Some of the gear all the time - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 1:21 am Thread Starter
 
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Some of the gear all the time

Flame suit on
I have read numerous posts during the last 4+ years about ATGATT and each time I wonder if I am "sitting out here" by myself.
I prefer a 3/4 helmet (BMW System 4) and only use a full face when it's raining and/or damned cold.
I usually wear Draggin Jeans but have been known to use straight denims.
If it's hot you will frequently find me wearing an Under Armor T-shirt.
I always wear riding boots.
I don't own armoured riding pants or jackets.
In 47+ years of riding I have "gone down" a number of times, some with no/little injuries and a couple with broken bones (makes you a good weather forecaster as you age---I feel every change).
I have lived my adult years in high risk environments, first as a police officer and currently as a firefighter but I am definitely not "looking" to get hurt. I do believe that when my "ticket is pulled" I will have little choice in the matter.
Soooo--- my question. Does any-one else in this community ride this way or am I one in over 8000 ?
Flame suit off.
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post #2 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 2:27 am
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Roy -

OK - I'll start....even though I also believe "when it's time, it's time", I also do not think it is wise to tempt the gods. This year marks 29 years for me as a licenced motorcycle rider, down only once 28 years ago (not my fault and not injured due to mass consumption of beer, but that's another story).

The helmet law passed in 1990 in California, and prior to that time I would often ride on surface streets without a helmet (usually no faster than 45 - 50 mph). I did not own boots or any riding gear except my full helmet and gloves. I quickly learned to wear a helmet on the freeway after being struck in the face by a bumble bee at about 70 mph.

I did not get any other gear until I bought the LT, which was part of the deal with my wife. Got some Sidi boots and a Roadcrafter suit, and now actually feel nekked without them. Except for the last 3 weeks, when it's been 100+ in parts of Southern California. Just too hot for the Roadcrafter, so I began riding without gear, figuring the heat wave wouldn't last. But it did. So, after a week of pure guilt, I purchased the BMW Venting Machine jacket & pants. Much lighter, much cooler, and the pants make my ass look great.

Since joining this board, have read many accounts of folk's crashes - both with and without gear. We all know what can happen - either way. However, I know I'd feel really stupid if I wrecked with my Roadcrafter hanging in the closet.

So, now I'm covered, so to speak - hot or cold. But, every now and then I will ride around the neighborhood without a helmet, just to feel that total feeling of freedom. And, I'll still go to the neighborhood store with just boots, helmet and gloves, knowing that just because it's a short jaunt doesn't guarantee it will be an accident-free ride.

But, like most I guess, I assess the "probable" danger and will accept any consequences of my actions.

Is that still tempting the gods??

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
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post #3 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 2:36 am
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I never wear armor.
In the am hours, during the summer, I usually wear a bmw jacket, but with the armor out. the rest of the time I'm jeans, dockers, and a pull over shirt. Took the armor out the day that I purchased the jacket and never put it back in. I do wear boots when riding.
In the winter months, same type of clothing, same bmw jacket, only with an elecctric vest under it, and a pair of long johns on.
Sometimes I do ride hard when I'm on the Cherohalla or the Dragon, or going over the top of the world, but most of the time, safe. About the only thing that I really worry about is someone hitting me in a car. Body armor is not going to do you any good in that type of accident.
Like you, I wear a half helment in hot weather, and a full helment with a full face shield in the cold months, or when raining.
Richard

