Giving a gift that goes? Don’t forget the riding gear and training
IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 19, 2023 — If you’re planning to gift someone who’s been extra-good with an electric bike, dirt bike, or ATV, don’t forget the gift of gear and training to help them stay safe, have fun, and ride their best. And remember, with powersports, age does matter, especially when it comes to ATVs. Check the manufacturers’ labels for age-appropriate vehicles for kids 16 and under.
“Riding gear not only helps protect a rider, it also looks cool,” said Andria Yu, a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach and DirtBike School Coach, and an ATV Safety Institute Instructor. “Especially for kids — they can feel like a superhero with their helmet and armor. And adults will appreciate today’s high-tech, fashion-forward protective wear. Plus, gear make the perfect accessory gifts, so they’re easy to add to a wish list.”
Riding gear safeguards a rider from head to toe and includes:
- A helmet. Look for Department of Transportation-compliant helmets (for both street and off-road riding), which have a DOT sticker on the back. These helmets have passed an impact test, penetration test, retention strap test, and peripheral vision test. Note that helmets need to be fastened securely to protect as designed.
- Eye protection. Use proper off-road goggles or make sure your helmet has a flip-down face shield. Sunglasses and regular eyeglasses can’t protect from dirt and dust.
- Full-fingered gloves. Keep hands protected from rocks, branches, and other debris.
- Over-the-ankle boots. Motorcycle or ATV-specific riding boots offer the best protection, but sturdy boots that have ankle protection, such as over-the-ankle hiking boots, can be used as well.
- Protection for the arms and body. When riding off-road, bumps and scrapes from branches, rocks, and other elements can happen, so armor, such as chest protectors, back protectors, and shoulder and elbow guards are great to have. Also make sure to have a long-sleeve shirt, jersey, or jacket to protect the skin. If riding on the street, many riding jackets come with the armor and are made of abrasion-resistant material.
- Protection for the legs. Many off-road riders also choose hip protectors and knee/shin guards or braces. Long, sturdy riding pants are also a must. Street riding pants often include knee armor and are made of abrasion-resistant material.
There are many options for kids and adults. If you’re not sure what to get, see your local dealer for ideas and fitment information.
And while riding gear offers great protection, the best protection comes from proper training.
“If someone has little to no riding experience, a training class is the best way to start,” Yu said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers DirtBike School for ages 6 and up, and the ATV Safety Institute offers hands-on ATV RiderCourses for kids and adults. There’s also free online ATV eCourses for everyone, and for street motorcycle riders, the MSF offers the Basic eCourse and Street Strategies eCourse for a small fee.”
Training not only helps riders learn the fundamentals of controlling their vehicle and riding in various terrain, it helps them understand the risks and how to reduce them. If you’re already a rider, training is a great way to refresh your skills, and you might even pick up a few tips.
“Having good judgment, learning smart riding strategies, and understanding trail etiquette is the best way to ensure many years of fun,” Yu said.
If you purchased a new ATV, ask your dealer for information about a FREE hands-on ATV RiderCourse for the entire family, or visit www.ATVSafety.org. “If you are giving the gift of powersports, make sure to make it a complete gift and remember the gear and training,” Yu said. “This way, it’s a gift that will keep on giving, with years and years of fun.”
For tips, practice guides, and additional information, including how to look over your vehicle before you ride, how to properly put on a helmet, and how to ride in groups, go to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website at MSF-USA.org or the ATV Safety Institute site at ATVSafety.org.
Online courses are available through these links:
ATV Safety Institute’s eCourses: Free, self-paced, interactive online training programs
Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s eCourses: Basic eCourse, Street Strategies eCourse, and more
E-Bike Smart: Electric bicycle rider safety education program created by PeopleForBikes, the League of American Bicyclists, and Bicycle Colorado
About the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests, and public information programs. MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization endorsed by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; BMW Motorrad USA; BRP, Inc.; Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc.; Indian Motorcycle; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; KTM North America, Inc.; Suzuki Motor USA, LLC; Triumph Motorcycles America; and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. For safety information or to enroll in an MSF Basic RiderCourse near you, or to learn more about the many other MSF course offerings, visit MSF-USA.org or call (800) 446-9227. Follow @msf__usa to keep up with MSF on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About the ATV Safety Institute
The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute develops rider training programs and promotes the safe and responsible use of ATVs. The ASI works to reduce crashes and injuries resulting from improper ATV use. Formed in 1988, the ASI is a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. For safety information or to enroll in an ATV RiderCourse nearest you, visit ATVSafety.org or call (800) 887-2887.