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Motorcycle Paradise

Summer riding gear

After my ‘curling’ experience on the ice in Japan I return to tropics of north east Australia and it is hot and steamy. Packing away my winter gear that served me well overseas I take a moment to examine my summer riding equipment which I use here for most of the year. Is it up to the task should something unexpected happen again?

From the bottom up then. My riding shoes are not really the best solution. I have shorty Alpinestar shoes and Rivers brand leather hiking type boots that I like for summer. Ok I guess but could do better.

Pants. I am going to retire my Alpinestars Jeans. They have knox hard knee armor and inner lining to some areas but they are baggy stunt rider style pants so I feel the armor for knees may move in a tumble. The rest of the pants being jeans I no longer feel is enough. I also have my BMW City pants which have substantial hip and knee padded armor and are fully lined as well as constructed from a blend of material nylon reinforced. I am feeling confident with these still so while not as cool in summer I am going to make theses my only riding pants outside of winter.

I have two summer jackets, an older lightweight Dryrider mesh item and a newer Cortech hybrid mesh/textile/leather jacket. The Dryrider I had already decided to retire after last summer and this check reconfirmed that decision as it is not substantial enough. The Cortech is not nearly as cool in summer but it is fully armored and very sturdy made so I shall see how this goes and if too hot then have to look further.

My gloves are the mesh/synthetic leather summer light weight type that has become common of late. Almost identical to good spec moto-x gloves, which I also have used here for summer. These I feel are a weak point if I compare to my Held gloves that saved my hands in Japan. In comparison they are a bit light weight for the task being mostly a single layer and lacking armor whereas the Held are multi material and multi layer armored items. I am shopping for a new pair already.

Summer helmet is my Nolan and it is ok except the visor so I am ordering a replacement visor in light smoke tint as do not wish to replace either of my helmets just yet being the most expensive things. I will retire the Shark for now. The visor got scratched on one side as well as the front chin air vent was broken in the Japan slide so while it didn’t cop a big knock I will shelve it all the same. Wish there was some upgrade in safety I could achieve with helmets alas they all rely on that little bit of white foam liner to cushion and slow any impact, the technology involved has not advanced in decades.

If the rain stops I will try for a ride Sunday.

4 comments

  1. Good thinking, to check if your current gear needs upgrading. I did the same after my little mishap a while ago. I didn't go down, but the 'what if's' made me decide to purchase new gloves, too. I will also improve the padding/protectors in my current gear.

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  2. Hey, I'm a new rider in the Brisbane area about to purchase my first bike. Definitely 100% on board with getting geared up properly but sort of unsure about how to armor up without roasting myself. Also don't know what the best shops are.

    I didn't even realize you could buy armored / padded pants, which I definitely intend to get now. Thanks for this post. If you do have further advice or tips I'd really love to hear them

    Another question - do they make blinkers / reflectors for helmets, shoulders, knees? It seems like visibility from the side would be a challenge for auto drivers.

    Thanks!

    dfseward at yahoo dot com

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  3. Welcome to the world of Motorcycling!

    I don't find any of the shops much cheaper than the other, if you can find one with a genuine clearance sale then sometimes can get things reasonable that way. There is a warehouse at Yatala that offers limited items discounted (AMA Warehouse) or online try Bike Gear Warehouse or Bike Biz (Just Google em) I often buy from the USA, there are two large stores operating via eBay with cheap postage or Amazon and Revzilla will ship international. Be sure to check the freight as can be steep or try a freight forwarder for them or MOtorcycle Superstore. New Enough has the best reviews and info and also ship abroad but only expensive express post. Make sure you know your size and conversions.

    Plenty of summer rider gear, stuff flows air like wearing nothing. Google 'New Enough' and browse their gear to get an idea of extensive range of summer riding apparel. Get a armored mesh/textile jacket that has water and winter liner and you have a great allrounder to start. I would suggest try the BMW jeans over the Draggins for same price they offer hip and knee armor. Footwear needs to cover ankles, coolmax socks help in summer. Look for summer gloves that are vented yet offer good protection. A highly vented helmet will be cool but noisy, Japan prestige brand does not = better, I find Shark helmets offer a lot for the money, try to skip the Chinese made ones as the seals and visor mechanisms do not last. Finally do not forget sun protection, tinted visor and a buff to stop your neck from being baked red in the aussie sun.

    Buy a white helmet if you want to be more visible day time. (best thing you can do) At night newer motorcycles have side reflectors and many garments have hi-vis stripes or you can easy add hi-vis glow decals to your helmet and bike that are invisible in day and glow white in car headlights. Google and eBay are your friend.

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  4. Thanks for taking the time to answer - this s a great set of advice and would be useful to lots of people I bet. I really appreciate it! Will check out the BMW jeans and the other gear you mentioned, great starting points.

    I'm actually from the states (moved here August) and might actually be able to pick stuff up when I'm home next, though waiting until March could be tough.

    Dan

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