After learning how to ride a motorcycle first at the BMW Rider’s Academy at Zwartkops Raceway and then at the then Harley-Davidson Riding Academy near Hartbeespoort, I decided that, while I still did not have an actual motorcycle, I would go and purchase some of the gear, as an incentive to get the motorcycle. I walked into a motorcycle gear shop and was so overwhelmed by the options, I wanted to leave immediately. Obviously, the helmet is the most important item on the list, plus, it is mandatory according to SA law, to ride with a helmet.
The six helmet types available, namely full face, half face (three-quarter), modular (flip up), half shell helmet, off-road and dual sport, combined with multiple brands and colourways had me confused. I decided on a Shark modular helmet because of my spectacles and the price felt slightly less prohibitive than some of the others. In terms of jacket, I bought a Nexo textile riding one that has two liner: one, which look like a sports jacket that can be zipped in during winter, and a raincoat liner for wetter weather. I topped this off with a pair of gloves.
The gear hung in the wardrobe for just over a year, except for the four-month period when I rode a Vespa in full gear, before I got my own motorcycle, a BMW R1200R. I discovered that the jacket I had was more of a touring jacket, and, without the liner, felt more than an overcoat, which made riding my “naked bike” uncomfortable. I had to, eventually, get a shorter one and the original still hangs in the wardrobe close to seven years later.