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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to fork up the money and get the gear. I'm looking into it and quite frankly am overwhelmed by it all.

My current set up isn't exactly very good and I've been putting off addressing the problem.


I'm usually a $15 pair of jeans and cheap t shirt kind of guy, so this will, by far be the most expensive clothing I'll ever buy. Consequently, I have some requirements...

Some general requirements:
-I would like it to be a good value. Cheap is good, but not at the expense of quality workmanship.
-I want it to last a long time.
-I want to be protected and comfortable.
-I don't really mind being cold as much as I mind being hot.

I drive in the cold and hot (I live in Missouri and drive year round)...~10 - 105 degrees Fahrenheit. I drive in the rain too.

If there exists an all in one solution, great! Though I think I'd prefer multiple suits so they wear more evenly (have a longer life).

So, I think this is a good list of my needs:
-Rain gear
-Cold weather gear
-Warm weather gear
-(It would be nice if the cold and warm weather gear transition to each other some how, perhaps a removable liner) ...heck I could just wear a sweater underneath.
-Boots
-Gloves
-Body Armor?

About the motorcycle body armor...how much does it help? Like can a back brace be the difference between a fractured vertebrae and walking away with some bumps and bruises? Or are they just to prevent bumps and bruises? (I'm completely ignorant about this, take it easy on me. :) )

Basically I'm confused by all the options. I keep looking at retailers and they are trying to sell things...not answer my questions. I don't know much about these things. Anyone have any good resources/suggestions? Is a budget of 300 dollars reasonable?

FWIW, Frog toggs and Nelson Rigg have been recommended to me and seem like a quality value options for rain gear.
 

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Man, good luck sorting through the answers you might get to this question. Whereas the retailers provide too few questions, you're probably going to be overwhelmed by choices here as everybody wears and likes different stuff.

Hopefully you're not cursed with being large, tall and fat. That complicates matters even worse.

If you're of average size, I would recommend narrowing down your list and maybe trying to buy some used gear on Ebay, where you could most likely get high-quality stuff for the same price you're going to pay for something new and of lesser quality.

My gear is kind of a half-assed collection of stuff: some motorcycle-specific, some of it "farm-specific" but I still wear it.

My jacket has "armored panels" in the back and on the arms. I like that it's there, but don't put much faith in it saving me from anything but cuts and road rash.

I use a mesh jacket with a removable liner, but I've heard some say that a solid jacket will actually keep you cooler than a mesh one when it's hot out.

In my opinion, the best way to deal with cold-weather riding is getting outer clothes (jacket and pants) that allow you to layer underneath depending on how cold it is. You don't want them to be too big, but big enough you can layer underneath.

If you order online, be sure to familiarize yourself with their return policy. A lot of places will let you do a free, one-time return in order to exchange for a larger or smaller size. Others don't. You don't want to eat into your clothing budget sending stuff back when it doesn't fit because the sizes on some of this stuff can be way off from what you think you need, even if you use their "measurement charts."

My opinion? Save a large chunk for your gloves and get some high-quality gloves. The last thing you want messed up is your hands and they're likely to bear the brunt of an impact if you try to brace yourself going down. Again, spend money on good, quality, armored-type, abrasion-resistant gloves.
 

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Pretty much all my stuff has come from newenough.com now MCgear.com. Look at their clearance stuff. Find decent stuff cheap. They do a little write up about all the gear. Great folks, too. And the gloves are a good call. I musta bought 20 pair of "cheap" gloves, before I got my Held 2 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.

planalp, I figure that sorting through 5 or 10 varied consumer reviews will give better insight than looking at the website of hundreds of retailers.

A website will never tell you "Oh, our zippers stop working after three months right when your 90 day warranty ends." or "The specifications say 100%, waterproof. Don't believe it!" for instance.

Then there are also small tidbits like what lockjaw said, look for clearance stuff from a reputable dealer.

Also, the advice to check how the companies do returns is a great idea.



One last thing: Is 300 dollars a reasonable budget?
 

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One last thing: Is 300 dollars a reasonable budget?
If you've been looking at gear online, you've probably noticed $300 won't get you too far on the list you noted in your original post.

That's why some of my stuff is from online motorcycle gear retailers and some of it is from Tractor Supply.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you've been looking at gear online, you've probably noticed $300 won't get you too far on the list you noted in your original post.

That's why some of my stuff is from online motorcycle gear retailers and some of it is from Tractor Supply.
....wishful thinking. Suspension of disbelief, ect. lol
 

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....wishful thinking. Suspension of disbelief, ect. lol
If nothing else, do what I did and just pick up what you can as funds are available. Even clearance riding gear costs a lot.

