Number one on the list is a full set of gear. As a new rider, the chances are pretty high that you'll have some type of spill and you've got to keep your body intact. That means a helmet (full-face preferably if you're on the street), a jacket, gloves, boots, and pants. A thick pair of Levi's, work boots, and your Carhartt jacket aren't going to cut it either. Motorcycle gear is designed with special materials to protect against abrasion and tearing, and most jackets and pants come with impact armor also. You can get mesh gear for hot weather, waterproof pieces if you're setting out in the rain, and thermal lined gear if you're dealing with the cold. Some of it can get expensive, but there are lots of really great, budget-friendly options in all the categories. Better to spend an extra $400 or $500 than get saddled with a huge hospital bill, right?