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Taking care of motorcycle equipment that you don't wear often


take care of motorcycle equipment

There are the bikers who always ride and there are the others. Those who only take the bike to wander around in summer, on weekends or from time to time. Depending on the seasons, individual preferences and uses, there are motorcycle equipment that we don't wear all year round. Pants, jacket, shoes, gloves and helmet: how to keep them, and keep them well, so that they accompany you as far as possible.

Please note: this article is intended for us, bikers. However, the advice can be applied to men's equipment.

Why take care of equipment that you don't wear often?

Because motorcycle equipment is an investment. Ideally, we would like to keep it for a long time... Whether we wear it every day or more occasionally, if we want it to retain all its splendor and all its functionality, it is essential to take care of it.

Taking care of it means above all finding a place for it. Where it is stored and how does indeed affect its condition/quality. Just like you don't keep a blazer balled up in the corner of a drawer, you don't keep a pair of gloves balled up in the bottom of a helmet. I won't tell you how to store your blazers and other everyday clothes, but how to keep your motorcycle equipment in the right place and in the right way so that it doesn't get damaged. Then, it is often said that regular maintenance of your equipment is the best way to enjoy it for longer... So, in the same way as you clean your motorcycle, pamper it regularly so that it continues to maintain its power and its form, we recommend that you take care of your equipment so that it continues to protect you as it should. Even more so if you wear it infrequently. It is also about the resistance and efficiency of the materials used. Each piece of equipment is unique, so each piece of equipment deserves a special location and care.

How to take care of your motorcycle equipment?

  1. Store it in the right place: where to store your jacket, boots, pants, gloves and motorcycle helmet?

Each piece of equipment has its ideal in terms of location and storage. In general, avoid storing them near a heat source or in the cold and/or humidity. A room at room temperature and ventilated is ideal. We also try to place them so that the protections or materials do not deform. More specifically for each person, here are our recommendations.

store motorcycle equipment

Motorcycle gloves

Hanging or placing on a shelf is best. Especially not in the helmet so that they do not contaminate the foam, deform them or so that they do not deform themselves. We always prefer a ventilated and warm place, so we avoid: in the bottom of a plastic bag, a cardboard box or on the radiator (excess heat harms the materials).

Jacket, jacket or coat

Ideally, your motorcycle jacket will be installed on a wooden hanger (to prevent it from breaking under its weight) in an airy “dressing room”. Unfortunately, not all of us are equipped with a dressing room... Just avoid choosing the most humid cupboard in your home. Humidity actually encourages the development of mold and, on a motorcycle jacket, we don't like it.

Denim, leather or textile pants

The ideal is to remove the protections (hips and knees) and fold the motorcycle pants, whatever its material, on a wooden hanger. If you use it more often, there is no need to remove the protections each time. The main point is not to distort them. As with the rest of the equipment, we prefer a ventilated place, a room at room temperature, far enough from a heat source and we avoid enclosed spaces that are too humid.

Motorcycle boots and shoes

Boots, half-boots, shoes: the most important thing is not to leave your socks inside (something we tend to do when traveling or road trip). In fact, socks prevent the fabric of boots or shoes from breathing. Then, you can open them to air them before storing them, but don't forget to close them so as not to damage them (a boot stored open may indeed become deformed). For the location, the same thing: we choose a place protected from humidity, cold, or a strong source of heat.

Helmet

A lot of motorcycle helmets are delivered today with a cover, and rightly so. This helps protect it from dust which tends to quickly accumulate on an object that is used infrequently. So, you ideally store your helmet in its cover and on a shelf: not on the ground to avoid shocks, not too high up to prevent it from falling. Another tip: leaving the visor ajar will allow air to pass through and prevent moisture from developing in the foam. Once again, avoid leaving the gloves inside the helmet so that they do not soil or deform the foam.

2. Maintain it properly when necessary: ​​when and how to maintain your motorcycle equipment?

Whether it's a helmet, a pair of boots or a jacket, it is above all recommended to store your equipment clean or, at least, not full of dirt, mud, insects or wet from the previous day's downpour. 1. because it is always more complicated to clean them afterwards and 2. it is also more pleasant to use them afterwards. Also, in the long term, dirt may become deeply embedded and damage the material. So whatever the equipment, remember to store it clean or clean it after use and before storage.

