Inexpensive Gear Guide: The art of gearing up without spending a lot of money

A lot of people when buying their first motorcycle spend every cent on the bike itself, but leave barely any left to buy some decent motorcycle gear. This article will show you that you can get some good gear for only a few hundred bucks.

Helmets: Protect your dome!

Most people if they have any gear will at least get a helmet. I recommend getting a full face helmet because I personally wouldn't want half my face tore off, I'm too damn handsome! Plus full face helmet when combined with a dark face shield just make you look cool.HJC makes some decent quality helmets for really cheap. The good thing about starting off with an inexpensive lid is after you wear it for a few months you will know what feels right and what features you are looking for in your next helmet, so when you get it you will now have a spare that you can use for passengers!

HJC CS-12 Solid Helmet $89.99 icon iconicon

Another option for cheap helmets is the Scorpion brand. When I first went helmet shopping lots of people said to try out scorpion because they were really inexpensive compared to the quality yourecieved, in fact they were regularly considered on par with Shoei brand helmets. Scorpion offers lots of features and lots of cool designs for not very much dough, so if your head shape fits it (which mine didn't! boo!) then I would highly recommend them.

Scorpion EXO-400 Sonic Helmet: $159.99 icon iconicon

Jackets:

A solid motorcycle jacket is the first line of defense when you crash since when you are sliding on the pavement you may be tumbling on your elbows, forearms, shoulders and back. Not only is a jacket good for protection but generally they look cool and it lets people know you are a motorcycle rider even when you are off the bike. This might sound kind of egocentric, but most people want to ride motorcycles not only because of the experience of riding, but also because of the image associated with it. I know wanting to 'look cool', was one of the main factors that got me interested in riding. Nothing is cooler than a badass motorcycle jacket, just ask the Fonz! When you first start looking at jackets you will notice that the ones made out of textile and mesh materials are significantly cheaper than the ones made out of leather. A good textile jacket will hold up almost as well as a leather one in a crash, but unlike a leather jacket you won't be able to use it after that crash. Pretty much the rule for textile is after one pretty bad crash it will be too torn up to use anymore. Here is an example of a pretty darn good textile jacket by Cortech (a subdivision of Tourmaster I believe).

Cortech GX SPort Jacket - $159.99 icon iconicon

Another jacket that combines a textile base but incorporates leather where you really need it is the Shift Streetfighter Hybrid jacket. I own a Shift jacket and I found that the leather they use is much easier to break in than Joe Rocket or Icon, it just seems more supple. Make sure when you get a jacket you get a proper fitting one. Normally racing jackets aren't super comfortable off the bike, but on the bike they feel much more natural, this is because of the way the leather is cut and sewn together and where they place the shoulder and elbow pads in the jacket. The jacket should be snug, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. It definitely shouldn't be too loose or else when you crash it will move around on your body and it won't protect as well. Generally textile stuff is slightly looser than leather stuff, but it should still feel secure on your body.

Shift Racing Streetfighter Hybrid Jacket - $249.99 icon iconicon

Another way to get a cheap leather jacket is if you pick an unpopular design or color. Notice this Joe Rocket race replica jacket is about $200, a screaming deal. I would also check outebay and other places online to see if you can find last years model, or a design they are discontinuing. That is how I got my Shift jacket that is normally around $300 dollars for only $150!

Joe Rocket Suzuki Supersport Replica Jacket 206.99 icon iconicon

One thing to mention is just because a jacket is made out of leather doesn't mean it would make a good motorcycle jacket. I have had a leather jacket for a while that looks great, but it is definitely not fit for sliding on the pavement at anything more than 10mph. It is made out of 'fashion leather' which is considerably thinner than motorcycle jackets that are usually made of leather with a thickness of 1mm-1.5mm.

Gloves

I don't know about you but I love my hands. They let me play guitar, violin, massage my girlfriend, give thumbs up, give the finger, and they let me ride my motorcycle. It would suck not having hands. I once read about a motorcycle rider who went down without gloves and he basically ground his hands down to a couple of stumps while trying to slow down. Once again, I love my hands and I feel like keeping them. For that reason I wear gloves every time I ride, plus most gloves now come with knuckle protectors that look like they could dominate if I ever got in a fight with them :) I normally recommend full gauntlet style gloves, but sometimes when you are lacking in money it is ok to sacrifice a little and just get gloves that protect the hand and not necessarily the wrist. These Joe Rocket stage one gloves are about the price of a large pizza and they could save you a lot of pain and hospital time if you crash.