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post #4 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 6:20 am
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Tried the kevlar pants was not impressed (so they are now 4 pair or draggin shorts)
I also wear
shorts
tennis shoes
helmet
flip flops
full riding suit
I never wear shorts flip flops and full helmet together
I wear gloves and eye protection all the time
Rock
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post #5 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 6:22 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
Flame suit on
I have read numerous posts during the last 4+ years about ATGATT and each time I wonder if I am "sitting out here" by myself.
I prefer a 3/4 helmet (BMW System 4) and only use a full face when it's raining and/or damned cold.
I usually wear Draggin Jeans but have been known to use straight denims.
If it's hot you will frequently find me wearing an Under Armor T-shirt.
I always wear riding boots.
I don't own armoured riding pants or jackets.
In 47+ years of riding I have "gone down" a number of times, some with no/little injuries and a couple with broken bones (makes you a good weather forecaster as you age---I feel every change).
I have lived my adult years in high risk environments, first as a police officer and currently as a firefighter but I am definitely not "looking" to get hurt. I do believe that when my "ticket is pulled" I will have little choice in the matter.
Soooo--- my question. Does any-one else in this community ride this way or am I one in over 8000 ?
Flame suit off.

Well, as someone who has responded to many emergencies and knows something about injuries, maybe ya should classify just what each piece of gear does. What does the helmet protect? What are the consequences of not wearing a helmet or just wearing a shortie helmet, etc...? Same with body armor.

It seems to me that you can classify the gear in a least two categories: road rash/bruises/broken bones AND more serious injuries.

Once you have lost control of the situation (ie-going down or hitting a car), then what does your gear do? Are you willing to accept road rash on your legs because you wear denims? Are you willing to accept possible damage to your jaw because of a shortie helmet? It's all up to the individual rider.

As for me, full-face Arai, armor jacket, armor gloves, BMW Transition boots. The weak part for me is the risk of road rash below the waist.

So, decide what risk you are comfortable with and go with it. It's your arse and your decision...not really fate. Either way ride safe!!!

See ya on the road...
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post #6 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 6:23 am
 
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I love armor. I won't ride without it, jacket at a minimum (bmw savannah)..have darien armor pants but I wear jeans around town and sometimes even on a longer trip (like last week due to the heat).

I also plan to buy the bmw vented pants.

Open face Aria (flip shield), held gloves, sidi boots.....never go anywhere without these at a minimum. Full face on the long trips...sometimes.

Armor has saved me from breaking bones on two slow lowsides, one on the beemer, the other on the yamaha. Didn't even bruise my elbow when I went down with the vanson mesh on in TX, but bruised my un-armored knee on the bike since I wasn't wearing the darien pants at the time.

What gear does for me is like a lot of other things in life...it allows you, in a bad situation, to worry about the situation rather than your arse when you hit the ground or anything else. Gear allows you to ride the bike as far as you can with some confidence into (or better yet, out of) a bad situation.

I can deal with the thought of broken bones...but not road rash!!! Saw plenty of that on my brother's back when he turned his bicycle in front of a brand new harley sportster back around 1970.

So ya, gear makes me a much better rider in every respect because it gives me the freedom to RIDE

Yes, it is a personal choice I do agree...but I still encourage all I see without it (youngsters) to get some gear on. I wish someone would have told me that when I had my first bike in 71, I'm just daym lucky to be here in one piece.

adios!..geo
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post #7 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 6:39 am
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When I was on my V-Twin, I always rode in jeans, T-shirt/tank top/nekked from the waist up, boots, fingerless gloves, and shorty helmet (glasses, of course). I guess I figured it was the "correct look".

Then I saw my first up close and personal case of severe road rash when a car backed out of a parking spot in front of a guy on a bike, dressed like me. It wasn't pretty, and I started wondering how several thousand dollars worth of artwork (I'm pretty much covered in tattoos) would look after most of it was smeared along the pavement.

Enter the wife (Telle) and the LT. Now it's a 3/4 helmet (full face when really cold), Cortech armored jacket and pants, full gloves. Even upgraded my boots from work boots to riding boots. I admit, if it's really hot and humid, and I'm not on the highway, I'll pack the jacket in the side case and ride in a T-shirt.
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post #8 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 7:00 am
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I wear Most of the Gear Most of the Time. Like many, I started out riding at an early age of 16 and really didn't know any difference and in those day's we just hoped on the bike and took off. West Virginia is a great place to learn and ride. Really miss the hills.

