" Safety gear isn't a fashion statement but rather, it's a state of mind...."- Tiffany
I hate legal babble. But I take no responsibility for riders purchasing the below mentioned products. These are my own personal beliefs and I take no responsibility for YOU. I do not endorse nor get paid to endorse the below mentioned companies but simply refer people to them as a kind gesture. So in conclusion, ride within your own limitations. Ride smartly and safely.
" Brain bucket's that look pretty trick and keep the bugs out ya teeth.."
There are many great helmets to chose from. Shoei is my top choice. Currently I am using a Shoei RF-800 "Picotte Replica", this helmet is so quiet it's scary. When it comes to brain buckets I don't dare go " El- Cheapo". This is your brain and buying any helmet under $200.00 is a risk. Shoei makes excellent helmets that are plain colored that are affordable. Whatever you chose, always remember you get what you pay for in the long run, how much is your head worth to you? If a dealer offers to "Throw in" a lid with your new bike purchase instead of opting for their choice, how about you ask for a good discount or the option to pay the difference. I have just single handedly witnessed two major accidents in two weeks and the one of the two people lived. The one that lived was wearing an Arai brand of helmet, the other was not. My good friend Artie Coury wrecked his race bike last year pretty bad and due to his top notch riding/protective gear, he survived but managed to severely destroy both legs.
Here is a little statistic for you:
A helmet that is over 4 years old should be tossed and a new one purchased. So, all those original Freddie Spencer Replica's should be put on display on a cool shelf, not your brain! After a few years the insides also break down and no longer offer superior protection.
" So that when body meet's ground, body only meet's leather... not skin"
Gloves are the second most important investment you can make. Gloves protect your hands and wrists in the event of a crash. " Roadrash" really is very painful. Picking pavement and bits of rubber out of your fingers and wrists sucks especially if it's done by an ER nurse. The trick to avoid this said phenomena, is to purchase gloves of a higher quality usually resulting in prices at or above $100.00. The higher priced gloves are a better quality leather, and feature more knuckle protection and often come with re-inforced palm protection and perforations for ventalation. Teknic, Alpine Stars, Dainese, First Gear, Frank Thomas ..etc are great choices choices. You should* only need to buy gloves yearly depending on how often you go through them.
" This could make or NOT break your collarbone and other said important back bones..."
This piece of protection by far is needed. It disperses the weight and shock to your spine along the plastic ribs that go along your back. Preventing a more serious back and neck injury. When you slide, you slide on your back protector....not your spine. The top models offer "kidney protection" as well as scapula protection ( a small bone near your neck that is very delicate and often broken). Dainese, and Bohn make a great protector, I wear the plain model Dianese. But if cash is no object, go for the optimum in protection.
" So you wanna look like a power ranger eh?"
My first set of leathers were "TEXPORT" Two piece leathers. I chose them because of the High quality craftsmanship coupled with full kevlar stitching as well as hard armor in the elbows, shoulders and knees. Plus the close-out price on them left me with heps of cash left over! Leather's offer protection that jeans cannot provide. Upper models offer Knee sliders which are necessary for severe cornering, knee-cup's make the crouched position you are in much more comfortable, built in back protection, stretch panels and many more options.
Keep in mind that " You get what you pay for". Meaning you spend a little money on a leather suit and chances are the leather is cheap, thin and poorly crafted. I want my leathers to stay together in a crash, not to mention seam-breakage often happens on the cheaper ones. This is your life, take it seriously.
Some things that make leathers more pricey that are good....
Check to see what the leathers have on them before buying. Catalog purchases are risky but make sure they offer a return policy. I suggest getting yourself measured by a seamstress so that when you order* your new suit you have exact dimentions.
" So that you can strut like a stud.."
Boots are important because often times leg's go flailing about ( as well as everything else) in a crash and having boots that offer good ankle protection are a great investment. I selected " Alpine Stars GP- Tech" boots. I paid $199.99 for them at the Cycle world expo in Seattle. An excellent place to find good deals on equipment. Plus I could try them on which was good since sizes run oddly in European boots. These boots are excellent and provide good ankle protection. And offer toe sliders that are replaceable for those excessive lean angles I am trying to perfect. Other good brands include, Frank Thomas, Dianese, Sidi, Teknic, First Gear, and AGV.
Rain suits, ah yes! What we often try to avoid as riders often catches up with us down the road. Rain suits are used when duh! Its raining out. You put them on over your clothes/leathers to keep you warm and dry. Good ones run you around 85.00-$100.00+. The reason the higher prices are that the better ones are "heat treated" along the seams which means -NO LEAKS! On a long trip how warm and dry to you want to be? MANY MANY brands to choose, choose wisely according to your budget and taste. Then get some " galoshes" that go over your riding boots that go up to mid-calf to keep your feet dry. Also try these on at a dealership/retailer. Guess-tomating this can be bad. They run larger to fit *over* leathers which are bulky anyway. But don't get too big, because "flappage" ( excess fabric flapping in the wind) will happen as well.
Ok so we have all been there, the superbike race where you bought some stuff and then figured out! WHOOPS...where am I gonna put it? Well have no fear if you own a "tank-bag", "tail bag" or softsided saddle-bags. A tank bag is a magnetic bag that sticks to the gas tank holding, wallets, keys, gloves and a change of clothes. Often expanding in size to accomidate more "stuff". I chose the " Tour Master" tank bag. If offered a good size, a clear map compartment, and a carry strap. Its great, Ive used it so much its unreal. I paid around 65.00 for it so I could get a good one. It expands to fit lots of things, like my camera's, a change of clothes, a snack etc. etc.
I chose "Chase Harper" brand of tail bags for this. Not only do they offer a lifetime guarantee on damage or replacement but it's one of the best brand's out there. I got dealer cost on this one but it retails for around $65.00. Two bungee-cords that zip inside the bag when not in use, secure it to the "Tail" of your motorcycle. You can fit in lots of things in this bag, mainly a few changes of clothes and toiletries. If comes with a map compartment as well. For tail bags remember this, if it gets wrapped around the chain or wheel while riding they will replace it no questions asked. Some other* companies will not cover it if it's rider error or defective. That's peace of mind.
I don't own yet but are optional. On long cross-country rides they are necessary. And the same points about quality still apply to this as well. Waterproof is also a main reason for getting good ones. Check the load limits of your motorcycle before getting heavy luggage. The center of gravity shifts and could result in a potential crash. Also adjust your headlights the added weight brings the front up and could blind other drivers.
Message from the webmaster: Are you broke yet?? Well yes, all of this seams overwhelming and expensive. But it's usually a one time only purchase. The helmets and leathers are the most replaced items. Buy the good stuff if you can, you wont regret it!