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korie 01-20-2009 12:00 PM

buying gear-
first off- i did not read the backposts and i suppose a search would treat me well, but i have doubt this would be covered as well as i wish (though i may be wrong of course).

i just went to the motorcycle dealer (one guy was a **** but the other guy in the service area is a great guy) and was scoping around and came up with some questions for you all here. i know a bit of this is subjective to taste, but i would highly appreciate any input.

when choosing the right helmet what is the best way to look for a proper helmet? the guy i spoke with said Shoei is his favorite and that the higher priced also means different features in quality (i do not care about the crappy graphics of badly done dragons on the helmets). i know fit is the biggest thing to look for and lighter would likely be best, but does the price really go towards quality? and what materials are going to be better for what purposes?

when looking for a jacket should the jacket be snug or would a looser jacket be better? leather or nylon/kevlar weave? i read long ago that leather has a tendency to grip into pavement and cause the person to roll which will cause bones to break during the roll, but kevlar based armor is better for sliding abilities (of which i am sure has it's own situational problems as well). is this still factual or am i remembering or thinking the wrong way?

i have gigantic hands and gloves are a tough issue. basically it will be hard to find some to be able to try on in stores. are there any that stand out in the crowd as being good choices? what should be looked for by the rider?

with shoes or boots i am guessing that they should be flexible enough to shift and brake, but does it depend on the motorcycle being ridden?

if a person knows the size of what they are looking to buy is there a site or multiple sites that have good deals on said gear commonly? i am sure it comes down to whomever has a sale at the right time and enough searching will geta better deal, but i was more asking if there is a recommended site that people here would steer towards.

once again- thank you all for the help.

The_AirHawk 01-20-2009 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by korie (Post 201815)
when looking for a jacket should the jacket be snug or would a looser jacket be better? leather or nylon/kevlar weave? i read long ago that leather has a tendency to grip into pavement and cause the person to roll which will cause bones to break during the roll, but kevlar based armor is better for sliding abilities (of which i am sure has it's own situational problems as well). is this still factual or am i remembering or thinking the wrong way?

I would go for a "good" snug fit, myself. Especially for cold-weather riding. Too loose lets air in around the edges, and REALLY LOOSE is F'n annoying with all the flapping and tugging at your body.

So far as the slide/dig-in debate - depends on the crashing-surface. I've heard tales of both happening to textiles and leather. Personally, I think it had more to to with how the person landed, than the friction-coefficient of what they were wearing.

sarnali2 01-20-2009 12:45 PM

As far as helmets go, higher price usually means better ventilation, possibly better fit etc. As far as protecting your bean any helmet is better than none, if you can find a Scorpion, Nolan, HJC, Bieffe etc that fit well then they should do a good job.

Textile vs Leather is a personal choice, textile works better in the rain, leather offers better abrasion resistance.. having tumbled and slid down the road in an armored textile jacket I can say they will protect your hide however they will also wear through. The riding suit I have now is Goretex which is supposed to be more abrasion resistant than "ballistic nylon", I'd just as soon not find out though.

I also have big hands, Fox Creek Leather sells Lee Park deer skin and elk skin gloves that fit well and are made in USA, Tourmaster also come in larger sizes, I'm sure there's others...

Boots really depend on what you're doing with them, full on race boots will protect your feet but limit movement and comfort, a decent padded leather boot will work in most street riding though I personally wouldn't buy boots with a zipper, just one more thing to fail. Realistically any old clod hoppers will work just be sure they're stout and cover your ankles. In a collision your knees, lower legs and ankles take a beating, also your feet have a bunch of little bones that all have to work together or you don't walk, I wouldn't scrimp on footwear. Besides any fashionista knows it's all about the shoes

Mostly find what fits and is comfortable for your riding enviroment, the best riding gear is invisible meaning that it's so comfortable you don't notice you're wearing it. Reflective panels and light colors are better for visibility.

12er 01-20-2009 12:56 PM

Helmet depends on your melon. Some people have a shoei head, others an arai. I have an arai head, then the higher price is light weight, liners, ventilation etc. Wear one around for at least 20 minutes while shopping or looking at bikes. You should get a little chipmunk cheek but not smashing your face. Shake your head, if it slops, you dont want it as they loosen over time. After 20 you should know if its going to give you a headache or some strange pressure point.

I disagree with tighter for cold, as its nice to have room underneath to layer fleece or what not. But yes too lose and flapping is not good.