Through the years I've been luck enough to be able to learn at others expense and have added protection. Even in Florida, I generally ride with protective pants, a good armor jacket, gloves, full (used to be 3/4) helmet and the boots. Everything is ventilated and I am really cooler with the ventilated pants vs. jeans and I'm more aware of my environment with the full helmet, not to mention riding in the rain with the full helmet vs. 3/4. There is no comparison.

I do feel naked without the protective gear, even tough my bike is now TopLess, and generally always put it on before a ride.

Dano
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post #9 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 7:45 am
 
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I am a some of the gear type. Always long sleeves always wear gloves.3/4 helmet, full face if It's really cold.I like "soft" armor jacket for touring usually wear heavy denim and chaps. I do wear full armor and heavy racing leather when playing hard on my sportbike.
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post #10 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 8:29 am
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You are not alone. Like RLV I too pull the armor out at time of purchase. You should see the look on the salesmen's face when you pull the stuff out and ask for a trash can. There is still plenty of padding left for a one time slide. Otherwise I try to keep my body covered, ie - jeans, jacket, gloves, boots. Even on hot days I feel that blocking the sun and direct wind is most comfortable. I am still working on getting my wife used to wearing more protection. There are occasions when we'll be in shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. Never open shoes. One may get road rash from less protection, but I have never seen a death on a motorcycle that wasn't from a blunt impact or impailment. I will make brief mention of a persons neck being run over by another bike. How you going to protect from that?

We both are 100% on wearing helmets, usually at the 3/4 stage. However, I feel the rider and passenger should have the right to decide on a helmet or not. I am also 100% on gloves. So, if you see me riding naked, I'll have a helmet and gloves on.

OK, now the usual track qualifier. In 10 years of track time I never wore a piece of armor. In fact I quit wearing leather after 4 years and went strictly with cordura karting type suits. Depending on how bad the get off was the nylon suit could be used again after a slide. I've worn all the way through both leather and nylon with very little road rash. The problems were always punctures from debris on and off the track.


FWIW - I have not had the pleasure of going down during street riding in spite of several unplanned off road excursions and being hit by cars 2x. I am not saying it can't happen though. I just accept the risk.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #11 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 8:41 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
Flame suit on
I have read numerous posts during the last 4+ years about ATGATT and each time I wonder if I am "sitting out here" by myself.
I prefer a 3/4 helmet (BMW System 4) and only use a full face when it's raining and/or damned cold.
I usually wear Draggin Jeans but have been known to use straight denims.
If it's hot you will frequently find me wearing an Under Armor T-shirt.
I always wear riding boots.
I don't own armoured riding pants or jackets.
In 47+ years of riding I have "gone down" a number of times, some with no/little injuries and a couple with broken bones (makes you a good weather forecaster as you age---I feel every change).
I have lived my adult years in high risk environments, first as a police officer and currently as a firefighter but I am definitely not "looking" to get hurt. I do believe that when my "ticket is pulled" I will have little choice in the matter.
Soooo--- my question. Does any-one else in this community ride this way or am I one in over 8000 ?
Flame suit off.

No your the only one

and there are no pictures to proove otherwise



Tom (who owns a half helmet rides in jeans almost all the time but usually wears some type of jacket to help either keep the sun off me or cold off me)

and btw for you yankees, cold is below 70 degrees!

Tom

'07 GS Adv (mine), '06 GS <(My brides)
(the only bmw's in the stable)
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post #12 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:01 am
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Tampa PD

It is interesting that the local Tampa Police Department rides with 3/4 helmet, regular pants and short sleeve shirts. Occasionally I see gloves. I wonder if there is a reason why they lack the so called proper gear other than the heat and constant activity...

By the way, they all ride Harleys and never seem to miss an opportunity to comment positively on my BMW.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

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02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #13 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:36 am
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Most of the gear, most of the time.
I'm usually wearing the flip-front, gloves, riding boots and a mesh jacket with the hard armor removed. I'm bad about just wearing jeans in hot weather instead of some mesh riding pants which I haven't gotten to buying yet.

