When it comes to gear, the only legal requirement for a motorcyclist in the UK is a helmet (of course you need some other clothing unless you are intent on being arrested, but that’s a topic for another day). However, should an accident occur and you are injured, you may find that what you were wearing at the time affects how much compensation you receive.
The Highway Code advises that motorcyclists must wear a helmet, unless they are of the Sikh religion and wear a turban. The helmet must comply with the regulations and be fastened securely. This also applies to pillion passengers. It is recommended to wear eye protectors, which should be clean and fit well.
The Code advises, although not compulsory by law, to wear ear protectors, strong boots, gloves, and suitable protective clothing. In the daytime, it is recommended to make yourself as visible as possible, with a light or brightly coloured helmet, and fluorescent clothing or strips.
According to Bennetts, a biker’s web forum, advice on the best kit to wear is given to riders as part of the compulsory basic training, and they are expected to wear suitable clothing when taking the test. This is defined as leather motorcycle trousers or heavy denim trousers, a textile or leather biker jacket, or a heavy denim jacket with layers underneath.
Sturdy boots or other footwear which provide ankle protection should be worn, and also motorcycle gloves. All motorcyclists on UK roads should be aware of these guidelines, and if they are involved in an accident while not wearing suitable clothing, then the other party may look for a reduction in any compensation claim due to contributary negligence.
Besides the issue of compensation of course, sturdy protective clothing and leather face masks could well save you from sustaining some very nasty injuries.
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