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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I recently ventured into the process of getting my first bike, so I decided to look online for some advice and found this site. So first off, I would like to say thanks to all the people and contributors who have put their time into this site, making it one of the most complete sportbike sites I have come across. There seems to be quite a few riders here who have had quite a few riding experiences and continually share their gained knowledge with those who aren't so learned, and for that, I say thanks again.

Anyways, as I said, I'm a new rider and don't have any experience on a motorcycle. I've ridden a dirt bike a couple times, but I won’t be surprised if I fall down on my bike. I want gear that will first and foremost protect me if something were to happen, but would also like it to be fairly comfortable. Also, it being summer, I don’t want to find myself completely soaked in sweat. I’m definitely open to suggestions and comments, so please, don’t be afraid to post.

Helmet – Haven’t got a chance to try any on except for some Vemar helmets. I tried on the VSS, VSX, and VSR, and I’m leaning towards the VSR, if I can afford it. However, I’ll be sure to try on more helmets and see what else I like first. Any suggestions?

Boots – I’ve only heard good things about Sidi boots. I’m thinking about getting the Sidi Vert 2 Air’s, but again I’m open to suggestions.

Gloves – Since I’m not going to be doing any hardcore riding or racing anytime soon, so I was planning on getting either the Alpinestars S-MX 4 or S-MX 5 (anyone know if there is a real difference between the two?).

Jacket – Here is where I’m almost completely lost. There seem to be so many jackets out there and I, not being very knowledgeable on the subject don’t have a very good sense as to what is good quality/protection. I know you get what you pay for, but I really don’t want to pay a ton of money. I live in Wisconsin and right now the weather usually ranges from 60-85. Should I get a leather jacket or a textile jacket, and what’s the difference between a regular leather jacket and perforated leather? I know for the best protection, leather is the way to go, but does leather with vents provide enough air flow or will I still get too hot.
Also, I’m kind of hesitant about going with brands such as Joe Rocket or Icon; I like brands that are reliable.

Pants – With the pants, I’m pretty much in the same boat as the jacket – unsure.

Well, thanks for taking the time to read this, any help is greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the long post, but I just want to do the most I can so I don’t end up with some crappy stuff that I’m disappointed with after a couple months of riding.

· Registered
268 Posts
Well I'm sure someone will give you a much more complete answer than I can, but here goes:

Helmet: There are two major brands that people seem to stick with when you're spending a good amount of money on a helmet : Arai and Shoei. As far as I know, typically the highest end (and highest priced) helmets are mainly going to be lighter and have more airflow, they won't necessarily offer better protection for your head. Just be sure you get something Snell and DOT approved, some of which can be found around $120 new.

Boots: I have Sidi Vert IIs and love them. If you plan on riding on hot weather alot I could see the need for Airs, but even in Dallas in 90* weather my feet aren't really uncomfortable with them on.

Gloves: Can't really help you here, I'd just be sure they're gauntlet style and not just short-gloves.

Jacket: If it doesn't get over 85* in WI, get leather. It offers much better protection. Perforated just means it's got holes in it (or some other method) of improving airflow without lowering the protective value. If it's 60* outside and you've got a perf'd jacket, you'll probably be freezing cold before long. Someone more familiar with colder weather can probably be more help here than I.

Pants - I'm no help here, either.

Good luck bud, and welcome to riding!

· You will be missed Shawn
6,508 Posts
okay, i'll add my 0.02

helmet: what red raider basically said about lighter/comfort and price is correct. you will get more comfort usually w/the higher price helmets. however, you will also get protection as well. true you could spend 120 on HJC (not knocking it BTW), but you will typically get better value for your money w/the Arai and Shoei. For instance, (HJC as the example here) w/a 120-200.00 helmet, you could get a helmet that fits well, offers the protection, and is DOT/snell approved, but if your are cruising down the highway in a couple of months, you could also get a lot of wind noise or it could push against your chin or the visor could fly up at, say 55mph. That could be uncomfortable and you could find it better to spend the extra 200.00 for a helmet that won't do that. (Again, HJC is an example). I would personally like to try a Suomy as I've heard good things about them, but I'll probably end up w/an Arai later this year. You could pick one of those up at a moderate price (say 350-450.00). To me, the things I mentioned would be worth the extra money.

Boots: It was a real toss-up between those you mentioned and the A-stars SMX. I ended up w/the SMX only b/c the Sidi were on backorder. Those are very good boots and offer great protection. A very good choice there.

Gloves: A-stars puts out a very good glove. You couldn't really go wrong w/the choice. However, I will say, the gauntlet style glove offers the best type of protection. Yes, it is for a little harder riding, but even if you are starting out, it is good to have the extra protection. I am a big advocate of the best gear you can afford. I have heard stories from people w/the short gloves of having bugs fly up their sleeves, etc. Also, firstgear is another brand that offers the gauntlet style glove, has good protection w/o spending a huge amount of money. One thing about them, they are a bit toasty during hot weather. There are gloves out there that offers some (and I stress some) protection and are made of mesh. I personally won't wear b/c if I am going to crash, I can't say, "not now, I have on my mesh gloves".

