ADV is a fast-blooming segment that has riders clamouring to get down and dirty on big, off-road worthy motorcycles. The demand in the segment is so huge and increasing so much day by day, that all gear manufacturers worth their salt are scrambling to offer their own flavour of the ADV suit.
This poses a slight problem for the rookie who just bought his first ADV and is looking to invest in riding gear. There are just so many choices, that a newbie is bound to get confused. It’s best to know what seasoned ADV riders wear and why they wear it before you end up with gear that looks good but does not work as advertised.
Obviously, an ADV helmet has to be the first piece of gear you need to invest in. This brings us to the question: why are ADV helmets shaped the way they are? And what’s with the damn beak? The beak serves two purposes. At the end of a long ride, if you find yourself going west, or you are headed straight into the shining sun in the morning, you’ll be thankful for the beak. You’ll also thank your stars for the beak when your riding buddy is out ahead, flinging mud and dung at you with carefree abandon.
An ADV helmet also features more vents than a street helmet. Additional airflow that steadily dries away perspiration from your face before it gets to your eyes is always a good thing, right?
Boots are the single most crucial piece of gear to get after a helmet. Boots are also the most detrimental if they are the wrong size and features for the kind of motorcycling you intend to do. Look for good ankle support, protection for shin, inner leg, and toes. Comfort is a secondary consideration but keep in mind that you will still be stuffing your feet in them for almost the entire day. Weather resistant features are also equally important as the other two.
When it comes to jackets, pants, and gloves, there is some scope for error in selection, but not helmets and boots. So if you just bought yourself a nice ADV and are shopping for gear, do keep the above points we discussed in mind. Have a safe ride, and have fun!