Everyone knows that a motorcycle isn’t a solitary purchase. When you’re buying the ride of your dreams, you have to acquire the right gear to go with it. You may wonder how much your gear will cost you, especially since there are several items you should buy, each with its own general price range.
The average cost for motorcycle gear is $800-$1,500, but it varies dramatically depending on how much you’re willing to spend. Most of the time, the costs for typical motorcycle gear items fall within the following ranges:
- Helmet ($50-$1,000)
- Jacket ($40-$500)
- Boots ($75-$250)
- Pants ($35-$200)
- Suit ($50-$350)
- Gloves ($5-$60)
If you still have more questions about the cost of motorcycle gear, don't fret. In this guide, we’ll discuss all of the gear mentioned above as well as some popular brands and materials used in motorcycle gear. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Cost Of Motorcycle Gear
Each article of motorcycle gear has its own unique aspects to consider. We'll break down the cost of each piece even further here:
Any motorcycle rider can tell you that a quality helmet is a must-have. Not only do they reduce your risk of severe head or brain injury, but they’re also required by law in some states. If you want to know the law in your state, check this list.
There are several types of motorcycle helmets available. For maximum safety, we recommend you purchase a full-face helmet as they provide the most protection for your head and neck. You can find a good one for about $150-$250, though you could opt for a more expensive choice if you have more money to spend.
If you want a good budget choice that clocks in below that price range, consider this helmet. This helmet offers solid protection, removable inner pads, and good ventilation.
When browsing helmets, a greater price doesn’t necessarily get you a higher-quality product. Some higher-end options boast more comfort, ventilation, and other features, but others earn their price tag due to their paint quality or unique artwork. If you really want those extra features or aesthetics, you can spend as much as you want, but you don’t need to spend $1,000 to get a safe helmet.
There are a few safety standards you should know about. The first is the DOT, which is the minimum legal safety standard in the US. For more safety assurance, seek out a helmet that also possesses the Snell Foundation certification.
You can get a reliable jacket for as little as $40-$100 if you want. If you have more money to spend, you can find great jackets up to about $500 that will offer even more protection.
HWK Textile Jacket
This jacket is mostly waterproof, has removable thermal lining for winter weather, and offers decent protection.
It provides appropriate heat and cooling year-round, has a mesh lining and removable foam armor on the back, elbows, and shoulders.
There’s a surprising amount of variety in jackets, from leather to textiles to mesh or kangaroo skin. When choosing a jacket, look for one with ventilation, insulation, and visibility.
Ventilation is needed so that you don’t get too hot in the spring and summer. You'll need insulation to allow for more pleasant rides in the fall and winter. You should also consider a jacket with some reflective material on it so other drivers can see you at night.
When it comes to enduring crashes, you’ll want a jacket with heavier, thicker, and stronger material. These can withstand more crashes before needing replacement and will protect you in higher-speed accidents. Many motorcycle gear items like jackets, pants, and one-piece suits undergo safety tests before being sold.
One popular standard is the CE, the Conformité Européene, which is a European certification. If you see a CE label on the jacket you want to buy, that's a good sign. Any extra armor you purchase while shopping for motorcycle gear should also be CE-approved.
You can find some good options in the $100-$150 range. You can opt for a more expensive pair, just make sure they pass the safety test.
O'Neal Rider Boots
These boots offer solid protection, fit securely, and guard against heat-related injuries.
Harley Davidson Talley Ridge Boots
These boots are wearer-friendly as they're easy to put on and take off as well as comfortable to walk in. They also win points for durability with their slip-resistant sole and water-resistant build.
Your feet can suffer grievous injury in a crash if they’re unprotected, so you want to buy sturdy boots that offer plenty of ankle protection. We recommend a strong, reinforced sole. A slip-resistant sole is even better.
Some boots come with replaceable reinforcements for the toes, heels, and other high-wear areas. These replacements can remove the need to buy a new pair of boots since you can swap them out once they’ve been worn down.
To determine if your footwear will protect you in an accident: grab the toe end with one hand and the heel with the other and try your hardest to twist them in opposite directions. If the boot maintains its shape, your feet will be safe. If it doesn’t, buy a different pair of boots.
You can find good motorcycle pants with CE-approved armor for less than $100. You can find pairs of motorcycle pants up to $200.
Dualsport Motocross Pants
They offer CE-certified armor at the hips and knees, are water-resistant, offer high visibility, and have adjustable velcro at the waist, knees, and near the ankles.
Alpinestars Banshee Protective Leggings
These pants offer a close, comfortable fit with plenty of protection in a crash. Not to mention, they have reflective prints to increase your visibility to other drivers.
Some new motorcycle riders might be tempted to skip out on this purchase and ride around in their jeans, but make no mistake: your jeans won’t help you in a crash. Motorcycle pants will.
Motorcycle pants can be made from plenty of materials including leather, textile, denim or Kevlar. No matter what material you choose, it should be abrasion-resistant and offer CE-rated armor for your hips and knees. Cordura is a great brand that offers abrasion-resistant textile pants.
Like with jackets, you should consider ventilation with motorcycle pants so you don’t get too hot in warm weather. Some pants have removable linings inside them. You may also want pants with reflective material so other drivers can see you at night.
