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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-10-2007, 09:31 PM
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I'd say it depends on the mesh and on the crash. I have a mesh coat with leather over the forearms, shoulders and back protector. I have seen photos where mesh jackets wore through in small spots during a slide and others where the outer layer wore through but the inner layer didn't.

My thoughts are that mesh is OK for most street riding but that you should probably go with leather for more agressive riding. Be aware also that mesh is usually a use it once and throw it away proposition. Minor cuts and abrasions on the shell will make it pretty susceptible to tearing in later crashes.

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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-10-2007, 10:17 PM
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There's street gear and there's track gear. Although there is some overlap there's also some divergence.

With track gear, tight leather is the norm, with articulated boots. Although one is comfortable on the bike, walk-around comfort is not a consideration (nor should it be).

With street gear, most riders take what looks cool and is comfortable enough to walk around. Hence, leather jackets and jeans are common. In practice this is a terrible getup because jeans won't help in a crash.

An Aerostitch suit is simply the most practical item one can wear for the street. Faster to take on and off than even a leather jacket, it affords upper and lower abrasion protection. However, I only see me and a very few BMW long-distance riders use it (in NoCal, though, it seems 1/3 of the riders use it, go figure). If you're not going above 90 mph then the nylon Aerostitch will not burn through during crashes.

In comparison tight-fitting leathers will look barely scuffed at 90 mph crashes. I've seen Vanson leathers crashed at 110 whereby the suit didn't even looked scuffed--the color become lighter but the leather itself didn't even scuff. Even the cheaper leathers like AGV, if they fit tightly, will look barely scuffed at most racetrack speeds.

Gloves, though, seem to fall apart no matter what speed one crashes at. They blow apart at the seems but usually they save the rider's hands. My brother, for example, experienced a very nasty crash where the gas tank trapped his hand between it and the road. Although his pinky finger was broken he did not suffer abrasion.

My feeling is that metal as protection is a terrible idea. Metal doesn't have much abrasion resistance and its tendency to dent makes it a poor protective material.

In practice, bikes require so much gear that I usually end up taking the car. It's a lot faster than suiting up.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-10-2007, 11:19 PM
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One thing that I see a problem with, is people throwing out the terms "starter helmet" or "starter gear". This is just ridiculous because when you're just starting out with riding, you are actually the most vulnerable. Your choice of gear is as important as your choice of bike. When affordability becomes an issues, its really best to make sacrifices in the bike department so that you don't have to skimp on gear.

Leather is best, also, don't buy for look, buy for comfort. It should not be baggy. Your pants and your jacket need to have motorcycle specific armor in the crucial areas, and they should zip together. Your best choice is a 1-piece suit however.

There is a difference between over-the-ankle boots, and riding boots. Motorcycle specific riding boots not only provide protection for your feet, and provide stability against twisting/breaking your ankle, but are also designed for efficiency in operating your bike's controls. Sidi. Sidi. Sidi.

Always get gauntlet style gloves. Leather, armor, and ventilation are really the only differences between them. Try to get the pair with the most abundance of each. Unless you will be riding in cold weather. Then get a second pair that will eliminate the venting and keep your hands warm instead.

Your helmet needs to be DOT approved. Not just because its the law, but because it stupid to wear anything that isn't. The way it fits YOUR head is the most important factor in choosing a helmet. It needs to be TIGHT. Do not pick a helmet based off of how it looks. It may be a brand that is all wrong for your head shape. The different brands of helmets, and the different models within that brand, are all different shapes. Most people have model-specific head shapes, and you'll learn yours once you try on a large variety of helmets out there. Do not buy it too big. Most people who think they need an XL really only need a Medium. It will break in to fit your head and face with time, too.

Be sure you buy gear that you will wear. It needs to be comfortable (while ON the bike) and inspire confidence in your safety. The worst kind of gear is the stuff that you don't want to wear. Determine which scenario you'd prefer:

being a little bit uncomfortable while not on the bike, and experience a little bit of inconvenience
-or-
being EXTREMELY uncomfortable once you get flung OFF of the bike because you thought it uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear the gear.

Finally, once you think you have all of the proper gear and are ready to ride, do this:

Suit up, and run down the sidewalk as fast as you can.
Then spread your arms and legs and take a dive. If any part of your body is in pain, or you are bleeding, you need higher quality gear in that area.
If you're considering getting on your bike to ride, no matter how far, and you wouldn't confidently even think about doing this (without the concern of ruining your gear in mind), you are not wearing nearly enough.

