March 19, 2009 at 4:50 am #2617Swami77Participant
I really want to buy a bike soon (who knows if I’ll be able too) and I’ve been wondering about protective gear.
My question, I guess, boils down to this: How much should I spend to adequately protect myself (helmet, jacket, pants, boots, gloves)?
Is it the more money I spend, the safer I am? My mother, who means well, thinks I should buy top-of-the-line everything and I found $1000 worth of stuff to placate her from Shift, Icon, and Shoei. Is that too much? Will a $150 helmet from Shoei protect as well as a $332 Shoei? It seems a bit ridiculous to spend $1000 on gear when the bike I want only costs $3500 new. Or can you never really spend too much money to protect yourself?
I guess that wasn’t as clear-cut as I thought it was. Oh well. Advice is always very much appreciated.
-Swami77March 19, 2009 at 5:53 am #17153megaspazParticipant
Don’t skimp on gear! That is all.March 19, 2009 at 11:33 am #17155KellisanthParticipant
If there’s a motorcycle show in your area, try to go and do that. Many times, you will find deals to be had at things like that. Seriously. I saved over 250USD on my leather jacket and gloves. Boots, I didn’t get a deal on.
Assume at most, 1000USD to start. I only ended up spending about 700USD initially. Spent a little more later on, for another set of jacket, gloves, and a safety vest (ORANGE). Will be looking for a new set of touring boots too (hopefully much cheaper!) and helmet (built-in sunvisor sounds good for this four-eyes).
You could shop around the internet, looking at clearance deals and such. As for rating, as long as it says DOT/Snell/ECE/CE on the stuff, then that’s good. Doesn’t matter if the bucket cost about 50USD or not (which I now kicked myself for not picking up, the GMax with the lights on the back), as long as it has a rating (and a proven company I would surmise as well) then don’t worry about it. I’d only worry if it is a half-helmet or a three-quarter.
As for how much it might cost to gear up, here’s an example of what my cost were for the stuff I bought at the show.
Bell Leviathan Helmet (DOT/Snell) – 80 – discounted
Fieldsheer Mercury Pants – 162 – discounted
Dragon Rider Leather Jacket (Sword) – 206 – discounted
Dragon Rider GP Pro (Leather Gauntlet Gloves) – 80 – discounted
Forma Street Evo Touring Boots (43) – 251 (stupid sales tax!!! – no discount)
About 780 there. Give or take. Like I said, I recently bought another set of jacket (Covert textile), gloves (same Dragon Rider stuff only in red – more vis than black), which was about 180 there (gave me a discount on the gloves and jacket!). A new vest (Icon MilSpec another 55USD). So close to 1000USD there. I’m gonna look into buying a new pair of pants (padded kevlar jeans) and the icon knee thingamabobs.
As I said, look around online. If you’re a member of AMA, you get an additional 10pct discount on BikeBandit purchases – which can help a lot!
I still need to do a write up review on my Dragon rider stuff. Hopefully after these next few days, I will do so. If anything, I know the leather is HOT… can’t breathe! Then again, I was stupid enough to walk around with it when it hit the 70s. 😮 Hard to get leather off sweaty arms. http://www.dragonriderusa.com
I’m wearing that jacket (profile pic) if you wondered what it looks like. Looks like there’s a discount on the gear until the end of the month. *ponders*
PS: And no, buying the most expensive gear and equipment will not make safer. It will lessen the damage (as compared to no gear), but it will offer no 100% guarantee of not causing injury or death.
Best “equipment” you can give yourself, is a MSF/Riding Safety Course. That, and proper equipment and practice are your best bet. And lots of good advise. (don’t trust me, for I could be wrong or forgetting something)March 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm #17157MattParticipant
The difference in protection between poorly assembled gear and well assembled gear is significant.
The plus side is that cost does not always translate (as other things that add cost, fashion for example, can increase the cost of an inferior-safetywise product).
When it comes to jackets and pants in particular, pay close attention to the stiching. Is the stitching looks shoddy, but the cost is high, it is no better than a cheaper shoddy stitched jacket.
