While we have been talking about bikes, rides, bikers, builders, etc. we haven’t spoken about basic safety gear; so today’s post is dedicated to the same – basic hygiene equipment you have to own while you are riding. This is the moment most of you will think this is a boring post reviewing or selling gears made by some brand, etc. Do not stop reading as clearly this is not one of those posts.
Helmets are a must because Judge Dredd (Sylvester Stallone’s Movie) said “I am the Law” & clearly you don’t want to go up against him. Some cool stuff is available in the market as you can see in the pictures. Also if you want more details on the same, do check out our Helmets & More section & the Hardcore Post.
Next, most important tip, keep your pants on, make sure you wear denims or pants – shorts are a no no considering you can burn yourself on the exhaust pipe which is exceedingly close to your leg while the bike is not in motion and also if by chance you skid, friction burns are a bitch! Remember the scene in the movie Torque where the guy in the beginning skids and rolls screaming, “I am burning! I am burning!”, that’s what bitch burns can do. Wearing pants or jeans will not only protect against the bitch burns but also make you look cool! Options are a dime a dozen in the market: Hollister’s, Diesel, Armani, Levis, Lee Cooper, etc. if you have the money; otherwise, like me, jump down to the local imports / 2nd sale / rejects shop and get a cool pair for dirt cheap. I buy mine from Clothes Rack or Apparel Store in South Bombay, just of Cumballa Hill Hospital.
Another thing you want to make sure is a wear a good shirt or a t-shirt (in Bombay I don’t recommend Jackets unless the weather permits), I know in movies you see guys wearing ganji’s (vests) or riding bare upper body. Trust me, absolutely and totally avoidable considering the danger of bitch burns; also, from time to time, and if you like riding on open roads like me, then a good idea is to be covered as the wind can translate into a cold before you say Jack Daniels. A good scarf or a piece of cloth while you ride in the city is also a good idea as it safeguards against pollution and also lets you swear at people without them knowing unless you are in a heated argument or brawl :-). Also, if you have long hair you can use the same to tie your hair and on long rides use it like a bandana to avoid a sweaty smelly helmet.
A good pair of shoes is a must. If you can get boots, even better, though the no no in this case is chappals, floaters and flip flops; beyond bitch burns the problem with all of the mentioned is that they just do not look or feel cool.Try riding wearing boots…. just the feeling when you mount your bike in boots versus anything else is just so different…after a point anything else feels just simply wrong. I have a pair of Rockford’s in Black & Brown which i use. Boots at local stores are available from as low as Rs 99/- to Rs 9999/- so budget permitting, go get them trust me you won’t be disappointed.
The last thing which definitely needs a mention is a good pair of shades/glasses. Remember Tom Cruise in Topgun and the Ray Bans? Not only did the same revolutionarize the business of eyewear but also made every Tom, Dick & Harry buy a pair. Also for all you bike fans here’s an interesting piece of info – Tom rode a Kawasaki GPZ 750 900 Ninja in the movie wearing those cool shades.
If you dont have a helmet with a built-in visor then shades/ glasses are an absolute must as without them it is more or less Mission Impossible & I strongly suggest you do not accept the same. Shades on the streets of Bombay are available from Rs. 100/- to about Rs. 1000/- and in stores for all you brand addicts, from Rs 1000/- to 10000/- & upwards. If you don’t own one get a pair or more now! Also, just for the record, the bike used by Tom in Mi2 was a Triumph Speed Triple (an urban bike with a 1L engine) – super awesome!!!