10 Critical Pieces of Motorcycle Body Armor

Never get on a motorcycle without a helmet -- it's the No. 1 piece of safety gear for bikers.
Never get on a motorcycle without a helmet -- it's the No. 1 piece of safety gear for bikers.

While technically not "armor," was there any doubt that a helmet would be No. 1 on the list? Just look at the numbers:

  • Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death in a crash by 37 percent.
  • Riders with serious head injuries paid an average of $43,214 for hospital care, compared to $15,528 for riders with minor head injuries.
  • As helmet laws were repealed, motorcycle deaths jumped from 2,897 in 2000 to 5,154 in 2007, a 78 percent increase.

[sources: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Wald, Workman]

It's a no-brainer. Your helmet is your most important piece of motorcycle armor.

To learn more about motorcycles, check out the links below.

Related Articles


  • Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. "Fact Sheet: Motorcycle Helmets." February 2008. (May 6, 2011)http://www.saferoads.org/issues/fs-helmets.htm
  • Hanlon, Mike. "Cervical spine protection system for motorcyclists." Gizmag. Sept. 26, 2005. (May 6, 2011)http://www.gizmag.com/go/4782/
  • Motorcycle-Accidents.com. "Motorcycle Crash Accident Statistics." 2006. (May 6, 2011)http://www.motorcycle-accidents.com/pages/stats.html
  • Motorcycle Safety Foundation. "Personal Protective Gear For the Motorcyclist." September 2001. (May 6, 2011)http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Protective_gear_REV.pdf
  • Robertson, Angus et al. "Spinal Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes: Patterns and Outcomes." The Journal of Trauma. July 2002. (May 6, 2011)http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Abstract/2002/07000/Spinal_Injuries_in_Motorcycle_Crashes__Patterns.2.aspx
  • Sakamoto, Shinichi. "Research History of Motorcycle Leg Protection." SAE International. Feb. 1, 1990. (May 6, 2011)http://papers.sae.org/900755
  • Wald, Matthew L. "Rise in Motorcycle Deaths Renews Helmet Law Debate." The New York Times. Sept. 12, 2007. (May 6, 2011)http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/us/12helmet.html
  • Workman, Danny. "Deadly motorcycle accident statistics." Examiner. May 28, 2009. (May 6, 2011)http://www.examiner.com/insurance-industry-in-national/deadly-motorcycle-accident-statistics


10 Cold-weather Motorcycle Accessories

10 Cold-weather Motorcycle Accessories

Cold-weather motorcycle accessories can help keep your ride comfortable in the cooler seasons. Read about 10 motorcycle accessories for cold weather at HowStuffWorks.

More to Explore