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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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best brands?

i know for sure im getting a bike now i just have to wait till spring.

i want to start picking out my gear but i dont know anything about it, like what good brands are and how to get the right size.

heres what i want to get so far. tell me what brands or models i should look at.

helmet.

jacket.

gloves.

i heard there are something like kevilar jeans or some other type of pants that are stronger then regular jeans.. so jeans is on the list.

and some good shoes. not boots that go up to my knees but something that will protect my ankles and not look wierd with jeans.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-20-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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I'll give my two bits. Name brands can mean good quality, and off brands can mean poor quality, but this isn't always the case. My gear came in at about 200 bucks on helmet, jacket, and gloves. Jacket has been down twice, once at 30mph, second at 50mph, and there is not a scratch on it. I'm not bashing name-brands, just saying that no matter what you get, you'll have to look to make sure it's well-made. Don't place your safety by looking at the logo alone.

(Oh yeah, here's what I use - HJC "CL-15" helmet, "Nitro Racing" mesh jacket, and Olympia "Gel Max" gloves. 80, 80, and 40, respectively)
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 07:41 AM
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How about a budget on each item? Don't know what's reasonable? Take a look through www.newenough.com at the various ranges in price to get an idea.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 10:43 AM
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You want top of the line gear, try here: http://www.helimot.com Pricey, yes. But well worth it. Or you ca ge namebrand stuff. Quite a few racers have used Helimot in the past, Nicky Hayden did, I checked out his boots when I went there. Awesome shop, great people. The owner is VERY knowledgeable.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 02:15 PM
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For what it's worth:
Helmets: I've owned 2 Shoei, 1 Nolan, 1 Vega Nitro (Crap), 2 Icon, and 1 KBC. The Shoeis are expensive, and seem to have a firm fit, but my RF-1000 is well vented and doesn't have a lot of annoying wind noise. The nolan was a modular. It was comfortable, but I always wondered how well it would stand up to a real impact. Don't even think about the Vega Nitro. They're inexpensive for a reason. Icons are comfortable, stylish (especially the domain) but I got way too many bugs/grass clippings/very small rocks coming into the helmet. I'm guessing it was partially aero, and partially the vents. I like my KBC. It wasn't too expensive, the schemes are awesome (I got the reaper), and it fits comfortably. Only complaints: visors can be a pain to swap until you get the hang of it (even when they're on, they don't look like they're 100% locked in. Also, I like mirrored shields, and KBC's is anything but, compared to the icons.

Jackets: Had a Joe Rocket leather jacket, which was very comfortable, but a little bulky. I like the vents on the inner elbow for some reason. I also have Icon Timax and Timax 2 jackets, both textile. The first one has seen a wreck, and the plate on the shoulder kept me from getting road rash. Not the best jackets for cold riding though.

Gloves: I like my Teknic SMT's. They held up well in my wreck (forgot to tuck and roll, so one of the plams got scraped up, saved my hand though. The carbon(ish) knuckles seem a lot more firm than most of the other brands I've seen. Also have a pair of Icon TiMax gloves (gauntlet) that are great for cold riding, but are a bit heavy, making controls tricky to use at times. I'm sure they're about the best thing to be wearing if you go down though.

Boots: I've had Icon Motorhead boots for a few years now. They are comfortable enough to wear all day (if you walk a lot during the day, I'd suggest getting some comfort inserts). They aren't restrictive like the Fieldarmo r boots, but they also provide ankle support.

I also have a pair of Timax pants, though they aren't the most practical pants to wear unless all you're doing is riding. I normally wear regular jeans, though I am always on the lookout for something better/stronger.

Whatever you decide, just make sure to wear it EVERY TIME you ride.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Ok I went the route of buying the best gear I could afford at the time. I've slowly accumulated different pieces over the last season.


Helmet: I've had three so far. Two shoei rf1000's and my current lid the shoei x-11. Tried on a bunch of different helmets and even got to take most of them out on test rides (make nice with a local shop ). The rf1000's are great helmets with excellent venting, good noise reduction, they're light as a feather and probably the easiest visor changing system on the freaking planet. Seriously, I switch to a different visor all the time partially because it's just so damn easy. Oh and I cant forget to mention how comfortable the shoei's are , at least for my head. 14hrs straight in one lid and I didn't even want to tear it off when I finally got home. The current lid , my x-11, takes everything that makes the rf1000 great and improves upon it. Price wise, you're definitely going to pay. Not the cheapest helmets on the market at all but I've always believed that you get what you pay for.

Jackets: Still on my first jacket but am definitely ready to move on. It's an Alpinestars Spinner and while it is definitely adequate for street riding as far as protection goes. It's a behemoth of a jacket. At least thats how it's begun to feel. At first you won't realize it because your weight will remain firmly planted on your seat but after you begin throwing yourself on the bike a bit you'll definitely notice the added mass. My other complaint is that it doesn't zipper to any of the Alpinestars leather riding pants, though I knew that when I bought it.

Gloves: Racer brand gloves made from kangaroo leather. Pricey but at the time they seemed more then worth it especially with the type of feel you can retain. After having one very low speed get off, resulting in broken seams at the finger tips, and a second more "exciting" get off causing the whole palm of the left glove to basically be demolished I wish I had sprung for the damn Held gloves I was eyeing. I was actually surprised that they didn't hold up all that well considering the price point but oh well.

Boots: Started off with a more street friendly riding boot that only went a few inches past the ankle and looked pretty decent too. After the first minor get off the boot already looked pretty lousy...After the second one...well they were retired real quick and without remorse. I'd rather carry around another pair of shoes in a pack and put them on when I'm off the bike then ride with something like that again. I've gone the route of a full race boot and I'll never go back. The feel is there, the protection is there, and frankly...they grow on you after a while..hell they look less goofy then most of the sneakers being released today anyway. Oh they're the Sidi Vertigo Corsas in case you feel like checking them out. I've heard numerous accounts that the Oxtars are on par but have yet to test them myself.

Pants: I wear jeans...I have leathers for the twisties but around town I do tend to wear jeans. However I'll never leave with just jeans on, I always have a pair of kneeguards underneath, which cover my leg from where the boots end up until a little past my knee maybe 5 inches or so. At first I didn't think much of them but after my second get off they have more then proven themselves. The jeans were toast and I was expecting too see a fountain of blood poor out of my leg...but it never came. When I finally looked down it turns out my knee guards took all the impact and are still perfectly usable. I guess it's true that the first things to go down are your hands and knees..

You'll probably get radically different gear opinions from whomever you talk to, but like it was previously stated: always wear what you do decide to buy all the time.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 04:07 PM
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+1 to what poppincaps said. Everyone has their own personal preferences, and I've noticed (especially with helmets) that if one particular model doesn't fit right, others of the same brand tend to do the same. I'm sure there are exceptions though. Everybody has a slightly different shape of head, and you may find that Shoeis are uncomfortable, and Arais fit like a dream.

Bottom line: go to a shop that has a good selection, and try stuff on. With gloves/jackets/boots etc, sit on a bike with the gear on and see how much freedom of movement you have. The last thing you want is a stiff boot that messes up your shifting, or a jacket that rides up on you when you turn to check for traffic, etc. etc.

Hopefully you'll never have to realize first hand the value of your gear. But as Smitty says, you're invisible, and everyone is out to kill you.

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
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