What would you have done differently buying gear in the beginning?
April 23, 2010 at 9:17 pm #25941eternal05Participant
…then they should lose your business. A lot of local businesses, however, aren’t, so that’s not a sweeping rule that applies everywhere.
In addition to MSF classes, most of my local dealers also support local riding clubs, riding schools, and club racers.April 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm #25954
This is my second season riding. I was just pondering this question in my mind.
I bought HJC helmet, SS gloves & Jacket (Fit great!), Tourmaster overpants (cheap) and a pair of steel toe boots (because I’m size 4E and motorcycle boots aren’t made for my feet unless I go up 2 full sizes!). All gear came from local dealers (except the boots, but I knew my size). Each piece had it’s own lesson.
1) HJC CL-15 Helmet has been great, but you get what you pay for. Since I don’t ride a lot, I haven’t noticed the helmet getting any looser, but those wind vents in the top reduce air flow, not increase it in my experience. On a hot day in California I close them to get circulation around my face. Can anyone confirm this experience? Also, a tinted visor costs a little extra and is a MUST HAVE.
2) Gloves and Jacket must fit well and I tried everyone in the store. I bought Speed and Strength on fit alone and toss pocketbook caution to the wind. That same jacket is now on clearance for $300+ less than what I paid on some websites. But having not tried the jacket on, I would not have bought from a website not knowing my size. Its a fair price for knowing it fits and not waiting whole season for a great deal. What was I gonna do, wear a T-shirt and shorts during my newbie phase? My other observation is that I have lost weight, roughly 1″ off my chest and waist. The Jacket still fits well, but I have now dropped a size and if I were to shop again I’d rather go to the store and test fit it before buying to see which size I’d rather have wrapped around my body. I am also more open to the idea of textile now that I have learned more. Even if leather can be used after a crash, would you want to ride around with a damaged jacket and wondering if the seams are still good for one more? I figure it’s all one use and replace under ideal circumstances.
3) I didn’t think I needed pants till I meet a one legged motorcyclist. I rather like my legs. Not sure what to get, as I did not have the money for matching leather pants for my wonderful jacket, i picked up a pair of inexpensive textile tourmaster pants. They fit fine, but lack any attachment for the jacket. I added a belt for confidence. They are waterproof, but don’t have a removable liner and don’t breath on hot days. My leather jacket is cool and refreshing compared to my pants on a hot day. They will be replaced, but my first trip out I melted the inside of the leg on the exhaust pipe. The benefit of my first pair being inexpensive is that I did not cry!
4) For boots, i’ve spent years wearing oversized shoes and hating them. I finally got sized as 4E wide and now can’t bring myself to go back to buying multiple sizes up. However, this leaves me with a limited choice of hiking and industial work shoes. I choose steel toe electrician boots, but while the soul and toe are sturdy and offer a 6″ top, ankle protection is modestly minimal with only leather between my joint and…. I don’t know what I’m gonna do yet, but I can tell you this. As a teenager I was in a dirt accident and my tennis shoes wear torn off my feet, so boots are a must have.
I think as far as doing things differently go, as I learned my lessons with each piece I buy, my only regret is that I still haven’t got myself a bike yet. I had visions of SV650’s or Ninja 650r’s when i started. But my wife’s S40 has been my loyal steed. I wonder if I look silly in a SS sport jacket riding her crusier? I’ll never know, since all I see is the open road!April 24, 2010 at 11:04 pm #25956Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
This is a common problem. Buy an ironing board cover, and sew a piece of this material over the melted spot.
For melted plastic on exhaust pipes, use some oven cleaner and a Scotchbrite scrubber pad when the exhaust pipes are hot- I also like Mothers aluminum polish as a gentle cleaner and polisher for chrome or aluminum.
For more ankle protection, pharmacies sell ankle braces, and sports stores sell ankle and shin armor for playing soccer. I have soccer ankle and shin guards, and skateboarding knee armor under low budget nylon motorcycle pants. They are cool in the summer, but leak a lot when it rains- I have a rain suit to put over them.April 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm #25959MunchParticipant
As far as the vents on the helmet goes it sounds like it was doing its job. The idea is not to circulate the air around to your face or throughout the helmet so much as it is designed to remove the hot air out of the helmet. Intake vents in the front exhaust vent(s) in the back. To get air on your face…. slightly lift the visor.April 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm #25967JackTradeParticipant
Depending on the model you bought, the vents may be designed for a certain riding position.
I have an HJC CL-15 (which I like…basic, but fits me well), and I’ve noticed that while riding in an upright position (like on a standard or a cruiser), there’s little difference in airflow with the vents open or closed. Around town, I do as Munch suggests and crack the visor…makes a world of difference.
But if riding in a more areodynamic position (tucked in, head forward), I can definitely feel the air flowing into the top vents.
