Motorcycle gear recommendations thread

prizrak

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There seems to be a fair number of members evolving from 4 wheels to 2 and while there is much good information in the general thread it might be a tad hard to find so I figured I'll start a thread where people can post their recommendations.
 

RdKetchup

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I've owned a Shoei X11, and while it was a great helmet, I believe Shoei (and Arai) are overpriced.

I've also owned cheap helmets that turn out to be crap (CKX, ZOX).

One brand I think offers great value for the money is HJC when you choose their flagship models.


Jackets and suits I have had good experience with A* and MotoGP. My last suit was a Dainese, and some of the seams didn't withstand the crash I made it experience. But that was a pretty high speed crash (probably around 160km/h), so maybe the others wouldn't have faired any better.

I've also had "Five" gloves. These piece of crap cost me a nail on my right pinky.


One piece of equipment most overlook is a back protector. I love my Forcefield T-Pro, and I would not ride without it anymore on the track or on the street.
 
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Der Stig

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I have a Snell M2010 HJC CL-SP. Very nice helmet. Spectre has one too and has had a lot more time with one (and crashed in one). Good ventilation, not too heavy and comfortable.

For jackets, I really like my new-to-me all mesh Tourmaster Draft Air jacket (they now have a 2.0 version). Good construction, armor, lightweight (it feels like a t-shirt) and they're relatively cheap (around $140).

As for pants, well I got $90 Bilt pants. They're better than nothing, but I would look at other stuff and definitely spend some more money.

Boots: well, I've only got a pair of A* Ridge boots (waterproof). They're not vented, but they are comfortable to walk/ride in. I haven't tested their waterproof-ness yet. A good, "cheap" (roughly $200) boot that I'll probably buy soon is the A* SMX-5.

Gloves: A* SP-1s. They're on close out as the SP-2s have replaced them Nice all around gloves, good quality.
 
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Rossco

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Helmet: Scorpion-EXO The 400's and the 700's. I've never owned an Arai or Shoei, but I have had HJC's and Bell's. I like the Scorpions the best, and with a thermally bonded anti-fog coating on the shield, they are virtually impossible to fog up. I wore one when I rode to the summit of Mt Washington last year and even then it didn't fog up. Best part is you can pick one up for around $100-$200
What I look for: Snell M2005 or M2010 approval, ECE approval is ok as well. Fullface is ideal, decent venting.

Scorpion EXO-700



Jacket: I've had good luck with Tourmaster and FirstGear. I own a Tourmaster Jett 2 textile, which is okay, not great. I also own a discontinued Firstgear 3/4 mesh jacket which flows a tpon of air and has alot of pockets. Leather jackets usually offer exceptional protection in a crash, but can be uncomfortable in hot temperatures, stiff in cold temperatures, and soak up water when it rains. If I were given about $200 to buy a Jacket today, I'd go for the Tourmaster Transition, it is good for a variety of temperatures, has alot of pockets, and is available in a variety of colors. Some may argue that it's not the most stylish jacket, but I could care less. I'm kind of a function-over form kinda guy.
What I look for:
Multi-season versatility (good ventilation, liners, etc.), decent armor (CE in the elbows, shoulders, availability of a CE backpad), Hi-viz option*

Tourmaster Transition



Gloves (summer)
: I currently own a pair of Cortech Injectors. I bought them on discount a few years ago for forty bucks. They're decent, as a full gauntlet (over the wrist) style glove with some degree of knuckle protection. However, the stitching is on the inside, which digs into your skin, and the "knuckle-protector" is just some little rubery bit. They're gonna be replaced soon, most likely with a pair of Weise Vortexes. These full-gauntlet Weise gloves have a Kangaroo leather palm, which offers the same protection as cowhide, but is thinner for more dexterity with the controls. They have a hard plastic knuckle protector as opposed to a rubber piece. Best part is that they have Knox palm sliders, little plastic pieces that are designed to dissipate the impact when your wrist hits the ground. All that for $140.
What I look for: Full gauntlet, Kangaroo leather, palm sliders, hard knuckle protection, decent wrist straps, outside stitching.

Weise Vortex


Gloves (Winter):
Everyone's tolerances are different. But I've fount that in temps under 55F, my summer gloves just don't cut it anymore. I know some people flat out hate riding with winter gloves (due to their insulation limiting dexterity) and usually resort to enduro-style handguards, handlebar chaps, or heated grips to avoid wearing them when the mercury drops.
However, i've had very good luck with my Cortech Scarab winter gloves. For about $80 they are a steal they are probably the best non-heated winter glove you can get for you money, IMHO. They have hard knuckle protectors (rare in witner gloves in this price range) good insulation, but the majority of it is on the back of your hand, where the wind hits. The palm is not as insulated, this is to allow dexterity with controls, as well as getting heat from heated grips.
What I look for: Full-Gauntlet, 3M Thinsulate insulation, knuckle protection.

Cortech Scarab Winter gloves.



Pants (summer):

I have an old pair of mesh Fistgear HT Air Overpants. I still wear them, as they are my riding pant of choice. This is because I can wear them in temps as high as 100, and if I put the rain liner in, I can wear them in temps as low as 45 and not be freezing. When I bought them, the knee "armor" was just some pieces of EVA foam. These were quickly replaced with some Tourmaster CE Armor. The feature I love the most about these pants is the side-zippers that go all the way up to your hip. Sadly, Firstgear did away with these instead using zippers that only go up to your calf. So I think my next pair of mesh pants will be from Olympia, most likely their Airglide model.
What I look for: full-length side zippers (YKK), decent armor, good airflow, removable wind/rain liner.

