Cheap gear does not have to = unsafe. A helmet with a DOT rating will likely do well protecting your skull in a crash and likewise for any armoured jacket and solid boots. What is very important is fit. All this gear needs to be a good, secure fit so that the armour and padding are in the right places to protect the right body parts in the event of a sudden and unexpected get off.
What cheap gear may well = is uncomfortable, or short term. That is to say, a cheap helmet may have lower end padding that stops feeling firm after just a season or two, causing a reduction in how it fits. Or it may have cheap plastic vent tabs that break off more easily, or a less comfortable chin strap compared to a more expensive helmet, that reduces your comfort and makes you want to replace it sooner. A cheap jacket may have the zipper slip or start having seems come unstitched after not a lot of use.
So cheap gear may save your hide, it just may not be as comfy and you may have to replace it sooner than more expensive gear. Shop around, try on LOTS of stuff and compare price ranges to see what you get for your money.