I'm a newby hoping to purchase my first bike this year, but trying to do my due-diligence prior to the bike purchase to make sure I purchase the proper gear. Having never owned a bike before I really don't know the last thing about what brands of helmets are preferred, what's considered standard for jackets, boots, etc...
I'm hoping to purchase a sport bike such as a Ninja 250 as a starter, but don't want to end up sinking tons of money into gear only to potentially find out that motorcycles just aren't for me. The bike can always be re-sold, but I don't imagine a lot of people wanting to buy used gear. That being considered, what's the bare minimum to look for in a helmet besides just the fit/comfort of it and the Snell certification? For the record, I know I'd want full-face protection with a visor that fully sheilds my eyes. I come from a bicycle racing background and so I totally understand that there are cheap helmets that are cheap for a reason. I don't want to buy junk just because it's cheap and because I'd suffer a minimum of a hit on my pocket book in the event that I don't dig motorcycles. Conversely, I don't want to sink precious funds into a top of the line helmet when I'm still a noob with no REAL idea if I'm going to be sticking with this long-term.
What about gloves? I've seen some with carbon knuckle protectors but wonder if that's not just for the bling factor? I'm not terribly interested in that, but again, coming from the bicycle racing background, I totally know and understand the need for protection. Is that really much of a necessity?
Boots - just shoot for comfort and insulation - or more?
Jacket - are there different thicknesses of leather to generally consider, and if so, is there generally a minimum recommendation for it? Insulation there is obviously a factor, too, but I wouldn't want to get a jacket that I wear in July that doesn't make my intestines back in the summer sun, but sacrifices in the durability department if I went down. Is any ol' jacket from a reputable cycle shop generally going to be worthwhile?
I'm 29, father of 2 (3 in October), full-time professional, home owner, etc., and so I'm not a punk kid looking for high-speed thrills. I like speed like everyone else, but not in a reckless way, considering I'd be sharing the road with a bunch of people busy talking on their cell phones and such. My bike will also likely be my primary commuter, and so long-term durability is also a consideration for me.
Thanks for [hopefully] tollerating the noob questions and for your help.