Then, in terms of maintenance, we generally recommend cleaning the protections separately. You can then remove them, and scrub them with a brush and warm soapy water. For jackets, gloves and pants, wash by hand with hot soapy water or in the machine at 30°C (no more!). Take care to turn them inside out before washing. Avoid the dryer and direct sources of heat, chemicals or softeners. Be careful when washing by hand: rubbing membranes and technical materials risks damaging their waterproofness and breathability. To clean with care and soft materials. For boots, we recommend cleaning by hand with a soft sponge and warm, soapy water. Leave to air dry and ideally nourish with a special product.

motorcycle equipment and helmet maintenance

Special case: how to maintain your motorcycle helmet?

You should know that motorcycle helmets require special care. Whatever your pace of use, the visor must always be clean. This is the basis of your motorcycle safety. We recommend dismantling it and immersing it in a basin of water with dishwashing liquid or other mild cleaner. You can also remove the main part (insects, dust and rain marks) with window cleaner and a soft cloth.

Maintaining the shell then ensures that residue and dust do not accumulate in the air intakes and joints. A damp cloth will do the trick. For more thorough cleaning, you can scrub the joints and air intakes with a toothbrush and soap then let them drain.

Finally, we recommend removing the foams and washing them in the washing machine (delicatessen at 30°C) or by hand. As this is an article about equipment that is worn infrequently, we recommend that you do it at least once a season or even once a year depending on your use. If this is not possible, you can simply wipe with a damp sponge to remove most of the perspiration and use a disinfectant product.

What about linings?

Motorcycle pants or jackets can also include a few layers, technical, breathable linings, etc. Before embarking on any cleaning, don't forget to read the labels to see what the recommendations are. Depending on their composition, technical linings can actually deteriorate when washed and lose their effectiveness. If you can remove them and wash them without difficulty, we recommend that you machine wash them at 30°C. If you can't, talc is a good grandmother's remedy to absorb bad odors. You can also use a disinfectant product to eliminate bacteria. Just avoid chemicals that deteriorate materials.

3. Respect the materials

In fact, we talked about it just above: leather, polyamide and polyester, Gore-Tex… not all of them require the same maintenance. Before embarking on any cleaning or even storage, be sure to read the labels on your equipment to check what the recommendations are or, failing that, what the materials are. And if you are in the habit of cutting the labels as soon as you acquire your equipment, remember to keep them anyway. They always contain valuable information whether on maintenance, storage or even on the materials used. Even more so for textile coverings... which are not simple pieces of fabric but which work thanks to specific techniques and materials.

In general, we respect the material by cleaning it with warm soapy water and a soft sponge or soft cloth. Store it in a space away from direct sunlight, a strong source of heat or humidity, always. Also remember to be careful when you take your equipment out (do not put it to dry on a radiator for example).

What about the leather jacket: how to maintain your leather?

Leather, unlike textile, is a “living”, natural material, which deserves more precautions and care. It is recommended to feed it 2 to 3 times a year with a nourishing or waterproofing product. This will prevent the leather from cracking, becoming brittle or damaged. You can also use baby milk or makeup remover milk. Apply with a cotton pad or a soft brush, and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes.

To clean it, you can similarly use a cleansing milk or a wet wipe once a month (depending on your use). You can use a soft brush, a microfiber cloth or a clean, dry cotton cloth, with lukewarm water and Marseille soap. If you encounter persistent insects, avoid scratching with your fingernail, as you risk damaging the leather. Prefer to rub with a soft wipe, the insect will eventually go away.

For storage, it is recommended to place it in a ventilated place and at room temperature. We avoid damp places which encourage the development of mold, or too close to a heat source. For an even more leather jacket, consider placing it on a wooden hanger to avoid deformation.

leather care

Don't forget to give extra love and attention to this equipment worn infrequently

Finally, I will end by saying that rarely worn equipment deserves even more attention. While equipment used every day will only need maintenance once a month or even a season, equipment worn every two weeks or just in the summer will need to be cleaned, dried and then stored after each use. Even more so if you face a downpour, strong sun or thick swarms of mosquitoes. Well-maintained and well-maintained equipment will follow you far and for a long time... especially if you don't wear it much.

how to take care of motorcycle equipment that you don't wear often

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Mathilde Tay

Independent writer for 5 years, I have been a “dependent” biker for 4 years. Yes, I'm the one we sometimes call "sandbag", the one who takes videos while her husband enjoys riding his motorbike on the roads and under the California sun. A fan of trail road trips, I'm also a fan of old bikes. The ultimate dream? That my husband finally sees the potential seduction of the sidecar, or riding his hands on the handlebars of a Triumph Speed ​​Twin my dad's age (1946)

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