Stepping into the world of motorcycles can be incredibly intimidating for beginners. You likely don’t know which brands are good and don’t fully understand what to look for in riding gear as of yet. Thankfully, in Australia, we have a wide range of motorcycle riding gear to choose from. In this article, we’ve found the best motorcycle gear for beginners in 2021. We’ve picked the best gear that’s not only affordable but also has some of the best protection on the market.
The ideal motorcycle gear for beginners has to be highly protective, comfortable to wear, easy to move around in, and affordable. This is a tricky balance to strike, as few options check all of these points. Helmets also need to have ECE 22.05 certification. If they have a SHARP rating, that’s even better. Jackets should also have both elbow and shoulder protection with at least a CE level 1 rating. There are plenty of things to consider when buying your first set of gear. In this article, we’ve not only picked out the best gear, but we’ve also given you a guide on what to look for when you’re out looking for when you’re shopping.
Best Motorcycle Gear For Beginners in 2021
- HJC C70 Helmet
- Dainese Air Frame D1 Jacket
- Alpinestars SP-2 V2 Gloves
- RST Tech Pro Aramid Fibre Jeans
- Alpinestars SMX-1 R Boots
1HJC C70 Helmet
Helmet Style: Full-face
Certifications: SHARP 5 Stars | DOT | ECE 22.05
Shell Sizes: 2
Liner: Removable | Washable
Intercoms Compatible: No
Eyewear Compatible: Yes
Pinlock Compatible: Yes | Not Included
Included Visor: Clear Visor | Internal Sun Visor
+ 5 Star SHARP rating
+ Packed Full Of Features
+ Removable & washable liner
+ Quick Release Visor
+ Excellent Ventilation
− No integrated speaker pockets
− Doesn’t come with pinlock
− Cheek pads can be very tight at first
What To Look For
Helmets are by far the most important piece of gear for any motorcyclist. Ensuring that your head is well protected is of utmost importance when buying your first set of gear. Helmets improve your chance of survival in a crash more than any other piece of gear. Wearing a helmet reduces your risk of death by 37% and reduces your chance of a head injury by 69%.
Your helmet needs to be road legal in Australia, meaning that it must have ECE 22.05 certification. Thankfully, all helmets sold in Australia have this certification, but be wary if you’re buying internationally. Additional certifications are great, like being SHARP and DOT certified, but they’re not required in Australia. If you want to learn more about helmet certifications, you can check out our article here.
Ideally, you want a helmet that fits snugly on your head but isn’t too tight. We always recommend a full-face helmet for new riders. Whilst you may think an open-face helmet looks cool, it’s not going to provide the same protection as a full face or even a modular helmet. As a rule of thumb, you should also replace your helmet roughly every 3-5 years, depending on how often you use it and the material it’s made of.
Our Pick: HJC C70
The HJC C70 is one of the safest helmets on the market. Not only is it ECE 22.05 certified, but it also scored an incredible 5 out of 5 stars on the SHARP safety test. The HJC C70 is also one of the most feature-packed helmets at this price point. It has a drop-down sun visor, quick-release visor system and removable and washable liner. Not to mention, it’s also glasses-friendly, has incredible peripheral vision and is incredibly lightweight.
The drop-down sun-visor is a fantastic inclusion in this helmet. The slider for the sun-visor is located at the top of the helmet and allows you to easily drop down the visor on the go without any fuss. Additionally, the quick-release visor system is perfect for beginners. It allows you to easily swap out your visor within a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, however, whilst the C70 is Pinlock ready, it’s not included. If you do end up getting this helmet, I would highly suggest getting a Pinlock lens to attach to the inside of your visor. It will greatly reduce any fog you might experience whilst you’re out riding, ultimately making the helmet even safer.
Another amazing inclusion to the HJC C70 is the removable and washable liner. It even has grooves in the liner for your glasses. The helmet fits a little snug around the cheek pads but should wear in overtime as you continue to use it. This usually takes a week or two. A great way to quickly break in your new helmet is actually to wear it around your house. It might feel bizarre, and people might make some jokes about it, but it drastically accelerates the break-in time.
The HJC C70 has incredible ventilation. There are also sliders on the vents that allow you to easily control the airflow in your helmet when while you’re out riding. Unfortunately, however, this helmet doesn’t come with integrated pockets. So if you’re a fan of listening to music while you ride, then this probably isn’t the helmet for you.
If you want to find more helmets in this more affordable price range, be sure to check out our article on the Top 5 Helmets Under $350. Or, if you are looking to upgrade, we also have an article on the Top 5 Helmets Under $800. We also have an article dedicated to answering all your questions about helmets and helmet care here.