Joe Rocket Stage 1 Gloves $29.99 icon iconicon

These Shift racing gloves (can you tell I like shift racing yet?) offer more protection than the Joe Rocket gloves I just listed, but they are about 15 dollars more.

Shift Racing Barrier Gloves $39.99 icon iconicon

These Alpinestars gloves are a decent compromise between the Joe rockets and the shift racing. The great thing about these gloves is they are ventilated on the top so you will get some nice airflow while you are riding. That can be a double edged sword if you are riding in the winter though!

Alpinestars M-4 Street Gloves $29.99 icon iconicon

Pants

Riding pants are one thing that most weekend warriors ignore, while the pro's would never ride without. If you crash your motorcycle you will most likely hit your knees and if you are lucky then you will slide onto your back and your butt. If you are wearing a jacket that can help with limiting the damage done to your skin, but if you are just wearing jeans then you are going to find it very tough to sit down for a few weeks at least! If you are dirt poor and you aren't doing too much aggressive riding, and you feel like you can take the risk in jeans, then at the very least you should get some knee pads to protect against road rash and broken knee caps.Alpinestars offers some pretty cheap knee pads that you could put on over or under your jeans, the only problem with them is they are a little bulky.

Alpinestars Reflex Knee Guards $24.99 icon iconicon

If you wanted some more expensive kneepads that are slimmer and would fit under the jeans better then I would suggest going with these Icon Field Armor Knee and Shin Guards. They come in at nearly 70 bucks, so if you are going to get them then you might as well through in a little bit more money to get some decent riding pants.

Icon Field Armor Knee-Shin Guards $64.99 icon iconicon

Firstgear offers some really great riding pants, in fact I have a pair of firstgear overpants that I ride in every day. The over pants are a bit more pricey coming in at nearly $170, too much money for this list, but these Mesh-Tex pants would be a great substitute.

Firstgear Mesh-Tex 2.0 Pants $129.99 icon iconicon

If you really wanted some cheap overpants then I would take a look at Icons new ARC textile pants. They are pretty baggy which means you can wear them over your clothes if you want, or you can rock them by themselves. The best part is they come with some CE rated armor, so in my opinion they are the best buy for your money (plus the white ones look awesome!)

Icon ARC Textile Pants $105.00 icon iconicon

Boots

When riding a motorcycle you should definitely avoid sneakers or tennis shoes. I have seem multiple crashes on youtube where the rider was wearing some Vans or Nike's and as soon as he crashed his shoes flew off his feet like they had a plane to catch. At the very least I would recommend getting some decent work boots that go over the ankle. Ankle support is very important because that will often be the only thing keeping your ankle from snapping. Also keep in mind that when you crash the bike might be land on you making your foot the meat in a Motorcycle / Pavement sandwich traveling at 45 mph. That definitely wouldn't feel good, so try and get some leather boots that go over the ankle. If you don't already have some boots, here are some good boots that would work well on or off the bike.

Set Up Urban Boots $59.99 icon iconicon

If you go to http://motorcycle-superstore.com where I have linked to in this whole article be sure to check out the Close Out section. I found these icon boots in there that are normally $150 dollars for only $59.99. They obviously aren't super popular, but they offer much better protection than tennis shoes, or even those Set Up boots I just linked to. If you view this article a month or two from now they probably still won't be on sale, that is why I recommend checking out the close out section for the current deals.

Icon Motorhead Boots $59.99 icon iconicon

Conclusion

So for $250-350 you can get suited up and be prepared for a crash that will most likely happen. There is a saying in the riding community that there are two types of riders: Those who have crashed, and those who haven't crashed yet. Out of all the riders I have met every single one of them has laid their bike down (crashed) at some point. For the lucky ones like myself it was alow speed crash only going 10-20mph, but I know a few that have gone down at 60-100mph! The ones that keep riding for years on end know the importance of the proper protection. Hell if you think about it, by spending a few hundred dollars now you will be saving yourself potentially thousands in surgery and rehabilitation ! Chicks may dig scars, but having huge chunks of scar tissue up and down your thighs as well as all over your hands and arms...That's just not sexy, period. The worse part about road rash is not actually the act of your skin being sanded off by the hot pavement, it actually happens when you get to the hospital. You see when you get road rash you will have bits and pieces of debris in your skin, and to prevent infection the nurses and doctors have to clean the wound.... with steel brushes. And no I'm not joking! Steel brushes scraping away on that nice fresh open wound. "Oh that's ok Ben," you say, "I'll be so high on morphine it won't matter!" No no my friend, one of the effects of pain killers is thinning of the blood, which the doctors don't want while cleaning your road rash, so they won't give it to you until AFTER it is all bandaged up. Just think about that for a second. Do you remember skinning your knee as a kid? That probably hurt pretty bad, now imagine if you skinned your whole forearm, and they have to rub steel brushes on it. That would suck! Maybe I'm a wuss, but I like my skin, so even if I am getting hot in my gear I would always rather sweat than bleed.

