Recommended Riding Gear

  • Thread starter JohnBM01


United States
Houston, Texas, USA
GTPlanet, as part of trying to put this deal together, I wanted to involve motorcycles in general. However, I also want to focus on multiple aspects of motorcycles and motorcycle riding. Part of this involves riding gear. If you're a serious rider, you usually have some sort of riding suit. You all who have played Tourist Trophy know about dressing up however you wish for the motorcycle you're riding. So I'm opening this thread in chatting about riding gear. Some of you may have special helmets and stuff, so why not share them here?

Remember that I don't have a motorcycle license or (obviously) a motorcycle. I've heard of a vest years ago that would suppress the impact of a crash. Take a look at this link for the MotoAir Motorcycle Airbag Jacket. You can read about what all it takes to protect your body in a crash situation. Their official website is at: < >. I always thought Alpine Stars makes some cool gear. There are even some riding-appropriate jeans and pants for both men and women. Remember in Tourist Trophy that you could select certain styles of jeans to wear for your street clothes? Going back to the link, here is a link on motorcycle riding jeans: < >. And please... let's not forget helmets. Some people probably have either one helmet or several helmets. Some may even have a riding helmet along with a motard helmet for off-roading.

So we've shared our favorite motorcycles and motorcycle videos and pictures. Why not share some of your favorite riding gear?
My personal set of riding gear is less than ideal, but basically on-par with most enthusiasts and better than what the average schmuck (ie. Mr. Sandals-and-Wife-Beater) wears. It's also the minimum that I recommend to new riders.

I wear an HJC Snell helmet, a vented and armored textile jacket, hiking shoes (steel-toe and above the ankle), simple driving gloves, and ordinary jeans.
Here is my set up. I think I posted these before in some other thread.





Definitely go for an Arai, I love my Quantum F:


Its takin a beating, so im going to have to replace it somewhere down the line
I have mostly Tour Master stuff. I have their Solution boot, a nice waterproof street boot. I have their Venture Air mesh overpants. I like overpants because you can shed them when you arrive, and not actually have to change clothes somewhere. I have a Cortech HRX jacket, which is a nice piece, and my helmet is an HJC AC-12, one the least expensive Snell-rated helmets I could find, and significantly less expensive than Arai or Shoei. For summer I have a pair of Joe Rocket Phoenix 3 gloves, and for cold or rain I have Teknic Thunder gloves. The Teknics don't really fit well, but I can attest to their waterproof-ness!

The jacket and pants are mesh, which is an absolute necessity here in Florida. They have two removable liners each: a waterproof layer and a quilted thermal layer. I've worn them down to 25 degrees and was quite comfortable. The jacket has hard armor on the shoulder impact area, and a leather panel over hard armor on the arms and elbows. It has soft leather at the neck and cuffs, which is VERY comfortable. It also has a good back pad, although not hard armor. The pants have hip pads and knee armor. The jacket and pants zip together so they don't separate if you go pavement surfing.

I had a Tour Master Defender rain suit, which I absolutely loved, but I had to replace it with a Tour Master Sentinel jacket and pants set. (I tried to get another Defender, but the phone person told me they were gone, no longer available. I've since seen them still being listed and sold, so I may go ahead and pop for one.) I like the Sentinel jacket at least as well as the Defender, but the pants I'm not so fond of. The liner catches on my boots when putting it on, and the crotch panel, supposedly there for "comfort," leaks. If I don't have the line in my pants as well as the rain suit, then I look like I had a little "accident" when I get somewhere. If I'm in the rain, I wear the rain suit but include the liner for the pants. That way I stay dry, and the shells of the jacket and pants stay dry for the most part. (It sucks to ride through rain, go to remove the liners when you're clear and the shells are soaked!)

I have battle-tested the gear; I had a very slow low-side in gravel on my trip to the AHRMA event last October, and went down pretty hard after the front wheel went away. I didn't slide, but the bike slid away from me after trying to take my foor off. I ended up with a sprained ankle, jammed thumb, a bruise on my arm and a big bruise on my leg. Nothing broken, nothing scraped. Cost me the rain suit, though, which I was wearing for weather earlier in the day. My boots were scuffed enough to no longer be waterproof (the Solutions listed above are the replacements,) my left glove has a big mark on the knuckle armor, and my jacket has a small scuff on the left shoulder and elbow, but not enough damage to replace it. The helmet, on the other hand, had to go. I wore it the rest of the weekend, and got home with it, but it had to go. Worked well, had no headache at all. Also, the cheek pads and top liner of the helmet snap out for washing, which in the summer is a weekly event at least! Nothing like preventing helmet skank!


