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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, new rider here. Just took my second MSF course and will hopefully be buying a motorcycle in the next 6 months, so I had some gear questions. I'm very much planning on getting some full torso body armor to go underneath a riding jacket. I know there's a ton of different types out there, but in general, is it at all possible to store the armor in a backpack or saddlebag if I was out and decided to stop at a restaurant etc? I'd be fine walking in somewhere to run a quick errand wearing all that stuff, but was curious to hear anyone's personal experience with removing all their gear and not carrying it around with them through Applebees. I was originally just going to go with a good jacket with CE padding, but after watching a kid at the course flip on the high-side and hit the ground sliding while only going 20mph, I have updated my decision to include actual body armor.
 

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Not sure how much extra protection for the extra hassle and possible discomfort of wearing dirt bike type armor under a jacket would provide.

I bought one of these a couple of months back, airbag vests are based on racing technology - if not a requirement, I would say most pros wear suits with internal airbags.




For me, one of the worst outcomes after a crash would be a severe spinal injury / paralysis. Airback vests provide several times the magnitude of protection for your spine than a simple CE armor pad in your jacket (which I also wear). The collar of the vest also inflates making it less likely to sustain a cervical/neck spinal injury.

Call me a nerd if you want, I'm too old to care about looking "cool".
Same reason I occasionally wear a Fannie pack when out and about. (to the eternal chagrin of my wife....)
 

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Ace Tuner
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Call me a nerd if you want, I'm too old to care about looking "cool".
Same reason I occasionally wear a Fannie pack when out and about. (to the eternal chagrin of my wife....)
Just tell everybody that's where you pack your 45... They'll leave you alone. (You don't have to tell them it's $45) :giggle:

S F
 

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Not sure how much extra protection for the extra hassle and possible discomfort of wearing dirt bike type armor under a jacket would provide.

I bought one of these a couple of months back, airbag vests are based on racing technology - if not a requirement, I would say most pros wear suits with internal airbags.




For me, one of the worst outcomes after a crash would be a severe spinal injury / paralysis. Airback vests provide several times the magnitude of protection for your spine than a simple CE armor pad in your jacket (which I also wear). The collar of the vest also inflates making it less likely to sustain a cervical/neck spinal injury.

Call me a nerd if you want, I'm too old to care about looking "cool".
Same reason I occasionally wear a Fannie pack when out and about. (to the eternal chagrin of my wife....)
Yup, the recent MotoGP race in Austin had at least one serious crash that proved just how well these airbag suits work. Two riders could very well have been paralyzed if not dead. They work great and the cost keeps dropping yearly. Or it has been until product shortages became the new normal.
 
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Yup, the recent MotoGP race in Austin had at least one serious crash that proved just how well these airbag suits work. Two riders could very well have been paralyzed if not dead. They work great and the cost keeps dropping yearly. Or it has been until product shortages became the new normal.
Used to follow motorcycle racing - motocross and road racing - a lot more in the 80's and 90's. Still remember when David Bailey and Wayne Rainey become paraplegics after crashes. Both were world champions and at the top of their respective games - unbelievably tragic end to their careers.

There are some good vids on youtube of racers crashing and their airbag suits deploying, and they get up and walk away. First vid below is Marc Marquez having a nasty high side crash, you can see the airbag deploy: (edit to add - gotta click the link to watch on youtube)


 

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I use a vented riding jacket. I simply take it in with me. In a resturant, I put it on the back of a chair or in a chair beside me along with my helmet and gloves. I zip my gps into one of the pockets so it isn't left for anyone to walk away with. Most tables are for 4 so there's room. In a bigger store I'll put it in a shopping cart. If I'm doing bigger shopping, I don't ride because whatever you shop for you will need a place to carry it away. I have a gun cable lock that I will lock my helmet to the bike with so I don't have to carry it, like if I ride to a music event but I'll just carry my jacket. The hotter time is when you don't like carrying it. The cooler days I just wear my jacket as a jacket. Dealing with gear is just part of riding that you don't normally think about in a car. It really hasn't been that big of an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well those look pretty amazing! Definitely worth checking into. I'm 38 and have never had a desire to look cool, as I was planning on throwing a hi-vis vest over everything with a bright yellow helmet. The price is pretty steep for me at this time for me but I for sure hope to get one in the near future. In retrospect I'm starting to come to the smart side and realize just getting a good quality jacket with CE2 armor included is probably the best way to go, as I won't be doing much trail rides quite yet (getting a dual sport, but northern Illinois has little to offer less than 2hrs away). I can always upgrade the armor as time goes on, and being a new rider, I'm going to figure out things as I progress and probably shouldn't immediately get things that I think I might need but not sure if I do, like a body armor suit.
 

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Cycle Cruza on YouTube swears by them. You can watch his channel for his review. The one he shows is kinda pricey. I can see where forgetting to unhook the lanyard would set it off. That would blow...LOL. You can replace the gas cartridge in them. I have a high vis vest from Walmart in the guys work clothes section. My bike is black and my jacket and helmet is black so I'll throw it over my jacket when rinding in early to work.
 