I intended to replace my Carhartt pants with some riding pants and never did and probably never will. I like them and they work well. I suppose dedicated "riding pants" might offer more protection, but the heavy Carhartts with jeans underneath are better than nothing.

I also still wear my Tractor Supply ranch-style Wellington boots when I ride and have no inclination to replace them.

I originally used a standard yellow PVC construction-worker type yellow rain suit. I ordered that online instead of buying it at TS because they don't sell 6x rain suits at TS and it takes a big-ass rain suit to get on over all that other stuff.

I found the jacket worked extremely well, but even the 6x bib-type pants with suspenders were never long enough and I always ripped them. I replaced them with a $30 set of fabric-type rain pants I found on Ebay and liked them so much I also ordered the jacket.

For rain boots I use the standard black rubber buckle-type "overshoes" from TS. Ain't no rain penetrating those things. I was concerned they might be too bulky for the shifter and brake pedals but they're not. When I'm riding, I don't even notice I have them on.

Probably my biggest splurge was a set of those lobster-claw type rain gloves I ordered from some place in New Zealand for $60. They're worth every penny I paid for them. Wet gloves really suck.
 

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This also depends on HOW you are going to ride. When I am commuting in cool/cold weather, I have a one piece Fieldsheer suit that I got online for $199. I treated it with Nikwax wash in water repellant and it is now waterproof (although it is advertised as waterproof, I learned the hard way Fieldsheer stuff is NOT). It has the padding in all the right places, is easy to don and doff, and it was cheap. It is not a good choice if you are going to be riding off road, IMO. For other riding I wear separate pieces. Easier to move around and more comfortable when I go into someplace for lunch.

I use a Frogg Togg suit. I like it, but I don't like the collar area. It doesn't seal tight enough for me.
 

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$300 is reasonable IF you're not counting the helmet in there.
In order to get the best deals you'll have to pay some for shipping as you'll be ordered from multiple sites.
 

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About the motorcycle body armor...how much does it help? Like can a back brace be the difference between a fractured vertebrae and walking away with some bumps and bruises? Or are they just to prevent bumps and bruises? (I'm completely ignorant about this, take it easy on me. :) )

.
Can't speak to the other topics but three weeks ago, the ground came up and knocked me off my bike. hit me in the elbow and shoulder. Right on the pads. Didn't even know my shoulder was bruised until the next day. best $150 I ever spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like some of those tips planalp.

This also depends on HOW you are going to ride. When I am commuting in cool/cold weather, I have a one piece Fieldsheer suit that I got online for $199. I treated it with Nikwax wash in water repellant and it is now waterproof (although it is advertised as waterproof, I learned the hard way Fieldsheer stuff is NOT). It has the padding in all the right places, is easy to don and doff, and it was cheap. It is not a good choice if you are going to be riding off road, IMO. For other riding I wear separate pieces. Easier to move around and more comfortable when I go into someplace for lunch.

I use a Frogg Togg suit. I like it, but I don't like the collar area. It doesn't seal tight enough for me.
I'm thinking I am going to only buy one suit. It'll be a little warm in the summer, but then again, what isn't warm in the summer? I can always buy a mesh jacket later pretty cheap. In the winter I'll just add something underneath.

I'll make sure to look into the flexibility of whatever I buy. The thing I like about the Frogg Toggs or Nelson Riggs is that they are cheap and solve a problem.

$300 is reasonable IF you're not counting the helmet in there.
In order to get the best deals you'll have to pay some for shipping as you'll be ordered from multiple sites.
No helmet. I think I can get some of the prices down if I sacrifice some features here and there.

For someone who is as cheap as me, the shipping goes without saying. I actually have a spreadsheet that has the costs (w/shipping) of different possible combinations from different retailers. I like to do a before and after (Before=first impulse stuff I want to buy, after is my fully optimized gear), and it can be amazing how much money it goes down.

Can't speak to the other topics but three weeks ago, the ground came up and knocked me off my bike. hit me in the elbow and shoulder. Right on the pads. Didn't even know my shoulder was bruised until the next day. best $150 I ever spent.
Cool. Quite a few (All, iirc) of the suits I've looked at have integrated armor. I hope I never need it.
 

