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Discussion Starter #1
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. :rockon
 

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Try on as much as you can. Fit is critical.

Great deals on the web, but if you're totally green you'll get taken for a ride most likely. Stick with the local dealers to start for fitting and advice. No point in me praising a Nankai jacket no one outside of Japan can get.

The higher priced name brand stuff is really worth the jump. You can get good gear without flash but it's still going to be a few bucks.
 

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The Dude abides.
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When I'm at Grange or a smaller track, I'll usually go with a 12/48. But a Willow Or something a little faster, I'll throw on a 46. I have been known to go as low as a 44. I guess it all depends on the track and the speeds attainable...:D
 

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When I'm at Grange or a smaller track, I'll usually go with a 12/48. But a Willow Or something a little faster, I'll throw on a 46. I have been known to go as low as a 44. I guess it all depends on the track and the speeds attainable...:D
:p Thats just what I was thinking...
 

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1) Dont worry about spending too much $$$ on a helmet. Any DOT full face helmet is good. Fit indeed is critical, make sure the helmet feels snug almost a bit too small, it will wear-in nicely. I'd say $200+ is a good range for a helmet. Look into AGV, Shark, Scorpion. Anything above that is definitely better, but for someone on a budget who thinks he might quit, no need to go further than that.

2) Get yourself proper ankle protection. Whatever boots you get, be it motorcycle boots, or just some work boots from Wal-mart, make sure they cover your ankles and feel nice and sturdy.

3) Get some gloves. Road-rash on your hands is a nasty thing. While you can live with road roash about anywher else, having it on your hands will really screw you up and prevent you from being able to work. Any decent leather gloves meant for riding street bikes will do. Just make sure that they have some padding on your knuckles, wrist and forearm. Dont skimp out on gloves. Firstgear, joe rocket, icon and alpinestars all make decent gloves.

4) When it comes to protecting your arms and chest, a proper textile jacket is a a good place to start. If you live in the warmer climates, get a perforated one. Once again Firstgear, Icon, Alpinestars and Joe Rocket make rather good ones.

5) Jeans dont do jack shit. When you fall, they pretty much disintegrate. At the same time, road rash on your legs is something that you can deal with. If you strapped for cash, wear jeans. If you can afford it, buy some cordura pants.

Leathers are king, but obviously cost $$$$.

Here are the links to some online stores that i have dealt with that have excellent pricing:

Motorcycle Helmets and Motorcycle Accessories at Motorcycle Superstore
New Enough Motorcycle Apparel sells motorcycle jackets, pants and suits, boots, gloves, helmets, etc :: New Enough Motorcycle Apparel


Check out cycle gear, they have many outlets across the US and offer decent prices:

Cycle Gear - Motorcycle Apparel, Parts and Accessories

Cheers.
 

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Panigaliscious
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You'll need some cool shades, if you are riding Kawasaki get the kind Hacking wears.

Coordinating the flip-flops with your Bermuda shorts is highly recommended as well. Hippie leather sandals are probably overkill, but to each his own.

I prefer A&F T-shirts for upper body coverage, but to each his own.
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Just kidding, jbraslins post pretty much covers it.

I would only add that you can now buy specialty jeans with Kevlar woven into the denim (much more protection than plain denim I assume). While not leather or full Kevlar obviously, they are probably easier to deal with if you actually have to do anything before or after the ride and don't want to look like a racerboy.

20 years ago one of the print mags did a skid test on how long different materials lasted in a simulated road rash situation. Denim was about 3 feet and then skin on pavement.
 

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V4 CyclePath...
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What about gloves?
Put the glove on and go grab a handlebar... the palm should make a
comfortable pocket with no wrinkles...

Jacket???
You want a Jacket that is cut in the basic shape of a rider sitting on the
bike with arms bent... the cheaper the jacket the less it's cut into this
shape... Jackets with straight arms cost less but you fight to bend the
leather into the riding shape...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
20 years ago one of the print mags did a skid test on how long different materials lasted in a simulated road rash situation. Denim was about 3 feet and then skin on pavement.
Seriously?!? Dang - that's kinda freaky! If standard denim lasts 3 feet, I imagine some good ol' Carhart work jeans would last - what - maybe 5 feet? I guess some riding pants would be in order then...

3 feet... wow... :eek:
 

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Panigaliscious
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They took a weighted sled with a patch of test material on the bottom, and dropped it off the back of a pickup and dragged it, travelling at a fixed speed. IIRC the weight was to simulate a rider landing on his butt and sliding. they would measure the distance somehow before the material was worn through or shredded, I don't remember how.

The 3 feet has always stuck in my mind as amazingly bad though. They tested several materials, but denim was the worst and full-grain leather used in leathers was almost as good as Kevlar at the top. Interestingly the "fashion grade" leather that is very thin provided surprisingly little protection, but I don't remember exact numbers for it.
 

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I'm going to contradict with the boots here. Get soft boots as heavily armored boots will be very difficult to learn to shift with. Side protection is good, but you need boots that you can flex and extend your ankles in easily. Check that little sticky that says "so you wanna be a motorcyclist" also.
 
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