I'll change helmets to a half style when I'm on the RT and it's hot, because I can stash it in a saddlebag.

Follow your front wheel...
Steve S.

1998 Harley Davidson FLHR-P
1998 BMW R1100RT-P (Black Mariah)
2002 BMW K1200LTE (Bayou Buffalo)

If it rolls, floats, flies or shoots, runs on gasoline or gunpowder, is loud, goes fast, or shoots a big bullet, thus producing Torque or Recoil....It's Cool.

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post #14 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:54 am
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riding gear

I have ridden for 23 years and for the last 20, almost daily in all weather. I ride dirt, track, high speed street, commuting and touring. When I first got my LT and started reading the posts of the then new K1200LT site on Yahoo(rememeber those days) I had an epiphany of sorts. There were riders who did huge miles and had lots of experience who had had an accident. Hit a deer or a driver did something they couldn't control. Most of these crash stories ended witht rider walking away with little or no injury and were wearing all the gear. I started to think that if these guys whe had tons of riding experience could crash, then so might I. As a father of two and the sole support of the family, I decided to start wearing the gear.

Look at a guy like Don Arthur who has more miles then most and certainly would have to be classified as a highly skilled rider..but he crashed and while he did get injured, we all know that if he wasn't wearing all of the best stuff..well , things would have turned out alot differently.

I tend to wear pants,jacket, boots, helmet, gloves about 75% of the time. Occaisonally I leave off the boots and pants but only for short local rides. I figure that you can't beat the probabilities and sooner or later you are going to go down. Strange thing is I actually feel odd not wearing the gear. The key thing is to buy the best, well fitting gear you can afford. Have a decent variety if you can, for different seasons and conditions and you will grow to feel odd without the gear.

Just my .02 worth

Ron
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post #15 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 10:24 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
It is interesting that the local Tampa Police Department rides with 3/4 helmet, regular pants and short sleeve shirts. Occasionally I see gloves. I wonder if there is a reason why they lack the so called proper gear other than the heat and constant activity...

By the way, they all ride Harleys and never seem to miss an opportunity to comment positively on my BMW.
i've often wondered why they don't wear some type of really ventilated coats there, living in FL most of my life I really found out you are much cooler with some type of long sleeved protection, ya know from the sun, too bad it took me dang near 30 years to figure that out, (or maybe i didn;t care if I "looked Cool" anymore

i understand the 1/2 police style helmets, heck that is what i wore most all the time there, in fact when i go down to work there I bring it just for the commute to and from work.

Tom

'07 GS Adv (mine), '06 GS <(My brides)
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post #16 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 12:02 pm
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I rode a stripped down Harley for over 15 years before I put a windshield on it.
Now I wouldn't ride anything without a windshield.
I rode for 30+ years in boots, jeans, t-shirt and helmet only if I had to.
Now I wouldn't consider riding without a helmet.
I never had or wore armour or mesh gear until a couple of years ago
and the influence of the members of this list had a lot to do with that.
Now wearing "the gear" feels normal.
You can buy a mesh jacket for under a hundred bucks.
When we crashed in May (hit an Elk up in Idaho) both of out jackets were destroyed, it was money well spent.
So what's the moral of my little story?
As riders and people we evolve and change our style depending upon our enviroment (I think this forum qualifies as an enviroment)
Just by asking the question that started this thread makes me think you are "considering" some changes yourself.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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post #17 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 12:15 pm Thread Starter
 
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Good comments all, and yes Hans I have seriously considered "upgrading".
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post #18 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 2:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
I rode a stripped down Harley for over 15 years before I put a windshield on it.
Now I wouldn't ride anything without a windshield.
I rode for 30+ years in boots, jeans, t-shirt and helmet only if I had to.
Now I wouldn't consider riding without a helmet.
I never had or wore armour or mesh gear until a couple of years ago
and the influence of the members of this list had a lot to do with that.
Now wearing "the gear" feels normal.
You can buy a mesh jacket for under a hundred bucks.
When we crashed in May (hit an Elk up in Idaho) both of out jackets were destroyed, it was money well spent.
So what's the moral of my little story?
As riders and people we evolve and change our style depending upon our enviroment (I think this forum qualifies as an enviroment)
Just by asking the question that started this thread makes me think you are "considering" some changes yourself.

