I budget about a grand for gear, but if you stick with textiles you can get away cheaper.
Things to look for.
1. Helmet- Even if you order it online, try some in a store. Find the smallest size that you can possibly squeeze into. Even if its real tight, thats the one you want. The helmet will break in after a few weeks, and become comfy. If you get one that too big it will be loose, not protect you well, and have lots of wind noise. Wind noise has more to do with fatigue on long trips than anything else. For this reason, you may want to get some earplugs, they work wonders. Personally I love the shoei RF1000. Its abit pricey, but its very light, small, quiet and comfy.
2. Jacket. Since you are on a budget, go with something textile. They provide good protection, but cant be reused like leathers. Look into the armor in the jacket, you want a back plate, shoulder and elbo plates. The cheaper units use Dual layer foam, which is ok, but if you see that its got CE approved armor (KNOX ussually) then its much better. Most brands use the same armor pieces so you can purchase better armor later and change.
3. Gloves. Dont even think about riding without them. You tendants are millimiters below the skin, they snap like rubber bands, take years to heal (if ever) and... Well hand injuries just suck. Cant do shit afterwords...
4. Boots. Icon makes several models that are motorcycle specific without looking like a race boot, so you can wear them around.
Oh and welcome to SBW!!!
Forgot to mention, check out newenough.com for some great deals...
Last edited by Vash; 01-13-2006 at 07:10 AM.