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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having just bought a bike, and having only owning a motocross helmet and Carhart jacket, I am in desperate need of appropriate riding gear.

I haven't seen any threads on the topic of gear, or seen a forum that would be the most appropriate, except this one.

So if there is a better area to post this, please let me know!

I live in WA state, and there is a helmet law. I loved riding around town in AZ without a helmet and enjoying the experience. However, once I hit the open road, I put on a brain bucket. My body, my choice, and I would never tell anyone else what to do.

So, since I will mostly be riding from home to work and back entirely in WA, I needed a helmet. It took me hours of research to find a helmet that was affordable, cool-looking, and fit my apparently giant head.

Also bought an armored jacket that was synthetic material and highly rated.

My first thought was a leather biker jacket, but practicality won out and I chose one purely on functionality and performance.

I may add a leather jacket later.

I don't need to ride in inclement weather, but the riding season in my area is extremely short. I work Swing shift, so I leave for work around 2pm and get off work around 11pm.

It can be 80 degrees when I ride to work, and then be 40 degrees when I get off work and have to ride home. Thankfully, my bike has tons of storage, so I can store a lot of warm riding gear for the 15-mile ride home in cold temps.

Any thoughts on gear for riding?

Is armored gear worth it and necessary? Are motorcycle boots a necessity? I have to wear heavy leather boots with composite safety toes for work anyway, so those will be on my feet no matter what.

My handlebars will be exposed, so warm gloves are a necessity. Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Having just bought a bike, and having only owning a motocross helmet and Carhart jacket, I am in desperate need of appropriate riding gear.

I haven't seen any threads on the topic of gear, or seen a forum that would be the most appropriate, except this one.

So if there is a better area to post this, please let me know!

I live in WA state, and there is a helmet law. I loved riding around town in AZ without a helmet and enjoying the experience. However, once I hit the open road, I put on a brain bucket. My body, my choice, and I would never tell anyone else what to do.

So, since I will mostly be riding from home to work and back entirely in WA, I needed a helmet. It took me hours of research to find a helmet that was affordable, cool-looking, and fit my apparently giant head.

Also bought an armored jacket that was synthetic material and highly rated.

My first thought was a leather biker jacket, but practicality won out and I chose one purely on functionality and performance.

I may add a leather jacket later low top cleats.

I don't need to ride in inclement weather, but the riding season in my area is extremely short. I work Swing shift, so I leave for work around 2pm and get off work around 11pm.

It can be 80 degrees when I ride to work, and then be 40 degrees when I get off work and have to ride home. Thankfully, my bike has tons of storage, so I can store a lot of warm riding gear for the 15-mile ride home in cold temps.

Any thoughts on gear for riding?

Is armored gear worth it and necessary? Are motorcycle boots a necessity? I have to wear heavy leather boots with composite safety toes for work anyway, so those will be on my feet no matter what.

My handlebars will be exposed, so warm gloves are a necessity. Suggestions?
thanks in advance for any help
 

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Emma, it's a difficult discussion to have. There isn't an answer for what you are asking.

If you promised not to crash, and to never get hit, you could ride naked and it wouldn't be a safety issue.

When you buy motorcycle boots, you really want to avoid laces. Shoe laces loosen up and can get tangled in a chain, or grab a footpeg.

Motorcycle boots, with heels suck. A flat sole is better. That makes it hard to find a boot that pulls double duty for work/motorcycle.

This is true for every piece of gear we can talk about. No, it's probably not a law that says you need decent, leather gloves, yet it isn't smart to ride without having them. Every piece of gear we choose not to wear adds just a little to the risk we are taking. We will never see 100% risk free, but we try.

If you are just starting, I like the Cycle Gear motorcycle stores. Over time, you'll figure out what brands and styles you like. For now, Cycle Gear can get you pointed in the right direction. They also have a strange clearance section. I've bought 100.00 sets of gloves for 7.99. My Cycle Gear store has a ton of helmets. They have a house brand, "Built" brand. The stuff isn't awesome quality, but it's cheap. It's a good to buy everything, then upgrade as time goes on and you decide what's best, for you.

