When Anam Hashim and her contingent set on the record making Himalayan Highs season 2, they were taking on a big challenge, riding to Khardung La on a TVS Scooty Zest 110. The indelible spirit of the riders coupled with the astounding prowess of the TVS Scooty Zest 110 ensured that they made their way to 18,380 feet and into Indian Book of Records. Riding across rough and unpredictable terrain requires skills but it also requires a fitting riding gear as the girls realized when faced with dust storms and rains. Every rider who hopes to undertake a similar journey must invest well in their safety gear.
Buying riding gear can sometimes be confusing owing to a lack of awareness about quality grades and how much to pay for which brand. So we decided to put together this detailed feature in association with TVS Scooty Zest 110 to enlighten our readers on how to get a reasonably good set of riding gear without burning a hole in your pocket. In this issue of TVS Scooty Zest 110 Get On The Road With Motoroids Series, we will try and enable you to buy a full set of riding gear for about INR 15,000. Let’s see how it’s possible.
Check out some more articles from the series:
- Riding Off the Road : Some Simple Techniques and Tips to Follow
- Is Age A Bar For Riding? Three Women Riders Share Their Perspectives
- Get on the Road : Riding in the Hills – Techniques and Tips
- Riding Solo in India : A Woman Rider’s Perspective
- Women Riding Groups in India : Triumphs and Tribulations of Our Girls on Two-wheels
- Video : How a Chennai Girl Realized Her Dream of Conquering the Mighty Himalayas
- Himalayan Highs Season 2 : Women of courage who conquered the mountains on their Scooty Zest
- Get on the Road with Motoroids Chapter 4 : Five Weekend Getaways on a Scooter from Five metro cities of India
- Get on the Road with Motoroids Chapter 3 : Things to do in case of a breakdown
- Get on the Road with Motoroids Chapter 2 : Ride preparations and basic checklist
- Adventure: A young lass on the TVS Scooty Zest 110 VS the mighty Himalayas
Budget riding gear
Budget riding gear is the bare basic protection which can be availed even for a very small amount of money. This is pretty essential stuff we’re talking about here. The whole point is to buy protection which is in line with the amount of money you spent for your ride. While budget gear wouldn’t be able to match the more expensive, branded stuff in terms of styling or functionality it would still go a long way keeping you safe without burdening you monetarily.
Helmet (Budget – Below INR 4,000)
Most of the entry-level helmets come in single shell size but feature a replaceable padding and let you choose from among a small variety of graphics. On the downside, many of the entry level helmets tip the weighing scale on the heavier side which may exhaust your neck and shoulder muscles over longer rides. These helmets come without anti-fog visors, which may get a bit inconvenient during monsoons.
- Popular brands for helmets: SOL, LS2, Kranos
- Price range: INR 3,000 – INR 4,000
Body Armor/Jackets (Budget – Below INR 6,000)
Then there are the jackets and body armor. Those on a tight budget can opt for some protection with the use of body armor but the safety, comfort and convenience quotient isn’t very high. Body armor offers the very basic torso protection along with elbow guards. While it may save you from light falls, a more serious crash would still see you getting bruised in a lot of places. This economical variety of gear doesn’t offer any protection from water either.
Thankfully there are a few ultra low budget jackets which offer protection from rains. These are mesh type jackets which come with removable rain liners. This variety of jackets is pretty usable during summers too as they deliver ample air recirculation owing to the mesh pattern.
- Popular brands for riding jackets: Rynox, Rjays, Cramster
- Price range: INR 4,000 – INR 6,000
Gloves (Budget – Below INR 2,000)
Our natural instinct in case of a fall is to put our hands in the way to reduce the impact on crucial body parts. The only thing between your hands and the tarmac is your gloves. Don’t forget to add a good pair of gloves to your riding gear. As an ultra cheap alternative, you get those knuckle guards which leave the fingers bare. We would, however, recommend that you go for proper gloves which cover the palms and fingers with reinforced protection in critical places like knuckles and finger joints.
- Popular brands for riding gloves: Rynox, Spartan and Cramster
- Price range: INR 1,000 – INR 2,000
Knee Guards (Budget – Below INR 2,000)
Being on an ultra tight budget does not leave a great amount of money for legs, as riding pants and boots are some of the most expensive items even among the budget brands. A viable alternative can be some good quality knee guards, meant to be worn over denims and military style hard sole boots. They may not be your best option but hey, something’s better than nothing.
- Popular brands for knee guards: FOX, Scoyco, Cramster
- Price range: INR 800 – INR 2,000
Riding Boots (Budget – Below INR 1,000)
- Budget options for riding boots: Military style boots from generic brand
- Price range: INR 800 – INR 1,000
While buying a helmet, always opt for a clear visor over smoked ones as riding during nights can become a huge task with darker tint. Secondly, Get the right fit – the correct size helmet will require an extra effort to slide on. For jackets, select the ones with Velcro adjusters as they offer a better fit. Mesh jackets with removable rain liner are good for summer rides.
Gloves too are as important as the helmet. There are several cheaper options which do not have proper protection near the knuckle and palm region. Refrain from buying those as they really aren’t too useful. Always keep an eye for deals. A stock clearance sale can save you hundreds of rupees while getting you pretty decent protective gear.
While riding gear is essential for safe riding, what’s even more important is a cool head and a sensible mindset. Practising caution, following traffic rules, riding responsibly and maintaining prescribed speed limits can be far more effective in ensuring safety than the most expensive riding gear. So leave racing, speeding and stunting for a designated track and ride responsibly on public streets. And do don proper riding gear while doing so. We hope our guide was useful in helping you get rid of your monetary apprehensions about keeping yourself protected while riding… Ride safe!