Makes sense, as the CL-15 is designed as a sport helmet, for a sportbike riding position.April 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm #25968WeaponZeroParticipant
This was one of the reasons I chose a Scorpion helmet for my new el cheapo helmet. According to reviews on Sportbiketrackgear.com, most full face helmets are designed with a leaned forward, sport riding position in mind. So if you sit upright with the vents open you often get a whistling noise that goes away if you lean over more, and you don’t get much airflow. But with Scorpion EXO 400 and 700 models, that’s the opposite. You get the annoying noise and dereased airflow while leaned over because the vents are more positioned for upright/standard riding positions, which I thought was a good idea since I have an SV650.
That being said, I’ve owned 4 helmets so far and I’ve discovered that the leading cause (based on my personal experiences) for unwanted helmet noise is when the visor doesn’t seat properly while closed. The Shark RSi and HJC I had were especially bad with this. The Scorpion EXO 400 and Shark RSR2, not so much.
My next helmet will either be a Shoei RF-1100 or Icon Airframe.April 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm #25969eonParticipant
I loved the visor on my EXO400. I loved it even more when I bought another helmet and appreciated just how good the fog free feature is. I never did get the hang of the vents though. Too many little switches with no clear indication what is on and what is off and I never could feel any difference when playing with them when riding. One minus point against the visor is the first open position leaves a large gap. If you do need to crack it open you are going to get a lot of air (or rain) coming in.April 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm #26001
I had not thought of that. As for cracking it open, I don’t ride in rain much and the lip can be opened with a finger space or less when just cracked open. All good info, thanks everyone.April 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm #26002
What type of thread should I use for repairs to my textile gear? Do they make ballistic nylon thread or do I use something else? I was pondering adding velcro cuffs to the pant leg instead so I can close them when it gets cold at night.April 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm #26003briderdtParticipant
…but I used to repair my running shoes with dental floss.April 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm #26004SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I got a small snap kit at the hardware store and popped a pair into the cuffs of my overpants. The work great and help about sewing.April 28, 2010 at 1:28 am #26008IBA270Participant
Pick up a “snap” kit at a REAL HARDWARE store. You might find one at a big box, but you’ll definately find one at an ACE or the like…April 28, 2010 at 3:26 am #26014SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Yep, got mine at Orchard Hardware.
Unfortunately, you may find that simple brass snaps are the entry-drug of self serve fasteners. Before you know it, you’ll learn how to pop in grommets and then you’ll be spending sleepless nights thinking about all the cool things you can do with strips of canvas and a few snaps.May 22, 2010 at 2:50 am #26646SunyJimParticipant
I am a cruiser rider. And love my open face EXO-100 Helmet, Removable ear covers for when it’s cold, snap down hidden visor. It’s like a lego helmet. Fits great. Start with it late spring till early fall. LOVE IT! Bought it at the dealer. Figured size matters, wasn’t going to do the whole try it on, get my size then order it online thing.
Spring and Fall went for an EL Cheapo china made HCI full face helmet. Fogs up and is hot in the summer, but nice when it’s colder out. Bought it at a crappy motorcycle clearance place that constantly changes it’s name and goes out of business
I bought a great leather jacket, no brand name at the dealer, good leather, lots of ventilation zippers down both sides of the front of the jacket and down the back.
Chaps I bought online, asked lots of sizing questions and still had to get them altered. Kinda cheap leather, but if you can’t feel it and see it first… well that’s what you get.
Rain Suit – bought Frogg Toggs Leap Frogg outfit. Man nice and light, breathable and easy to stuff into a tiny spot in the saddlebags. BUT DAMN the melt like butter on the pipes. They make a heat patch, but really watch these things near your pipes.
I’ve added a heat patch to all my critical close to the pipe places and recommend them still. Well made good sizing, fits right over the leathers and boots, and good to go in minutes. They now sell boots Frogg Leggs that are heat resistant… should solve most of the melting issues.
In general my recommendation is, BIKE SHOWS, go try it on, everybody all the dealers from all over are there with all kinds of brands. Try it on see if they fit. Online prices, in person to see and feel and check the quality. That’s where I bought my gloves, my son’s jacket, my son’s helmet.May 22, 2010 at 3:21 am #26654an-evil-doerParticipant
I work in sales. I have customers come in and use my expertise every week who then think they are outsmarting me by purchasing from a warehouse online.
I still shop online for convenience myself, and competition is the key to capitalism, but there are two more dark implications involved in NOT supporting your local businesses,that you didn’t touch on.
1. You are hurting your local economy by not keeping dollars circulating in your area.
2. You are hurting your local economy by not having the taxes collected go to your own community.
You may feel like any time you pay a higher price for something you are being “ripped off” and perhaps sometimes you are, but if you go in and use a brick and mortar store as an extension of the online store you are supporting you are in fact ripping off the B&M for the rent, utilities, overhead, training, and information they provide you with as well.
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