Just so you get an idea of what most serious riders are looking for, here's what I wear, no matter what the situation, and no matter where or how far I am going, "joy riding" included, since joy riding is what this sport is all about:

Suomy Spec 1R -or- Spec 1R Extreme helmet
Alpinestars Race Replica 1-piece suit -or- Alpinestars TZ-1 Leather Jacket with Alpinestars Track Pants zipped together.
Alpinestars Pro-Tech Back Protector
AGV GP Pro gloves -or- AGV Exocet gloves
Sidi Vertigo Corsa boots in blue -or- Sidi Vertigo Corsa boots in white.

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Last edited by Ride.; 09-10-2007 at 11:28 PM.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TS80
I know one rider that cannot walk anymore because he was wearing regular shoes and one rider that died because he was wearing jeans.
Care to elaborate on this? I wear jeans often for my commute. PM if you want to keep the details off the board. Thanks.

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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 12:54 AM
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Lots of great advice so far (mostly). I'll add that riding gear does no good if you don't wear it. Don't buy what you won't wear every time you get on the bike.

Abrasion resistance ranges from jeans (maybe 5 mph and a few feet) to mesh (OK up to highway speeds) to textile (OK at higher speeds) to leather (best at high speeds). The major difference from mesh to textile to leather is durability. As was said, many leather products have been crashed and can still be worn. Track crashed leathers usually need a little mending. Mesh will be toast after one get-off.

Think about what you'd want to be wearing with a body part (hand, foot, leg) trapped between a sliding bike and the road. This can happen 1 mile from home. We often hear about riders glad they had on their gear or wish they had worn better gear. We never hear about riders who wish they had been wearing less protective gear.

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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.Y.STYLE PIZZA
Care to elaborate on this? I wear jeans often for my commute. PM if you want to keep the details off the board. Thanks.

-Ruben
I've heard of riders who bled badly and suffered acute infections from road rash on their legs to the point of death.

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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 01:26 AM
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Another couple of points...... Your jacket should fit snugly, in order to keep the elbow/shoulder armor in the correct locations on your body. I returned one of my jackets after I realized that the armor was moving around too much and leaving my elbows exposed. Same with your helmet, it should be snug without providing pressure points. Make sure you can return the helmet, if it does not fit. Cycle Gear has a seven day return policy. Take the helmet home and wear it around the house for 30-60-90 minutes.............whatever it takes to ensure that it fits snug, yet does not hurt your forehead, or top of your head or ANY part of your skull. The helmet should fit snug because that will afford the greatest protection in the event you go down and smack your head on the road/track surface. It is the height of the impact, not the velocity at which you are traveling that is the greatest factor in how much trauma your skull/brain receives. I cannot provide a reference at the moment, but google helmets on the net, and sit back and READ. There is plenty of research out there........ My point is helmet FIT is important.

Also, I wear a back protector. It is a Dianese BP2 model. A lot of guys new to the sport are not even aware of this piece of gear. The only reason I know about them is that I went to a track day, and they are required. Your spine is very fragile.......... this piece of equipment consists of 6-7-8 pieces of hardshell plastic segments, with two elastic velcro bands that wrap around my waist. They keep my midsection tight, provide lower back support, and cover my spine from the base of my neck down to my tailbone. I FEEL MUCH SAFER WEARING IT. However, as stated before, we all make tradeoffs. I wear jeans on my commute, which most would agree is not adequate, yet I wear the back protector, which some would say is overkill for the street.

Hope this helps,

-Ruben

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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayOSV
I've heard of riders who bled badly and suffered acute infections from road rash on their legs to the point of death.
I think I may be re-considering jeans.............

"Every man dies, not every man really lives." -William Wallace in the film "Braveheart".

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." -Jesus Christ, the Gospel of John, 15:13.

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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 01:48 AM
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I use a pair of mesh pants I pull on over my street clothes. I'm sure there are lots of other products out there that would cover up your legs.

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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 07:38 AM
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after reading these posts i've been looking into some protective pants..

http://www.kneedraggers.com/details/...21-JR05-7.html

would those be a good alternative to jeans? instead of an all out one piece leather suit?
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post #26 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbox
after reading these posts i've been looking into some protective pants..

http://www.kneedraggers.com/details/...21-JR05-7.html

would those be a good alternative to jeans? instead of an all out one piece leather suit?
Overpants are sooo easy to get into and out of. There is not much of an excuse not to wear some protective apparel on the legs that are so susceptable to injury in a crash. Just wear shorts, work or school clothes under them.

