When I was a teenager, my parents forced me wear a full helmet on my moped. I crashed on snow and ice, and because of the helmet, I got away with a mild concussion instead of a wrecked jaw. I also squashed my ankle, but that healed up pretty fast
Road rash hurts. Bad. And for a long time. So, it's worth investing in good gear.
Yeah, it can get hotter than a t-shirt, but armored mesh is pretty good.
- Helmet. Get the best helmet you can afford. Make sure it fits snugly. On the road, don't ride without it.
- Gloves. If you make a living using your hands (I am a writer and programmer), invest in good leather gloves. Look for leather, knuckle protection, and a decent gauntlet for your wrists.
- Boots. Leather or plastic, it must go above and protect your ankles. Fractured ankles suck big time. If your foot ends up under your bike, which can happen even if you drop it at low speed, you want your ankle to be protected.
- Pants. Protect your knees.
- Jacket. Protect your back and your elbows.
- If you are older or have osteoporosis, consider additional protection for your hips and tailbone.
There are many good gear providers, and the amount of protection depends on where you ride and your relationship to risk.
For road riding, I ended up with:
- Motoport Kevlar Mesh suit. It's as comfortable as things get in the heat.
- Racer (summer) and Alpinestar (winter) gloves.
- Daytona leather boots.