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Thunderbird Cruiser Chat Cruiser chat for the the Thunderbird twin

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Old 06-18-2012, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need some advice on riding gear.

I've decided I am going to "gear up" the rest of the way. I've always worn a full face helmet, and jeans...but I've decided I should probably go the rest of the way and get some boots, proper riding jeans, a jacket, and gloves...and I need some advice.

I've always ridden in tennis shoes, so I am looking for a boot that is really comfortable, doesn't look like some sort of robot boot, but offers some protection. I don't think I'd like a full boot, and I'd rather have something like a "riding shoe". The Sidi Blade looks like it might work, but it's about as space age looking as I'd like to go. Anybody have experience with these types of shoes/boots?

I really like riding in jeans, so I was looking for some reinforced riding jeans. Are they really necessary? I suppose regular jeans would break down pretty fast in a slide, correct?

Gloves won't be a problem, I can run to the local shop and try on as many pairs as I want. I wear them when it gets cold, but typically not in the Summer. Aside from the fact that I know your hands are typically the first thing to get shredded up in a fall... I find the Thunderbird grips a little slick in really hot weather. So I was going to get a pair of Summer gloves now, and then upgrade my Winter gloves when the time comes.

Jackets...this is where I really struggle. I've been eyeing the vented racing jacket at Fox Creek Leather for a few years now, and I'll probably get it. However, when it's 90 degrees here, I can't imagine wearing a leather jacket, no matter how vented it is. So, I'd like something that will work in the heat, and fits the look of the Storm. Primarily, I am looking for something to keep my skin on in a wreck, and the added benefit to a jacket, albeit mundane...is that it keeps my arms from getting sunburnt. I don't particularly care about armor. I want something comfortable that provides a fair amount of protection.

I understand that the best way to find this stuff is to go try it on. Unfortunately, a lot of it isn't available locally. We do have one really large store that carries the major brands, and I do plan on checking it out. I am just looking for some advice, and hopefully some items that I can get added to a short list to make sure I seek out. Also, I know this stuff gets really expensive. I don't mind paying a decent amount for the gear, if it's going to be of good quality, and last me many years....within reason though. For example, I've seen sone jeans that are $400+...I don't think I could do that. I could pay $200 for some jeans, but I think that's about it. I'll pay $400 or so for a jacket, and approx $200 for some boots. Those are my parameters. Since I'll be buying the leather jacket from Fox Creek (unless someone turns me on to an alternative), I'd like to keep the summer jacket under a couple hundred bucks, since it likely will only be used a couple months a year.

Thanks all, sorry for the long post.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Boots: for 2 days after I started riding again, I did it in sneakers. Purchased a fairly inexpensive pair of Icon boots and have never worn sneakers since. I feel much more in tune with the motorcycle.

Jacket: a couple of options, I have a Taichi jacket that is very well vented. In the heat you can add either a cooling vest (about $50 at Cycle Gear) or simply a wet rag (or small towel) on your neck, helps alot.

Gloves: Again I have Taichi. I found their products to have exceptional fit.

Jeans: You shouldn't pay more than $100 for some riding jeans.

Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not a subject i'm real knowledgeable about, but i do have a couple thoughts. On gloves, deerskin. You probably know that but in case you don't they are thinner and softer and make for a good summer set. Or maybe leather since it IS going to be less likely to go thru during a trip down the asphalt, but a set that has holes cutout for venting. i think they have those don't they? They have those fingerless ones the harley guys use but obviously they won't help.

On jackets, i beg to differ on leather...i actually find they are COOLER than vented for me. The reason is nothing is better at blocking wind. And the wind on a real hot day is bad because it sorta drives the heat into your body like shooting a hair dryer at yourself. Now hold a piece of leather in front of the dryer and while it's still be hot in that room being near the dryer, it won't be near as hot as it it's blast is directly hitting you. I made the mistake of riding in a T shirt yesterday when it was in the 90's where i was, and i got extremely overheated. I have driven thru the desert on 105 degree days with a leather jacket and been fine. You will feel hot when it's hot no matter what you wear. but unless theres a tiny bit at least of coolness in the wind as you ride, a vented jacket will do nothing but allow the heat to be driven into you like a hair dryer. You may want a vented one for those in between days or if you live in a very humid climate. But otherwise i find leather best in any weather except very humid. Thats my experience anyways but like always YMMV.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDMC_Sage View Post
I really like riding in jeans, so I was looking for some reinforced riding jeans. Are they really necessary? I suppose regular jeans would break down pretty fast in a slide, correct?
Although true riding jeans are best, I searched for the heaviest regular jean I could find for everyday use. I finally found the Wrangler Cowboy Cut in the rigid blue to have the heaviest weight fabric available. These are real, old fashion, heavy duty, work jeans in the cardboard stiff (rigid blue) new denim. Yeah, remember what jeans used to be?

Sure they may not be kevlar & leather reinforced but for daily riding they sure offer FAR more protection than your old, worn, pre-washed and for the price you can cycle 2-3 pair rather than living in and wearing out one dirty pair of MC jeans.

Here is a link: http://wranglerwestern.wrangler.com/...oy%20cut/47MWZ
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Last edited by Mr Bentwrench; 06-18-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the advice, very helpful!

Andy
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Jackets...this is where I really struggle. However, when it's 90 degrees here, I can't imagine wearing a leather jacket, no matter how vented it is. So, I'd like something that will work in the heat, and fits the look of the Storm. I don't particularly care about armor. I want something comfortable that provides a fair amount of protection.
Now that the weather is going into the low 90's in the afternoon, I seem to be the only one still wearing a jacket. While sitting at the lights, I know why!

I really don't feel comfortable anymore without an armored jacket so I am about ready to set a "90* rule". I ride on days where it's no more than 90deg when I'm out. When its going to be 90 and above, I'll take the air conditioned car.

I'd imagine KY & OH summers are just as hot and humid.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr Bentwrench View Post
Now that the weather is going into the low 90's in the afternoon, I seem to be the only one still wearing a jacket. While sitting at the lights, I know why!

I really don't feel comfortable anymore without an armored jacket so I am about ready to set a "90* rule". I ride on days where it's no more than 90deg when I'm out. When its going to be 90 and above, I'll take the air conditioned car.

I'd imagine KY & OH summers are just as hot and humid.
Yeah, I have a buddy in Paintsville, KY, and it seems as though our weather is similar...maybe a tad hotter there. It's going to be in the low 90s here for the next few days, and that's pretty brutal for riding. The helmet is really bad when it's that hot. Problem is, in OH you go from about 50 in the spring to 90+ over about a weeks time, and then the same holds true from Summer to Fall...so you don't get a lot of ideal riding days. That's kind of why I have skimped on the gear thus far, but I don't want to take anymore chances so I suppose I'll put up with being hot. Dainese looks like they make some really nice Summer jackets, so I may go check those out until I need the colder weather gear.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Last time I crashed the only part not geared up was my ankle .... guess what part of me got road rash?

I agree the robo boots are uncomfortable for around town riding but something over your ankle is best.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Last time I crashed the only part not geared up was my ankle .... guess what part of me got road rash?

I agree the robo boots are uncomfortable for around town riding but something over your ankle is best.
The ones I am looking at do cover the ankle, and have protection there. They just don't go all the way to the knee. I may run up tonight and try some on.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For Boots:
I have the TCX X Square and they are great. About $100.
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