Comments

Pretty good for beginners. I thoroughly enjoyed the conclusion. :P

Hehe, thanks wendy :)

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

All The Gear All The Time people, 2 minute trip, gear! 20 minute trip GEAR! 2 hour trip GEAR!

ATGATT

~Not your average hairless monkey
Kick

I wanted to get a personalized license plate that said ATGATT but it was taken :(

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

This website's great. Really got some useful advice up for people like myself (17 year old first time rider).

Keep spreading the love. :)

this article helped alot i hadint even thought about leg protection b4 i read this. i also got a great deal on all my gear through newenough.com, check this out for a deal

HJC CL-15 Orbit Helmet-$70
Moto GP Perimeter Jacket-$40
Moto GP Pylon Gloves-$30
River Road Mojave Mesh Pants-$50

total i spent on protective gear-$190

thats just great and so is this site!!!

/\/\@R!

/\/\@R!<

I just wanted to say thanks for all the advice. But I have a question. Do you have any problems using a tinted face shield at night?

Most jackets (Textile) have a face shield compartment. To go along with that most helmets have a very easy to use release system so changing the shield only takes seconds. When you buy your helmet it will come with a very soft bag which is where you will want to keep your extra shield.

To answer your question, yes. It will make things darker (Duh) but it will also lower the use of your headlight. It takes me around 15 seconds to change shields and my smoke shield or clear shield fits very nicely in my face shield compartment on my jacket.

If you really have to ride with a smoke shield, take the slower back roads home and leave your shield up, I DO NOT recommend riding with it at night, it just plain sucks.

When you go to look for a helmet, ask them to remove the shield and put it back in, then do it a couple times yourself. If you like what you see, then you have a winner.

Smoke shield = Tinted Shield btw.

~Not your average hairless monkey
Kick

Oooo, I didn't know textile jackets come with a face shield compartment :( My leather one doesn't, boo!

My practice when it comes to face shields is I almost always use the "dark smoke". When I went to get one I was just going to get the normal smoke visor, but my friend ray had some good advice, and he said if you are going to tint it, you might as well tint it all the way!

I usually ride in the day but on that rare occasion I get caught at night and I don't have my spare clear face shield with me, I usually just use a set of safety goggles that I keep in the trunk of my bike. That way I can ride with my shield up, but sicne I have the goggles the wind/bugs don't hurt my eyes. I have been meaning to get an actually pair of moto goggles, but for now the safety glasses do fine.

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Many of the newer helmets have flip down visors. I really wish that the Caberg Trip/ Caberg Rhyno was DOT approved and for sale in the US. A lot of people in ADVRIDER and around the net have been ordering them from the UK since it is an incredible helmet for the price even with the horrid exchange rate.

Scorpion helmets are also great for the price. Their visor system is as good or better than many helmets for twice the price. They also have pretty good liners/etc. We've got one at our house and I might get another one just to have a few different models and to have spares for friends/etc.

I've seen the flip down visors online and they are so sweet! It really reminds me of a fighter jet helmet. Hopefully shoei and arai catch on to this and add this feature to next years lineup. :)

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Another alternative to smoked or tinted shields is the old standby clear shield. This allows you to wear sunglasses underneath when it's daytime, and allows you to ride with the shield down at night. It also give you a pair of sunglasses to wear when you get off the bike. One issue you may have is comfort especially around the ears where the sunglass frames touch your head. If your buying a new helment bring your sunglasses with you to try on so you can see how they feel with the helmet on your head. Personally I would much rather carry around a tiny pair of sunglasses, than a big ol' face shield. And by the way, I think that face shield pocket in your jacket? it might actually be a stash pocket for the jacket liner

