July 5, 2013 at 7:35 am #12463
I'm a new rider (so new, in fact, that I have yet to get on a bikeâ€”my training course is this weekend) and I'm trying to figure out what gear to buy. I have read a lot and have come to realize the importance of kevlar, but I am having trouble determining if certain gear has that or not. Many will say "armoured," but I don't know if that just means paddingâ€”like something a lacrosse player would wear. I'm browsing Kijiji a lot to look for something reasonably priced, and I know Joe Rocket is a good brand, but I cannot figure out what I need or what the minimum price would be for a kevlar jacket.
Any advice on a jacket and pants would be greatly appreciated. If I can stay below $300 for the two, even better.
GeoffJuly 5, 2013 at 7:46 am #12462
For example, are the Joe Rocket Phoenix 3.0 pants good? Are they made of kevlar, or at least reinforced with it at the impact points? Is “textile” just a word for “not leather,” or will that mean it’s not kevlar, either?
GeoffJuly 8, 2013 at 1:43 am #12465
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Textile means it’s just not leather. Scorpion is also another good brand.
Armored gear means it has padding at the impact points, so knees, elbows, back and sometimes shins.
As for kevlar it seems to me that a lot of brands have it at the impact points. My starting gear cost $200. $150 for a jacket and 50$ for chaps both brand new.
I can’t help you out about your Joe rocket questions since I don’t know much about them. I have used scorpion and am currently using olympia gearJuly 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm #12466
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The Joe Rocket pants your looking at are from the USA. Joe Rocket has a USA/International and a seperate Canadian site. Kevlar is used, but not the primary material the makes the entire jacket. A mesh jacket is just that, mesh for air to pass thru. $300.00 will be tight to buy both new, but used you might luck out. Joe Rocket gear comes with a rain “suite” that is zipped to the inside of the pants and jacket. If you find something used and the owner does not have the suite, dont worry about it. Just buy a rain suite that goes over your gear, a 2 pce system as it works better than the original gear. I have a mesh jacket, but have the Alter Ego pants that have removable side for more air flow.
Go to a local dealer and see the difference.July 8, 2013 at 9:46 pm #12467
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Personal opinion is ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time). Buy the best gear you can afford. If buying new isn’t an option, try to find used gear that the owner has taken good care off. Beware of rips in leather that haven’t been properly repaired, watch for stitching that is unraveling or long loose threads.
My thought process when buying gear was spend the most from the top down. Helmet should be your highest expenditure. A good quality and safe helmet should be your top priority. Higher quality helmets will have more features, will have custom molded shells for each size (versus Scorpion who use 1 shell size and more or less padding to offer different sizes) and often carry a better warranty. That being said…. it you are a commuter rider or just a casual comfortable paced rider then there is no need to spend 1300+ on an Arai race model when a basic Bell or bottom end Shoei would do just fine.
Jackets and Pants I feel fall under the same category. Before purchasing think of the predominant riding conditions and temperatures you will be riding in. Leather is best for higher speed abrasion protection but offers very little cooling in hot conditions (think about being stuck in traffic wearing leather on a 25+ degree day). Textile/Kevlar Jackets offer light weight and great cooling features but I often get cold on a long highway rides (even at 28 degrees) wearing a textile jacket. You can always add layers under a textile to add warmth.
Armour should be a must for all riding gear. Hands, feet, elbows, hips, shoulders and back should all be priority when looking for proper gear. Look for CE approved armour (which is just about standard in all North American suppliers: Joe Rocket, AlpineStar, Icon etc…). Armour simply offers IMPACT protection when you fall from the bike to the ground. An instructor once told me “If you don’t feel comfortable falling flat on your face in your living room wearing the gear…then you should get better gear”.
Boots and shoes should always be above the ankle height. This allows not only for ankle support in a crash situation but from personal experience also reduces injury from flying rocks or objects that can be kicked up in traffic. I took a rock off ankle Wednesday while riding South on the Deerfoot. Had I had runners on I would have surely had a gash/large cut in my leg.
I wear the best gear I can afford and after 5 seasons of riding I now feel like I can ride in many different weather conditions as well as many different riding styles. Next on the list is a new bike…
Sparks…July 14, 2013 at 4:06 am #12472
Tpadams: Thanks for the clarification. I’ll look into Scorpion.
Gerry: I would like to use the bike to commute (60 km each way). Since I’ll be out of the house for 10 hours (ride-work-ride), a rain suit will be a definite must-have. I’m okay with pushing the $300 limit a bit, if needed.
Sparks: I am firmly with you on ATGATT. I bought a helmet (HJC CL-16) for my motorcycle school and road test. Now that I have my class 6, I am itching even more for a bike! Jacket, gloves, pants, and boots will come first, however. I guess leather might not be so bad in my caseâ€”it will be all highway driving with very low anticipation of any traffic jams. Love the quip from your instructor, by the way.
Again, thank you all for the great advice.July 19, 2013 at 10:35 am #12478
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Like the guys here have said, ATGATT, is the best practice.
One thing that I’ve learned after riding for 10 years is that the better your gear, the more comfortable you’ll be. But, you don’t have to have the best of everything to start out. Rain Gear is something I do recommend you invest in, and it doesn’t have to be motorcycle specific or super expensive. Any rain suit that you can cinch up at the openings is pretty good. I got my rain pants at MEC and they’re better/easier to get on than most motorcycle specific stuff I’ve tried on.
Once you’ve got a bike, ride in the rain by choice and not necessity. If you’re prepared when you start riding in the rain, rather than getting caught in the rain, you’ll be more at ease. I know a lot of guys who won’t ride when it’s even a chance of showers, or they pull over and wait out a storm under an overpass. I pull over too … but it’s only to put my gear on and keep on.
Other than that, I agree with everything above. By the way, I too have an HJC. It’s their top model, but it’s got a lot of the same tech as the higher priced models, and suits my riding just fine.
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