are we related? or did i swipe your bikes and gear (since you are older than I am by a long shot)



seriously we sound exactly alike

but God still rides a Panhead

Tom

'07 GS Adv (mine), '06 GS <(My brides)
(the only bmw's in the stable)
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post #19 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 2:13 pm
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My wife and I are still in our first year of riding. We wear full-face helmets (recently moved away from open-face style), armored jackets, gloves, boots... and jeans, no matter how hot it is. We both want/need some armored pants, just are reluctant to spend the $$. (yes, I know what an ER visit costs, and it's a lot less than a Roadcrafter, for example)

I think each person has to make their own choice. For us, it's "most of the gear all the time".

Presently on our minds is a car-bike wreck that involved 2 kids we went to school with. Husband is still in the hospital with multiple broken bones and road rash, etc.; wife lost her left leg and has multiple broken bones. She had a helmet on, he did not; neither one wearing protective clothing other than jeans (not much "protection"), but it wouldn't have mattered in their case.

2 other guys on bikes were killed in this instance.

I'm of the opinion you should protect yourself as much as possible; nothing will protect you (that I know of) from a huge impact. I saw an "air-bag vest" and jacket demo'd at BMWMOA last week. Expensive, but could really help protect your neck and torso.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #20 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 3:37 pm
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For me it depends primarily on the temperature and other weather factors. Winter, Spring, and late Fall: armored overpants with lining, armored jacket with lining, full face helmet, gloves, boots, and, if it's really cold, electric vest. Late Spring, Summer, early Fall: armored overpants and jacket without lining if it is a cool morning, gloves, 3/4 helmet, boots. Otherwise street clothing, 1/2 helmet, boots. Not logical, I know, and I will have to re-evaluate. But neither is it logical that many of us who might wear armor and full-face lid on a longer trip will run down to the nearby store without: several studies of bike accidents that resulted in serious injury have demonstrated that the majority of such accidents happen within 5 miles of home. (Maybe they resulted in serious injury because folks who otherwise would have worn armor and helmet did not for a short jaunt?)

Bill
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post #21 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 7:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byke33
I tend to wear pants,jacket, boots, helmet, gloves about 75% of the time. Occaisonally I leave off the boots and pants but only for short local rides.
Hmmm, bet the neighbors enjoy THAT sight! :-)

(Sorry, Ron, couldn't resist!)
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post #22 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 7:33 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
My wife and I are still in our first year of riding. We wear full-face helmets (recently moved away from open-face style), armored jackets, gloves, boots... and jeans, no matter how hot it is. We both want/need some armored pants, just are reluctant to spend the $$. (yes, I know what an ER visit costs, and it's a lot less than a Roadcrafter, for example)
You may want to consider the "Jean Pants" made by TourMaster. They are very reasonable in cost, have (removable) armor in the knees and hips, fit well, and are waterproof. I have a pair and have been very happy with them.
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post #23 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 8:23 pm
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Cool Blabbing about the heat and what to wear....

I went out today in high 80's low 90's humidity of the Northeast. It was brutal when stopped. On the move not so bad. I wore jeans, Alpinestar boots, tee shirt, Je Rocket mesh jacket and full face Arai. I was driving in some rush hour traffic on our Merrit Parkway, where high speeds, tailgating and some fairly aggressive drivers makes me think that all the sweat is nowhere as important as good protective gear if sonething goes wrong. Around town I would feel OK in jeans and tee shirt with a good helmet, but I always seems to have a highway component to my rides these days. Since most of my miles are done in the summer, I hardly ever get to use the Aerostich suit except for March and November runs. I'm thinking of selling it and using the money for better quality mesh clothes, wither BMW Venting Machine or equal quality. For summer evenings I have a Vansen Perforated jacket that looks and feels great, and moves a lot of air through, but in hot sun the black leather soaks up a lot of sun-heat.