I ride much the same way, even though I have both shields. I will say this though, sunglasses are more prone to fog under a helmet, especially plastic ones. I would recommend metal as it can come to temp and cool off quicker thus not trapping as much heat between the lens and your face. Here's a nice little tip too, the bag your helmet comes in can often double as a light weight backpack, throw whatever shield you aren't using in that when riding if you plan to use both, then switch it out as needed. Then when walking around you can just tuck your lid in and throw it over your shoulder as most have pull strings. I don't recommend putting a shield between you and your jacket. Having a fragile piece of plastic underneath protection that could shatter on impact could be fatal depending on where it is. If you keep it in the bag and have a CE spine protector the chances of it stabbing you are far less than if you had it tucked into your side under a jacket and have a tank slapper or worse.

at first, steel-toed boots seem like a great idea for protecting your feet and toes. unfortunately, they're actually quite dangerous. if the top of your foot hits the ground, there's a chance the steel cap will dislodge and bite right through your foot, cutting off those precious toes. so don't wear steel-toed boots on your bike! =)

I believe that is a myth:

"Steel-toe boots are more dangerous to your toes than normal boots when a heavy weight is dropped on them. Whereas a normal boot would just crush your toes, a steel toe would curl and crumple in, cutting your toes off.

busted

Using similar tests to those used to test steel toe boot certification, Adam and Jamie determine that your toes are much safer with steel toe boots than without. There was no toe-cutting curling of the steel toe, and even using a blade attachment didn’t work, only glancing off the steel toe to cut right above where it ended."

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode42

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Its great to see another mythbusters fan. I wish you could get those jackets like Adams green flight jacket/motorcycle jacket with the backprotector still at a decent price. I love that jacket. It might not be that great for protection though. It looks nice though. I haven't seen him wear it on the last season or two though.

My dream jacket would be the one this girl wears in the Firefly movie. It's like a brown leather with lots of cool details. Someday I'll hire someone to custom make it for me in a way that is safe and stylish.

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Several years ago at work I had a load of several hundred pounds fall on my steel toe boots. All it did was dent them in. Had I not been wearing them, there is little doubt several toes would have been amputated. Even in the most mundane situations always wear steel toes. Beware urban legends. Except for Godzilla, who we all know is real.

I wear size 9 4E width shoes. I have trouble finding street shoes. I'm pretty much stuck with New Balance. So what's the odds that I will find motorcycle boots that'll fit me?

If you can't find some motorcycle specific boots that will fit, I would recommend getting a good pair of steel toed work boots at least. I'm sure you could find these in the larger sizes quite easily. If you get serious about riding and you still can't find motorcycle specific boots, it might be worth it to get something custom made. I've had the same pair of moto boots for my entire riding career and they seem to be holding up well even though I wear them every day.

You'll never know until you try, so go to a store and check some out!

ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

newenough.com They have a person in the office that tracks down non-average (sorry) sizes. And no one ships faster than newenough.com

New Balance makes or carries a line of wide boots. They're called Dunham
http://www.nbwebexpress.com/nb_mens_dunham.asp?type=DNMF

I have wide feet as well and purchased a pair when I started riding. I like mine and have no complaints about them.

Hope this helps.

Mark7

try redwing it's where I got ine and I love them and i they have your size in the store they can get it

Hey, This is going to be my first year riding. Im pretty stoked about it! Just wanted to say that this site has great info, and its written well and very clean, easy to understand where everythings coming from. Its nice to see that some advanced riders take their time to help out the new riders like myself! Keep it up guys, and thanks alot!

I just did a 70 + mile ride with my new Alpinestars Reflex Knee Guards, plus about 2 hours of walking around. I have to say they are great for the price. I wear them under my Icon Super Duty 2 pants and they are, very comfortable. Even thou they are directly on my skin they stay fairly cool and the fabric backing is really soft. The only problem is that every now and then they fall an inch and you need to readjust, but this seems to be rare. And it is good to know that you have a bit of extra protection, just incase.

I'm a soon-to-be new rider, and I hadn't even thought about the idea of getting knee and shin guards... I'm going to be using my bike for main transportation, so until I can get a pair of overpants (don't have the $$$ yet), heavy blue jeans + knee/shin guards seems to be the way to go. I'd rather deal with some road rash on my butt than break a kneecap, and also save the money and get a good jacket & helmet.

