Wear gear. It’s important. Unless you are a pro-rider, or a member of the "temporarily retired”, you probably
need to get to work on Monday. Wearing gear will increase the odds of paying your bills.



Safety Equipment




A well fitted helmet is a must. Forget the hand-me-downs or freebies that don't fit snug or have been "crash tested". Exposure to vehicle exhaust (petroleum vapors) will deteriorate any helmet, so store away from the garage. Helmets should also be replaced following any hard impacts; the integrety of the helmet can decrease after a hard hit making it less efffective. How much is your head worth to you?? (AVERAGE PRICE $80- $300)



Goggles, wide lens safety glasses or similar eye protection from impact and debris of all sizes. Different colour lenses are available for high glare situations (AVERAGE PRICE $25- $100)



Form fitting gloves to prevent blisters and abrasion/cuts during a fall. Look for comfort and function ....not style, when purchasing. (AVERAGE PRICE $20 - $60)



Pads for the elbows, shoulders and knees. Rob your hockey bag if necessary. They should not roll of the joint on impact. (AVERAGE PRICE $20 - $50)




Sturdy, high boots. Let's face it, only real motorcycle boots fill this bill. (AVERAGE PRICE $120 - $350)



Optional Safety Equipment



Neck Braces for you Kamikaze types. Several styles are sold. Talk to riders wearing one and ask thier opinion. Leatt Brace, EVS collar and more available.(AVERAGE PRICE $30 - $500)




Kidney belt to keep your internals and back supported over a long ride. (AVERAGE PRICE $40)




Upgraded safety vests such as Tekvest and ballistics jackets that cover all the upper body vitals. Once you grow accustom to them, they are a second skin and a lot tougher than your true hide. Padded shorts can include tailbone, thigh and hip protection



"Good Idea” extras




Hydration unit. Commonly called "water packs", these look like a small backpack but have a plastic bladder inside that can carry 1-3L of water. The backpack itself usually has a couple of zippered pocketswhich come in handy for spare tools and a snack or two. They can be purchased from any outdoor adventure store, Canadian Tire or Costco and range from $20 to $150 each. "Camelbak" specializes in this type of hydration bags. Heat stroke is not fun and can cause a serious crash, stay hydrated on the trails!




Proper rain gear. There doesn't have to be snow on the ground for Hypothermia to set it, and it can hit without notice while your focus is on finishing the ride. Pack a disposable plastic poncho, at the very least.




GPS units - getting lost is only fun for about an hour. Do not depend on cell phones. Signal areas can be weak, batteries fade and how do you describe your exact location? GPS can take some time to learn, but is actually a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. Until you've figured out the whole GPS thing, learn to depend on your wits and ability to access, perservere and solve trail issues. Develop a sense of direction and notice landmarks.




Carry a basic first aid kit and educate yourself and partners in its use. Examine contents regularly to replace/replenish/add items necessary. Good ideas: small bandage, tape, bandaids, antiseptic wipe, popsicle stick (to brace injured fingers), and anything else you think may come in handy.




A very basic tool bag. Fanny bags or fender bags stocked with essential tools have saved countless afternoon rides. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR BUDDIES TOOLS --- it's not their responsibility to be prepared for YOUR bike breakdown --- carry your own.








Hand Guards (AKA: "bark-busters") should be high on the priority list for all trail riders. Think of them like a helmet for your hands. They w'll save your hands from the branches, tree bark and any rocks the guys in front of you may kick up in his roost. If saving your hands wasn't already a good enough reason to run out today and pick up a set, they often prevent breakage of clutch and brake levers that can complicate your day. Hand guards are easy to install and can be purchased at most motorcycle shops or aftermarket stores starting at $30. You can check out some different styles at powerMadd.


Tiressuited to the terrain will save your day every time. Look at thread style/condition and inflation level. Some tires are made specifically for soft (sandy) conditions while others are made to stand up to tougher rocky terrains. Read your owners manual to determine the recommended tire pressure for each condition.



Pivots,seals and bearings in the swing arm, axles and steering head MUST be maintained or your bike is liable to turn into an unsafe machine. Riders learn to avaid deep water and mud, after replacing several sets of expensive bearings and seals. Grease is so-0-0-0 cheap.



Gasoline in the tank? Oil in the crankcase? Radiator Coolant? Don't leave home without them. Remember, you are in the woods with the not-always-so-small-animals. They can smell fear.