How important is eye protection?

Important! Long-term exposure to engine and wind noise can cause permanent hearing damage, even if you have a quiet motorcycle and wear a full-face helmet. Whether you choose disposable foam plugs or reusable custom-molded devices, properly worn hearing protection reduces noise, while allowing you to hear important sounds like car horns and sirens. Make sure you follow your state’s laws when using hearing protection.

Should you keep rain gear in your bags?

Yes! For the avid motorcycle rider, a rain suit or waterproof riding suit is a must. A dry motorcyclist will be much more comfortable and alert than a rider who is wet and cold. One- or two-piece styles are available in a variety of materials and colors, the most common being polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and nylon. High-visibility orange or yellow are good color choices. There are usually only small differences in rain suit styles. The pants should have elastic at the waist and stirrups (or tie-strings) on the legs to wrap around the rider's boots. The jacket should have a high collar that is held closed by a snap or adjustable hook-and-loop fastener. The front zips up and a wide flap fastens across the opening. The wrist openings fit snugly with more elastic.

How important is eye protection?

Any motorcyclist who has been hit in the face by a stone or an insect can tell you about the benefits of face protection. Windshields and most prescription eyeglasses simply do not provide adequate protection. Wind, insects and pebbles may be blown behind a windshield. Eyeglasses with shatterproof lenses may protect the eyes, but most don't seal out wind which makes your eyes water. "The Hurt Report" states that motorcycle riders with shields covering their faces suffered fewer facial injuries than those without. It also reports that helmets providing full-face coverage with strong chin pieces and energy-absorbing liners are especially effective in reducing face injuries.

Are Big Bikes Are Great For Beginners?

A new rider going with a big bike? Probably a bad idea.

In motorcycle parlance, a squid is a new rider who, overconfident in his or her abilities, springs for a big motorcycle to compensate for their inexperience and to impress their friends. But this eagerness can quickly backfire: Big bikes can easily weigh more than 700 pounds, making them significantly harder to handle in tight turns and parking lots. The higher torque of the bigger engine will also require a level of finesse that new riders won’t possess, as even a minor twist of the throttle may result in an unintentional wheel spin. You may very well end up on your butt, which is less than flattering.

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a Vespa?

To operate a motorized scooter you must be at least 16 years old and carry either an instruction permit or driver's license. If you choose to ride a moped that can reach 30 MPH, you're going to need a Class M2 or M1 license.