2Dainese Air Frame D1 Jacket
Sizes: XS – 2XL
Certifications: Shoulders: CE Level 1 | Elbows: CE Level 1
Material: QuickDry fabric | Mesh fabric inserts | Boomerang fabric
Liners: Removable Wind Proof Liner | Anti-bacterial liner
Ventilation: Perforations | 3D Mesh
Waterproof Shell: No
Reflectors: Reflective Inserts
Pockets: 2 Outside Pockets | 1 Inner Pocket
Connection Zipper: Jacket-Trouser fastening system
Style: Textile Jacket
+ High-Quality Fabric And Well-Tailored
+ Excellent ventilation
+ Comes with a wind breaking liner
− Doesn’t come with a back protector
− Only suited for summer
What to look for
Motorcycle jackets are the second most important piece of gear, as it protects your upper body from abrasion and impacts. Most crashes result in injury to your upper body, which is why having the correct protection is imperative. Unfortunately, not many motorcycle jackets come with back protectors but most come with pockets for them so that you can purchase them separately, which I highly suggest. I personally never ride without a back protector in my jacket. It’s important to have that extra level of safety and protection for your back and spine if you are in an accident.
Another important feature you should look for in a motorcycle jacket is abrasion and impact protection. Be on the lookout for durable materials and fabrics, as well as excellent elbow and shoulder protection. Motorcycle jackets should fit well and not be loose on your body to ensure any included armour stays in place and so that extra fabric doesn’t distract you by flapping around while you ride.
Our Pick: Dainese Air Frame D1 Jacket
The Dainese Air Frame D1 jacket is an excellent protective motorcycle jacket for riders of all skill levels. It is constructed from high-quality Dainese Quick Dry fabric and the highly abrasion-resistant Boomerang fabric for the mesh panels. This jacket is also made to fit close to your body to ensure excess fabric won’t flap around while you ride. Additionally, the air ventilation in the Air Frame D1 jacket is incredibly effective. Perforations are strategically placed along the inner arms and chest to ensure exceptional air circulation.
Thankfully, if the wind gets too intense, the jacket comes with a removable wind-breaking liner. It’s a highly effective addition to the jacket and greatly increases its versatility. Unfortunately, this jacket is only suited for summer riding. But, if you live in a more temperate climate like Australia, wearing a set of thermals underneath might also make this jacket suitable for winter.
Thankfully the Air Frame D1 is incredibly comfortable as long as you’re only carrying the bare essentials in your pockets. Any more than your phone and wallet, the jacket can become uncomfortable fairly quickly. So, I recommend you store anything else you need to bring in a separate bag. Otherwise, this is a fantastic jacket you can comfortably wear all summer long.
Although the Dainese Air Frame D1 comes with CE level 1 shoulder and elbow protection, it doesn’t come with a back protector, which is unfortunate but expected at this price point. However, there is plenty of space in the back pocket to accommodate one, and Dainese has several back protectors to choose from, which I highly recommend you do. You can even put CE level 2 protection in there.
For more great Jackets that are perfect for all motorcycle riders, check out our list of the Top 5 Motorcycle Jackets in 2021.
Alpinestars SP-2 V2 Gloves
Style: Racing | Mid-Cuff
Certification: CE KP 1
Material: Full Premium Leather
Ventilation: Knuckle Gussets | Perforation Panels
Knuckle Protection: Yes | TPU Injected
Palm Sliders: Yes | Advanced Elastomer
Touchscreen Compatible: Yes
+ Highly attractive design
+ TPU injected knuckle protection
+ Touchscreen compatible fingertip
− Takes a couple of weeks to wear in
What To Look For
Gloves are the third most important part of a riders’ protective gear. This is because, in most accidents, riders put their arms out to break their fall before sliding. This can cause an unimaginable amount of damage to your hands, so getting the best protection for them is important. Look for gloves with palm sliders that are also comfortable and easy to move your fingers in. You’ll also want gloves with a good deal of impact protection. This typically takes the form of TPU knuckle protectors that may or may not include ventilation channels, which efficiently cool your hands.
Our Pick: Alpinestars SP-2 V2
Mixing mobility with durability, the Alpinestars SP-2 V2 is an efficient and well-ventilated set of gloves. The side of the glove incorporates a suede reinforcement. It also has perforation panels strategically placed around the gloves. These panels, along with the knuckle vents, allow for great ventilation, making the SP2-V2 the perfect summer glove. The knuckles are also made of TPU, which is made to absorb and dissipate impact forces, further enhancing the safety of the gloves. TPU can take a lot of damage, so its inclusion on these gloves is a massive bonus.
The accordion leather stretch inserts on the fingers and thumb allow you to easily and comfortably grip your handlebars. Plus, it stops the gloves from cutting off your circulation. The interior of the gloves also has 3mm of foam padding in the fingers, making them even more comfortable. The double wrist closure system also lets you customise and adjust the fit of the gloves. They also look very stylish. The Alpinestars logo on the wrist is placed in a way to work with the stitching locations. The knuckle protection doesn’t look obnoxious, and the stretch panels greatly add to the aesthetic.
The gloves feature touchscreen-compatible fingertips, removing the inconvenience of taking off the gloves when using a navigation device. This has the hidden benefit of not needing to readjust the wrist closure system to get the fit you initially had, saving a lot of time. It also has a finger bridge between the pinky and ring finger that protects your fingers in a low-slide crash.