Joe Rocket, FirstGear and a number of others are worth looking into.

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post #27 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.Y.STYLE PIZZA
Care to elaborate on this? I wear jeans often for my commute.
I was involved in a freeway crash just over a year ago.
Based on the outcome, I can say for certain that I'd be dead had I been wearing jeans rather than leather. Instead, I suffered only minor injuries, which didn't even require a hospital visit.

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post #28 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 09:23 AM
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Also, I wear a back protector. It is a Dianese BP2 model. A lot of guys new to the sport are not even aware of this piece of gear.
Ditto, I also upgraded my back protector to the Dianese back space G2 and I think its the best $60 you can spend on enhancing already well made gear.

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post #29 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustWondering
Is all of this stuff neccessary just to get me the mile and a half of city driving required to get to school and work? If not, what things are necessary? I would guess a helmet at the very least but what about gloves or a jacket? If I want to wear 'normal' clothes without having to change my clothes once arriving, are jeans acceptable? Any pants? Shorts? Naked?
IMO, jeans at the bare essentials. The least I ever ride with are my gloves, jacket, riding boots, jeans and helmet of course. People don't plan accidents, so you have no idea when you're going to get hit, go down, etc.

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And what general info should I know about the various types of gear that would help me make a better informed choice in what I'll buy. Do I need a $400 helmet or is a $25 helmet that I might find at a garage sale acceptable? What should I look for in a helmet? What should I stay away from? And more importantly WHY should I look for, or stay away from, certain things?
Used helmet should be avoided like the plague. On a recent memorial ride the ex-gf of the deceased was asking me questions about helmets and remarked that the guys helmet "looked" fine. I can assure you it was anything but... he died of massive head trauma on his way into surgery after being flown by chopper to the hospital.

Buy a new helmet you know is undamaged that fits your head comfortably and meets DOT, SNELL or European certs like Shark helmets. Some helmets that fit into that category are HJC, Scorpion and sometimes Shark due to them being unfamiliar to most Americans.

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Are gloves neccessary? Can I use those 99 cent mittens I see at the dollar store or should I find some cast iron gauntlets? Leather or chainmail?
Aside from a helmet in some states, nothing is mandatory... but they certainly are a great idea. Most of us when we hit the ground use out hand to catch our fall, stabilize during a slide or something along those lines. For that reason I like leather gauntlet gloves for hand/wrist protection. Aside from that, how hard is it to wear some gloves?

Quote:
Jackets? The pro's and con's of leather jackets versus some of the synthetic materials I see out there. Dont some jackets actually have hard material like plastic or perhaps even kevlar in them?
Leather trumps textile and mesh jackets no questions asked. Textile jackets are decent, but tend to be a one and done type deal. I've gone down in my leather jacket and have some scuffs... that's it. Get a leather riding jacket, my favorite one I own came from E-Bay new for less than $200.

Quote:
If I dont want a pair of raicing boots are my regular sneakers okay to commute in? What about for joyriding?
I once read that one of the highest points of injury in a motorcycle accident were injured ankles. Good riding boots provide significant ankle/shin protection and then again some are no better than $20 boots from Wal-mart. Non slip soles are also important. Again I fall back that no one plans when and how they are going to wreck.

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I'm not 'skinny' or even 'average' in weight. I'm above average with a picture perfect beer belly and some beautiful love handles. Is there gear to fit my body style?
Yes, in fact many riding pants have cinches to accommodate some "variety", same deal with jackets. You can even get into one piece suits, although the arms/legs might be a tad long.
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post #30 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-11-2007, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeony2k
Quote:
""Are gloves neccessary? Can I use those 99 cent mittens I see at the dollar store or should I find some cast iron gauntlets? Leather or chainmail?""

Most of us when we hit the ground use out hand to catch our fall, stabilize during a slide or something along those lines. For that reason I like leather gauntlet gloves for hand/wrist protection. Aside from that, how hard is it to wear some gloves?

I can attest to this one...

These were taken in '97 after a high speed crash with full gear on (tucked the front) HOWEVER, the gloves I was wearing that day were baseball batting gloves that disintegrated on impact. They offered absolutely no protection.
This was just about the only damage to me. So obviously i wouldn't recommend "cheap mittens".
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