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trailriders association

Introduction to kit

Trail riding is a steady riding experience across the country side. It's not a race. However, you are riding a motorcycle, and they inherently have their risks, so we would always recommend wearing the right gear. Here are a few ideas and points on kit. You should remember that if you already have road gear, and want to give trail riding a go, you don't need to dash out and buy new kit before you do. It won't be perfect for the task but it will do the job while you find your feet.

Helmet. The most important part of any motorcycle kit bag. Contrary to popular belief, for green lane riding you don't need the latest peaked off-road helmet. If you're trying this for the first time and have a road lid, just use that to start.

Why the peaks and goggles? They aren't there just to look cool (which they do!) The peak is very useful in low sunlight in the same way a cap is. You often don't see sports bike riders using them because the peak can cause buffeting at higher speed but this is not a problem for the speed when trail riding.

Goggles have their purpose too. Trail riding in comparison to road riding is very active, more active than you'd think. With a normal helmet visor you will find your self misting up easily. Goggles give you the extra airflow and keep your vision clear for the trail.

Boots. Many motorcyclists are used to wearing road biased boots. If you are getting into this activity it is worth considering an MX or Trials biased boot.

When riding off road, you are on uneven ground and you will inevitably dab your foot down more often. Having a more rigid boot gives you that extra support. Another purpose for an off road boot is the sole. The sole on most road boots is thin and smooth. MX type boots have a much thicker and rigid sole with a good tread. This is all important. When trail riding you will spend a lot of time on your pegs, the thicker sole will better support your feet. Furthermore, your pegs will likely be serrated steel, thinner soles will wear and damage quickly. Finally. Tread, it won't be long before your find yourself in the mud.

Gloves. When trail riding, the key is feel. You don't want heavy winter gloves. In fact, if you are trying it for the first time consider using your summer gloves.

Jackets and pants. You want to be able to move in your gear. Plenty of people use standard textile motorcycle gear. You'll likely find you don't want all of your layers on as you tend to be more active off road and you don't experience the higher wind chill effect of road riding.

Armour. The usual stuff is a must. Back, elbow and knee armour and it may be that your jacket and pants has it built in.

TIP: If you are just starting out a great idea is to speak to members of the group about recommendations or even some second hand bargains.

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