The sun begins to rise. The morning colors span the sky: yellows, reds, blues, and bright white — it`s Saturday and it`s time to ride. Every biker, no matter what they ride, is familiar with this scenario. When shopping for motorcycle gear the most common fork in the road that determines your purchase will be what type of bike you ride; If you ride a Ninja, you`re more likely to purchase sportbike gear. If you`re on a Honda Shadow or a Harley Davidson, you`re probably going to lean toward that old school street look.
What are the differences between sportbike gear and cruiser gear? Well, the big differences, aside from style and color choices, are really in safety and protection. Yeah, the Harley rider needs protection too, but most cruiser riders want a certain look that wearing a Valentino Rossi look-a-like helmet won`t provide.
The average sport bike produces about 190 ponies under the hood vs. a Harley that averages about 80-90 horses. If you`ve ever ridden in an area that caters to sport bikes (like the North Georgia Mountains for example) you know these guys love to test the curves. They need the knee pads, shin guards, back plats, and gloves (with knuckle protection) just incase the next curve throws them like a mule.
Most cruiser riders are going to wear a half shell helmet, cool Harley boots, and a sleeveless vest. The differences are encouraged by tradition and attitude of course, but the main differences are driven by performance, speed, and safety.
By the way — the movement of women riding their own motorcycles is growing rapidly. Manufacturers like Icon, Alpinestars, and Nolan are seeing this trend and answering the consumer call. Sportbike gear and cruiser gear alike offer some sick styles, colors, and graphics for both men and women riders.