BEST BEGINNER GEAR
It’s the non-negotiable bit of your new riding kit — even if your local laws don’t require one. There are no substitutes for a real-deal motorcycle helmet and our pick for 2023’s best for the beginner product checks all the boxes. You’re embarking on a new adventure and you’ve got the opportunity to pick up a piece of gear that works great, looks stylish, matches your ride and above all else, might save your life. Don’t worry about aerodynamics just yet; concentrate something that’ll keep the wind and bugs out of your face.
Some brands build their products to a price point. This isn’t one of them, thus our pick for best beginner motorcycle helmet of 2023 is Sedici’s Strada II. Here’s what you get for your highly affordable investment: The incorporation of Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (Mips) technology, a Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass shell, dropdown internal sun visor, pinlock-ready face shield and much more in a unisex product that’s sub-$300 and runs from small through 3XL.
Your daily attire ain’t gonna cut it. The best beginner motorcycle jackets offer a great introduction to the world of clothing designed with two wheels in mind. The breathable materials, cuts to improve fit in the saddle and armor inclusion are just for starters. Try one on today and you'll immediately feel the difference. After all, a winter coat is a really poor alternative to all the features packed into true moto-specific jackets.
From fashionistas to full-throttle riders, everyone loves a good biker jacket. You’re just starting out, though, so get the best beginner motorcycle jacket with features aimed directly at you — yes, you. Our pick for 2023, available in cuts for both men and women, is the Rev’It! Eclipse 2 jacket. We’ve sung its praises before, but we’ll go over it again for those who haven’t heard. This functional and breathable item utilizes SeeSmart CE1-level armor, which replaces a bulky predecessor, and will work in all seasons except brutal winter cold while retailing for less than $200.
Want something that’s comfortable in the saddle and good-looking at the lunch spot? The best beginner motorcycle jeans do both, while keeping you plenty protected thanks to design elements you will never ever find on a department store rack. There’s simply no substitute for these types of jeans, which have been designed, tested and built by some of your favorite motorcycle brands.
Basic blue jeans brands can’t hold a candle to these picks. The best beginner motorcycle jeans for men and women ride the line between casual looks, comfortable fit and unrivaled protection. Don’t even think about skimping here. For men’s styles, it’s the Bull-It Arc jeans that earned the top spot. These are part of the brand’s Tactical 2 line and they prioritize comfort, strength and abrasion-resistance. Since these aren’t your run-of-the-mill pants, you can also easily add CE-2 armor to really go the extra mile. Priced right and offering great looks on and off the bike, we really dig these.
For female cuts, Bull-It Elara women's jeans are the winner. Again, these fall into Bull-It’s Tactical 2 line and deliver the same levels of strength and comfort, have been rated for abrasion-resistance and utilze single-layer Covec high-performance stretch denim. These are priced at an entry-friendly level, but loaded with moto-specific design features that should more than make the case for purchase.
We know that those just starting out don’t want to invest in multiple pairs of gloves, so the best beginner options will keep you covered through numerous seasons and weather changes. Moreover, they’ll save your skin in a spill and keep your paws protected from sudden and severe threats. Deflecting dangers at speed is a big deal and that’s where forward-facing knuckle protection comes in. You're not gardening, catching a football or shoveling snow — buy the real deal.
There’s no rival, alternative nor substitute when it comes to the best beginner motorcycle gloves. Nothing else on the market that's made for any purpose besides riding fills the void. That said, our pick for this year are the REAX Superfly Mesh gloves. Available in separate cuts for men and women, these gloves have safety covered in a number of ways: perforated cowhide, goatskin palms, TPR inserts and more. We also dug the touchscreen compatibility plus mesh on the back of the hand for breathability.
As the female counterpart to the men’s Superfly gloves, these deliver all the same desirable design features. Additional elements you’ll love include a moisture-wicking liner, the short-cuff design and multi-season usability in a pair of gloves that are competitively priced.
Burly biker boots aren’t for everyone. For something safe, slim and sleek even off the bike, it’s got to be the best beginner motorcycle riding shoes. Plenty of leading brands have something to offer in this space, which means you’ve got a lot of simply cool riding shoes to pick from. From the very first ride, you’ll know this footwear style works well while incorporating all the features found in full-on boots.
Big and bulky isn’t for everyone. The best beginner motorcycle riding shoes are the alternative for those who want to look fast, stay safe and shop smart. For men, our money’s on the Alpinestars Faster 3 Rideknit shoes. You can still score the casual style while enjoying moto-centric design features like breathability, sweat-wicking liners, ankle protection and durable material on the shifter area.
The Stella version from Alpinestars has been made specifically with women in mind, which delivers on style, performance and flexibility. Rideknit, proprietary to Alpinestars, is airflow-inhibiting seamless thermo-welded mesh fiber so, like we said, you’re getting cooling airflow plus abrasion-resistance.
Walk tall with the best beginner motorcycle boots. Your feet hang a few inches above the road when riding and that puts some very fast-moving threats on the radar. With these boots as your entry-level option, you’ve taken the first step (pun intended) toward protecting your feet, ankles and shins. Thank all the moto-focused and purposely placed bracing and reinforcement you’d never find in a pair of work boots.
It’s not just throttle-twistin’ that gets you going. Foot input is critical in motorcycle control so get the best beginner motorcycle boots and cruise with confidence. For our money, it’s Alpinestarts SMX-6 v2 boots for the win. This full-height footwear offers a better fit over the previous iteration while still being loaded with ankle, heel and toe protection.
The Stella proudly sports its race-bred street style. Pick up this pair of footwear and you’ll enjoy all the aforementioned perks of the SMX-6 v2, including levels of venting and waterproofing to pick from depending on your needs. These are boots that prioritize protection and that’s exactly what some riders want.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hear this question all the time. Nobody wants to overspend or buy for features they’ll never utilize. We think this year's guide gives good examples of what the going rate for entry-level apparel is. A helmet around $300 and a jacket around $200 are great baseline prices to gauge the rest of your gear options off of. As the old saying goes, if you have a $5 head, buy a $5 helmet. We both know that’s not your case so spend on something decent and you’ll enjoy the ride all the more.
All the best beginner motorcycle gear in the world isn’t going to help if you leave it at home. There are no extravagancies on this list; the head-to-toe protection you’ll find amongst our nominations for 2023 all serve specific and vital purposes. Full body coverage is why we recommend each item of apparel on this list. It’s not just about safety in a spill, either. Defending yourself from wind and weather for warmth is a huge part of riding at speed.
We could write a book on this one. Where should we start? Flip flops, shorts, bicycle helmets and t-shirts are just some of the items that come to mind when it comes to what not to wear on a motorcycle. The solution is an obvious one: invest in our nominations above and you’ll stay warm, safe and stylish on every ride. Overall comfort is a big factor, too, allowing you to concentrate on the road ahead and not fiddle with some ill-fitting item of clothing.
This isn’t just marketing mumbo-jumbo. Real-deal motorcycle gear for beginners is loaded with features you won’t find at the local department store. Be it the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System that factors for head rotation in a crash, thermoplastic polyurethane plastic that’ll greatly increase product lifespan or other proprietary designs that only moto brands can offer, all we’re saying is don’t skimp on the good stuff.
After checking out our various sizing guides to ensure fitment, there’s only one more thing — have fun! Motorcycling can provide a lifetime of personal growth and unforgettable experiences with friends, family and complete strangers. We want you to do it right and the best beginner motorcycle gear will help you enjoy these early rides so much more.