to change. Of course, adventure is in the eye of the beholder. Some may prefer more dirt mixed into their cup while others may be perfectly content staying the paved course. The key for choosing the best adventure motorcycle gloves is understanding what kind of adventure you plan to have and choosing the best option (or two) for your needs.
We’ve put together a list of adventure motorcycle gloves that runs the gamut from off-road-focused to waterproof, leather and everything in between.
Updated March 2021
There’s a steep learning curve for anyone starting out in motorcycling – and that’s before you even start to talk about what gear to put on. If nothing else, there’s no more important piece of safety gear than a helmet, and even if you live in a state where wearing one isn’t mandatory, the Motorcycle.com staff can’t stress enough the importance of wearing one anyway.
We get it. Helmets are expensive, with prices for some premium lids hovering close to a thousand dollars. But not to worry, there are several helmets out there with price tags that are much easier to swallow. We’re going to highlight some of them here. Before we begin, if you came here looking for half- or three-quarter helmets, you won’t find them in this list. All the helmets here cover the entire head, including the face.
One last thing. If none of the ones you see here appeal to you and you end up on the hunt for an affordable helmet elsewhere, be sure to check that the budget helmet you’re looking at is DOT approved at minimum. It’s even better if the helmet meets the requirements for SNELL or ECE approval (they’ll usually have a sticker on the back saying as much).
Updated March 2021
If you’re heading to the track, then gear is obviously very important. Sure you get the best leathers and helmet that you can, but it’s easy to overlook quality gloves as an essential piece of your track riding kit. Instinctually, we humans tend to put our hands out when we fall. Now imagine falling off a motorcycle at high speed on a track. You’re going to want some protection. The challenge for motorcycle racing gloves is to provide ultimate protection while also being comfortable, lightweight, and able to provide optimum feel of the controls. The gloves below all achieve those goals. Read on to discover more about them. And before you ask – yes, there are several gloves not listed here that are track-worthy, many by the same companies noted below. Featuring them all goes beyond the scope of this list.
Updated March, 2021
There are two kinds of gloves in this world: those with gauntlets and those without. For the most protection from an unscheduled dismount, and from the weather, the gauntleted glove is the way to go, since its gauntlet is the part that extends up to protect your wrist and seal around the outside of your sleeve – in addition to a wrist closure. Chances of it coming off your hand in a crash are greatly reduced (which is why you’ll never see anybody on a roadrace bike in anything but gauntleted gloves), and the chance of a polar vortex blowing up your sleeve are also negated.
When it comes to outright protection in glove form, racing gloves are the way to go. But if you don’t really need 150-mph crash protection, there are plenty of other gauntlet gloves you can choose from that are much more affordable than their full-race cousins and more suitable for everyday use. There are dozens upon dozens of gauntlet gloves to choose from that can handle everything from sport riding to touring and everything in between, including the occasional track day. Here are just a select few, presented in alphabetical order.
Updated March 2021
All boots are not created equal. Like motorcycles, we can always find a reason to have one more in the garage. Of course, if we had to have one, the touring genre usually fits the bill for being pretty good at a lot of things. Touring boots are generally weatherproof, comfortable, and somewhat understated to work well in a variety of situations.
We looked at the brands and offerings currently on the market and put together a list of some of the best motorcycle touring boots we could find to bring you a one-stop peek into what makes these boots stand out.
We’ve all been there. The forecast was “possibility of scattered showers,” but the horizon is a gray freight train of wetness, it’s getting dark, and you have 300 miles left to ride. Now’s not the time to realize you’re gonna need some waterproof motorcycle gloves; yesterday was.
Keeping your hands dry and warm is super important to controlling your motorcycle. The key to the best waterproof motorcycle gloves is a breathable waterproof membrane. Most people will immediately think of Gore-Tex, which remains the gold standard. However, the other waterproofing membranes on the market are getting progressively better. So, come on in, the water’s fine! We’ve got your rain gloves right here – also your rain covers and other options.
Winter can be a tough time of year for motorcyclists – particularly those who live in northern states. While nothing outside of screwing studs into your bike’s tires and going ice racing can help you scratch the two-wheeled itch once the white stuff hits the ground, there are still plenty of opportunities for riding if you are prepared with the right cold weather motorcycle gear.
Winter riding newbies typically ask us some pretty similar questions: Does leather keep you warm on a motorcycle? Does wearing rain gear over my regular gear help keep me warmer? Do I have to wear expensive motorcycle-specific winter gear? All of these questions can be summed up into “What should I wear while riding a motorcycle in the winter?”
First, everyone’s definition of winter riding is different. In sunny SoCal, the thermometer dipping below 50° F is a sign of the coming apocalypse. In New England, temperatures in the single digits might not even register with some seasoned riders. It all comes down to what level of discomfort you’re willing to endure and how much insulation you’re able to pack around your body. Supplemental heat is also an important consideration for lengthening your riding season.
In winter, just like any other time you’re on your motorcycle, you want to wear gear that protects you in case of a crash. That means CE-certified armor on your back, elbows, knees, and shoulders. Naturally, quality motorcycle-specific riding apparel will include this kind of protection. Leather riding gear can help keep winter’s cold wind from directly reaching your body, but it isn’t great for insulating against the cold. You can augment your leather with thermal base layers or electric underclothing. Insulated over suits are another option to augment your leather. Still, nothing beats gear that was designed for winter from the get-go.
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the five best pieces of gear to help you extend your personal riding season. Of course, there are tons of other items the winter rider could consider, but we thought that with these items, you would be well on your way towards keeping yourself riding when the temperature and the leaves have dropped.
