Motorcycle sunglasses or goggles are a part of any serious rider's standard gear. Not only do they help you look very cool while you're teasing down the asphalt on your bike, they serve as protective wear to ensure that you'll be riding your bike for many years to come. By protecting your eyes from UV radiation from the sun, insects and other debris, motorcycle sunglasses keep your eyes out of harm's way. You can not – and should not – operate a motorcycle with less than optimum vision, so keeping your eyes in the best shape can be a top priority for any motorcycle rider.
It's broadly agreed and accepted that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is an absolute necessity. But if your helmet does not offer some sort of face protection then you definitely need to protect your eyes against the elements with quality sunglasses or goggles. A helmet will protect your skull during a tumble, but if you've been protecting your eyes you could probably avoid the tumble to begin with.
There are a few things to look for when shopping for a good pair of motorcycle sunglasses. Not unexpectedly, these are features common to almost all sunglasses used in outdoor activities whether it's riding motorcycles, bicycles, playing volleyball or fishing.
UV Protection: The lenses in your prospecting pair of sunglasses should offer 100% UV protection. Most of your riding is done on beautiful, sunlit days so you need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Almost all high quality sunglass lenses filter out 99% – 100% off UV radiation, but you should be wary of cheap sunglasses.
Impact Resistant: You well know that when on the open road you often have to deal with airborne debris. This can come in the form of kickback from preceding vehicles, insects in your path, or even precipitation such as sleet or small hail. You definitely do not want any debris shattering your sunglass lenses. A shattering lens at high speeds can make an already dangerous situation much more so. Two qualities manufacturers who make incredibly resist resistant sunglass lenses are Oakley and Wiley X. In fact, Wiley X sunglasses and goggles are widely used by the US Military in combat because of their ballistic grade lenses.
Comfort: You might very well be wearing your sunglasses for several hours straight while riding, so definitely make sure that the sunglasses you purchase are comfortable. Any distractions you can eliminate will make for a safer and more enjoyable ride, so you certainly do not want shades that do not fit properly and pinch, slip or otherwise are a nuisance. Some high end sunglasses even offer climate control. These sunglasses come with an optional barrier to close the gap between the sunglass frames and your face to keep out precipitation, effectively turning your sunglasses into a pair of goggles.
The next time you're about to hit the open road on your bike, hog, or crotch rocket, make sure you've equipped yourself with the quality protective eyewear your eyes deserve. Keeping your vision healthy and intact will lead to many years of riding, so make sure you invest in motorcycle sunglasses that offer UV protection, are impact resistant and comfortable. And of course, do not forget that they should look cool, too! Happy riding!