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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys I'm new to motorcycles and while I don't own a bike yet I'm focusing on acquiring all the appropriate gear before I take that step. Helmet, jacket, gloves, pants, boots... I understand the need for those but I'm getting a bit confused on the additional armor options available such as armor vests, back protectors, elbow guards, knee braces, etc. Most jackets and pants that I've looked at already have armor embedded (ex. AGV Sport Dragon Leather Jacket). Are these other options supplemental and can work with the embedded armor or are they for completely different riding styles/ situations? I'm interested in sport/ sport touring bikes if that helps.

Any advice is appreciated!
 

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Welcome from rainy Seattle!!!

I wear a good helmet, gloves with reinforced knuckles, a jacket with armor in the shoulders and elbows, riding shoes that have reinforced toes and armor in the ankles, and Kevlar riding jeans. I could armor up a lot more for sure. If you want the ultimate you can get vests that are an airbag that inflate and basically envelope you in a big bubble on impact. But I crashed pretty good about 3 years ago in gear similar to what I am currently wearing, and I don't believe more gear would have changed the outcome.
 

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Let’s face it........even wearing all the gear available, you can still DIE. The idea is to be safe in your actions and choices.

Every bit of protection you wear.......helps, of course, but you are exposed and vulnerable.

The risk is still there, in other words. You are (like the rest of us) just trying to minimize the amount of resultant damage.
 

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Are these other options supplemental and can work with the embedded armor or are they for completely different riding styles/ situations? I'm interested in sport/ sport touring bikes if that helps.

Any advice is appreciated!
Yes... to all those questions! Most of those options are supplemental if you have your major areas covered, i.e. back, joints, hands, feet, and head but you certainly could wear an armored vest under your jacket or wear shin guards under armored pants/jeans. Some equipment is designed for specific riding situations, i.e. motocross boots are tough as hell but you would be miserable riding a sport bike with them! It's really what you are comfortable with, physically and mentally. More gear usually (but not always) equates to less physical comfort on the bike. I've taken a few very short rides wearing a t-shirt and jeans with my helmet, gloves, and boots. It felt great physically but not mentally so it is a trade-off...
 

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I go with a good 3/4 helmet or 1/2 a skid lid when it's really hot, heavy jeans and work boots 6 inches over ankle bone and
gauntlet style gloves, goggles too. This is for regular street riding on either the Snorty (Sporty)1200 or the Wide Glide.
Also as much as I like to wear black or dark color shirts, I like better wearing a bright orange or yellow shirt for visibility.

Soupy57 is very right though when he says, "Let’s face it........even wearing all the gear available, you can still DIE. The idea
is to be safe in your actions and choices. "

I wear the same when I practice Motorman's ride like a pro skills in a parking lot that has NO access to cars on the week-ends
and I am noted for saying, " The BEST safety device a biker has, is inside the SKULL."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. My main concern is abrasion resistance and impact reduction. Right know im looking at 2-piece leathers, which will be hot at times but offers better abrasion resistance from what I've learned. Several of the leather pants ive viewed offer D3O inserts on the joints which should help with the impact reduction to a degree. Not cheap gear by any means.

Side question, are 2-piece pants and jackets interchangable between brands? If i have a leather jacket from brand A, would a pant from brand B zip to it (leather or textile)?
 

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Many two piece sets include loops or a zipper that is universal in dimensions so that the various top and bottom bits can secure to one another.

I wear textile gear, these days. Leather is the ultimate for abrasion resistance, it is true, but it also gets heavy and dyes your skin when it gets wet, takes for ever to dry, and sucks to wear when soggy.

Gear should reflect your riding. Going to track day on your supersport? Think about a high end ($2k+), all leather riding suit with back protection/anti-whiplash hump at the rear, and rigid armor practically everywhere. Ankle-locking riding boots. Gauntlet cloves with rigid armor. FF helmet with emergency loops on the cheek pads. You will need it all when sliding/tumbling at 170mph.

Riding conservatively on the street? Less may be suitable. I wear a white FF lid with reflective stripes, riding pants, light riding jacket with D3O armor and 3M reflective stuff, racing style gloves, and TCX Hero riding boots which are super comfortable, look great, and offer -enough- protection for my peace of mind.

Rode for years with just regular jeans instead of riding pants. Would have sucked in a slide, but I didn't have comfortable riding pants. Pants have gotten tons better and cheaper than just a few years ago.

High-vis is a no brainer. No idea why the "stealth" look is being pushed by gear companies, when we all want others to see us!

There are some good videos on Youtube about good beginner gear that is budget friendly. FortNine is a good place to start. He is willing to trash products that don't cut the mustard.

YMMV
 

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Be visible, or "cool"; you can be Cool and Visible. :)

High-vis is a no brainer. No idea why the "stealth" look is being pushed by gear companies, when we all want others to see us!

YMMV
I agree wholeheartedly about being visible. I choose to wear Fox's dirt gear for top side protection at all times. I have an oversized coat for when it's cold which fits over it just right so that I don't become a wind sail, but it was HARD to find in white. It's mostly available in black.

I got it because everyone else barely protected shoulders and maybe elbows in gear which sure seemed flimsy to me.

I like having very complete torso and arm protection. Sure it doesn't protect the insides of my arms but hopefully one would slide on the outside of your arms. Includes forearm protection, not just shoulder and elbow.