The Alpinestars SP-2 V2 gloves do take a while to break in, so I recommend wearing them around the house for a few days. This will greatly increase your ability to use the handlebar controls and ultimately prevent any intermittent tendon pain while using the throttle if you are prone to that.
To read our full review of the Alpinestars SP-2 V2, click here. If you want to browse some other options, we have compiled lists of the best motorcycle gloves and the best motorcycle gloves for winter riding.
4RST Tech Pro Aramid Fibre Jeans
Sizes: XS – 4XL
Certification: CE Rated AAA | CE Level 2 Knees | CE Level 2 Hips
Material: Cordura Denim | DuPont Kevlar Lining | Accordion Stretch Fabric
Waterproof Shell: No
Pockets: 4 Outer Pockets | 3 Position Knee Armour Pocket
Connection Zippers: No
+ Incredible protection
+ Comfortable to wear, stretch fabric
+ Adjustable knee armour pockets
− No reflective detailing
What To Look For
Most non-fatal accidents result in injuries to your legs, so it’s important to ensure they’re protected. Friction burns, more commonly known as road rash, is the most common type of injury. Having motorcycle pants with high abrasion resistance ensures your legs stay protected if you are in an accident. Another important feature to look out for is the inclusion of hip and knee protectors. It is also possible to get pants and jeans with stretch fabric on the knees and back to help with comfortability without compromising abrasion resistance.
Our Pick: RST Tech Pro Aramid Fibre jeans
Offering the maximum possible protection without sacrificing comfort, the RST Tech Pro Aramid Fibre jeans are rated AAA for abrasion resistance and comes with CE level 2 knee and hip protection. In addition, there is accordion stretch fabric on the knees and the seat. Stretch fabric allows for a much greater range of maneuverability and comfortability. It is rare for a pair of pants to be this comfortable and protective, especially in this price range. This gives you all the maneuverability you need when adjusting your riding position or turning the motorcycle. Comfort is essential for beginner riders because it directly influences your ability to control your motorcycle.
Furthermore, these jeans also include three adjustable knee armour pockets. This ensures that the armour will stay in place and fit snugly. This also means that these jeans are suitable for a wider range of riders, as they are more accommodating to body shapes. There is also a slight amount more material above the beltline at the rear. This material is for slightly extra protection in the case that the jacket rides up. With this addition, everything stays in place much easier.
Finally, it is worth noting that, sadly, there is no reflective detailing, detracting from safety slightly. This is, however, typical of motorcycle jeans, as they often aim to look like casual clothes so you can comfortably wear them all day without people realising they’re specialised apparel. However, it is entirely possible to put some reflective tape on the pants in obvious locations if you’d like to increase your visibility when riding.
5Alpinestars SMX-1 R Boots
Material: Microfibre | TPR | TPU
Certifications: CE Level 2
Lining: Microperforated Inner Liner
Closure System: Velcro | Zipper
+ High Level Of Protection
+ Unmatched ventilation
+ Comfortable to walk in
− Not as protective as high cut boots
What To Look For:
Motorcycle boots are essential. Not only do they provide support to your feet while you’re out riding, but they also protect them from crushing and sliding forces in a crash. It’s important to ensure your boots fit well and won’t come off no matter how much they’re pushed and pulled around. Boots with toe soldiers and TPU reinforcements will also help with impact mitigation and abrasion resistance. Another important factor to look out for is the sole of the boot. It should be thin enough that you’re still able to feel the foot controls but study enough to protect you in a crash.
Our Pick: Alpinestars SMX-1 R Boots
The Alpinestars SMX-1 R Vented boots are the most protective street-style motorcycle boots on the market. Whilst they won’t provide the same level of protection as a shin-high racing boot, the SMX-1 R is perfect for beginners looking for an affordable and protective boot. Not only does it have toe sliders, but it also has TPU reinforcements in critical areas, including your heel and ankle.
Thankfully, there is no compromise in comfort. It’s rare to find a pair of boots that I can comfortably walk around in. Even more stunning is that I could wear these boots all day, with plenty of walking throughout, and they still felt comfortable. Not only are they incredibly comfortable, but you can effortlessly feel the footpegs through the sole. This makes it much easier to control the bike.
There is no other boot on the market that matches the ventilation possible with the Alpinestars SMX-1 R boots. Air is channelled around your entire foot. Ventilation is complemented by the microperforated inner liner, which greatly increases breathability and prevents perspiration buildup. It is worth noting that there is a waterproof version of these boots. So, if you don’t need ventilation, they are also an excellent choice.
If you are looking for other options, be sure to check out our list of the Top 5 Motorcycle Boots.
These apparel pieces are the best in their class, affordable and offer incredible protection. Starting your motorcycle riding journey can be intimidating but also exciting and exhilarating. Trying to find the best gear when there are so many options in the market can be incredibly difficult. We hope we’ve been able to help point you in the right direction to begin your motorcycle journey in 2021, and check out our other gear guides for more helpful information. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the ride!