Laurence Hendrick

2008 K1200GT, Dark Graphite (Oh my, so fast!)
2005 LT Ocean Blue (Sold and comfort will be missed, but not the weight)
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post #24 of 54 Old Jul 27th, 2006, 9:01 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tat_n_Telle
You may want to consider the "Jean Pants" made by TourMaster. They are very reasonable in cost, have (removable) armor in the knees and hips, fit well, and are waterproof. I have a pair and have been very happy with them.
Thanks.

There are actually a large # of good-protection pants out there, some of which are reasonably priced. Even BMW's summer pants (don't know the product name) are under $200. We just need to get off our rear, try some on, and buy them.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #25 of 54 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 7:38 am
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I always ride with a full face helmet. 100% use

I usually ride with some type of protective jacket (I ride with a mesh jacket with armour in the summer, but I don't think they really will do much in a wreck) 95% use

I usually ride with gloves 90% use

I only ride with riding pants when it is cold or raining. 25% use
I only ride with boots on long trips or if it will rain. 25% use

Boots are the most over rated piece of safety gear. Sorry guys, they are not going to prevent a broken ankel. They are great at keeping you feet dry.

In my younger days I have wrecked with sneakers on about 10 times at speeds varying from 5 to 80 mph. Feet and ankels were fine. Shoulders, back, elbows, butt and knees never fared well.
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post #26 of 54 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 9:20 am
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Man, I enjoy reading this post. There are so many different views. I fit in the category of "some" not all.
I used to work half my time at an out of town location and had to wear the shirt & Tie with dress shoes. I put on my half helmet and tucked my tie into my shirt so it would not blow around.I did this about two weeks a month and it is 72 miles of highway one way. The only time I put on a jacket was when it either rained or was cold. I worked evenings so most of the time I had one saddlebag with a leather (yes, leather) jacket in cast it did get below 70* but living in South Texas it does not happen too often.
This Beemer is a different bike than what I have had in a long time and reading all the posts about ATGATT is a new concept for me.
I was at a tech session in April and when we were getting ready to leave, the host asked me what I was going to ware home besides my half helmet and tennis shoes. I looked him square in the eye and told him sunscreen. He went to his closet and gave me his old mesh jacket (shout out to my man Grif) and told me Marry Christmas. That is the VERY FIRST time I have ever put on a jacket while not cold. I have NEVER worn any type of gear except a helmet unless I was trying to get out of nasty weather. It opened my eyes. I now have a jacket that my wife and son share and might even get them each one. I have a full face helmet and gloves but still leathers for the cold, all eight day of our winter.
I wish I could say I ware ATGATT but I do not. I now have the full face helmet, boots, and gloves and sometimes I do not put on the gloves.
Maybe someday.....maybe someday.

"BONES" <///><
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post #27 of 54 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 6:25 pm
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Cool Well OK

Tell you what, three years ago my best riding buddy got wacked. Serious enough to knock him and his wife out for several minutes. When he woke up the cop standing above him said to him if you hadn't been wearing a helmut you'd be dead. Now before this happened I wore a helmet half the time now it's a schuberth all the time as well as armored gear. All of the summer stuff cooler than wearing jeans. The first Gear mesh tex jacket is definitely cooler than a jean jacket. You've got a lot of choices and not all of them expensive. Please dress right I hate to lose my riding buddys.
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post #28 of 54 Old Jul 28th, 2006, 7:32 pm
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Cool Lessons learned the hard way! (long)

OK gang, I had been staying out of this cause i did not want to come across as preaching to anyone, but here is my take on why I wear ATGATT!:

Lesson 1 in 1972: Within 20 miles of home, putting along on my Honda CB-350 in Portland I failed to notice the car ahead of me had stopped (too many mini-skirts around town then!) until I had almost rear ended them. Slammed on my brakes and found I was in loose gravel, so down we went! Slow speed, less than 15 MPH I'd say. The first thing a person will do is throw their hands out to help brace for a fall. I did. Ended up with mucho little gravel pebbles imbedded in flesh under a peel;d back flap of skin on one palm. Got back on the Bike, rode to the Emergency room, and got stitched up after Doc scrapped the gravel out of the raw meat! You do not want to know how it felt! Lesson learned: Do not ride without gloves! I have not since.