I Just started riding this year and well I tried out alot of the tips and tricks on this site. Well i was very impressed feel, look, protection all are better now because of some of the tips on this site.

Imagine sliding along a cheese grater at 20mph. How long would your jacket/jeans last? A couple of feet? Well, if you come off your bike that's what you are looking at doing. I've come off a 125 and a 500 at really slow speeds (walking speed) and I took a layer of leather off my Cat boots, if I'd not been wearing proper textile trousers with knee protectors I'd have been unable to walk for days afterwards. I also put my hand out and there would have been agony and oaths if I'd not been wearing leather gloves.

I can testify that with the right gear you can laugh off the kind of minor accidents that would lay you up if you weren't protected.

As an additional point (one that'll be of no interest to those of you in California or Texas!!!) I've ridden in minus temperatures, in snow and in hail and even without the inner lining on my Spada jacket and trousers I was warm and dry at 70mph!

And now, with the weather warm and sunny in London, I've invested in a pair of Kevlar-lined Draggin' Jeans (from Australia) and they are about as comfortable as you can get, but with some stick-in knee protectors I'm as safe as you can reasonably get.

Thanks for the site, handy place to know about.

The new techno fibers do the job well enough?

Anyone know where I might go to find some custom retro-reflective patches?? My jacket doesn't attract enough attention..

Anyone in the miltary can tell you that on base they must wear a mil spec vest which is very simalar to what you see roadcrew worker use. It does not look cool in any way and peole for miles will tell you that but that is the whiole idea too me. Also, I saw a leather jacket advertized with some kind of reflective coating but I have never seen one yet in the stores.

Hey there are two sport style jackets i found from olympia moto sports the GT Air and the Airglide 2 the latter is actually reviewed on this site. Both are really nice jackets and have reflective piping around the jackets. the Airglide 2 is entirely bright neon yellow (there are other colors too) and the gt air has the neon yellow over the sleeves and sides and actually looks kinda cool. However the gt air cost 270 and the Airglide 2 is 210. I was able to find both jackets at my Kawi dealer when i put down on an 09 ninja 250 and because the couldnt get me a discount on the bike they game me employees discount on all gear. I believe BMW motorad dealers carry Olympia jackets all the time so u can check them out. Im gonna get the GT Air with the neon yellow because i am going to commute. Also i rather look like an idiot than road kill.

http://www.olympiamotosports.com/gt_air/gt_air.htm
http://www.olympiamotosports.com/airglide/airglide.htm

I am starting on the MSF courses now and will soon buy my first bike, most likely a Royal Enfield Bullet, I love old school bikes! But here in Salt Lake City there are TONS of crazy people riding with shorts, t-shirts, flip flops and no helmet, some of these morons are doing 70+ mph on the freeway! I have been mountain biking for 12+ years and have already cracked three helmets, I won't be riding naked like these fools. I can't even imagine what they will look like if they get into an accident on the freeway. I remember when I was 5 or 6 years old, my dad got into a low speed accident on his Honda 125cc bike and spent almost a month in the hospital. Needless to say he wasn't wearing much besides a helmet, but he was being foolish and he's glad to still be alive. He hasn't ridden since, but when I mentioned I wanted to buy a motorcycle, all he said is "Make sure you wear all your gear." Damn right, it will be ATGATT got me!

Awesome website. Thanks so much for the great articles. I'm a new rider and I didn't even think to get riding pants until I read this article and I was instantly reminded of my friend's crash a couple years ago.

My buddy was getting onto a freeway on-ramp when he lost control and low sided. He couldn't have been going more than 30-35mph, but the asphalt shreded his jeans like they were paper and it even shreded off part of his knee. He was on crutches for more than a month.

Like one of your other posters, I got a pair of River Road mesh pants from newenough.com for only $50...a small price to pay in order to protect about half of the skin on my body.

Allthough I splurged a bit on the rest of my gear (Scorpion EXO-1000 helmet, Scorpion Hat Trick Jacket, Joe Rocket Highside Gloves, and A-stars Octane Boots), I can comfortably say that it was all very well worth it. I'd recommend all of the above items. My next purchase will be a bright yellow safety vest for night riding. Not cool, I know... but much more appealing than a trip to the ER.

I am glad I found this website - I have always been a Harley fan and love OCC Choppers, but never seriously considered getting a motorcycle. Well, my fiance has gotten the idea of getting a bike for commuting reasons, and I am the internet researcher, so I have been online all day. Boy is there more to it than just hopping on and revving up!! Thank you so much for taking the time to maintain this site, as now I feel much more prepared to do the proper research before we buy anything. It sounds like you have already helped out alot of people, add me to the list!

