Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Protect Yourself While Riding

By Bob Humphrey

The Yamaha Motor Corporation and the ATV Safety Institute strongly recommend you always wear proper safety equipment while riding. That includes a helmet, eye protection, gloves and boots, and long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants. But you can further protect yourself by selecting the right version or type of each.

HELMET

Forget the novelty, bike or skateboard helmets. Use only one with a DOT or Snell safety rating. Standards for the latter are more stringent, and meet requirements for most types of racing. For additional protection of your chin and teeth you might also choose a full-face rather than an open-face style.

EYE PROTECTION

Glasses, goggles and/or a face shield will protect your eyes from abrasion or other injury but not necessarily from the harmful rays of the sun, which can penetrate a thin layer of clouds, fog or haze. As you’re wearing eye protection anyway, you may as well choose something with shaded lenses that filter out harmful UV rays. They’ll also reduce glare making it easier to see where you’re going. Whatever you choose, make sure the lenses or shield are made from an impact-resistant material.

GLOVES

Consider light cotton gloves only as a bare minimum. You’ll be far better off with leather or cordura gloves, especially those designed for riding or work. They are more durable and often have additional padding and protection in the palms and over the knuckles. They also provide a more secure grip on the wheel or handle bars.

BOOTS

For footwear you’ll want something at least ankle high, especially when riding a four-wheeler where legs are exposed. Something higher, like “snake” boots, or knee-high neoprene or rubber boots are even better, particularly if you have to traverse water.

LONG SLEEVES AND PANTS

Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will protect you from brush and thorns, biting insects and exposure to the elements, including too much sun. If you want the best protection, wear a thicker fabric, like denim. If you go lighter on top, look for a shirt with some type of UV protection rating as the sun can penetrate some light fabrics.