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Steferf,

Just adding my two cents. I have had the Sedici Riding pants with armored knee and thighs and the Sedici armored jacket with elbow and back pads. The whole thing can zip together as one or you can wear it in two pieces. The jacket and pants have air vents that allow flow. There is a zip in liner that keeps you warm. It is water proof/resistant. Three quarter length jacket, fits well. Relatively inexpensive. I have had it for over 1.5 years.

Snakeboy66
 

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KLIM @ KLIM.COM or order from tellicomoto.com= try it.. race enduro proven!! for any off-road rideing..
OLYMPIA @ olympiamotosports.com.. for more road ,dual-sport(fire road) riding..
GORTECH GEAR =have water proof jacket from them..

will start by saying: i started out with boots and carharts(paints and jacket) ..did great at first,,, is ok, untill a wreck (off-road big gravel),an yes,, paints not torn,, but i had road rash pretty bad,,elbows brused...also did low side bike and have slid a good 50 feet on pavement with olympia pants,,only to have ass end of pants torn(little).. but no damage, to my thin kitchen pants ,was wearing under them,,or me!!!!

yes ,,depends on rideing style/conditions !!!

yes ,, layering will save you money, and you will be, able to use same gear ALL year,, instead of haveing mesh for hot days ,,but ,, freeze when temp are downs= two pairs for gear..

yes,,you have to keep up with ,,adding a waterproffer/conditioner, to gear as it ages,, or just to make better from start !!!! same as if have any leather boot ,tent ,etc ..you want to keep in good shape..

SO ONLY A GOOD OUTHER ARMORED(jacket/pants combo) OUTER SHELL IS NEEDED!!!!

you can add : water proff ,insulated , and or what ever liner/layer ,, under a good armored outer layer.. Or rain suit/jacket over ,outer layer..
the good companys,do this for you,(olympia, firstgear, fieldsheer, cortech, etc) but at a cost too.. fyi ,,there are a lot of companys that have same/different gear..

any good hiking store,,has better under layers ,, then ANYWHERE ELSE!!

so this gives you,the best layering, possibale!! also lets you pick an choose, brand/items you want..water proof pants with leg zippers(a must for me)!!

so i have KLIM dakar pants, ride in 80+ too -below 32degrees..with same pants just add/subtract, a under layer when need..an do have two jackets ,one insulated water proof gortech (with fullsleave liner) great for those colder rides. other is just a (icon race) vented armored.. one for summer and just carry a $30rain jacket if rains ,or for windbreaker if get chilly..

as for how far it will protect you... one way too find out!!
 

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I'm thinking I am going to only buy one suit. It'll be a little warm in the summer, but then again, what isn't warm in the summer? I can always buy a mesh jacket later pretty cheap. In the winter I'll just add something underneath.
I ride in a Olympia AST jacket year round. Temps range from mid teens to 100+ in dry desert climate. When it's cold I use the liner the jacket came with and an electric liner. I used to pile on the layers and that works but restricts movement and there was always cold sneaking in. When it's hot I have the vents open on the jacket and wear an evaporative vest.

I did have 2-3 jackets before the Olympia that weren't as versatile or the quality of the AST. Would have been cheaper to have bought the Olympia in the first place. So I guess what I'm saying is spend more money initially if you possible can.

I do have 2 pairs of pants, a solid waterproof with a liner for cold and a mesh one for hot. Pants don't have vents like a jacket so can't wear the solid in the hot.

Cool. Quite a few (All, iirc) of the suits I've looked at have integrated armor. I hope I never need it.

There is armor in the jacket and the pants I have but I'm dubious of it staying in place in the event it's needed. The armor is in pockets in the fabric. It's not attached to you like dirt bike armor. Most street armor is soft foam type (not hard plastic) to protect from abrasion more than impact.

A few things I've learned;

I spent a lot of time and money trying to keep my hands warm in the cold, went through several pairs of gloves. The solution for me is grip heaters and bar mitts.

I also went through several pairs of warm weather gloves just wearing them out. Gloves that have fabric in contact areas wear through. I've got about 3 years on Aerostich Elkskin gaunlets and they're still going strong. They are an all leather glove and susprising are not too hot in the summer.

I ride in MX boots. The ankle is hard to repair if damaged. I tipped over one time and had the peg center my ankle bone, didn't hurt. Also I don't see a difference between hitting a rock or a Prius with your foot.
 

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ok
ever try d30 armor?? can buy serperate..

when close to body (heat),,it molds to you =will stay an place ,,, as can add to any jacket/pants that already have armor w/pockets,, add have added them to all my gear,,where possibile even doubleing some areas !!! fyi..
 