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I can see where forgetting to unhook the lanyard would set it off. That would blow...LOL. You can replace the gas cartridge in them.
I’ve forgotten several times. It takes about 60 lbs of pulling pressure to activate, so each time I’ve felt the tug and unhooked then. Has happened enough times that I usually remember now. Just as easy to forget to replug back in after stopping somewhere. Have had to pull over to plug in the lanyard several times. Tough to do with gloves on while the bike is moving.
 

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Well those look pretty amazing! Definitely worth checking into. I'm 38 and have never had a desire to look cool, as I was planning on throwing a hi-vis vest over everything with a bright yellow helmet. The price is pretty steep for me at this time for me but I for sure hope to get one in the near future. In retrospect I'm starting to come to the smart side and realize just getting a good quality jacket with CE2 armor included is probably the best way to go, as I won't be doing much trail rides quite yet (getting a dual sport, but northern Illinois has little to offer less than 2hrs away). I can always upgrade the armor as time goes on, and being a new rider, I'm going to figure out things as I progress and probably shouldn't immediately get things that I think I might need but not sure if I do, like a body armor suit.

Sounds like a good plan.

I would suggest starting now and checking Craigslist and eBay. Check the For Sale - Motorcycle Parts and Accessories section. I have picked up several nice riding jackets and pants that way for pennies on the dollar. Guys get out of riding or get a new jacket or new bike and their old jacket doesn’t match etc and sell their old one cheap. A couple of the leather jackets I bought cheaply are hardly worn the leather isn’t even broken in - and I got them for anywhere from $80-150, and these are $400 jackets when new! Most came with CE level 1 armor which I upgraded to level 2.
 

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suggest starting now and checking Craigslist and eBay

Thats probabyl not a bad idea. I actully have a $600 super nice leather harley winter jacket someone gave me just because he got a new one. And this guy rides maybe twice a year and it's not in winter so I don't think he ever used it. I had forgotten about that jacket till now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess the next question I'm running into, what are anyone's thoughts on A) buying a cheaper jacket like the $60-80 Alpha or HWK ones on amazon and then upgrading all the armor, or B) buying a better $200 jacket and upgrade the armor as needed? Many of those mid-range jackets seem to not come with back padding.
 

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I guess the next question I'm running into, what are anyone's thoughts on A) buying a cheaper jacket like the $60-80 Alpha or HWK ones on amazon and then upgrading all the armor, or B) buying a better $200 jacket and upgrade the armor as needed? Many of those mid-range jackets seem to not come with back padding.
Have several sets of this level 2 CE armor I’ve been happy with. Level 2 CE Approved Armor pads... Amazon.com: Level 2 CE Approved Armor pads set by Zara leather l Level 2 CE Approved Back, Shoulder And Elbows protector for Motorcycle Jackets l CE level 2 armor pads biker gears. : Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

Also got this lightweight mesh jacket on Amazon. I like to wear leather but once it’s over 80 degrees this works well. So I would say a cheaper Amazon jacket probably isn’t a bad thing.

Vance Advance Lightweight Mens All Weather Season CE Armor Mesh Motorcycle Jacket (Hi-Viz Green, M) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086H5NWM4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_GN0C9RMZWW2C56F5055N
 

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Regardless of the direction you guy, you can just buy a decent cable lock and lock it all through the sleeve/leg, and your helmet, to your bike. Taking your gear in a restaurant isn't a big deal, but if you're going on a walkabout like a fair or something, you probably don't want to lug all that around.
 

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I've never thought about locking my jacket. I just might start doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have several sets of this level 2 CE armor I’ve been happy with. Level 2 CE Approved Armor pads... Amazon.com: Level 2 CE Approved Armor pads set by Zara leather l Level 2 CE Approved Back, Shoulder And Elbows protector for Motorcycle Jackets l CE level 2 armor pads biker gears. : Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

Also got this lightweight mesh jacket on Amazon. I like to wear leather but once it’s over 80 degrees this works well. So I would say a cheaper Amazon jacket probably isn’t a bad thing.

Vance Advance Lightweight Mens All Weather Season CE Armor Mesh Motorcycle Jacket (Hi-Viz Green, M) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086H5NWM4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_GN0C9RMZWW2C56F5055N
Coincidentally I already had both of those saved to a list! Good to know someone else out there agrees.

Well not to beat a dead horse, sounds like I got the help that I was looking for, and a good cable lock for even the jacket is a great idea I'm going to follow through with. Thank you all so much for your thoughts!
 

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Is the black padding basically worthless. Reason I ask is I had removed some that is black and it has just been sitting out in my shop. I went to put it back in and it just crumbled. So does this stuff have a shelf-life. Now it sat out for at least 5 years. I was just surprised to see it crumble. Now I’m wondering if the orange color stuff is better because the back protector I have is just as old and it is fine. Sat out the same amount of time.
 

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Is the black padding basically worthless. Reason I ask is I had removed some that is black and it has just been sitting out in my shop. I went to put it back in and it just crumbled. So does this stuff have a shelf-life. Now it sat out for at least 5 years. I was just surprised to see it crumble. Now I’m wondering if the orange color stuff is better because the back protector I have is just as old and it is fine. Sat out the same amount of time.
Yeah, the black stuff is just Styrofoam for all intents and purposes. CE approved armor is what you want to replace that black stuff with. Short answer. You can google CE armor to get full disclosure.
 
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