What We're Wearing: The $7,000 Shootout

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

Protection that looks at home on or off the motorcycle.

Riding affordable motorcycles, like we did in our $7000 Shootout, showcases just how much motorcycle you can get for not a lot of money. Which is good, because blowing your load on a bike without leaving any margin for gear is a bad idea. With four different riders, we give you four (mostly) different options for gear – including threads for women.

The $7,000 Question: How Much Motorcycle Do You Get?


Helmet: Shoei RF-1400

One of the most respected names in helmets, Shoei doesn’t need any introduction. The RF-1400 provides all the protection and ventilation you come to expect from Shoei. It’s a great street helmet, and is Evans’ go-to choice when he has to quickly grab a lid when he’s heading out the door.

Communicator: Cardo Packtalk Edge

The Packtalk Edge is Cardo’s top-of-the-line unit and offers all of the features a rider could want in a helmet communicator. You’ll find one on the helmets of all the MO staff. Read the review here.

Jacket: Alpinestars Caliber

Evans is a creature of habit. He loved the Alpinestars Caliber jacket so much he had it repaired after he fell in it. Read the review here.

Airbag: Alpinestars Tech-Air 5 System

The Tech-Air 5 airbag system has become our favorite airbag to wear because it’s so versatile and fits seamlessly into our existing gear. I even had the (dis)pleasure of crash testing one.

Jeans: Scorpion Covert Ultra

The Covert is constructed from a single-layer of a Kevlar/Cordura weave to provide 7x the abrasion resistance of regular denim, but with a lot less bulk of traditional riding jeans.

Gloves: Racer Mickey

“A lightweight short cuff glove that doesn't skimp on protection.” Those were Ryan’s words about the Mickey gloves, but it was enough to convince Evans to wear them, too.

Boots: Alpinestars Faster 3 Rideknit

As comfortable as sneakers, with a little more protection, the Faster 3 Rideknit shoes are insanely comfy and flow a ton of air thanks to the Rideknit fabric. They make a great summer riding shoe. Read our review here.


Helmet: Shoei RF-1400

So popular, both Evans and Hailey chose to put it on their heads, the Shoei RF-1400 is clearly a crowd favorite.

Communicator: Cardo Packtalk Bold

The Packtalk Bold is a slightly older Cardo communicator compared to the Edge, but it still comes loaded with features. Better still, if you don’t want or need all the Edge has to offer, you can find the Bold for a good discount.

Jacket: REV’IT! Apex Air H2O (ladies)

A proper women’s jacket built specifically for the female form, the Apex Air H2O flows a lot of air while also being waterproof thanks to the detachable liner.

Jeans: REV’IT! Victoria 2 Jeans SK

Another example of riding gear specifically for women, the Victoria 2 jeans were designed and built with the female figure in mind. Stretch Cordura denim mixed with PWR|shield material gives these jeans a high abrasion resistance.

Gloves: REV’IT! Avion 3 (ladies)

Goatskin leather gives the Avion 3 gloves that feeling like they’re broken in even when they’re brand new. Available in both men’s and women’s fit.

Boots: REV’IT! Kick sneakers (mens)

For this particular ride Hailey preferred the men’s Kick sneakers instead of other dedicated women’s riding shoes she has. The skateboarding motif is at home both on two wheels or the four wheels of a skateboard.


Helmet: Bell Race Star Flex

One of the oldest names in protection, the Bell Race Star Flex is an iconic model and Bell’s top-of-the-line helmet.

Communicator: Cardo Packtalk Edge

Good enough for Evans and me, Joe’s Packtalk Edge is a permanent fixture on his helmet. And he takes full advantage of it.

Jacket: REV’IT! Apex Air H20

Built to the same specifications as the women’s version Hailey was wearing, Joe’s Apex Air is the men’s version.

Jeans: REV’IT! Reed Jeans

The REV'IT! Reed Jeans are slim-fit riding jeans that feature a single-layer denim with PWRshield fabric that is light and cool, yet features a AAA-level CE certification.

Gloves: REV’IT! Dirt 3

The comfort of goatskin, with massive breathability and TPR protection. The Dirt 3 is intended for adventure riders, but is versatile enough for everyone.

Boots: REV’IT! Arrow

Nubuck leather give the Arrow shoe a classy matte appearance with timeless style that is at home on or off the bike. Added protection for moto duty is a bonus.


Helmet: Arai Contour-X

The Contour-X is one of Arai’s newer offerings, but offers the same protection you’ve come to expect from Arai.

Communicator: Cardo Packtalk Edge

What more can we say about the Packtalk Edge that hasn’t been said already?

Jacket: Alpinestars T SP-5 Rideknit

A great warm-weather jacket, the T SP-5 Rideknit is lightweight, comfortable, and flows a ton of air. The subtle camouflage graphic is my personal favorite.

Airbag: Alpinestars Tech-Air 3 System

A lighter weight airbag system, the Tech-Air 3 ditches the built-in back protector and short sleeves of the Tech-Air 5, but the algorithms are still the same.

Jeans: Alpinestars Copper v3

I’ve been looking for a regular riding jean with a comfort fit and a straight leg. Stretch cotton denim with aramid fiber reinforcements in key areas provide top-notch comfort and protection.

Gloves: Alpinestars Morph Sport

Quite possibly the most comfortable shorty gloves I’ve worn, the Morph Sport utilizes MorphTech construction for insane flexibility and breathability.

Boots: Alpinestars Faster 3 Rideknit

Evans and I clearly share the same taste in riding shoes, as we’re both huge fans of the Faster 3 Rideknit for all the same reasons.

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Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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 1 comment
  • Paulévalence Paulévalence on Oct 06, 2023

    We miss you buddy 😔

    It's a shame that all this great, expensive, high tech gear can only do so much..