It's pretty cool too so heat can't be an excuse not to wear it. Has massive back protection...not sure if that works always riding with a big back pack...I'm probably safer without the backpack but how else can I carry stuff?? LOL My motorcycle has zero storage - dual sport...well "zero". It comes with a tiny tool bag which has worked great for straitening up mirrors and things after taking a dump on it on trails. I've even used it to install a new break lever, but I digress...lol:grin:
 

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Thick enough leather is hard to find - I ended up with Plastic, say what!?

Thanks for the info. My main concern is abrasion resistance and impact reduction. Right know im looking at 2-piece leathers, which will be hot at times but offers better abrasion resistance from what I've learned. Several of the leather pants ive viewed offer D3O inserts on the joints which should help with the impact reduction to a degree. Not cheap gear by any means.
I do think leather has better abrasion protection but...

Big BUT. I was an internet marketing mentor about 11 years ago or so. One of my clients was working to make a website to sale riding gear.

He said that all kinds of people talk about how good leather is, but then they buy this thinned out useless stuff. He said if you want it to work it'd better be thick! He said most company's sale you thin stuff and won't even admit how thin it is online.

If they won't say how thick it is, assume it's thin, pass, and move on to the next stuff which might offer you some real protection.

I looked high and low and couldn't find good leather like that, but I was able to find that Fox gear which is made of ballistic plastic. I've fallen over on dirt trails a lot. It's where I learned to ride first. It sure hurt less after I bought good armor, lol. I think I liked the armor so much that by the time I bought it, I pretty much was done falling over! Can't wreck $200+ gear right? LOL :coffeescreen:
 

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High-vis is a no brainer. No idea why the "stealth" look is being pushed by gear companies, when we all want others to see us!
Black has always been the traditional color of Bikers. It had nothing to do with looking cool, but was much better at not showing bugs, grease, oil, sweat and road stains.
 

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With so many drivers staring at their laps or out into the void, I suspect that the colors we wear has a minimal effect on our safety. Could it help? Of course, but I simply do not like hi-vis coloring and am willing to put my trust in my lights, reflectors, armored parts, and situational awareness...
 

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OP you should get as much armor as you can afford. While a crash is not inevitable you should be prepared nonetheless.

Look, some people do not wear anything and make fun of those of us who do. My mother was a OR/ER nurse, my sister is a doctor, my wife is RT and they see the results of motorcycle crashes every day and the difference that armor can make.

Anything less than a full face DOT approved helmet is probably less than ideal as it leaves most of your head unprotected. I have heard all the anti-helmet arguments and all those against full face helmets and I am not buying any of it.

There are inflatable vests now, like an airbag, and I will be investing in one very soon. You will need a summer jacket and a winter or at least a three season jacket. Gloves and leather shoes. I use Doc Martin Chelsa boots and they are not motorcycle specific. Gloves with leather palms and some knuckle protection are an absolute must. Get some Kevlar lined jeans. I just got some Draggin Jeans, the USA ones, fit great. Me-5-11, 155 pounds, I got the comfort slim fit. The comfort part is they have stretch in them. The denim though was only 12.5 once instead of the non stretch at 14 once.

Most jackets have armor in them, most riding pants, have places to insert armor. I may not always ride with the armor in the pants but you dang sure bet I have a full face helmet, gloves and jacket with armor.

Yes, I have been down on the ground numerous times. I prefer to avoid that if at all possible again.My helmets and gear, each time, prevented serious and painful injury.

3C
 

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I brought my gear about a year before i got my bike. I have a helmet, jacket, gloves, motorcycle denim jeans with kevlar lined for abrasion resistance for the butt cheeks, pocket inserts for hips and knees. Also i grabbed a reflective jacket to put over the jacket.

What it comes down to it it is all about a trade off between comfort and safety. I personally forgo some comforts for added protection. All in all make sure whether u wear protection all the time or not, that your able to safely manever the bike when u need to.

I brought back, knee and hip protection from AMAZON.COM. Get the basics: back, knees, hip and shoulder and leather boots and youll be good. I got boots from the local harley davidson store and they work well with my ninja.


Gear will burn a hole in your pocket, so piecemeal it - pick up a.jacket one day and boots another. That way u wont spend so much at once.

Point to be made... if ur going to invest in protection, WEAR IT! Its only going to protect u in an accident, if its on you, not sitting at home.

I hope this helps ?
 

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Buy a bike with a side car that WON’T fall over!!

You can still get HIT, and you can still run INTO stuff, but you have drastically reduced your odds of personal harm!!
 

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I have to wear a high vis vest at work, I normally wear a black jacket when riding ( though my helmet is yellow) but a couple if times I wore my vest on top of my jacket as a good way to carry it home or back to work. I noticed that people definitely seem to be more aware of me, I noticed them looking at me on the road. Maybe they were laughing at the dork with the bright yellow and orange vest on but they did see me for sure!

I ride a lot at night, I have bright LED headlights and LEDS all over my commuting bike, they do help a lot!

With so many drivers staring at their laps or out into the void, I suspect that the colors we wear has a minimal effect on our safety. Could it help? Of course, but I simply do not like hi-vis coloring and am willing to put my trust in my lights, reflectors, armored parts, and situational awareness...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the info guys! So far I have a leather jacket, gloves, and helmet with boots on the way. Just need to splurge on some type of pants. I’ve been looking at Alpinestars Missile Airflow pants. Probably more than I need but I’d rather be prepared.
 

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I wear Draggin Jeans. They are Kevlar lined denim, I get them on Ebay for $60 to $90, a lot of times I find them lightly used in great condition. When I wrecked 3 years ago I went highside and slid to a stop on new blacktop. I came out with zero road rash below the waist. I did have one scrape on my back where my jacket rode up and my skin was exposed. They are pretty comfortable and I feel safe in them.
 
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