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Greetings All,

I am new to the biking world( from a riding perspective, I have helped my father repair his and his friends' Harley, Yamaha, and Gold wing motorcycles for about 10 years). I am currently shopping around for a bike and gear. Below I will outline my plan and gear I have chosen( not yet purchased) through research.

Getting legal: my plan is to get a license through a new riders program. There is a good local program several new riders I know have gone to. It is 5 days I believe, all written tests have a high score to pass requirement and there is plenty of track time. My state gives very high praise to their program and most local insurance companies will give discounted rates to those with a graduation certificate. They offer motorcycles for track time. You can choose between a 250 cruiser, 250 sport bike, and 125 scooters. I will choose the sport bike as that is what I intend to buy. You can also borrow riding gear, but I intend to buy my own even before I go to the class. Graduates can show their certificate to the motor vehicle department for a license without further testing. Price is $275 and I consider that money well spent.

Motorcycles: I have never been on anything larger than a camp/miniature bike(as a kid). Buying a well used 250( ninja or Hyosung) would probably be best, but I have heard suggestions for a GS500 or similar for larger riders. I am 6' 1" stocky( most normal cut pants are too small for my calves and a xl shirt fits in the chest but is tight on my forearms) with a few extra pounds at 260. I have also seen dual sport bikes that look very cool. There are a few good deals on XR650's and DR650's in my area.

I am aware that anything with the next step up in displacement(R6 and 1L bikes) is a huge upgrade in speed in the sport bike world. A motorcycle only ever does exactly what you tell it to do and I don't have the experience to correctly control a bigger bike.

Gear:

I am aware this section is even more essential to take care with than worrying about what kind of bike I need. After years working in Emergency Medicine I have seen how bad injuries can be and have watched several bikers pass away despite our team's best efforts. With gear, more protection is always better, and I know better protection costs money. I have been told a budget between $800-$1400 is typical.

Boots: I think a true motorcycle boot is needed, not the fashion boots marketed by Harley as "motorcycle boots", especially at the speeds I will be traveling in a few years. I chose a boot that is meant for off road as these riders take a beating often. It has armor, and full ankle support to prevent both impact and twisting/rolling damage. This model of boot is still slim enough to get under a sport bike gear shift and several people with sport bikes gave good reviews and said clearance was good. There are other boots with better armor but they do not fit under the gear shift, at least that I am aware. As always, I come to seek guidance, please educate me if I am ever mistaken.

Alpinestars tech 3 boots: Size 12( I wear a size 12 cowboy boot and size 13 Trainer), Black( looks good with most bike colors)

Gloves: Armor and Kevlar are always good. I wanted gauntlets to control airflow and give abrasion resistance to my wrist. The gloves I have chosen has complaints about failures with stitching but I have been making climbing harnesses using Kevlar thread for years. I intend to go over these gloves and strengthen the seams. If there is room in the palm for a few extra layers of kevlar, I can buy sheeting and bump up the abrasion resistance internally.

Speed and Strength Lock and Load Gloves: Size large( I have short fingers but thick palms and cant fit the palm thickness of a medium)

Pants: In the future I will buy some with sliders, probably not from a European company only because they are slim cut and there has never been anything slim about me. I know jeans are a bad choice, but I have found "jeans" with fabric woven of Cordura( instead of denim) with internal Kevlar lining. I will likely add similar spec sheeting to areas that don't have coverage. It has pockets for knee and hip armor(CE certified). I will buy the armor with the jeans. The pockets are supposedly adjustable so the armor will be in the right spot. If not, I can rip the seam and sew them in the proper position with Kevlar thread so they wont tear out on impact. If fit is good then I will reinforce the kevlar sheeting and armor pocket seams with kevlar thread.

Scorpion Covert Pro jeans: Size 42( I wear 38 but I want room for the armor and thermal base layers for colder riding)

Jacket: I want a jacket with shoulder, elbow, forearm, chest, and back protection. The jacket I chose is supposed to be CE certified and has good reviews. I have not read good things about mesh and this will require sewing to make sure the jacket doesn't rip off during a slide. I will also be wearing an over jacket of Dyneema. It will be hot in summer but sweat washes off, road rash does not. It has a belt that can secure tightly but I am thinking about sewing buttons onto the outside of the jeans and making button holes in the jacket hem to make sure the jacket will not ride up during a crash.

Fox Racing Titan Sport Jacket: xxl size, so I have room for under layers in the winter.

Outer jacket: I want a jacket that has good water resistance and abrasion coverage as well as good length. This jacket is cheap but there have been good reviews from crash victims in regards to its abrasion resistance and water resistance. I will need to sew the seams as there have been complaints about a crappy seam job here and there. I can tape the new seams to improve water resistance. It has thin rubbery shoulder, elbow and back protection. This at least could act like a good abrasion resistance layer for the nicer pads underneath.

Xtreemgear Race Jacket: Size 3xl ( room for further layers if needed and fit of over pads)

Helmet: I hear the best helmets are SNELL certified. My choice has a taller eye port profile, but I would like the better peripheral visibility. I will have to try this on and see if it works with my glasses. I may need to buy prescription sunglasses instead of using a clip on with my regular glasses.

Scorpion EXO-R710 Helmet - Solid

Any Suggestions would be great. I am glad to hear from you all.
 

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