Insurance put new plastic on the bike, and got me a new lid, new boots, and the new rain suit.
There is a lot of unique riding gear for motorcycle enthusiasts. I find it a bit funny that there are denim pants with Kevlar for protection. I think most of us guys probably wear jeans anyways. Any of you have some of those riding pants that have Kevlar to them? How much different are they than your average pair of jeans?

Women's riding gear can be just as unique. I saw a pair of women's boots that could probably pass as everyday boots a girl can wear. For example, do a Google search on the Icon Bombshell Women's Boots. Some ladies may just have these as casual boots aside from riding down the road. I'd be interested as what some of the ladies wear.

Finally, if any of you do any off-roading, I'd be interested as to what you wear when doing some motocross-style racing. I'm sure you'll need a motard helmet and some sort of protective suit.
Jeans offer absolutely no protection from sliding on the pavement. You can get "armored" riding jeans that have protection in key impact areas, but if you hit the road in plain jeans, you're gonna lose some skin.
Most of this relates to a supplier of riding gear and other accesories from a Super Streetbike ad.

SIDI designed these sneaker-like boots for motorcycle riding. The point to these boots is to be able to wear sneaker-like riding shoes without having to worry about tall and bulky riding boots. The Sidi Streetburner boots (shown here: ) are essentially hi-top sneakers you can comfortably wear for riding. You could easily fit on some bootcut jeans of yours to look cool with these boots. In fact, there are a bunch of other casual shoes that are made so that you don't have to have tall riding boots. Some other examples are listed here: ( ).

In all of my showing and telling, I notice rainwear as an option. Do any of you motorcyclists have rainwear? And if so, what kind of rainwear do you wear? What are the advantages of having rainwear as opposed to regular dry weather motorcycle suits?
If you're going to wear sneakers on a bike, expect to lose them and have to walk on what's left of your bare feet after any accident. If you drop your bike in a lowside, your down-side foot will be under the bike. That's how ankles get broken. When the bike slides away from you, it will take your sneaker and as much of your foot as it can get. We refer to it as cushioning the bike with your foot. :crazy:

Low boots, styled like high-top sneakers, offer little more protection than plain sneakers. They will have a more durable surface, and resist abrasion or road rash better, but if they get torn off your foot, that will be very little comfort. A "high-top" style boot also has no place for ankle armor.

As for the rainwear question, if you ride, you get rained on. By that, I sarcastically mean that posers don't need rainsuits, they won't be out in the weather. But if you travel by bike, or it's your daily transportation, you will have to deal with the weather.

I've already described my gear, and the waterproof liners it has available. But that sucks when you pass through the rain, you're dry but the gear is wet. Now you're stuck staying in the water gear.

So you plunk a hundred bucks down on a good rainsuit. It takes that much because it has to stand up to highway-speed winds, which a plain street raincoat can't do. It has to be ventilated so you don't die from heat stroke inside it, yet the ventilation can't pass water through. And it has to have waterproof pockets, so you can reach your money, your phone, your toll booth change, without having to unzip and dig deeper. Oh, all that, and it has to able to pack small enough to take as little space as possible when not in use, because a travelling cyclist doesn't have a lot of room to spare. My boots are waterproof (which can't happen with low-ankle boots, by the way,) and I have a set of waterproof gloves in addition to my normal-weight vented gloves. The wind keeps your visor clear of water, but fogging on the inside can be an issue. Whatever you treat it with, if anything, has to be safe for plastic, and most of that stuff, like Rain-X, is for glass, and will destroy a helmet visor.

Coming home from a visit to my brother's house last month, I made a ride of over a hundred miles from Pensacola to Panama City in weather that you shouldn't even walk in, much less drive, or even ride. The black line is my route. I was dry when I got home, except just a bit around my face where i had to leave the visor cracked for fogging.

Looking at it, I see neck protection more than anything else, and neck injury is exceedingly rare in an accident for a fully-geared rider.

Broken bones come from tumbling, or being thrown in a high side and landing bad. A rider putting his hands out to "brace" the fall will probably break a wrist. Landing hard on your shoulder can break your collarbone. If you get to tumbling, all bets are off. I don't see this air-bag suit doing anything for those kinds of impacts.