Lee Parks Deer sports are my favorite gloves, you will need to try each pair on and maybe even mix and match to make sure each hand is comfy. Winter gloves are another thing entirely and depends on what you ride in rain / temp wise. But if you end up with the Deer sports buy them every so slightly snug then wet them and ride till dry, custom fit.

Boots for me are easy, Redwings as I havent found riding boots in a 15. No slip on boots, or guess what, they'll sip off and then goes your ankles grinder style.

Leather vs textile depends on what you ride and where. Leather is hotter and doesnt work well in the rain, but doesnt slide as far and offers best protection. Textile slides further, can burn through but offers better comfort in all riding conditions. Personally I say buy a Aerostich roadcrafter and be done with it. 2 piece if you ride in rain a lot, 1 piece if you dont. Otherwise you may end up buying several jackets and pants till you find some you truely like. Which over the long haul is more expensive than just buying a roadcrafter in the first place.

pushrod 01-20-2009 01:02 PM


Hats - Depending on the shape of your noggin, you have options. If you have a 'long-oval' head, you will find that few hats will fit properly. Two I have found are ARAI ($$$$!) and Shark. I'm probably going to buy a Shark RSI when I can pry my wallet apart. Make sure you get a hat that fits. Although you'll feel like an idiot, choose a hat that almost makes you bite the inside of your cheeks when you open wide and then close. Then, wear the hat around the store for at leat 15 minutes to see if you develop any 'hot spots', or pressure points. Also, don't buy an old hat. Check the date of manufacture. Most recommend retirement of the hat after 5-6 years, even if it has sat on a shelf.

Jacket - Being way down South, textile is the only way to go, because you can wear the vented variety in the Summer, and you can wash them. Up North, washability is not as big an issue. I like Joe Rocket, because they are a decently made product, and about as inexpensive as you can get. Go cheap to start, same as the bike, to determine what you like and dislike.

Gloves - I'm with Sarnali on this. I have the Lee Parks DeerTours, and I love 'em. Lee Parks Design, World's Finest Deerskin Motorcycle Gloves and Accessories. They are expensive, but they are worth every penny. While you're there, get his book, 'Total Control'. It too is worth every penny.

Boots - Depends on the bike. If you get a cruiser, you can wear pretty much any toe-type. Other bikes are much less forgiving. You might want to start with some chukka-style or hiker's boots that cover your ankles. Then you can figure out what you really want. I've finally gotten there, and have a pair of Triumph Explorer II boots. Love them!

+1 on the visibiility! If you buy black, at least get stuff with reflective features.

Lastly, go to to find the best deals.

seruzawa 01-20-2009 02:21 PM

Boots? Jump boots work great and are less expensive than boots with "motorcycle" printed on the label. I've had good jump boots last through two resoles. In fact my first pair I got in Nam in '68 lasted me until 1985 and that's 200K miles of motorcycle riding. Get good ones like Corcorans. Not the cheap Chinese knockoffs. 8 rings boots are better... easier to lace.

pushrod 01-20-2009 06:58 PM

Make sure the boots have oil-proof soles!

Cowboy boots suck on bikes, btw. The heel is in the wrong place. Unless your bike has running boards, that is. Even then, the toe peg will really mess up the toe of the boot.

However, if you do wear cowboy boots, don't use the ones with leather soles. It's amazing how slick they can be. DAMHIKT.

CSK001 01-28-2009 01:21 AM

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Leroy73 03-03-2009 11:52 AM

Buying gear: I returned to the wonderful sport after 26 years and approached it a totally new. I have averaged 1000 mi/mo since April, no commuting. I did the IBA SS 1000 after only logging 5K in my new life. Everyone has their own opinion. I researched each on my own by using evaluations from magazines, the web, and experienced motorcyclist I knew personally who were reliable and sensible. I also read Dr. Fraizer's book, another by Coyner, and Going the Extra Mile by Ron Ayers. HJC Symax II helmet for the money test best in the modular field, actually better than the big names in many areas. Olympia textile jacket and pants had good reviews as leather is hot and not good in the wet. Underwear and base layer needs to be of the material that moves the moisture away from the body. Boots is one I am still working on. I presently wear USMC Gore Tex boots. They are great but I want an all weather water proof boot. I am looking at the SIDI On Road. I haven't heard how they are in HOT weather. I live in Texas.
Any one have an opinion about the On Road boots in the heat?

Leroy73 03-03-2009 11:59 AM

Newbe: I need to add, take the motorcycle saftey course!!! Buy full fingered gloves, rocks and bugs hurt. Both have made a difference.

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