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Motorcycle gear questions....

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by Dave328, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Dave328

    Dave328 Formula 3

    Nov 24, 2002
    2,133
    New Orleans
    Full Name:
    Dave
    I didn't want to hijack Uro's Duc thread so.......

    I'm getting ready to order my first bike next week. Duc Monster S2R. So I'm looking at helmets and jackets now. So far I've come up with a Shoei X-11 helmet and either Alpinestars or Joe Rocket leather jacket(w/armor etc). Anybody have experience with these? Any better ideas? Cost really isn't a concern since it is my life they'll be protecting!;) But then again the more expensive brain bucket isn't necessarily the best.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
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  3. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    Having recently gone down, I can speak from my experience-

    My head bonked once- Arai RX7 or whatever helmet- no problemo. Worth every penny and light, comfy. Will replace with same or better. Arai v. Shoei is a fit issue- I find the Arai more comfortable but own helmets, car and bike, from both companies and then some.

    Leather Jacket w/Armor- both are reputable brands- I was wearing a Vanson perf leather when i went down. Because there was no shoulder armor, i took the brunt of the impact, but i'm not sure having armor there would have made any difference- the blunt force would have probably been the same.

    Boots- Good boots a must- not just for protection, but for control and feel. The Daytona Winner is a great not super expensive sport boot. Other reputable brands too.

    Gloves- I didn't appreciate why some of my gloves had a gauntlet, and others were shorties. The gauntlet saved my wrist area from abrasion, although the get off damaged my nice Panerai watch (which was still ticking but bruised- but mywrist was fine).

    Leather Pants- I've got all kinds of moto pants, from Kevlar draggin jeans and BMW all weather, to Joe Rocket perf synth. fabric, to Dainese racing leathers with hard armor. The latter are the only things i feel really safe in- i didn't skid much when i went down, but these suckers probably would have protected me if i had. They are tight, hot and not cheap.

    Once you buy this stuff, wear it. I would have been more messed up without it, and helmetwise, probably dead or seriously mind-****ed.
     
  4. Goose

    Goose Karting

    Nov 10, 2004
    241
    Kent, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Check out Dainese gear, If price isn't a concern. It's Italian ;).
     
  5. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    My recommendations...

    Helmet - I have used HJC, Shoei, Arai. My current fav is an Arai Quantum which is light and fits me nice. Lighter almost always means more wind noise but I will take noise fatigue over weight fatigue anyday. You can always wear earplugs. For a helmet that looks cool and has great reviews, check out Vemar.

    http://www.helmetharbor.com/streethelmets/helmets/vemar/opening.htm

    They have an awesome looking carbon fiber super light helmet that got great reviews. They are selling off their stock and pulling out of the US market so you can get these $900 helmets for $300. Check around or check eBay.


    Jacket - VANSON all the way. The synthetic materials do not compare to leather IMO and in my experience. I've gone down with synthetics and they do not hold up as well, and I have heard that from others too. Vanson is a premium product at a premium price but it's premium quality too.


    Pants - I like Draggin Jeans. They look just like regular jeans but they have reinforcement inside. They are the best thing next to a leather race suit. I used 'em for commuting.


    Boots - my personal choice is Sidi. I have Sidi Vertebra boots with reinforced metal parts that constrain your joint movement. After suffering a dislocated ankle with a compound fracture of the ball socket with an exposed fibula, I would always wear a boot that protects the ankle joint and constrains its motion to prevent dislocation. That accident HURT like a mofo!


    Gloves - dont have a specific brand but gauntlets all the way with wrist coverage is a must - as well they must secure well without too much play. I have a nice scar on my left hand that is the exact shape of a Movado watch I was wearing when I went down. The watch caught the tarmac and took the skin off where the watch was.

    The most important thing to wear is a helmet, followed very closely by boots and gloves and a jacket. The legwear is the last thing to worry about.

    The S2R is a pretty big bike for a first bike, IMO its too much. I would be VERY careful on it. Take the MSF course at all costs.

    As for Dianese gear, its got the rep of a premium product but in all tests I have seen it has come up short. Just my .02
     
  6. Dave328

    Dave328 Formula 3

    Nov 24, 2002
    2,133
    New Orleans
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I honestly had not put that much value on footwear, but I will now. Thanks Mike. And, yes, I do plan on taking the State safety course before I hit the streets! As for the S2R being too big, I was a little concerned about that as well. I am a ,<ahem>, shall we say, "bigger guy" at 6' 220# and was also concerned about outgrowing a much smaller bike way too quickly. My plan is to pretty much ride like a grandma for as long as it takes to get completely comfortable. Just call me "Mr Chicken Strip" :D

    Dave
     
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  8. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
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    Herr Prof.
    Dave- I'm sizeable also, and the Monster is not that big a bike physically. It's quick though, and that's what Mike is talking about, i think- while i haven't owned the exact model you are thinking of buying, my 750 Monster was probably similar in size and performance. The bike is light, and quick and the throttle, at least on mine, was pretty binary- on/off. Also, the steering is quick because there is no rake, so it could bite you if you don't know what you are doing.
    Funny, I learned on my MOnster, never having owned or ridden before that (and having taken the MSF course as my only real bike experience). I found it to be a great and easy bike to learn on- subject to what's said above. Also, it is fatiguing to ride if you are physically large.
    Oh, and not to sound like a 'grandma' but its the time when you feel 'comfortable' that you've got to be careful most. There is this tension between riding with a bit of an edge and feeling into it 100%. I love the feeling of being one with the machine- swooping, leaning, accelerating. But, when you gain that confidence, you might not be as cautious. ON the other hand, riding tentatively, and hestitantly, is more dangerous- your motions are not as fluid, and you will be stiff, rather than working with the machine. So, it's a real art to balance this. At least in my experience.
     
