Protective Gear

Fishtail Riding School is geared to the street rider and track day enthusiast.  If you typically wear good gear on the road, you probably already have what you need.

Suit – You need a full coverage protective riding suit. The suit can be a one piece suit or two-pieces that zip together (except for the A Group where we require a 1-piece leather suit) 

Most motorcycle jackets and protective pants come with zippers at the back, designed for zipping the jacket and pants together. The zipper does not need to be a full circumference. A short zipper that securely joins the jacket and pants will suffice.

The suit can be textile or leather as long as the textile is not the lightweight mesh type where you can see through the garment. They may be fine for casual street riding, but they do not have enough protection for the track.  Here’s a hint:  if you ride fast enough to get re-entry burns, think really hard about a 1-piece leather suit.

Feet – You must have boots that cover your ankles.  If the unfortunate happens and you fall down, your foot could end up under the motorcycle doing double duty as a frame slider.  Ouch! 

We do not require motorcycle specific boots, but you should strongly consider them. Motorcycle specific designs have hard plastic protectors for toe, ankle, shin,  heel and other bones. Track-specific models have toe sliders to protect against toes dragging on the pavement, which happens at speeds seen even in the intermediate group.

Hands – Look for hard material on the knuckles and fingers to protect you in falls where your hand grinds against the pavement. Choose gloves with a generous gauntlet and a strap that encircles the wrist.  This helps to ensure your glove won’t be taking an aerial tour of the facility when you need it most.

Head – You’ll need a full face helmet with a certification more stringent than Bob’s Bait Shop and Safety Testing Shack.  D.O.T. and Snell are good indicators, and the European Union has an effective standards as well. We’ll honor those.

Your helmet must be in good condition. The foam degrades with age and begins losing effectiveness after three years. If your helmet is more than five years old, or has been dropped or crashed, you should replace it.

Make sure your helmet fits properly. Many experienced motorcyclists are wearing helmets that are too large for them. For more information on fitting a motorcycle helmet, see “How to Fit a Motorcycle Helmet“.

Back – You’ll need to have a back protector to ride. There are two styles: one is integrated into your jacket or suit; the other is held on by straps and fits under your jacket.  More armor is good, plus it makes you feel manly (sorry ladies).

Other stuff – Because you tend to sweat up a storm at the track, a lot of us wear some kind of synthetic undergarment to make it easier to get into and out of your riding gear.   It’s a small detail, but it makes life much easier as the day goes on.

If you would like to rent gear, Seacoast Sport Cycle has a full line of protective gear available for track day rental.  While they will be at most of our days, it’s a great idea to call them prior to the day and coordinate.  They can have the gear waiting for you at the track the day of.

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