Make sure you choose a pair that fits comfortably! You’ll wear them for hours at a time, so you want pants that won’t make your rides miserable.
If you’d rather not spend time searching separately for pants and a jacket, you can always buy a full-body/one-piece or two-piece motorcycle suit instead. You’ll have to look for a suit that offers sufficient protection and ventilation, just like you would if you were buying a jacket and pants. Motorcycle suits are offered in leather or textile. As always, make sure your suit fits comfortably and securely.
Many motorcycle suits come in the $50-$350 range, but plenty cost much more. One of the highest-rated suits available today, the Aerostich Roadcrafter, sells for a whopping $1,337.
Perrini Ghost Racing Leather Suit
This suit is abrasion and tear-resistant, plus it has armor at the knees, shoulders, and elbows. The Perrini offers a fair amount of protection and can be worn as a 1 or 2-piece suit.
At first glance, you might think gloves aren’t as important of a purchase as the other gear items we’ve discussed, but that’s not the case. Humans are hard-wired to throw their hands out toward the ground when falling, so you’ll need a good pair of gloves to prevent serious and potentially permanent injury to your hands.
Gloves are offered in the same varieties of materials as jackets and pants. Regardless of what material you choose, you need to find a pair with strong stitching and resistance to impact and abrasion. Armor at the base of the palm is also a must since that’s the area of your hand most likely to hit the ground in an accident.
Lastly, consider gloves with a retention strap that will secure them around your wrist. Make sure you can still easily operate your bike’s controls while wearing them. Fumbling around with the controls while riding on a busy highway is flat-out dangerous.
Thankfully, gloves are significantly less expensive than other motorcycle gear items. There are lots of great options available for $60 or less. If you’d like to learn more about what types of motorcycle gloves there are, check out these 16 Types Of Motorcycle Gloves You Need To Know.
Motorcycle Full Finger Gloves
They're remarkably durable and offer strong hand protection with their reinforced palm and double stitching. They also have an adjustable wrist strap and provide a solid grip. They even have touch screen capability on the thumb and middle finger.
Is BiLT Motorcycle Gear Good?
If you’ve spent some time browsing online for motorcycle gear, you may have heard of BiLT. They’re a relatively newer player in the market and focus on providing reliable gear at lower prices than more established brands.
If affordability is your prime concern, then BiLT is a good choice. Their selection is often evolving according to customer feedback, and they offer remarkable service regarding warranties, sizing, and exchanging products. Just don’t go looking for premium products since they don’t bother with those.
Is Leather Or Textile Motorcycle Gear Better?
You’ve probably noticed that most items we’ve discussed can be made of leather or textile fabric. The debate over which is overall “better” is seemingly never-ending amongst motorcycle enthusiasts. Still, we’ll give you a quick overview of their pros and cons so you can decide which is right for you.
Thanks to decades of pop culture depictions of motorcycle riders, leather is what many people think of when they imagine motorcycle gear. It certainly has its advantages as it’s great at protecting riders from impacts and abrasion. Not to mention, designers have made improvements over the decades to improve their ventilation. Leather is also very durable, especially if you get a jacket that’s heavier and thicker.
On the other hand, leather does take some time to get broken into so you can feel more comfortable wearing it. Cleaning is also difficult and requires professional help, though if you want to know more you can read our guide on cleaning motorcycle leathers. Finally, leather tends to be more expensive than textile gear.
While it’s not the first thing many people think of when imagining motorcycling, textile gear has its own strengths. It’s more affordable than leather gear and provides better ventilation. Textile gear boasts better versatility than leather as well since it’s waterproof and can be worn in any climate. You can even wear your normal clothes underneath it. All you need to clean textile gear is a washing machine.
However, textile gear isn’t as durable as leather. While a great leather jacket can survive several accidents or even a lifetime, textiles should be replaced after a single crash since the armor will likely be damaged. Textile also might not come with extra armor for your joints (knees, hips, elbows, shoulders) or back, meaning you should seek out CE-certified reinforcements for those areas.
Both are completely valid options, so you just have to decide which is the right fit for you.
Can Motorcycle Gear Save Your Life?
Absolutely. When you’re riding a motorcycle, you don’t have the benefit of airbags and seatbelts to keep you safe like you would in a car. In a crash, your gear is the only thing standing between you and potentially serious or life-threatening injuries. That’s why we’ve spent so much time in this post discussing the safety benefits of various items.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident at a speed as low as 25mph, you’re still at risk of serious injury or death if you don’t wear any gear. However, riders wearing high-quality gear from head to toe have survived crashes at speeds over 200mph. Obviously, even the best motorcycle gear can’t completely eliminate the risk of severe injury or death as motorcycle riding is an inherently dangerous activity. That being said, if you don’t want to tempt fate every time you take your motorcycle for a ride, then gear is certainly required.
Time To Get Riding!
By now, you should know roughly how much you’ll be spending on gear to accompany your new ride. Just find a brand, size, and material that fits your needs. Make sure whatever you buy is well-rated for safety since your gear is what protects you in a crash. Good luck!