When I first started riding this was the gear I bought:
HJC CL-15 helmet – paid $130 for it, even though online retailers were selling them for under $100. After roughly 6 months of owning it and breaking it in, the liner padding broke down to the point where the helmet that was snug on me now bounced around on my head.
Joe Rocket Atomic 3.0 Textile jacket – great ventilation, great fit, poor stitching, poor zippers. Paid $185 for it even though online retailers were selling them for $130. I about cried when I found out I overpaid by that much for it.
River Road leather gloves – aimed at the cruiser rider. was a mistake to buy. didn’t suit my needs in the end, sacrificed too much protection for style.
Tourmaster Solution WP boots – overall good, and great for the money, but they seem to run narrow so those of you who have wider feet like myself will need to go up one full size if not more to be able to accomodate the width of your foot. Also, no toe protection.
Over time I eventually replaced all of it (but the boots-I still wear them when the weather calls for a possibility of rain as they are waterproof)
I now own:
Scorpion EXO-400 (my favorite to wear despite being the cheapest because it fits my head shape the best)
Scorpion All-In leather jacket (traditional black leather jacket, good for cold/cool weather riding)
Scorpion Stinger leather jacket (sport-styled full perf leather jacket, good for hot weather)
Teknic Freestyle waterproof textile jacket (cool looks, quality construction, but design features don’t work as well in practice as they do on paper–definitely getting replaced soon)
Alpinestars Apex Drystar gloves (foul weather full gauntlet gloves– decent but not as protective as i would like. confirmed waterproof. not as good in cold weather as i would have first thought but definitely works)
Speed & Strength Moment of Truth SP Short gloves (hot weather short gloves that are a combination of mesh and leather with knuckle protection–fits my hand perfectly, love them)
Tourmaster Solution WP boots (waterproof, full length, full leather–no ventilation so your feet roast in the heat, no adjustability so better hope they fit as-is, and no toe protection. good overall boots for the money but you’ll find better if you’re willing to spend more.)
ICON Field Armor boots–GREAT!!!!! PERFECT RIDING BOOTS especially for HOT WEATHER!!!! only thing was the break-in process was EXTREMELY painful. 2 days of hell while wearing these boots but once they broke in, PERFECT FIT, SUPER COMFORTABLE. And INSANELY PROTECTIVE.
Tourmaster HT II Mesh Overpants (great for what they are–mesh overpants with reinforced ballistic nylon in impact zones, soft foam armor in hips and knees, adjustable waist that has a good 6″ of adjustment or so, and a removable waterproof and windproof liner. GREAT for what they are.)
ICON Field Armor Leg Guards (not a fan. no adjustability for size although they say otherwise, and gets in the way of wearing full length boots with them. can’t wear my tourmasters with them.)
Knox Cross Knee Leg Guards (AWESOME!! Bought these to replace my ICON Field Armor Leg Guards and much happier with them. higher quality, more comfortable, comfy enough to wear all day)