Road rash comes from not having good gear on, or in extreme cases, wearing through the gear. This has no bearing at all on those injuries.

The only thing I see this doing is holding the head and bracing the neck, which in my opinion is a solution to a problem that almost doesn't exist.

There are other systems being developed, usually inflated with CO2 cartridges, that offer fuller torso protection. Broken ribs is a danger when the torso impacts something after losing a bike: signposts, power poles, and so on. If a bag can be inflated with enough pressure to spread those impacts, I can see something worthwhile.
Im an 'all the gear all the time' person. Some people say that they don't bother if they are just going a short way. In the UK they found that most accidents happen within 5minutes of home as people relax, so i don't care if its a 5min journey im wearing cow.
I've got a couple of pairs of draggin jeans (Kevlar ones), great for when its red hot and your just going to the shops or you know your going to walking about loads. I also can wear them at work.

I've come off at 50mhp in normal jeans and they did well, but i just stuck to the floor and slid very little so no road rash, unlike my bike which shot down the road firing sparks everywhere.

At the moment i have a Honda CB 500 (restricted because of my age)
I have textile gear jacket and pants and a good pair of boots.
But in a year when the restrictions up and i go buy a beast I'll be going for the best protective gear i can afford.

Second hand market is always good for gear (NOT HELMETS) if you go to a biker rally and find a good stall.

Its also a good investment cos unless your a poser who's always changing gear for fashion it will last your years.

And if you think I'll be fine in jeans and a T-shirt just goggle road rash and you might just change your mind.

Remember that I don't have a motorcycle license or (obviously) a motorcycle.?

not always the case. most people here in miami dont have a license

Im an 'all the gear all the time' person. Some people say that they don't bother if they are just going a short way. In the UK they found that most accidents happen within 5minutes of home as people relax, so i don't care if its a 5min journey im wearing cow.
they taught us that here in the states
something about 555
5 min from home. 5 miles and I forgot the other
And pants. :sly:

It's amazing how much it hurts when you'r knee or hip-bone hits the ground hard.

your right I forgot about that. I always wear jeans but I know thats not enough
I just bought a Shoei Multitec helmet:

(tried a Caberg and an Arai, but the Shoei was the best fit)

And a Dainese Stratojet jacket:

And Richa Blaze gloves:

And some plain waterproof overtrousers. I'm intending not to buy boots at this time.
For road gear, remember this:

NOTHING beats leather.

I consider jacket, gloves, and helmet the minimum. And make sure the helmet is Snell certified.
And pants. :sly:

It's amazing how much it hurts when you'r knee or hip-bone hits the ground hard.

It also sucks when your jacket isnt anchored to anything and it ends up bunched up in your armpits on a lowside and your whole ribcage is exposed.
Yeah, ouch. ^^^^^

For the unwashed masses, the term "anchored" refers to the fact that good pieces of gear attach to each other, the jacket carries one half of a sturdy zipper and the pants carry the other half. That way you reduce the chance of the jacket riding up to your shoulders, or the pants ending up around your feet, with skin missing from all points between.
Just for you guys, I've arranged a demonstration. :crazy:

Last night on the way home, I was startled by a cat coming into the street from under a car parked at the end of a driveway I was passing. I was doing between 25 and 30 mph in 3rd gear, clear weather (but night), well-lit street, clear road, and BAM!! There's this critter nearly on the front wheel. Grab brakes, but grabbed "this much" too much and locked the front. Down we go, left-side lowside.

I crashed in gravel last October up in Alabama, at a MUCH slower speed, and in that one I didn't slide or roll, I just whacked the pavement and stopped, although the bike slid away from me. Strangely enough, although my gear was pretty much undamaged then except for the pranged helmet, I was beat up pretty good: sprained ankle, with bruising from the (650-pound!) bike falling on it, beat-up helmet (but no headache) and jammed thumb. Also bruised all down my left side, but no skin damage. Bike needed all new plastic forward of the seat, including the cowl and windshield, and the left sidebag.

This one, like I said, was faster, about 30 miles an hour. When the wheel locked the bike dropped INSTANTLY! The skid mark is about 4 feet long, which at 30 is less than a tenth of a second. Then there's a lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng black mark left by my frame slider, a couple of white marks left by pegs, bar ends, or whatever. Bike is undamaged except for a ruined sidebag cover (which can be filled, sanded, and painted) and a small mark on the stator cover.