Lesson 2 in 1974: Once again, within less than 20 miles of home this time (home being a Barracks!). After some celebrating with fellow Coasties, a bunch of us with Bikes decided to go for a ride. After we stopped for one of the group to tighten something that had vibrated off of one of the Brit Bikes, we all pull back on the road to continue the ride. I happened to be near the back of the pack on my brand new 1974 Norton 850 Commando and noticed that one of the younger guys had not left the pullout yet. Now the rest of the pack was roaring down the road, and I was pouring the coal to mine as well, but still looking back to see if our little dirt bike buddy was gonna make it. Before I can say "What the F---!" I feel something wrong on the Bike and look forward again to see the rear end of my roommate's brand new 1974 Honda 750 filling my vision! Before I can even think about what to do, I am running my front tire up the back of his Bike, it glances off the rear of the Bike, and follows the left calf of the passenger he had on the Bike, and (I am told, since I ended up losing it right about here) heading for the stratosphere! The story goes that I was flung off the Norton, it ended up actually flipping all the way over and landed on the front wheel. I know the landing part is true cause I had to later replace both forks which were severely bent back! I end up on the side of the road unconscious, with a broken collar bone and some road rash. My head and shoulder took the brunt of the fall, and if I had not been wearing a helmet i would not be sitting here 30 years later typing this out! Managed to fix the forks on my Norton and bought a new exhaust for my friend's Honda, and we rode those Bikes all the way to the East coast across the Trans-Canada Highway just a few months after the crash! Lesson learned: Never ride without a helmet! And I have not since.

Lesson 3 in 2001: Marilyn and I are on our brand new K1200LT riding down through California's Central Valley in the summertime. 115' on the thermometer, and we are wearing our still fairly new Kilamanjaros! No mesh yet! We decide that it is just too hot for everything so we stop and put the outer trousers away, to continue our hot ride in just Levis. Wanting to escape the heat we decide to take what looks like a nice little twisty road over the hills to the Coast. Well, the nice little road turns into gravel, but we decide to continue on hoping it might turn back to asphalt. Now we find out it is a popular road for logging trucks, which don't really like to drive slow, even on gravel. The real problem comes when we can see a couple of them heading towards us, but we're not sure they even see us, so we try to ease over to the side of the road as much as possible. Big mistake! The side of the road is at least a foot or two of loose gravel! I end up losing it, Marlyn manages to hop off and roll(smart girl!), but all I can do is think about my brand new BMW sliding in the gravel. So I don't even try to let go, but rather hang on even as my leg goes under the left side of the Bike! I will tell you right now that Levis will not stop gravel for long! And we were not going fast at all. Luckily we stirred up enough dust that the oncoming trucks saw us and stopped! They even offered to give us a ride back to town after seeing how my left knee was bleeding. All I could see was a brand new $20,000 BMW left abandoned in the middle of nowhere! So Marilyn breaks out our 1st aid kit we always carry, and dumps the old Hydrogen Peroxide right into the open wound. OH YEAH! She then wraps some gauze around the knee to help stop or slow down the bleeding, and we get the Bike up and running again with nothing wrong other than the flashing ABS lights. As we ride back into town carefully I advise her to make sure I am not drifting off too much from the blood loss! We made it to town OK, and eventually found a Dr. to stitch up my knee. Got some pain pills and rested for the night. Somehow we managed to get up the next day and ride on. Finished our vacation that year in a little more pain than desired, but managed to make it anyway. Lesson learned: Never ride without riding trousers! No matter the temp. And I never have since. Even my short rides to the store or work are easy enough with the oversized mesh pants and full length zippers.

