View Full Version : Motorcycle Gear
nate el bueno
06-22-2011, 11:17 PM
I bought my first bike the other day and got my M license yesterday. It's a Kawasaki Ninja 250cc (hey, it looks fast...). I use it for a decent commute, about 35 miles. Any gear or other things I should keep my eye out for that experienced people would recommend? I'm currently using a helmet a friend lent to me, and ride in blue jeans. The coworker I bought the bike said he might be able to sell me a jacket for ~50. I'll also try and start using leather gloves if I can find my pair. I'm especially interested in input on a helmet if any can be offered.
06-23-2011, 03:25 AM
Congrats on getting a bike... welcome to the club. :D
I'm glad to hear that you are planning to be safe and wear a helmet, as it just amazes me how many folks don't use them. I wear mine religiously.
As far as gear goes, here is what I'd recommend:
#1 - A helmet (you already know this...) - Personally, I like modular helmets where I can flip up my face shield for when I'm off the bike and I need to speak to someone, like in a store. Many riders on smaller bikes just go for full face helmets, and those are fine, however I just find them somewhat "claustrophobic and confining" for my tastes. As far as brands... on the cheaper end I'd recommend the HJC line. Not so hard on the pocketbook, but fully functional and DOT approved. Of course there are lots of "top end" brands... and if your wallet can afford them there are excellent offerings by Shoei, Shark, Arai, and others...
#2 - a good jacket with armor is highly recommended, especially on a sportbike/crotch rocket. I ride a cruiser, so a lot of people like the leather look, however I go for nylon personally similarly to what a sport biker would wear (it's light, it's airy... and it has decent protection with armored elbows and lower back pads). Good brands abound here... however personally I use Tourmaster currently. Of course there are lots of "higher end" gear here as well. For me, I'm a "basic black" person, however there are lots of colors available in jackets... just remember on a smaller sport bike, you definitely want to wear attention getting colors that will help other motorists see you in traffic. Safety is a number one issue here...
#3 - Gloves. When riding, especially on the cooler days, gloves can be your best friend. Personally I wear gloves with armored knuckles but are still "breathable"... this makes them cool enough to wear in the Summer, however they protect my hands from incoming rocks and bugs that inevitably will hit you when you ride. Also, gloves help you maintain a better grip on the handlebars whereas bare hands might slip from sweat on the throttle/clutch. Of course brands vary wildly... personally I use Cortech gloves, but there are so many good brands out there.
Wearing blue jeans on a bike is fine.. and trust me, you'll want to keep your legs covered as bike engines can get quite hot and burn your bare legs if they accidentally touch hot parts of the motor (bad learning experience there... trust me.)
The number one place I can recommend buying this kind of gear is Revzilla.com http://www.revzilla.com They have free shipping for orders over $39.99 and their prices are pretty much as low as can be expected on most goods... plus they will price match if you can find a lower price on items and they have free "no hassle" returns on most items. I've had VERY good luck with them.
Good luck on your bike and be safe out there on the road! Enjoy the ride!
06-23-2011, 04:28 PM
Congrats on the bike!
Snell approved helmet (most safe, also most expensive)
2nd the jacket w/ armor. I upgraded the armor in my jacket and also bought riding pants (with armor.) You can even buy riding jeans that have extra padding where you need it.
Depending on how much you ride, might consider 2 pairs of gloves. Summer gloves and winter gloves.
I bought my stuff from Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse (http://www.mawonline.com)
I'll have to check out DF's link.
06-23-2011, 10:31 PM
Snell helmets will set you back a bit more...
My only problem with that is... no modular helmet has yet passed Snell standards (due to failure at chin impact testing on Snell's level). Would be nice, but then again, I guess that is the tradeoff... but at least they do give you more "DOT certified" protection than a 3/4 or half helmet I suppose. :D
nate el bueno
06-24-2011, 02:23 AM
DF, thanks for that awesome reply. I'll definitely be checking that stuff out. I'm well versed with the "snell" dilemma. I also like the idea of a modular helmet, but the snell branding is awfully tempting ;) I'm not crazy when I ride, but the accidents that mess you are the ones that aren't foreseen...the car that lane-changes into you, ect. I'll let you guys know what I end up picking.
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