A quote from this article: "So for $250-350 you can get suited up and be prepared for a crash that will most likely happen. There is a saying in the riding community that there are two types of riders: Those who have crashed, and those who haven't crashed yet. Out of all the riders I have met every single one of them has laid their bike down (crashed) at some point."

There are plenty of riders who have NEVER laid their bikes down. I don't know where you meet these riders that everyone of them have crashed. Are you talking about motocross/dirtbike? How irresponsible to post comments like this.

Maybe not so irresponsible.

I'm a rank newbie, just started commuting to work by 125cc last week. I've been racing road and mountain bicycles for years, though, and all my bad crashes were on road bikes. Sure, you don't expect to crash, but if you do, it'll take skin off on the road because of the speed and the "cheese-grater" effect.

Point is, chances are in a car if you have a bumper bashing you have a red face and a hot credit card. On a motorbike you hit the ground.

The purpose of this page (and the thread) is to illustrate the reality.

Oh, and by the way, I've NEVER fallen off my MTB while wearing body-armor (not just a helmet and gloves) . Confidence, smooth riding and planning ahead do wonders for safe riding. If you're kitted up, you know you're in business. You're focused.

Maybe that's why many (fully kitted-up) riders never fall. They're all business.

Very good info. I'm glad I found this website. I just passed my motorcycle permit test, and am currently looking to enroll in the MSF basic rider course (classes run up to November). After seeing all the possible horror stories on this website, and reading about safety, gear, and preparation, my eyes have opened more so than before as to what can happen.

I am looking to purchase a Ninja 250r, and am hoping they got them in stock :)

once again.....great info

I am dirt poor and I have been looking into getting my first bike(ninja 250r), I figured I love my live and body (it might not be pretty but it's really hard to replace broken or missing parts) enough to add in an extra $500-$700 for gear. If that means I need to work another month or so before I get the bike, so be. That $700 is a preventive measure and cheap insurance compared to the medical bills I'd have to pay if I didn't buy those things to begin with.

That $700 wouldn't even cover the ambulance ride to the hospital, let alone the visit to the emergency room.

are there any shoes that could slip on over tennis shoes? I want something i could take off and have regular clothes under

Hey, I'm looking to know how well glasses will fit under most helmets. I also have transitions on my lenses; will they work under a clear visor?

I was just wondering if any one knows what the reputation of BUELL bikes are my wife and i were in a dealer looking at them for a beginner bike for us does anyone know a good beginner bike that is affordable too?

I hate to be the bearer of some bad news but I noticed one detail missing from this review. I do think it is great advice and well written though. Keep in mind that textile jackets offer much of the same protection as leather in the CE armor areas but also remember that as you slide at 10+ mph on the pavement that it gets hot. As it gets hot it begins to melt and can attach to your skin. This is why you don't see MotoGP riders in textile gear. I'm sure they would all love to be 20-30+ degrees cooler on the track but one bad slide and you are going to melt that suit/jacket into your skin. Talk about painful to remove at the hospital. I know it is more $ but a good perforated light colored leather jacket can do the same as a lot of textile ones. The Dainese Leguna Seca comes to mind at around $350 online. I do have both though, as here in TX 100+ days are very common, I'm just letting ppl know. Also, don't skimp on helmets people. You want to be cheap and end up with a brain injury or spend a couple extra benjamins and really protect that idea maker up there? Not that Scorpion and HJC aren't great companies, I just hate to see people trying to pinch the wrong pennies. Make sure you try every helmet on at the store, even the same brand from one to the other can fit differently, knowing your head shape helps as there are sites that can pinpoint helmets that might be better suited to it. Arai offers, I believe, 3 head shapes (the only company to actively endorse this practice) but it varies from each brand too. My Shoei X-Eleven doesn't fit quite the same as the Shoei RF-1000's I tried on at the store, not to mention that I'm a medium in a Shoei, a Small in an Arai, and Large in Joe Rocket RKT-101 Carbon, etc. Try it on, wear it in the store, check hot spots, and keep the shiny side up! The best helmet advice I've heard is to buy it but never use it.

