MC Riding Clothing - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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MC Riding Clothing

I recently got my 2012 KLR650 after 15 years of being in-absentia from the motorcycle world. I was just wondering what the new technology has brought into this niche as far as clothing, jackets, skin protection, etc.

When I went to pick up my bike at the dealers last month I noticed that there were some outstanding looking jackets, pricy nevertheless. I also noticed some of the people on this forum riding with similar clothing. I am presently riding with wind-breakers and light protection clothing. For the cold upcoming weather I was planning to use some warm "long-johns", coveralls and a winter jacket. I am trying to keep price at a minimum for the time being.

So now for my question(s):

1. What type or brand should I be looking for as far as price, protection, cooling effect as well as heated jackets. I am sure that there are such things as heated jackets since I read about heated gloves.

2. Does everyone use kidney belts. When I was young I used to be muscular and trim. I usually did not wear a kidney belt. Lately I noticed that some of the bumps on or off road are taking a toll on my body (fat). Do they make kidney belts incorporated into the jacket?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 10:08 AM
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If your looking for features and protection at reasonable prices I would recommend the Tourmaster lineup. Decent quality as well, I really like mine. Right now I'm suffering from a nasty case of road rash though because I wasn't wearing it and I piled up last weekend... Never again will I ride without my gear, ever! Ride safe

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 11:10 AM
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Oh, I was gonna say that Riders Discount is a good place to buy Tourmaster stuff, plus, they're a sponsor here!

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 11:18 AM
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For most of my spring, summer and early fall riding, I wear a mesh jacket that's large enough to put different levels of fleece under it. The inner rain part of the mesh cuts the wind and the fleece, worn under, can be removed when it gets warmer.
I have 2 different fleece. One heavy and one lighter.

High top Steel toe work boots, or you can pay for special riding boots at a preimum cost.

I would like a pair of high tech pants, but for now, I just wear jeans and when it gets colder, I use slip over wind breaker pants.

A pair of leather gloves for summer, and heaver pair for cooler riding.

Some of the newer mesh jackets have 3 layers. These are bulky but you would only need one jacket for 90 % of spring, summer, fall riding.

There's different combinations of features in jackets between the major Mfr's.

Take your time and try on as many different brands as you can before you purchase. Some shops will let you sit on your bike with the jacket on. You may be able to try it on the road if you have a good dealer.

In some jackets you can remove padding, some you can't.
Look for features like, how do cuffs strap up. Do the sleeves adjust.
Try removing and reinstalling the different layers. Some can be very frustrating to use, especially the 3 layer types.
Decide if/what you will be wearing under it before you pick a size.

I can use my mesh ( w/o liner ) up to 90 deg's if I'm moving. Sitting in traffic is another thing.
Every one has different levels of tolerance.

I recently tried on a mesh that had 2 levels of the outer mesh. ( Supposed to be better road rash resistance.) I wore it on a hot day, and found it was hotter than my existing one with only one layer of outer mesh. Must not have as much ability to pass air through it. Something else to consider.

In our local shops, they also carry off brands at a lower cost than major names. I've seen decent mesh jackets for around $100. You could pay as much as $250 for some of the name brands.

The one I've been wearing for a couple of years was $25 when the dealer got a large shipment and sold them at their open house. The jacket is cheap, but it has mesh, padding, and most of the features of higher prices ones.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 12:26 PM
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For me my first consideration is my head. I don't skimp here. Using a Shoei Hornet DS right now and have my eye on a Arai XD-4 next. Regardless of what you get, fit is the most important factor. If it doesn't fit the protection is diminished no matter what brand.

I have two textile jackets with armor neither of which I liked. I was ready to plop down some serious cash on a Vanson and went shopping for it in Dallas. My wife was with me and she pointed out something on the used rack, a Hein Gericke. I thought yeah right, it'll be beat up or not fit and still cost a fortune. It had all the features I wanted in the Vanson, was in great shape, and fit. Perfectly. $200.00 I was very lucky that day. Has cold weather liners and can be used in all but the hottest weather with the venting. Go leather.

I have several pairs of gloves but again fit is important. Mine are all leather. Be sure they have a means to secure at the wrist so they can't come off in a spill.

I have a real problem with riding pants. I just can't find any that are not a PITA to get on and off and therefore have no protection at the shins, knees, and butt other than what a pair of jeans can offer which I know is not much at all. I'm open for suggestions here.

Boots are what I use at work. 6" Red Wings with gore tex liners. I tried a pair of Joe Rocket riding boots. Junk. I'm happy with the Red Wings serving double duty.


Last edited by flash; 08-12-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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MC Riding Clothes


So the following is all news to me and I will check into it. Thanks folks...

Vanson, Hein Gerickle, 1-3 layer mesh, rain / cold weather liners, used equipment...
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 02:35 PM
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I would recommend you go to and look at their clearance stuff. They are good people and they do a review of everything. I get all my stuff there.

I have a Joe Rocket leather jacket and textile with armor. I also have a mesh (I used to have money). I wear kevlar pants usually with armor. Redwing boots. Held Steve gloves (they cost a LOT, but they stop the buying new gloves every six months cycle). Helmets - I have had lots of HJC helmets and liked em all.

Visualize a crash at 70mph. What kind of gear do you want to be wearing. Leather is best.

I just had to do traffic school and the stupid booklet said MC gear should be 'heavy denim'. I was SO pissed.

"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 04:10 PM
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Great vendor with great gear. Every now and then happen to chance a good deal there. Most always the really good deals are on XXXS or XXXL but I always check with them first.

Originally Posted by Lockjaw View Post
I just had to do traffic school and the stupid booklet said MC gear should be 'heavy denim'. I was SO pissed.
Well if you were in traffic school you must be a hooligan. Hence the "heavy denim" directive. Was it also advised to "lay 'er down" to avoid an accident?
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 04:37 PM
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Does anyone have any recommendations for good waterproof wear? I currently wear leather that's not and my commute is increasing in time so am looking for some good waterproof. Don't what material, just protective in a spill and dry. Thanks all.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-12-2012, 05:35 PM
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If you can, patiently wait for an "Almost free" sale. It is what they say it is. For instance, I bought a 150 dollar jacket and got 120 back as store credit. The second order of gloves and pants was pretty much free.

Probably about 145 for joe rocket textile jacket, pants, and gloves. Not bad.

If you go to their website, bottom left says "Join Our mailing list" - do this. They will send you 1 email a week and notify you of the almost free sales whenever they come up.

2006 Red KLR 650

1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

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