My jacket is toast, my pants are OK (that hip pad saved me from a nasty bruise, or even a break on that bone at the side of the hip), and my awesome new boots are rashed. Knuckle armor on my glove has a new mark, and my visor is scraped but not a mark on the actual helmet. How's that for karma? I resprained the SAME ankle, and I must tell you that there's significant discomfort in someone my age (born under Eisenhower's presidency) reinjuring a joint that hasn't quite recovered. No bruising evident yet, and no missing skin.

The silver area is leather, and the stiched section contains the hard elbow armor.


To orient this picture, think of my left hand extending out of the sleeve palm down. This is not a usual impact area, but the inside lining is intact even though the surface material is torn through.

Left back of the jacket, from when I rolled during my slide. I hit on my left side, rolled to the left and ended up on my back.

Back of the left shoulder. Impact panel is leather, with hard armor external.

Damn, I loved these boots! How do you think sneakers would have held up?

Glove. These are the same gloves I was wearing in my first crash, and you can see that one of the marks (to the left in the pic) is on top of older marks.

Scraped visor, helmet looks OK. I didn't hit my head this time, but touched the visor down during my roll.

The scene: Short skid mark, long slider mark. Bike ended up just before the driveway at the second trash can (which I've just noticed is turned backwards, obviously some sort of coded signal!) I slid about half that far.

I vividly remember thinking as I was rolling, and I could hear the bike sliding (what an awful sound!) "Damn! not again! And that's a brand new sidecase!"

The bike, slider wear: The bent peg is a highway peg to help stretch your knees out. Cruiser guys wouldn't call it stretching, but it brings your feet forward from the regular pegs' sport-bike position, good relief in the knees after a few hours. Its mounting bracket is bent, will need to be removed and hammered flat.

Other side for comparison:

The sidecase after pretending to be a slider:

Tiny mark on stator cover, and tiny mark on upper fairing. Much better than last time, when the bike slid through gravel and under an Armco barrier, requiring all new fairing and cowl pieces.

Dang it wfooshee....Stop ground checking yourself!

I'm super glad to hear that you are ok. That sounded just like a low side that my wife did in a parking lot once. Too much brake and not enough friction to keep the wheel under the bike. Cold tires or Cold pavement? How was your air pressure?

All the gear looks like it did what we hope it would.
Tire was good, had just checked pressure that morning, and this was the end (half-mile from home) of about 30 miles' worth of errands and grocery-getting. I just got a shock factor from the appearance of the cat and grabbed the brake instead of squeezing it. Wrong reflex.

What sucks is that I've practiced stopping hard, and I've had hard enough stops that I've felt the rear wheel start to dance, which on this bike is some serious weight transfer! Yet when I used a reflex, it was GRAB!!!!!! That's disappointing.
I still remember the first time that I grabbed too much brake. I thought the car infront of me was actually stopping faster then it really was and I just reached for a handful. It was the first time I actually did a 'stoppie' and it freaked me out. Lucky for me I was up right and the tire didn't loose any grip. I did then start to actually do it on purpose because it was fun. That 'fun' has kinda passed me by now but I do feel like I have great control of my front brake and know just how hard I can mash it without losing grip.


In the scene photo it looks like you might have been coming off a bend in the road. If you were leaned over a bit I can see how the front end goes out that much quicker.
Good to see that your ok and the damage isnt too bad. The gear did its job. Now Id imagine someone wearing "street clothes" would be messed up pretty bad in the same lowside. Some have to learn the hard way I guess. Hope your ankle gets better so you can get back out there.
I suggest you pick up the latest edition of Sport Rider Magazine. It has some features on some nice riding gear. Also, there's a very detailed section on what to wear, as well as what kinds of motorcycle clothing you should wear. One note is on what kind of gloves to wear for riding.

Here is a Sport Rider resource for your reading pleasure:

* - Riding Gloves Buyer's Guide

There was even a feature in that same magazine about one rider who races in the Suntrust MOTO-ST endurance series that had a wicked crash and talked about the racing gear he was in. So check out the latest Sport Rider and check that section out.

Now for some boot talk. If you have $475 to burn on a good pair of boots, SIDI might have your dream boots coming next month. The Vortice (VOR-tee-chay) is told to have great ankle and shin protection. But if you have the money, Sidi may have your boot. In fact, I've discussed a lot of SIDI footwear in this thread.

With cold weather coming, how do you all suit up for the cold?