Picture it: you’re having the motorcycle adventure of a lifetime; you’re somewhere new, traveling down roads and paths you’ve never seen before, and just around every bend is a view more picturesque than the last. The scenery is gorgeous, the roads (or trails) are twisty, and you and your motorcycle are one. By all accounts, this ride qualifies as epic. There’s just one problem: you haven’t documented any of it. Once the ride is over, you’ll only have memories to refer back to, save for the few shots you took on your cell phone camera.
We know, for some of you even a cell phone is more technology than you’d rather be packing. For others, the social media life, and taking a million selfies to show for it, makes you throw up a little inside. This might surprise some of you, but there can be a happy medium. There is such a thing as documenting experiences for you to look back on later or to show your kids when they get older. If life’s about experiences a motorcycle will take you there, but a few gadgets will make the memories last in vivid detail.
Thanks to the march of technology, capturing and/or documenting your ride has never been easier. Whether you’re a track rider, adventure gal, or long-distance Iron Butt-er, these days there’s almost no excuse not to document your ride somehow. For this list, we’ve gathered six gadgets we use to capture our rides, plus one device we think has a lot of potential. Most of them should be small enough to toss into a backpack or saddlebag, so there’s really no excuse no to bring them with you. Curious what they are? Let’s get to it.
As mentioned in our first installment of adventure bike upgrades, tires are one of, if not the, easiest ways to transform the handling of your big adventure bike. As adventure bikes have grown in popularity, so have tire offerings for them. With the plethora of tire choices to choose from these days, one can almost pinpoint exactly how much dirt versus road you plan on doing and choose a tire that meets your riding expectations.
When I first purchased my 1190 Adventure R, it was my only motorcycle, and I was commuting on it every day. Though I had dreams of off-road adventures on my Adventure, I couldn’t justify slapping on a set of TKC80s and shredding them on the 405 freeway. I chose to run the stock ContiTrailAttacks for quite a while until I bought my Tuono, then I was able to start swapping in more aggressive tires on the KTM since I wouldn’t be using it to commute all the time.
The adventure tire buyer’s guide we’ve put together includes nine brands with one road-biased and dirt-biased offering from each. Yes, we know there are other brands and other tires, but we had to draw the line somewhere. If your favorite tire isn’t listed, leave it in the comments section to share with other readers.
Sure you know Harley-Davidson is the goliath among motorcycle manufacturers. And in the back of your mind you knew The Motor Company has a huge apparel line. But have you ever stopped to think about how big the apparel line actually is? Probably not. It’s so big, H-D has its own Amazon store dedicated to just footwear. Yep, that’s more that just Harley-Davidson boots.
It’s so big that, here, we’re going to focus solely on Women’s footwear from the Bar and Shield (pun not intended). We’re going to take a look at the 10 most popular boots and shoes for women, brought to you by the dedicated folks in the apparel division of Harley-Davidson. These boots and shoes aren’t even necessarily for riding, either, though most of them seem plenty able to slip underneath a shift lever or keep you planted when you come to a stop.
Seeing as how Yours Truly is not anatomically qualified to be speaking in any definitive terms about this subject, this list of boots and shoes was determined strictly based on the number of reviews left for each of them on Amazon at the time of this writing. Unsurprisingly, there are dozens more boots in the Harley store that barely missed the cut.
So, without further ado, here they are.
There are many reasons why motorcycles (unfortunately) get put away to storage: repairs, restorations, and sometimes life in general means you have to put the bike away for a while. For most of us though, winter is the most obvious reason motorcycles get put away, and as we type this winter has begun to rear its ugly head in the way of snowstorms and bitter cold in many regions of the US. Unfortunately, for many motorcyclists, that means a long depressing few months of storing away your beloved two-wheeled friend from the elements. For long-term storage, it’s best to get yourself a smart battery charger to maintain the optimum voltage level to be sure your bike’s battery voltage doesn’t drop to potentially damaging levels, leaving you unable to ride when that first nice day comes around. Remember, you want to avoid the cheap chargers that continuously charge your battery without any regard for its current voltage. These “dumb” chargers can actually damage your battery and should never be used.
We scoured the market and put together a few of the most popular units in this battery charger buyer’s guide to help you learn about different chargers and their features from various brands. Consider this a one-stop article to decide which charger is best for you and your battery.
Updated January 2021:
Saddlebags, side cases, panniers, bags. Whatever you call them, having luggage options for your motorcycle opens up a whole new world of uses for your motorcycle, like cross-country touring or grocery getting. We prefer the former. There are generally two perspectives when considering motorcycle luggage: hard or soft. Our opinion? It depends on the circumstance and your preference. Each has pros and cons. So, we put together a motorcycle saddlebags buyer’s guide to take a look at a few options from each side of the fence, but first, let’s consider some pros and cons.
Soft luggage generally costs less, weighs less, can be used interchangeably with many motorcycles or rack systems, and isn’t likely to get damaged, like a hard case, from a tip over. Conversely, soft luggage doesn’t offer the same security that a hard locking case has, can be more heavily damaged in certain crash scenarios, and doesn’t offer as convenient of access, as opening a latch, since they tend to have multiple straps and/or roll tops to be weatherproof.
To touch back on some of the points previously mentioned, hard cases offer better security as they are generally made out of metal or plastic or a combination of the two. Also, they can lock to your motorcycle and be locked shut. Mounting hard luggage also can help with stability as the cases are less likely to move around at speed. Hard luggage can provide better crash resistance in certain circumstances, but it really just depends on how it all goes down… literally.