Can you wear shorts while riding a motorcycle?

Surely you can! But should you? Maybe for fashion. But how about safety and protection?

You get burned by a hot exhaust, and other parts if you touch them with bare skin, and it can’t be avoided while falling or in a crash. For some riders, riding a motorcycle is their passion, and they go for what they feel comfortable in, regardless of the risks involved, such as wearing the wrong outfit. 

Is it okay to wear shorts while riding a motorcycle

Driving a motorcycle is innately dangerous, so the answer is neither here nor there. Wear shorts exposes your legs to possible burns from the motorcycle engine and exhaust pipes. Your legs are susceptible to 2nd or 3rd-degree burns in case of accidents. Injuries may cause the skin in your legs to peel off and may take several weeks to heal. 

Indeed you can even ride your motorcycle naked if you want to break the law and embarrass yourself, but neither nakedness nor wearing shorts are favourable nor reasonable. The exhaust pipe is located around the thighs, and it gets hot fast when running. It is easy to get burned if your skin touches the hot area.

Wearing shorts makes you feel better because it is comfy to wear. It not only wipes sweat off, but it makes you feel great and enhances the feeling of freedom. But it is not the best option if your bare skin hits the pavement when something happens. 

Other harmful consequences can happen, too, like if you encounter a swarm of insects, their bite stings. Or a jagged rock or a shard of glass hit your bare skin. Their cut may cause profuse bleeding. Or, if you’re being side-swept by another vehicle, think of your bare skin being dragged along the road.

Any of these things can shred off a lot of skin in your legs while you are joyriding with your motorcycle but pray that the price you have to pay is not that severe. Experts say that wearing shorts while riding a motorcycle is not worth it. 

What you should not wear on a motorcycle

To experience the contact of the wind in your face and gliding over the landscape, and savour the rolling meadows are just a few of the perks of a motorcyclist. The beauty and risk of motorcycle riding come with the free will of what to wear and what not to wear, even if it means not doing the right thing.

It’s a personal choice that everyone makes. A choice that can somehow lead to accidents. Besides wearing shorts being a BIG no no, below are a few things to avoid while riding your motorcycle.

T-shirts. T-Shirts are a medium of expression for avid motorbikers. It is comfortable but leaves your skin wholly exposed. If there’s a road rash and you fall while your motorcycle moves, you are defenceless in protecting your bare skin. 

Flip-Flops, Slippers, Sandals, Stilettos, Engineering or work boots. You use your feet to stand when you are stopped and rely on them on rough, hot, dirty, muddy surfaces. They can also easily entangle to the brake pedal. Chances are they flew away upon starting or when touching the ground. Thus, slippers, sandals, stilettos have zero protection to your feet. 

Bikinis, Swimwear in general, miniskirts. “Dress for a slide, not for the naughty sexy ride”. This will make you completely exposed to your motorcycle’s hot engine and exhaust pipes and more vulnerable to burns and accidents. Highly not recommended. 

Yoga pants, cloaks, pyjamas or thermals, long dresses, evening gowns, religious robes, Halloween outfits, wingsuits. Because they are made of spandex, nylon, polyester, and wool, they are light and flimsy and slippery and thus hazardous if hot surfaces are between your legs. Obviously, they are not specifically designed for motorcycle riding and are not safe. 

Scarves, sombreros, top hats, pirate hats. They are not only eye-catching, but it is one hundred percent a distraction in your line of vision once they start flapping around your face causing you unable to see. They also come loose from the wind blowing your ride, or they could be flying off and hitting another vehicle’s windshield and obstructing their view. 

Caveman furs, grass hula skirts, fig leaves. These are flammable materials and, therefore, unsafe. The goal is to wear the best protection while riding your motorcycle to reduce or eliminate the chances of burns. 

Headphones. You are hearing impaired when you are wearing headphones while riding your motorcycle. You miss hearing what is happening around you, like important alerts or horns blowing but most importantly approaching vehicles. So avoid wearing headphones. 

Heavy Backpacks. Carrying heavy backpacks is extremely uncomfortable and dangerous. In case of accidents, carrying heavy backpacks while riding your motorcycle increases the possibility of losing your balance or being hit by one of those heavy objects.

Wallet chains. Though many consider a relaxed style, it is an unnecessary addendum for motorcycle riders. As for accessories, they are stylish, but dangling chains are very hazardous because they can get stuck on something. 

Expired or used helmets. They may be less expensive, but we have no idea how the previous owner treated them or whether they were dropped or in a collision before. Thus, it’s not safe.

Half helmets. As the name implies, it covers only half of the head. When accidents happen, it does not provide full protection to the surrounding areas of the head. 

Can you wear anything while riding a motorcycle 

Riders have different opinions on what is safe and not safe to wear. It’s plain common sense. If it’s not safe, it is probably best to leave it behind. You don’t want to wear anything not motorcycle-related just because you want to be on top of fashion.

Conscientious riders always prefer to wear protective gear when riding out on the roads. And when it comes to wearing anything while riding a motorcycle is hazardous, they are advised not to. All these important factors impact the rider’s safety while on the road. 

Uk law has a provision that you must wear a helmet and boots that will protect your feet in the event of a collision.

It is also intimated that high viz would be a benefit. But, other than that, the rules for motorcycle clothing are not defined as one would expect.

Interestingly if you arrive for your motorcycle license test wearing inappropriate clothing, the tester has the right to dismiss you for unsafe attire.

There is a suggestion you should wear suitable trousers that can withstand sliding across the asphalt preventing road rash.

However, riding inappropriate clothing can have consequences, as Lord Denning states that a rider’s compensation claim after an accident could be reduced up to 25% due to contributory negligence!