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My Thoughts on Motorcycle Gear

Required Gear:

  • Helmet
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Pants

Rain Gear

  • Frogg Togg Suit

Cold Weather Gear

  • Winter Riding Gloves
  • A Balaclava
  • Dress in layers (Polypropylene)

Helmet - This is what will protect your noggin if you ever go down. Remember, dress for the slide, not for the ride. No one ever plans on going off their bike, it's just one of those things that can happen at any moment. Personally, I'd recommend a full-face helmet. This will protect your jaw if it happens to impact. Not to mention you will be protected from flying debris (rocks, cigarette butts, leaves, twigs, and rain)

Jacket - After the helmet, I'd have to say this is the next most important item. This will protect your torso and arms. I'd recommend leather. Not your fashion leather but real buffalo hide hide that is measured in millimeters for thickness. It stands up pretty well if you end up sliding down the road. This will also break the wind and help you stay hydrated instead of having your skin exposed to the elements and dry air. If leather isn't your thing, you can also find stuff that is made via textiles that also would be fine.

Gloves - These are also needed in your gear. I have two pairs of gloves. One pair is for warm weather riding (teknic) and the other are my alpinestar winter riding gloves. Gloves help keep your hands protected from the elements and also if something comes up to hit your hand, they are protected. Plus, if you fall, it's instinct to put your hands out to brace yourself. You do not want to have shredded up hands from trying to brace youself if you are involved in an accident.

Boots - You will want boots that support the ankle. I use a pair of Joe Rocket boots that are completely wind/water proof and are very comfortable. You will also want a pair that do not involve laces as sometimes using laces can get caught on the gear shift lever (this is one major reason I stopped wearing tennis shoes while riding :P)

Pants - Most of the time I can be spotted wearing jeans. I do however, have a pair of leather butt-less chaps that I can wear over my jeans in the event of cold weather and if I am going on long rides that I will want the added protection. I think if I were to do this all over again, I may have looked into textile pants to wear that look a lot like jeans but offer way more protection in the way of material. Eventually, I will own a pair of textile pants.

Rain Gear

Frogg Togg Suit. - You will definitely love this suit. It smells like old burlap at first impression but you will quickly dismiss how it smells after it keeps you 100% dry in the middle of the worst thunderstorm you can think of. I have been caught in stuff that blew my motorcycle all over the lane, as well as being behind a semi catching all that rain from the tires, and I still am nice and dry. Highly recommend a Frogg Togg suit as your rain gear. The jacket and pants fit right over your existing gear without any problems. The pants are elastic. The jacket has a zipper as well as buttons on the front and you get a hood to wear under your helmet to keep your neck dry.

Cold Weather Gear

Winter Riding Gloves - You will want to look heavily into a good pair of gloves if you plan on riding around in the the winter. A lot of people like to have the electrical heated gloves and I've heard that they work well, but price is usually a factor for items. I personally use Alpinestar's WR-1 gloves. They keep my hands warm in 20 degree weather for the 30 minutes I'm on my bike. After that, they start getting rather cold. So depending on how far you plan on going without stopping, you may want something that heats itself.

Balaclava - This single piece of gear is a lifesaver. You can get one of these for about $5.00-10.00 USD. Think bank robber mask and you'll have the right picture if you do not know what a balaclava is. Simply put, it's a nice mask you can wear that covers up your face as well as your neck. That area between the helmet and your jacket can get REALLY cold if you don't have something to insulate you and block the wind. Take my advice, get one of these! In the proficient motorcycling book; Mr. Hough explains you can even wet down a balaclava in the summer time if you are riding through the desert to help maintain your body temperature.

Polypropylene - I first heard about this stuff after googling up winter gear and finding marathon runners that train in the winter with snow and other stuff on the ground. They highly recommended it and after frequenting a few other sites, it appeared motorcyclists knew about this stuff as well. So far I have only a black pair of pants but they do keep my legs quite warm but not so warm that I roast if I'm indoors. If you plan on doing a lot of winter riding, you will want to check into this material. It whisks moisture away from the body and into the next layer up. It's usually recommended to have polypropylene as a base and then have a cotton layer on top of it followed by a sweater or whatever you chose to wear.


Gear Conclusion

Gear will cost you some money over time. But I feel it's completely justified in buying a piece every so often. If you are commuting or riding your motorcycle a lot, you are saving money you can put elsewhere or right back into your bike with upgrading your gear. My winter gear was worked on as I was riding through the winter season. "Oh, my neck feels really cold." so I ordered a balaclava. etc. So, just start with the basics and work on expanding your gear over time. That way you don't break the piggy bank and it gives you time to figure out what you need to work on, gear wise.


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