To the casual observer, what a biker wears can seem just as important as the type of motorcycle they drive. Look at the movies. Peter Fonda’s iconic American flag leather jacket in Easy Rider or the crooked cap Marlon Brando wore in The Wild Ones both helped to define “biker cool” for many Americans.
Yet beneath all the leather and logos, biker apparel serves a protective purpose. Sharon Fink, the owner of Finks Motorcycle Parts, Accessories and Leathers in New Albany, walked us through some of the gear a new rider might need.
To wear a helmet or not to wear a helmet, that is the question
Of course, a helmet’s main purpose is to protect your head in case of an accident. Indiana, however, does not mandate their use. Fink still asks this question above all others when a new rider comes in. Many varieties exist with or without shields if the customer chooses to wear one.
“The first thing I ask them is do you plan to wear a helmet,” Fink said. “And of course, that is in Indiana a personal choice. Personally, I don’t ride across the parking lot without a helmet on. But I respect the fact that that is each person’s choice.”
Cool jackets to keep you warm
Sure, a leather jacket looks cool but did you know it also protects against the cold? Riding can get downright chilly even when the outside temperatures seem warm. Leather jackets and chaps help to shield the rider from the whipping wind.
“If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, it doesn’t have to get very cool outside for it to be cold,” Fink said. “My typical customers wear them for warmth.”
The wind hurts your sight, so you’ve got to wear shades