From the little I’ve seen of them, a good Shift jacket should protect as well as a much more expensive fashionable brand.
Helmets: the difference between two Shoei helmets with similar features will come down to the shell, foam, and resin used. Presuming both meet the same standards, the more expensive one will last (wear) longer. Remember, get one that is comfortable. If it isn’t comfortable, the ride won’t be as fun.
I find the cheap Icon helmets to fit me nicely, and I may get one when it comes time to replace my Arai. But my Arai is down right luxurious. It feels like a Lexus around my head. Hard to move to a cheaper helmet after that.
You don’t have to pay for the most expensive to get great protection. But don’t go cheap.
Do not look at it as “It seems silly to spend $1000 when the bike I want is only $3500”. The gear is not there for the bike, it is there for you. And I’m sure we’ll all agree you are worth more than $3500. Secondly, with proper care most your gear (helmet withstanding) will out last your bike. Proper leather gear can last a life time. Helmets, due to the resins and foams degrading over time, need to be replaced every 3-5 years regardless of crashing.
Lastly, in regards to the MSF – there is an old saying in mountain biking (and probably lots of other high risk sports) “Bike skills or Medical bills”. It is completely worth every penny.
I’m not trying to say “skimp on gear, buy the cheapest stuff that looks good”.
I’m saying that paying more does not always get you more, especially when so many other things affect the cost of gear beyond protection ability. Good gear does not have to be the most expensive gear.
I should also point out that the sale price of my first bike was $800. I spent $1200 on gear. That bike is long gone. I’m on to my third bike now. I still have all the gear I bought for my MSF.March 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm #17159MedicParticipant
I spent about $170 on my helmet, HJC FS-10. Got it on ebay.
Jacet I got from Leatherup.com for about $90
Maybe $20 or so for some gloves, although I like my Oakleys better, but unless you can buy from USStandardissue, they’re gonna cost you.
Haven’t gotten pants yet, suppose I should do that.
Shop around, you can get good gear at reasonable pricesMarch 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm #17160Clay DowlingParticipant
is slightly cheaper.
for a total of $590
I’m wearing boots I already had, which were cheap but very sturdy. I’ll probably buy a pair of proper riding boots at some point though, which will run me up to $750 or so.March 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm #17166SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I got all my gear at steep discount, because I like good gear and I’m super cheap.
Teknic leather jacket — $100 (marked down from $299) at New Enough
X-Speed helmet — $110 at Cycle Gear (seen same helmet for half that elsewhere — grrrrr)
PowerTrip leather gloves — $20 (marked down from $50) at New Enough
Fox Padded Overpants — $20 (marked down from $100) at MCSuperstore (nice thick cordura, but no knee pads)
Zip-up steel toe leather work boots — $25 (you got it — on sale) Big 5
All in, that’s about $275. The only place I feel like I compromised on safety is the pants, so I may resolve that this summer.
I also agree with Matt that good gear will often outlast your bike. If it wasn’t for the fact that the leather Harley jacket I bought in 1994 seemed to shrink a bit every year, I’d still be wearing it.March 19, 2009 at 7:03 pm #17167MattParticipant
Man, I got into this sport one year too early… When I got into it the Canadian dollar was low, and the distributors were gouging canadians way above and beyond the exchange rate…
I paid (all in cnd):
$500 for Arai Quantum 2 helmet
$40 Icon gloves
$100 for work boots
$300 for a Joe Rocket Jacket
$200 Alter-ego pants
roughly $1140 for my gear…
If I bought now, knowing what I know, having cheaper good gear available, I figure I’d do it for half as much.
If only I knew about newenough at the timeMarch 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm #17170SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I’m thinking about making it my homepage!! HAHAHAMarch 21, 2009 at 12:25 am #17199KellisanthParticipant
An interesting read, if you haven’t Swami… This link was from the EX250 wiki.March 21, 2009 at 4:36 am #17202nau_lax21Participant
check scorpion. at least for helmets, you get a ton of bang for the buck. i have the exo400 and i love it. dunno about their jackets and other gear tho
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