What is ATGATT?
You may have seen this acronym around on Reddit or on your favorite moto-vloggers comment section, but ATGATT stands for All the Gear All the Time. Everyone has a different opinion on what qualifies to be ATGATT. Here’s my take.
To me and the way I ride, ATGATT means full motorcycle specific gear (not a race suit, unless I’m going on a track day, and not a pair of thick jeans). This includes over the ankle boots, Kevlar pants with knee protectors, leather or textile gloves, leather jacket with protectors, and a full face helmet.
I must admit that I am not full ATGATT, in my own judgment, because I don’t wear my shoulder or back protectors in my jacket, only my elbows. My jacket fits a little bit too tight with all my protectors in right now, so I have to lose some weight in order for it to fit comfortably. But don’t worry, I’m working on it.
Some people are more strict with their requirements:
- leather gloves only, not textile
- reflective vest on top of your jacket
And some people are less strict with their requirements:
- 3/4 or half helmet instead of full face helmet
- Jacket or pants with no protectors
- Levi’s jeans instead of Kevlar pants/jeans
I was taught very early on about helmet safety. While there are states in the US where helmet requirements are non-existent, I will always promote wearing a full face helmet. It took my MSF instructor slamming a 3/4 helmet on the corner of a desk to convince me that a full face will protect my chin and skull in the event of a crash (and keeps the wind/cold out too).
Did I have my squid moments? Absolutely.
Once you get comfortable and confident riding, it’s easy to push the idea of getting into an accident so far back in your mind. But sometimes shit happens that isn’t your fault. You could be riding down an empty road and low side on some gravel, or get hit by your boyfriend who isn’t paying attention (I swear I’m over it!). I learned what it’s like to fall off your bike and land on your knee and get road rash on your arm. All of my injuries could have been prevented with a jacket and knee protectors. Instead, I was riding around in overalls and a crop-top.
It’s also easy to get convinced to go sans gear by all of the social media posts that promote no gear. Riding around in a crop top with your hair down looks nice in a picture, but not in reality when you fall.
The main reason why I used to not wear my all of my gear was because it was uncomfortable. It fit too tight, or pushed up on my back in a weird way, or was too hot. Or I was just careless.
Make an effort to buy gear that you are excited to wear, like how I feel about my Roland Sands Jacket and leggings. My jacket is beautiful and I look forward to putting it on when I ride.
If I could give any advice to any newcomer or woman that is riding, wear your gear please. If you can prevent injury by riding ATGATT as best you can, please do so! As someone who had to learn the hard way, wear your gear.
“Dress for the slide, not the ride.”
Oh- if you ever see me riding without my gear, I encourage you to call me out on it! I want to be held accountable for wearing my gear since I’m promoting this hobby.