Okay, I sort of hate myself for what I’m about to say, but I’ve got to say it anyway: Florida does not require you to wear a helmet when you’re riding a motorcycle, provided that you have a minimum of $10,000 in medical insurance. I know I’m probably not giving most of you brand-new information, especially when you see people cheerfully zipping along the highway without protective gear, but I still feel like I’m giving you terrible information nonetheless. Florida bikers, riding is worth the fun, but not worth the risk if you don’t select some sweet new kicks to match your new crotch rocket.
The fact is, $10,000 worth of medical insurance isn’t going to save your tail if you wipe out on your commute home. We love our neighbors and want to see them live long and happy lives, which is why we want to give you some solid advice on choosing the right gear to help you stay safe while riding your motorcycle, all without sacrificing appearance. After all, you got a motorcycle because you wanna look cool, right? Nobody wants to look like a nerd on I-95 on their Harley (however, let’s be honest here: there’s nothing cool about road rash).
1) A solid leather jacket. I know what you’re thinking. It’s Florida. Leather? Are you kidding? Believe it or not, you can get a nice, ventilated leather moto jacket that will keep you from overheating while also protecting your limbs and torso. While they can be a little pricey, they're worth every penny to keep you from shredding your skin if you skid on the blacktop.
2) A full-face helmet. Not only will this keep your head (read: your brain) safe, it can also make your ride more enjoyable. Nobody wants road debris smacking them in the face and in the eyes when they’re riding. Plus, it can help keep your head comfortably dry and your vision crisp and clear when the skies open up for the inevitable showers that we seem to get every afternoon at 4 pm in the wet season.
3) Heavy duty moto boots. Okay, let’s be real here. Not only can leather moto boots keep you safe, protecting your legs and feet, they also look SERIOUSLY awesome. There’s nothing dorky about moto boots. Just get them.
4) Durable gloves. Gloves are another one of those things that probably has you scratching your head. Gloves are for winter wear, what do you need gloves for? Nope, gloves are extremely important, especially if you get thrown from your bike and land on your hands. Get some that have thick, durable leather to avoid tearing the skin from your palms if you ever take a tumble.
I know it probably seems like I’m shilling for Big Leather here, but for those of you who are avoiding animal products (hey, vegans can also ride!), look into Kevlar. It’s durable, sturdy, and ethical. No judgment. I just want you to be safe and look totally rad on your motorcycle. And we can all agree, making it home in one piece is absolutely the epitome of cool.
Auto Tags of Florida is a biker-friendly business! Fort Lauderdale motorcycle registration gets same-day treatment. Skip the DMV and call us before your next ride when your motorcycle tags are up for renewal.
Photo credit: FlorS Q
FL Statute 316.211 (regarding insurance requirements for Florida motorcyclists)