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I went down last Halloween doing 75mph...had on my Olympia stuff, and except for broken collar bone, 4 ribs, and all 5 metatarsals in my foot, I faired pretty well. Only about 2" of road rash on one elbow. Had my gear been less robust, I surely would have been killed.

Buy the best stuff you can. Skimp somewhere else.
 

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Man I buy used when I can with exception of the helmet. Craigslist has saved me bookoo bucks when I didn't mind to drive for the right deal. Also, cycle gear runs the occasional unbelievable special. So does Motosport.com.

Heavy denim on the bottom (for me) isn't bad. I keep long sleeves with body armor up top (mine in particular is icon armor, but there are tons of cheaper alternatives that are as good or maybe better). Check out some of the fmf gear. Good entry level stuff and you can upgrade to higher-end in the future.

At any rate, used is nice (with a can of disinfectant spray). Buy a pair of light and heavy gloves if you can; that's the one place it is REALLY nice to have a choice.

Best of luck!
 

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I went down last Halloween doing 75mph...had on my Olympia stuff, and except for broken collar bone, 4 ribs, and all 5 metatarsals in my foot, I faired pretty well. Only about 2" of road rash on one elbow. Had my gear been less robust, I surely would have been killed.

Buy the best stuff you can. Skimp somewhere else.

Sounds like that hurt! Glad you're still around.

People complain about the price of gear and yea good gear costs money but $500 won't even get you a bandaid in the ER.
 

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For cold weather riding, I recommend this suit:
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/1/1/41/21302/ITEM/Nelson-Rigg-Arctic-One-Piece-Insulated-Suit.aspx?WT.ac=SLIsearch

Get a jacket with a removable liner that is large enough to wear over the suit in the case of extreme cold weather. The jacket should also have zippered slots to open in the case it gets a bit warmer than you intended.

A mesh jacket would be my recommendation for warmer weather. You can stay comfortable enough on the highway if it's in the 90's with a good mesh jacket. They also make mesh pants with built-in armor.

Get a separate set of rain gear including jacket, pants, gloves, and boot covers. These can be used over any type of other gear you are wearing if you need them. They can also be used in the event you just need an additional layer between you and the weather.

I think you can do it for under $300 if you are smart about what you buy. Make sure you prioritize your gear. Spend the most on the items you will use the most. Spend the least on the items you will use the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread.

The buying has commenced. I took the advice from Lockjaw, and today my Joe Rocket Jacket arrived in the mail from motorcyclegear.com.

First of all, customer service: Excellent. I asked three questions and got well thought out answers. Big paragraphs - these people took the time to answer the question completely and don't skimp there. Additionally, they take many pictures of all their inventory and do a good job documenting. If the 120 dollar gift card thing goes through (see next paragraph), they will earn a repeat customer.

I was interested in this jacket about a week ago when it was closed out at ~80 dollars. End of last week they started an "Almost Free" sale. You pay 149.99 + Free UPS Ground S&H and get a 120 dollar gift card as a rebate.

In case you can't do math :p that is the equivalent of 39.99 shipped to your door. One small caveat however - you can't use the 120 dollar gift card on your original purchase. So I will buy gloves and a pair of pants from these folks (again free shipping) and make away like a bandit.


http://www.motorcyclegear.com/street/closeouts/textile_jackets_and_pants/joe_rocket/atomic_3_textile_motorcycle_jacket.html

I got the red for added visibility and it matches my KLR. I prefer white, black, or silver, but the added visibility was the deciding factor.

Seriously, if you are looking for gear, this is probably as good of a deal as you'll find.





Nelson Rigg has motorcycle rain gear for cheap, probably go that direction, just a matter of determining which model of their gear I want.

http://www.nelsonrigg.com/store/Apparel.aspx





I'm still conflicted about the boots. I have about a hundred dollar budget here. I'd like a full length MX set up, however my main use of the bike is commuting. I'm a little conflicted here...safety (AND style) vs convenience. Saftey (and style) are great, but if they are sooo inconvenient I skip wearing them here and there, it kinda defeats the point. Rocky mountain is out of stock until the 7th of next month so I have some time to think anyways. I am thinking about these O'Neal pair..


http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/48/-/250/712/-/32734/O%27Neal-Racing-Element-Boots-2012

Decent price, and I like the way they look (the white ones) and customer reviews are positive.

I'll also take the advice for the miscellaneous things here and there from you guys. It looks like I'll hit my 300 dollar budget.

Thanks again everyone for posting, I'll update as more stuff comes in. I'll possibly post a review when the stuff comes in.
 
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