New rider gear suggestions
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  1. #1

    New rider gear suggestions

    I bought a bike and started the process of piecing together my gear. Generally, everything I found comes in 2 unfortunate styles:

    Cruiser gear - Black which means low visibility and high heat on a sunny day. Many items sold offer questionable protection (chaps, half helmets, fingerless gloves). Can be stylish, but can also look "Mad Max", "Village People" or "Gay Bar".

    Racing gear - High visibility, high protection, high price - makes you look like an astronaut or power ranger. Tends to be colorful, which looks ridiculous when matching different pieces. Looks even sillier driving a cruiser.

    I live in Ohio, so I need at least 2 sets of everything if I am going to ride in 100F weather and 40F weather and everything in between. Being able to mix/match between sets would be helpful as well.

    I am not obsessed with fashion, but if I am going to pay good money, I want something I will wear for a while, not something I am going to replace later.

    So far I have:

    Black and White full face helmet: Anything other than full face is not an option for me. Generic enough to look okay with almost anything.

    Black Sketcher boots with a low heel, I bought these to wear in winter long before I owned the bike. Minimal ankle protection, but no heel to catch anything.

    Black Leather chaps: Under $100, I am a runner so protecting my legs is important. Very warm.

    Used Phantom Held Gloves: Under $100, should give me an idea whether to eventually invest in a pair that hasn't been dropped 4 times. I am a computer programmer, so I want to protect my hands at all costs. These look ridiculous.

    Fingerless black leather gloves: Came free with the chaps, not much protection, but keep my hands cool and better looking.

    Retired black lambskin jacket: Not much protection in a fall, but too worn out to wear for normal use, so I won't miss it if it shreds on the pavement.

    I am thinking of replacing the jacket next. I wish I could find a white leather jacket (like the 1950's style) that offers reasonable protection - I may even try bleaching a black one. Everything I've seen so far is either black leather, looks ridiculous or offers no protection.

    I am also going to pick up some sort of "Kevlar Jeans" for when it too hot to wear the chaps - and give my butt and crotch some protection. I plan to eventually replace the chaps with more modern and better protecting overpants for winter.

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  3. #2
    Puddle Runner
    My Bike(s)
    2004 Wide Glide
    Houston, TX
    I bet if you got a white jacket, you'd regret it. Road grime would stick out like a sore thumb. My opinion, white doesn't look white for very long. Check out the fieldsheer products. Very good quality and stylish looks for just about anyones preference.

  4. #3
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    There are plenty of other options than the "biker" or "racer" styles you mentioned.

    Take a look at - there are plenty of textile jackets and pants that are made for the average rider who doesn't want to dress like either a Hells Angel or Valentino Rossi.

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Pizza is not safe around me. - Me

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  6. #4
    My Bike(s)
    2010 BMW R1200R
    Carlisle, PA USA
    Kevlar jeans aren't a substitute for chaps. Chaps offer some wind protection but minimal crash protection. The most important thing in boots is ankle protection.

    In addition to New Enough, take a look at Leatherup. It's mostly Chinese made stuff, but a lot of it is very good for the price. I've been wearing a pair of their Tornado boots for more than two years to commute in.

  7. #5
    Want's A New Title
    My Bike(s)
    2006 grey suzuki M50 /2009 KLR 650
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    I ride with a textile mesh riding suit from Olympia.

    I've ridden in a range of 30 degrees to 100 degrees. it's armored and essentially a space suit.
    It's silver, and does get dirty quick, but i bought silver to reflect the sun light so i don't boil... it does a good job in the desert.

    I've spent a lot of money on a lot of different gear, but now that i know what i want, i'm never going back.

    boots... the alpinestars i have are awesome. they were waterproof until i got lots of holes in them, but are still warm, even when i have wet feet.
    full face helmet. always. currently exo1000. love it.

    I do ride a KLR now, but rode with the same gear on my cruiser last year. it helps.

    buy a good suit. i've had a crash with it on, no damage to the suit or myself... sure, i look a little goofy with it on... someone thought i was an astronaut. lol.
    go textile...

    chaps are useless in a crash... all they do is keep you warm and keep the bugs off your jeans.

    gloves, i have 3 pairs on me. one pair is winter, one for cooler weather and one for hot weather. keeping the sun off you in hot weather keeps you cooler more than anything.
    2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 called Beast and 2006 Suzuki M50 to be reborn M50 Service Manual
    Quote Originally Posted by omegajim View Post
    "we, the few, the proud, the motorcyclists of the world, refuse to sit down in comfort, insulated from the environment, and run the gauntlet of life with a front row seat. And we wouldn't want it any other way." Jim


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