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Motorcycle helmet impact

Motorcycle and Scooter Gear: New vs. Used

There are two general facts we need to address: One, your first year riding a motorcycle or scooter is pretty damn expensive. Two, if you’re going to spend money on gear it should protect you. This article will help you decide when to buy new or used gear.

Gear you should never buy used:

1) Helmets – The diagram on the right illustrate the components of a helmet. A drop or bump of a helmet may not leave any evidence on the outer shell, but layers below the surface may be affected, meaning the helmet can be compromised even if it looks “like new”. This is why helmets cannot be exchanged in stores.Motorcycle helmet impact

2) Boots – Feet smell bad because of bacteria.Do you really want to bathe your clean toes in someone else’s dirty sweat tub? Call us hygiene freaks, but we buy new motorcycle boots.

3) Gloves – Once a glove has been compromised in a crash, it will never be the same. You can go home to your sewing machine and make it look like new but the seams and stitching won’t hold out like a new pair should.

Gear you could buy used to save money:

1) Armour – Motocross armour, knee pads, armoured vests, etc. These generally aren’t “consumables”.

2) Jackets – A little more difficult to hide damage than gloves are, jackets can be pretty expensive. Remember that the best jacket, if it doesn’t fit well, can be pretty useless, and the used market doesn’t have the best selection of sizes/styles/colors.

3) Heated gear and reflective material – Some people love this stuff and buy all they can; others sell their bikes or just stop riding in the cold or at night, either way you can occasionally find a deal.

shoei helmet
Shoei’s can cost over $1,000. Whether or not it’s worth it is up to you, but whatever helmet you buy, we recommend buying it new.
Pic courtesy of Mondo Lulu

Other hit-and-miss items of scooter and motorcycle safety gear:

Rain gear – Cheap rain gear can start off working very well, but effectiveness may decrease with time. Ask the seller where he/she keeps the garden hose.

Riding pants and track suits – Up to your level of comfort. No doubt there are deals to be had. Whether or not you want to dress up in the kangaroo skin that someone else has poured their sweat into probably depends on how much you’ll save.

Also check out our guide on Scooter Safety Tips you might not have thought about, which is also great for new riders and small displacement ( < 250 cc ) motorcycles and scooters as well. This article is a part of our How To Buy Your First Motorcycle series. The previous article looked at buying a New Vs. Used motorcycle or scooter and how not to get ripped off.

About Adrian from YouMotorcycle

I started riding motorcycles in 2007, founded YouMotorcycle in 2009, and was working in the motorcycle industry by 2011. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in motorcycling, before going full-time self-employed in the motorcycle business in 2019. I love sharing his knowledge and passion of motorcycling with other riders to help you as best I can.


  1. You should size you rain gear properly if it is a one piece. One of guys on a recent trip could not get out of his without help!

    • Haha, don’t you hate when that happens? You spend hard-earned money on a rain-suit that you buy without any thought of ever having to get out of it. Then when you do use the damn thing you’re stuck in it until you can find help!

  2. Used helmets are better than new because to break them in, it takes at least a year of sweat. Better to let another guy sweat the small stuff so you don’t have to. Another guy’s helmet stink is the new smell of a well worn lid.

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