Olympia Airglide 3 pants.


Pants (Winter)
Still haven't found a pair of decent winter pants that I really like. I think I'll be buying a pair of Olympia Rangers if I get the chance.
What I look for: Full-length side zippers (YKK), decent armor, removable thermal liner.

Olympia Ranger 3 pants


Boots:
I'm not racer/kneedragger adn most of my riding is commuting, so I need a boot that isn't too crazy but still offers protection. My last pair of boots was a cheap hundred-dollar pair of AGV "waterproof" touring boots. They absolutely sucked,were flimsy as hell, and leaked like a sieve. I eventually replaced them with a set of Alpinestars SMX-5 Waterproof boots. Man, talk about an improvement, they are very well built, offer very good protection, and are pretty waterproof too. They won't keep your feet dry if you ride through a monsoon, or try and do a river crossing, but if you find yourself caught in the occasional storm, they hold up quite well. The waterproof ones that I have aren't bad, in the summer, but If I can find a vented pair on sale, I might have to pick them up.
What I look for: Decent armor, comfort, good tread on the sole.

Alpinestars SMX-5 Waterproof
 

zareff

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All of it depends on season, sizing, budget, bike type, etc. Best place I've shopped for gear is sportbiketrackgear

Great online reviews, great service, competitive prices. All brands they sell are well proven. I like most Scorpion products due to their bank for the buck value. Sidi boots have never failed me. I do love the quality feel and comfort of Dainese, but it is pretty penny.
 

argatoga

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I'm breaking down and buying some gear appropriate for rain. Any recommendations?
 

Spectre

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FroggToggs gear is good for rain overgarments atop whatever you already have.

Also, Alpinestars makes a good inexpensive waterproof rain-rated boot in the Ridge model.
 

Spectre

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Go try out some at your local CycleGear (who has discounts on them) to see if wide is even needed.
 

argatoga

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I need a jacket that won't soak up rain (I had my own office in my last job and just threw it in a box to dry out) so I took KaJuN's accolades in the General thread to be absolute truth and bought a Tour Master Transition Series 3. I'll post his trustworthiness when it arrives. :p
 

altoid

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O hai. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on some gear.


I'm thinking of getting mid-shin boots (such as SIDI Apex), but I'm still undecided between those and some full boots.

And on the subject of those, how extreme should I really go for street use? For example, would SIDI Fusion be significantly less protective than SIDI Vertigo, and do I really care?

I'd really like to have something usable for walking off the bike, thus the bias towards mid-shin and touring boots, but I'm still trying to figure out what makes the most sense.

(No, I'm not decided on SIDIs as I haven't yet tried any brands?I'm merely using them as examples.)


My other conundrum is whether to get a helmet with a built-in sun visor or not. I want full-face (modular is acceptable), DOT, preferably SNELL2010 (but not required, as some really great helmets (Schuberth) aren't certified). Thoughts? Suggestions?


Thanks, y'alls!
 

argatoga

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I'll note I've been very satisfied with my Tour Master Transition Series 3 Jacket. 30 something degree weather and I wasn't cold at all.
 

tigger

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Try on some full boots and see what you think. I've got some old Alpinestar Tech 3's that have probably kept me from breaking an ankle or splitting my shin open several times offroad. I can walk short distances in them comfortably.

My other conundrum is whether to get a helmet with a built-in sun visor or not.
It's a pretty nice feature. A friend of mine has a Scorpion Exo-1000 and has said he'll never buy another helmet that doesn't have a sun visor. Personally I'd rather have a lighter helmet; swapping out visors is quick and easy.
 

altoid

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For the boots now I'm leaning towards a more serious boot. If they really irritates me, I can always downgrade and keep the serious ones for spirited rides and track days. Better to start off safe while I'm a n00b, I reckon.

My reason for wanting an integrated sun visor is because I'd like to be able to flip it up and down while riding. Stopping on the side of the road to swap shields is easier said than done in LA. :lol:
 

Kiki

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I'm glad you're going with the full length boots. As Spectre pointed out in General Motorbikers, the more protection on your legs, the better.

I'm sure you'll break in the full length riding boots in time - when you try on the boots, they'll feel really tight, but that's totally normal. In fact, it usually takes some time to break in most protective gear. Even at the Gran Prix level - at MotoGP last year, Ben Spies' crew chief, House, had to walk around the paddock wearing Spies' gloves to break it in.

When I was riding full time in college, I'd wear my full length boots everywhere (along with my leathers ... yeah, you could hear me squeaking all the way down the hall :p). Nowadays, when I ride into work, I just pack in my heels and change into those at the office. I'd rather not risk my ankles or shins.

EDIT: I forgot to add my tidbit on helmets. Another idea is just going with clear visor: what I've always done for the street is to wear sunglasses under my clear visor for the day, and when I ride at night, I just pack up the sunglasses. Lately, I've mostly been doing day rides, so I may pick up a tinted visor for my next helmet.
 
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altoid

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I wear prescription glasses, and I'd like to avoid swapping shields too often, so I'd prefer the sun visor. Hard to beat the convenience of a simple switch that can be operated while riding.

Aside from that, I think next weekend I'll try to make it out to Cycle Gear.
 

Spectre

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I wear prescription glasses as well - my solution (at various times) is to simply wear transitional lenses or prescription sunglasses under a clear visor. If nothing else, optical clarity is better than a flip-down sun shield.
 

altoid

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Hrm, I suppose I could just stop procrastinating on getting new glasses (and sunglasses) instead of limiting myself to like, 4 helmet models out there...
 
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