Body Injury Zones

Chart of motorcycle injury areas

Choosing the right gear can make all the difference

Motorcyclists are vulnerable to extreme impact and abrasion injuries in the event of a crash. The diagram above shows the percentage of risk for severe injuries to various parts of the body.

Data shows that fatality rates are significantly higher for motorcyclists who suffer severe injuries to the head, thoracic, and abdominal regions.

Course Gear Requirements

The gear you need to ride with us

RTI maintains strict minimum standards when it comes to the riding gear that is required for all our courses.

Please exercise caution when purchasing riding gear online from unknown companies or brands. Although pricing may be appealing, the descriptions of the products can be misleading, the products received may not match what is advertised, and they may not provide adequate protection to ensure your personal safety.

RTI recommends purchasing gear from recognized motorcycle brands and retailers.

It is important that your riding gear is of high quality and fits properly. This is especially true for helmets. We encourage you to visit one of our partners or locations on our resource page and try on helmets /gear to determine the appropriate make and size that fits you best.


Motorcycle helmets protect your head from injury. The minimum requirements for RTI courses are DOT approved helmets of any style. Although RTI highly recommends the use of full face helmets, it is important to remember that a proper (snug) fit ensures the most comfort and safety. Consult a motorcycle helmet retailer for guidance on properly fitting your head.

recommended motorcycle helmet style recommended motorcycle helmet style

Full face helmet with a DOT, CSA, BSI, Snell or ECE endorsement

acceptable motorcycle helmet style acceptable motorcycle helmet style

Approved open face DOT helmet

unacceptable motorcycle helmet style unacceptable motorcycle helmet style

Non-motorcycling, damaged or poorly fitted helmets (you should replace your helmet every 5 years)


Motorcycle jackets are made to protect your upper body (skin and bones), providing comfort while warming or cooling. Ensure your jacket has built-in protection for your shoulders, elbows and back. Your jacket armour must remain intact for our courses and for ultimate protection. When choosing your jacket, be sure it protects well, flexes with you, fits snugly and is comfortable to wear.

recommended motorcycle jacket style recommended motorcycle jacket style

Heavy grain leather or textile jacket designed for motorcycling with armour

acceptable motorcycle jacket style acceptable motorcycle jacket style

Heavy denim or leather jacket

unacceptable motorcycle jacket style unacceptable motorcycle jacket style

Windbreakers, athletic jackets or cropped jackets


Motorcycle pants are made to protect your lower body, hips and knees. Be sure that all built-in protection remains intact for our courses and for ultimate protection. When choosing your pants, look for comfort and a good fit, thinking ahead for all types of conditions: cold, wind, heat and wet, but most of all, choose pants that will protect you.

recommended motorcycle pant style recommended motorcycle pant style

Heavy grain leather or textile pants designed for motorcycling with armour

acceptable motorcycle pant style acceptable motorcycle pant style

Heavy denim pants, regular cut

unacceptable motorcycle pant style unacceptable motorcycle pant style

Ripped jeans, trackpants or lowrise jeans


Proper footwear provides comfort and safety. At RTI, we recommend leather motorcycle boots with rigid side protection that supports your ankle. Most motorcycle boots have non-skid rubber soles that provide proper traction on both the motorcycle pegs and the pavement. The boot must fully cover your ankle to minimize the potential risk of injury. The minimum for RTI courses is leather “work boots” or textile “hiking” boots that cover the ankle bone.

recommended motorcycle boot style recommended motorcycle boot style

Leather motorcycling boots with ankle protection

acceptable motorcycle boot style acceptable motorcycle boot boot style

Leather or textile hiking or work boots that cover the ankle

unacceptable motorcycle boot style unacceptable motorcycle boot style

High top running shooes, boots with elastic panels at the ankle, or short boots that do not cover the ankle


Effective protection against injury, the elements and vibration are key reasons to wear gloves. We at RTI believe that a good pair of gloves will mitigate the consequences of mishap—as by reflex we tend to put our hands out first. Also, a good pair of gauntlet motorcycle gloves would make your riding much more pleasant by keeping wind/debris from getting inside the jacket, absorbing moisture generated by your hands as well as reducing vibrations transmitted through the handlebars.

recommended motorcycle glove style recommended motorcycle glove style

Gauntlet type leather motorcycling gloves with armour and a double layered palm

acceptable motorcycle glove style acceptable motorcycle glove style

Leather gloves that cover the wrist bone

unacceptable motorcycle glove style unacceptable motorcycle glove style

Textile motocross gloves, “mechanic” style work gloves, or gloves that do not cover the wrist bone

Other useful things to keep in mind...


Effective protection for your eyes on a sunny day. If you have a helmet with a tinted visor, don’t forget to carry a clear visor in case the weather changes or you need to ride during the night.


Even when you use all the gear listed above you might have exposed skin, so apply sunscreen on those areas- most commonly on your face and neck- to avoid sunburn and windburn.


Even if you only plan to ride in fair weather you might be caught in the middle of a storm. Carrying raingear will allow you to cover yourself up and avoid riding in soaked clothing.


The quietest full face helmets still produce a fair amount of wind noise. Good earplugs will reduce the wind noise frequency, and still allow for all other road sounds to be heard.

Spine protector

Always a good item, especially if you’re planning to do track days.


Wind and heat will drain water from your body, so a water pack on your back or frequent stops to replenish is advised to avoid dehydration.