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Essential Guide to Motorcycle Safety Gear in Singapore

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Choose the right motorcycle riding gear for more safety and comfort on Singapore roads.

There’s a feeling of freedom that motorcycle riders enjoy, but along with that comes responsibility. With no seat belts, airbags, or crumple-zones, like car drivers enjoy, motorcyclists are more likely to be represented in fatality and injury statistics.

While motorcycles represent 14.4 percent of the total vehicle population in Singapore, motorcyclists or pillion riders were involved in 53.5 percent of all traffic accidents and account for 50.0 percent of traffic fatalitiesi.

Obviously riding with due care is important, but protective gear also plays a part in helping keep riders safe.

Not all motorcycle helmets are created equal

Helmets are the only piece of protective gear that is compulsory for motorcyclists in Singapore. They have been mandated since the 1970s.

All helmets sold in Singapore must pass TÜV SÜD PSB (formerly PSB Corporation) testing standards, which should guarantee a minimum level of rider protection.

Not all helmets are created equal though. There is an old saying that holds true today: “If you have a $10 head, get a $10 helmet.”

When buying a motorcycle helmet, get the best quality one you can afford. Ensure the fit is correct. If it is too loose there is a danger the helmet may come off in the event of a crash; if it is too tight, you’ll endure hours of discomfort. Different brands offer different shapes – find the one that best fits your head.

Get somebody to hold the helmet steady and try to twist your head – you should not be able to turn your head inside the helmet. If you can, you need a smaller size.

If the helmet comes off by pulling up on the chinpiece, you also need a firmer fit.

Make sure you use the chinstrap. Failure to do so can also see the helmet come off in a crash.

Full-face helmets offer better protection than open-face varieties.

Look for a helmet with good ventilation – you’re riding in the tropics after all!

Aim for bright colours, which are more visible to motorists.

Helmets don’t last forever. The protective foam liner can get compressed over time, and chin straps get worn. Replace your helmet every five years or so.

Helmets are designed to protect your head once – if you’ve had a crash and smashed your helmet against the road (or anything else) it should be replaced.

Motorcycle gloves are a vital investment

In the event of a crash, you will instinctively try to break a fall with your hands. Quality gloves with palm protection are a vital investment. Some motorbike gloves also offer knuckle protection.

Ideally you want gloves with supple fingers, so you can feel the controls properly.

Ensure they’re properly-fitted – loose gloves could see you making mistakes with vital controls like brake levers.

Keep cool: Motorcycle jackets & pants

Gearing-up in tropical Singapore can seem counter-intuitive, but in the event of a crash you’ll be thankful you did. Fortunately, there are options for riders in warmer climates that offer at least some ventilation.

While leather is the traditional material for protective gear, it can be difficult to maintain in humid climates. Fortunately, there are synthetic alternatives that are both long-lasting and many offer ventilated patches and zip-in lining, so you’re covered for dry riding and wet. There are even options with built-in airbags!

Motorcycle jackets should offer protection for shoulders and forearms, while some also offer back protection. The more the better.

Motorbike pants should offer knee and hip protection. There are a range of types to choose from, including leather and mesh, though many riders just choose jeans. In the latter instance there are options for motorcyclists with hip and knee protection as well as abrasion-resistant Kevlar materials and stitching.

Sturdy boots

Sturdy riding boots are another essential piece of kit. There is a range of styles available from ones that look like high-top sneakers to full-on motocross boots with steel-caps and buckles up the sides.

At the very least you want ankle protection, though many styles offer shin protection too.

Almost all offer a wear-resistant patch on the left boot for gear-shifting.

Be wary of lace-up boots – it is possible to get the laces tangled with the foot controls.

Hi-viz safety

While looking like a construction worker may not be your ideal style, being seen on the roads and avoiding being crashed-into is also important for safety.

One study found that riders in reflective or fluorescent clothing were at 37 percent lower risk of a crash-related injury than other riders.

A white, yellow, or red helmet correlated with a 24 percent lower risk than a black helmet – worth considering when making that next purchase.

A bright or hi-viz motorcycle jacket or vest is a good investment in safety.


Gearing-up for a ride is a small price to pay for safety on your motorcycle. Not only does it provide you peace-of-mind, but also you get weather protection, and protection in the event of a crash, and even help avoiding being crashed-into.

Good quality motorcycle gear in bright colours is a recipe for greater safety on the roads.

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i Singapore Police Force, Police News Release, Annual Road Traffic Situation 2023

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