Good motorcycle gear helps protect you from sun, rain, wind, noise, and debris, as well as pavement. It’s designed for more than just crash protection: it’s your second skin and protects you from sunburn, deafness from the wind, and anything that is flying through the air.
Crash protection is the biggest benefit, however, and those of us who have come into contact with the pavement and have been saved by our gear will tell you: it is better to have it and not need it. The human body does not do well when it encounters a sudden stop from speed. Remember falling down from a running speed as a kid? Remember the bloody knees and palms, and the torn jeans? Think about how fast you were going at the time, and remember that even short trips on a motorcycle will exceed that by several orders of magnitude.
At speed, the road surface is a really big belt sander. Good gear is designed for abrasion resistance and is armored against impacts at your joints. Staying off that belt sander isn’t always an option, so good protection is the right way to go.
Riding a motorcycle exposes you to extreme risk, variations in weather, and requires your full concentration and physical ability. Luckily, motorcycle gear is available that can keep you safe in a crash, comfortable in any weather condition, and reduce fatigue. It should be considered a necessity when riding a motorcycle. Factor its cost into the overall price of purchasing a bike. There’s no such thing as not being able to afford good gear; reduce the price of the bike you’re buying until you can afford to buy the helmet, jacket, gloves, pants, and boots necessary to ride it.