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Gear 101- Helmets, Jackets, Gloves, Boots, etc

Old 03-19-2004, 03:35 PM
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Default Gear 101- Helmets, Jackets, Gloves, Boots, etc

Links to all major manufactor's at bottom.

Probably one of the most important things in the sport of motorcycles is wearing the appropriate gear, alot of people don't because they think its too expensive, afraid they'll look like a dork, don't think its comfortable, etc. Well thats all wrong, it can be expensive if you want the best of the best of everything, but theres lots of affordable brands out there, especially using the internet to shop. I work in a bike dealership and I hear constantly that people don't want to look stupid by wearing protective gear, not all of it is flashy and crazy, you could go with a simple black jacket and solid colored helmet, but trust me, if you ride with anyone that actually knows anything you'll be the "dork" if you show up in Nike's and a T-shirt. And I also hear people say they would wear gear but its uncomfortable, at first yes it might seem so, but trust me once the leather breaks in and you get used to wearing it, you won't be able to ride with out it, I feel so akward riding with out my gloves and jacket on. Personally I'm not huge about having to have my gear match my bike, some like to thats cool, but if you find a awesome deal on a red jacket that you really like and your bike is blue I wouldn't let it break the deal for you if it was me, to give you an idea my gloves are black, jacket blue/silver, helmet is mainly flourescent yellow but contains about every color of the rainbow, my suit is flourescent red, boots red/chrome and my bike is blue/white. I like to think the contrast in colors helps drivers see me better if anything.

Helmets- Make sure it has SNELL approval, almost any helmet from a major company will but if your shopping in the $150 and under range make sure your helmet has this organizations seal of approval. I've fitted probably thousands of helmets, and 90% of all people choose a helmet too large, a large helmet might feel good standing there in the store but if your going 90 mph on the freeway it will move all around on your head causing discomfort and taking your concentration away from your riding. Also keep in mind the helmet padding will break in quite a bit with a few weeks worth of use, so if it fits just right brand new, chances are in a month it will be a little lose, so buy one that seems to be just a little too tight, trust me with a little use it will break in to your head and you'll get used to it. Also I've seen a few accidents and two of them the rider's helmet popped off, it was properly strapped and after further examination both had a helmet that was definetly too large, my one friend was ok, the other is walking but much "slower" than they once were with mild brain damage. Heres a break down of the price ranges of the major helmet brands...

Arai- usually regarded as the absolute best, but you'll pay

Shoei- also arguebly the best, Shoei/Arai cator to two different shaped heads so you'll probably either fit one or the other, they start out slightly cheaper than Arai but both get about equally expensive in their higher models.

Suomy- fairly new helmet company but one of my favorites, worn by many top Moto GP riders, fairly expensive but good considering the quality.

AGV- what I currently wear, I think its probably the best bang for the buck

KBC- kind of inbetween Shoei and HJC

Icon- just started a helmet line, no idea how they are but fairly cheap

HJC- probably the most popular entry/mid level helmet company, all of their models are affordable and good

Vega- cheap

Jackets- I'm a fan of leather myself, but textile is quickly becoming a cheaper popular alternative, you can usually get a textile for around half the price of a comparable leather jacket, but there are plenty of affordable leather jackets out there. For most riding I would go with a perforated leather, one that has holes in it to help it breath, many have removable liners which are good for colder days. You want it to fit fairly snug, I've seen people get in accidents wearing a jacket, and actually have road rash under the jacket, this is because if the jacket is too loose it is going to move against your skin at just about the same speed as the ground itself, obviously this is better than sliding on the pavement on your bare skin but you could get some nasty "jacket rash", also it can bunch up around your hip/stomach/lower back and not provide protection to those areas.

Boots- The most important thing is they should cover your ankles, some dress timberlands or work boots are good but LACE THEM. They might look cool all opened up while your riding, but if you wreck they'll probably be off your feet before you even touch the pavement.

Helmets-

Arai

Shoei

Suomy

AGV

KBC

HJC

Vega

Jackets, gloves, suits, boots-

Vanson- Jackets, suits, gloves

Dainese- Jackets, suits, gloves, and boots

Spidi- suits, jackets, gloves, and boots

Alpinestars

Joe Rocket- Jackets, suits, gloves, and boots

Teknic- Jackets, suits, gloves, and boots

Sidi- boots

Icon- Jackets, pants, boots, gloves(I can't find where they have an official website so I've linked one of their dealers)[

Fieldsheer- Jackets, pants, gloves, boots

Where to buy?

Me- I work at a dealership and have access to most of the major brands, I don't make commission and don't make any profit personally on the items, and I probably won't be able to compare to some of the better internet prices but I don't mind checking or helping you select the right gear.

Ebay, duh

New Enough- great prices on last years models, close-out items, and used but like new gear

Washington Cycle Works- these guys are actually in New Jersey but probably the best shop I've ever dealt with, good prices

Knee Draggers

Dennis Kirk

Trick Tape- Shawn is a great guy to deal with and this site funds www.cycleforums.com, they price match so when you find what you want make them your last call and see what they can do

Chaparral Motorsports

Last edited by Del La Sol 1320; 03-19-2004 at 03:42 PM.
Del La Sol 1320 is offline  
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