  9. DMOORE

    DMOORE Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2005
    1,712
    San Diego
    Full Name:
    Darrell
    WHART had a lot of good points. As far as helmets go , if you want something quiet, go with a Shoe or AGV. Shoe has a pattented winshield design witch sits flush on the helmet,no overlapping plastic securing plates, this is what causes most of the noise.AGV licenses this same system.
    Also do a search of Motorcyclist mag. They did a Very informative scientific study on motorcycle helmets. Very suprising results, a lot of the BIG name companies (Arai just to name one) did not do as well as some $ 120 helmets.
    The reason was they were too hard, and therefore transmitted too much energy into the head. Infact they bashed the SNELL rating ,stating it was causing the manufactures to design helmets that were too stiff.
    I would recomend anyone who is looking to purchase a new cycle helmet to read this article. It was an eye-opener to me.
    Darrell.
     
  10. docdavid

    docdavid Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2004
    384
    Toronto/K-W
    Full Name:
    Mike D
    Dave,

    I went through this same process a few months ago and recieved some great advice from F-chat members, (im not being a 'search the archives' baby)

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60092

    I went with Alpinestars leather jacket and gloves, and alpinestars synth. pants and full height boots and have been very pleased with all of them.
    like Whart said, wear as much gear as you can, dosent do you anygood if your not wearing it.

    I have pretty limited experience, but have seen the benefits of full height/length boots/gloves, the extra protection makes a differance, thats why its there.
     
  11. Dave328

    Dave328 Formula 3

    Nov 24, 2002
    2,133
    New Orleans
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Thanks for all the input guys! Especially Darrell. I read that article and was awestruck. I can't believe SNELL's response! I tried on both an RX-7 and Quantum II from Arai and the X-11 from Shoei. Both fit fine but I'm told the Arai is comparatively quieter than the Shoei. But after reading the Motorcyclist article it seems a Euro-DOT spec helmet has superior real-world impact performance, so I may also look at Suomy. I'm also looking at an Icon Motorhead jacket. This one has boucou zippered vent and a removeable liner which should alow me to wear it year round down in those miserable Louisiana summers.

    Dave
     
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  13. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    I read that article too, but frankly, the only 'real world' experience you can have is an experience, and in my experience, you don't want to experience it if you can avoid it. Dropping bricks on helmets isn't the same as what happens to your head.
    My head hit once, after my shoulder absorbed the brunt- dislocating it and breaking my collar bone (ouch). Other than the shock of trying to get up by leaning on that arm- I didn't know I had done anything to it until I put my weight on it and that sent me reeling in pain- my head was OK. No funny after effects, no headache, nothing, nada, zilch. Granted, I was probably doing 20-25 when i hit, and maybe that supports the thesis of that article- that you don't need a helmet to withstand a huge impact, and softness might protect better than stiffness, I dunno, but FWIW, i was wearing an Arai.
    And, after i got over the initial pain of the shoulder, all I wanted was a drink of water, and a cigarette.
     
  14. FST-VPR

    FST-VPR Rookie

    Oct 21, 2005
    19
    Houston
    I've seen a few people go down with Joe Rocket jackets and still wear them. One friend wrecked at 100 with a JR jacket and he didnt even get a bruse. I'd say go with JR and their a little bit cheaper then AS. Personally I recomend buying the Icon field armour and wearing it underneath any jacket you have. But the BEST absolute BEST leathers you can own is VANSON this is the kind racers wear, they are made of far better material than what any other company uses they cost alot more and you have to order it but well worth the money... The X-11 is a good snug-fitting lid and very quiet, Little wind resistance GREAT choice for a lid. I currently wear the Vanso 1pc suit, Icon Kitty set pants and jacket for winter riding and summer riding I wear my textile Icon TiMax Jacket... My lids are my HJC (crash lid) for stunting and for riding I wear my good Arai rx7 corsair... I also reccomend wearing leather ONLY for gloves, The cheap textile ones are very comfy but when you go down even at slow speeds they tear and will wear out after a couple months I suggest the Teknic racing gloves that go past your wrist

    Also for fitting get everything snug as you can wear because leather straches and molds better to your body and if its too loose you dont get the full benifits of the gear

    Good luck and have fun riding. BE SAFE and take a MSF class, It will really help!

    -Amanda
     
  15. FST-VPR

    FST-VPR Rookie

    Oct 21, 2005
    19
    Houston
    Buy good boots like the sidi they will protect you ankles and also give you a good riding postion
     
  16. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    1,837
    glad to hear all the good comments about good gear. I wear mine. I have a few nice 1.3 - 1.4 mm leather jackets, and a textile getup as well. I always use armor. I also am a big believer in BOOTS I have some OXstar boots that are basically bullet proof. Save your ankles.
    Best of luck. Gear up, ride safely, don't be a squid.
     

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