Jacket: Leather is def. the way to go. Perfs are small holes that offer ventilation and are typically cooler than the non-perf'd. Yeah, you could still get pretty warm, but I find w/either my leather or my textile, on hot days here in Ks, I will get hot no matter what if I am sitting. With that being said, I would go leather. A-stars offers some pretty good jackets w/perfs. You said you wanted to stay away from JR or Icon. Gereike (I think that is how it is spelled) also offers up some quality merchandise. As does Vanson and Dianese, of course, they do cost more, but they also have great protection.

Pants: again, A-stars have some leather riding pants. I forget which style they are called, but they are non-perf'd (as you would expect) and will zip into the jacket via an 8 inch zipper for connection. This isn't the same as a zip-together 2 piece suit, but does offer some protection just by virtue of being together.

No matter what you decide to get, make sure you can get the best gear you can afford and then wear it. It doesn't matter if you got a full Dianese suit w/matching boots/gloves and helmet if you don't wear it.

Have you checked out ? they have great customer service and have a lot of what I mentioned at a bit lower prices than if you order it from a dealer etc. Very friendly people and very nice. I would check them out.

· Registered
144 Posts
Textile has it's advantages... it's slightly lower priced usually when compared to leather, and it's water proof... (some jackets are...)

If you're new to riding and have never worn a motorcycle helmet (like I did when I started riding) I'd not recommend you spending $400 plus on an Arai or Shoei helmet unless you know that's exactly what you want...

I got a middle of the road HJC helmet because I didn't know what I wanted... but now know what I want in my next helmet...

Removeable liner is a must.
Easy visor change system is a must.
Removeable liner is a must. (I know it's there 2x, but after riding all summer, removing the liner to wash it is a big plus.
Venting is a must...

Jackets: Personally, I've got a Joe Rocket Comet 4.0 (or something like that...) and the jacket's fine... except if needs 2 vents in the chest area... the 2 vents on thew biceps don't really work well... so it gets warm in the summer... It's a 3 1/2 season jacket though... waterproof, has a liner,...

Buy what you like, don't be too concerned about matching your gear color to the color of your bike... (my bike's reddish/burgundy Suzuki and my gear's yellow/black)

Buy what you can afford... skimp on the price of a bike... buy the best gear you can afford...

· Registered
304 Posts
I can answer your specific question about the A-Stars gloves. The SMX-4 doesn't have any hard protection (on the knuckles), and the SMX-5 does. I have a pair of the SMX-5 as a summer riding glove, and I've been happy with them, but with a leather jacket (mine go with a JR Phoenix) I'd wear a pair with a gauntlet, as has been suggested.

Instead of buying separate pants and jacket, you might consider a two-piece suit. I wear a one-piece by Teknic, and recommend them.

I recommend KBC helmets, as they have a great value for your money.

I own boots by Teknic and Oxtar, and have been happy with both. The Oxtars are a little more comfortable, even though they are newer and haven't been broken in yet, but the Teknics seem to have better protection for track stuff.

If you don't mind a suggestion for a first bike, I'd look at the Suzuki GS500. I started on one. They have been made for quite a while, and are easy to find for cheap. They are easily sold after you're done, and can even be used as a track only bike what you're ready to move up.

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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, I didn't expect your replies to be as thorough as they were. Thank you all for your input, it's very much appreciated.

After reading through your posts, so far, this is my thoughts are.

Helmet – Definitely getting something that is both DOT and Snell approved. I’ll check into those KBC’s. Of course, I still have to go to a local shop and try all of these on, but if I can find something I like that fits me well for around $250-$300 I’ll go with that, otherwise, I don’t really have a problem with spending $400-$450 for a good helmet. I consider it a pretty important piece of gear and would rather spend the extra cash to make sure I’m satisfied with it.
Silent R1, thanks for the tip about the Suomy’s, but I’m not sure if I want to spend that much money right now. If I can’t find anything else, I’ll check them out.

Boots – I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with the Vert 2’s. I’m not sure if I’ll get the Airs or not, still haven’t made up my mind.

Gloves – Thanks for all the tips on going with the gauntlet style rather than just a short glove. I’m thinking about getting the Alpinestars SP-1’s

Jacket and Pants – Well, I’m planning on getting leather, so if it gets too hot, I’ll just deal with it. I was looking at the Alpinestars P1 Jacket and wondering if anyone has any input as to whether this would offer good protection or not.
Another question I have – If I were to get a P1 jacket and some P1 pants, would that be the same as getting a P1 2-piece suit, or is there a difference in how they are made/ zip together? Does the suit offer more protection?

freeride – I don’t mind any suggestions at all. Currently, I’m looking for a used Ninja 500 that’s still in good shape. If I may ask in this particular forum, do you know what the differences between the two bikes are? Would one be better than the other or are they pretty much equally matched?

Thanks for your time and guidance.

· Registered
522 Posts
Get a helmet that fits you, Spidi boots are great (I love my Vertebra II), leather gloves, peforated leather jacket (Teknic, JR, Spidi, A-star, whatever) and pants if you like. Gear is important, but if you ask me as long as you stay with a fairly popular brand, it will protect you. Just remember the more you pay the higher the quality (i.e. triple stitching instead of double stiching in gloves and jackets). I have personally spent as much on gear as I have on my bike. Good luck.
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