I want to thank the creator of this site and the veteran riders who contribute their knowledge and opinions. I don't have a motorcycle...hell I don't even have a car. Both of which I would like to get in 2010. I'm 19 and have always loved motorcycles, but never knew where to go to learn more about them. So thank you. I would like a Ninja 250r and after visiting this website I'm leaning more towards buying used. Also gear was a big factor and thanks to this I see that it's much more feasible. I just have to make it happen. I also have my motorcycle permit already and live in Washington DC, so if anyone is close and has any good beginner bikes they're looking to sell sometime next year or would be willing to help me then that would be really cool.

Just lowsided on some gravel last night at around ~20 mph, and I have some very scabby knees that say overpants or at least some knee protectors are a wise investment...durrr. I also have a scuffed up chinbar that says a full-face helmet is a good idea as well.

Glad to hear you came out of it with just a few scraps. Scabbed up knees are definately preferable to scabbed up face -- I bet you're glad you skipped the cool-looking half helmet and went straight for full face.
I always ride with overpants, but have also been thinking about adding some knee/shin guards (my current pants have none. It's probably time to make the small $$ investment and commitment of another minute or so in suiting up.

AFX FX-100 Helmet
AXO Pro Race Supermoto Gloves
Sidi Strada Evo Air Boots
Teknic Supervent Pro Mesh Jacket
Shift Strike Pant

Tell me what you think about this gear and if you have anything better if this isn't really that good.

i'm new to this forum and have not yet got my license (do have permit and taking MSC starting monday) I have a way to go cheap
-Helmet (used)
-pants and long sleeve shirt with (used leather jacket consignment shop or salvation army ext)
-Cheap steal toe boots
-Gloves (havn't purchased yet but I do have some grippy leather ones for snow not sure yet how they will grip)

I hope people realize how cheap these can be had and if you have to go used!!!!! :) Ride safe!

Absolutely would not go used for a helmet. Most are designed for a single impact at which the structure is compromised. Not only that but it is recommended to replace them every 4 years. Please take your own closing statement and ride safe.....

****Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but, rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy Shit....What a ride!!!"****

Hmm Thanks for telling me that! I was unaware that they need to be replaced every 4 years. My grandpa who passed away in 1994, used to ride for many years and has a variety of sizes of helmets for himself and my grandma. I have the helmets. I was assuming it was safe to use them. Some are OLD maybe 30 or so years. Is it bad even if they are still in the original box he had a heart attack right before he got a chance to use his new a new helmet. (we have similiar head size btw)

Thanks again for the info as I had no idea that it would be unsafe to use a used helmet! Just so I can learn what is the reasoning of this? I was talking with my mom and she rembers having the same helmet when she rode on the back. Thanks again for the info!!! I hope to be able to pass on that knowledge!

P.S. I will be sure to share this info with people in my MSC.

-Off topic are any of you involved with a group called A.B.A.T.E.? Non-Profit Organization that's goal is to provide education for sharing the road they go to drivers education classes or at least did when I went through drivers ed about 5 years ago

http://www.abateiowa.org/

ABATE is a good organization to get involved with for the most part. Each different state has their own "division" I am not part of the one here in NC as it seems they are tunnel visioned on helmet laws.

The reasoning behind the one crash one use rule is that most helmets that are DOT approved are only required to keep you safe with an initial impact. Safe being a very optimistic word. Helmets are mostly made from an outer shell of a hardened material, fiberglass, carbon fiber and other materials. Usually lined with an impact foam (think Styrofoam) which after impact compresses and loses its "absorbing" qualities. Ever play with those big three foot foam airplanes when you were little that you threw?

As Jeff says also is that heat can also effect the foam after extended uses. A good rule of thumb is that if you don't know the history of the helmet.... it needs to be history.

****Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but, rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy Shit....What a ride!!!"****

Heat kills batteries and helmets. Never store your helmet in the back of a car during the summer, and if possible do not leave your helmet in the sun when the bike is parked. If you are riding 15,000 or more miles a year or live in a desert, the 4 year then replace rule is pretty good, but for less miles per year, you could easily double this number of years. I leave the helmet vents open even in the middle of the winter- there is less fogging and the inside of my helmet smells better.

Another thing to consider is if you have a Snell 2005 helmet, the Snell 2010 standard is supposed to be much safer, especially for people with smaller heads. DOT or other helmet standards have not changed much over the last 10 years. One tip is to buy Febreze spray to help keep your helmet from smelling like sweat, along with removing the inner liner for cleaning once in a while.

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