My best tip will be to buy a helmet that feels like it's one size too small. If it's comfortable when you try it on, it's too large. You want the helmet to stay out, in it's own, without needing the strap.

After you wear this too small helmet a few times, it will break in and feel fine. If it's too large, the strap will be digging into your neck and the helmet will feel like the wind is pulling it off.

A size large is what's comfortable, for me. A medium will break in and feel like it's been custom fitted.
 
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Helmet and jacket - check and check. Good for you!

As for what else, here's my thoughts in order of what to get.

Motorcycle boots that cover your ankle. There are too many instances where you crash and your ankles take the brunt of it. In the more severe cases they amputate vs fuse. Ankle injuries are just plain nasty. I've seen a few and hopefully never have one! Hope you don't too! Work boots are not ideal as noted for the laces, heel and steel toes.

Next would be a set of gloves made of decently thick leather. Road rash on your hands sucks. I burned through a cheap set of gloves once on asphalt and gravel. Don't want to do that again. You don't have to spend more than your jacket costs on gloves, because you can find gloves that pricey, which is insane in my mind. Just get a pair that fit snug, have a decent thick palm, and allow you to flex to easily move your brake & clutch levers.

Lastly would be a set of riding pants. Again it's about abrasion resistance, as it is with all your gear really.

Armored gear (any of it) is nice, but depending on how you hit, land etc it might not make a lot of difference. Broken bones are broken bones. Abrasions are painful and more avoidable in those less severe cases.

As for riding in "colder temps" that I can relate to. Coldest I've ridden in is -12C/10F. Carry something you can put around your neck be it a scarf, a stretchy ear band or a thin balaclava. A warm and covered neck will make the colder rides a bit more bearable. You can also stuff a newspaper in the front of your jacket for a bit more warmth in a pinch, even if your are soaked in the rain. Keep a pair of disposable gloves or xlarge dish gloves (go for black vs yellow lol) too. In the event of rain you can wear the thin gloves under your riding gloves or the larger dish gloves over top of your motorcycle gloves. Pretty it might not be, but dry you will be. Not that it ever rains in the Pacific North Wet ;)

That's my 2 cents. Ride safe.
 

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In my opinion armour is worth it. It's positioned where the body impacts with the road - back, shoulders and elbows. So that extra protection might help in the event of a fall.

Regarding jacket and warm to cool weather, there are a number of jackets that have a zip in/out padded vest. Easy to stow when not in use. Same applies to motorcycle pants.

2 x the helmet, boots and gloves advice from RC and Obo ^^
 
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Since I am a newbie to riding again (haven't been on a street bike in over 20 years), and growing up in SoCal, I considered that since I now live in MN I would need a jacket appropriate to the weather. I ended up getting a synth armored jacked with a full zip removable liner. Good for summer and fall/spring riding.

Helmets....to each their own or their state laws. I've raced bicycles since my teens and have always worn a helmet. 2016 I was hit head on while training on my road bicycle, due to a texting driver. I ended up with a broken neck (C7), 15 broken ribs, broken femur, muscles and ligaments in both shoulders destroyed, and 177 stitches in my head. I don't skimp on the price nor cert of any helmet and my trauma surgeon told me that besides my physical condition a helmet is what saved me that day. The bicycle helmet that saved me was $300. I had no issue spending $600 on a motorcycle helmet when I purchased my Ninja this spring.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Boots are a big one, one of the most injured spots in wrecks is from the knee down and people lose more feet and legs than anything on bikes. I remember watching a dash cam video of some jerk with his girl on the back running a red, hitting a car and getting ejected. Dude gets up goes to the girl they’re wearing helmets and summer clothes, he goes to help her up and her foot stays there, IT WAS SEVERED. Dude goes off acting like a chimp and luckily a bystander pushed the girl back to the ground and others started helping stabilize her as the video cut. Think about going down, if anything’s caught between the asphalt and the sharp metal of your bike it’s your feet and lower legs.
 

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Also to me armor in shoulders or elbows of jackets or knees of pants are really to slide on, it’s not going to help that much in the event of severe trauma but after the 2 or 3 seconds worth of jacket burns away it’ll be nice to have some hard plastic between you and the road
 
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