Scooter Helmets and other clothing
There are facts and there are opinions on the topic of helmets, but let's stick to the facts here.
- Helmets save lives. You are FAR more likely to be killed or injured if you don't wear a helmet.
- Full face helmets are best, followed by open face 3/4 helmets, followed by 1/2 helmets (which are close to useless but somewhat better than nothing).
- Light colored helmets (white or fluorescent) are safer than dark colored helmets
So the safest helmet of all would be a white full face helmet (or maybe a fluorescent orange or yellow full face helmet). The least safe would be a flat black 1/2 helmet.
Helmet prices range from maybe $25 (on special sales) to over $500 (for a full blown full face racing helmet), but you can find a pretty good one for $100 or less. Buying the cheapest one you can find probably isn't a great idea since it may be the only thing between you and death or serious head injury in case of an accident.
With any helmet you need eye protection. If you have a visior, like all full face helmets do, then that's OK, but if you have an open face helmet without a visor of a half helmet you need eye protection. Cars can throw up gravel and if a 1/8" lump of rock hits you in the eye at 40mph, you're going to suffer injury and you'll probably crash. You need shatterproof goggles or other eyewear designed for eye safety. You don't need to be hit with gravel either. Dust can get in your eyes and if you hit a bee at 40mph, you'll know about it.
The same gravel can also hit your hands, so gloves are sensible. Even if you have a fairing which protects your hand, if you should ever have an accident or a skid where the scooter goes down, your first instinct will be to put your hands out to protect yourself. When the contest is between your skin and tarmac at 40mph, guess which will in.
To protect your upper body, don't expose skin. In fact you should probably wear a jacket designed for motorcycling. They have padding at the shoulders, elbows and in the back, which may not eliminate injury if you have an accident, but they will certainly reduce the severity of injury much of the time. Again it's been shown that light colors help motorists to see you and so reduce the probability of accidents, so black leather isn't always the best choice. Colored leather is better, or there are now Cordura nylon jackets which offer good protection and can be cooler in hot weather.
Boots which cover the ankle are recommended since the ankle is a weak point and ankle injury is common in motorcycle and scooter accidents.
Long pants rather then shorts or skirts (if you are female or Scottish!) are a good idea. Again leather is best from a safety point of view, but not everyone's idea of a fashion statement. There's less need for bright colors since it's the upper body and head which are most noticed by motorists and which need to be light colored for maximum visibility.
Check out the helmets, jackets and gloves section of the Scooter Store for more suggestions.