In closing I would like to offer up that with the types of gear that are available these days a person really should wear ATGATT period! Thank You!

Whew!

John

John & Marilyn Fisher
'00 K1200LTC "Katie"
'95 Triumph "Tigger"
'12 Triumph 800XC "Tigger II" (RIP)
'12 Triumph 1200 Explorer "Shadow Tigger"
Hillsboro, Oregon

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post #29 of 54 Old Jul 30th, 2006, 4:17 pm
 
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Here's some interesting info: http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/swisher.htm

As an ex-Cat Scan Technologist, I can tell you that I always wear a full face helmet -- Shoei X-11 because it vents so well.
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post #30 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:52 am
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Why tempt fate?

I'm often asked why I wear so much gear to ride a motorcycle. I always respond I don't dress to ride, I dress to crash. Ride enough and it's not a matter of if you'll go down but rather when you'll go down. I have a brother who 30 years ago just thought he'd put his Bell Star helmet on and ride to the store. His crash resulted in the loss of his leg and hip. The Bell Star helmet had a 1/8 wide crack down the center. I do AGATT even to hop on down to Loews for a sprinkler part. Yeah it's hot. My stuff is all mesh and I where a full Shoei. I just can't imagine the dialog with myself if I'm hurt because this one time I decided to save a few minutes and not AGATT. Worse yet, how do I explain to the Mrs. that it was just a quick ride? I'm not condoning mandatory helmets. I still believe in free choice. I just wish more people made the appropriate choice. I mean co'mon, shorts, tee shirts and sandals on a motorcycle???

2005 K1200 LT "Graphite Graydude Metallic"

Todd "Graydude" Ask me why I'm the best Realtor you've ever met!

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post #31 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 8:58 am
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I think the real problem here is that you guys who refuse to wear full protective gear or just wear it some of the time have never crashed - and somehow you think it "won't happen to me".... really naive.

I've probably crashed a hundred times since I was ten years old, luckily 99 of them have been on soft dirt at relatively slow speed with nothing to run into except hay bales instead of pavement, cars and light posts. A few broken collar bones, fingers, cuts, contusions, mild concussions - run of the mill stuff. The other one crash was broadsiding a deer at 60mph - but that's another story.

Like Todd said - dress to crash.

Oh yeah, and those of you that think your $100.00 Joe Rocket mesh jacket is going to save your ass since you were too cheap to buy a quality piece.... the fabric those are made out of will MELT into your skin in a get off - MUCH worse than not wearing anything at all.

How do I know? My best friend is the head of emergency medicine at a large hospital. (he hates motorcycles - calls them murder cycles) He told me there is nothing worse than melted plastic, dirt, blood and burned skin. Instead of cleaning the wound and letting it heal they simply remove it and have a plastic surgeon perform a skin graft. Skin grafts work great - IF they "take". You better have DAMN good health insurance or a spare $50 to $100K in pocket change if you get to spend more than a few days recovering in a hospital. It adds up real fast.

The BMW mesh jacket is made from a special polyamide fabric that has a very high melting point and is extremely abrasion resistant - $350.00. It's a BARGAIN. Perforated leather - as long as it is thick enough - works pretty well too. The only perforated leather jackets I've seen that will work are in the range of $500.00 and up and made by quality manufacturers like Vanson. Undoubtedly there are other companies that use the good, thick stuff as well.

What about Kevlar and Cordura? Kevlar works great, the only problem is that in sunlight it degrades rapidly, so after a couple of years.... Cordura is pretty good, but only when you get into the 1,000 denier category - once again the really THICK stuff. Very few manufacturers use thick Cordura since it does not breathe and tends to be very bulky.

Gee, I wonder why good jackets cost four to five times as much as the stuff hanging on the local shop's rack?

Here's a picture of what you look like after 5 separate debridement (cleaning) surgeries over a week's time - and this is just advance prepping for the actual skin graft:
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post #32 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 9:06 am
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Thanks for the dose of REALITY

Helps me to justify what I spent on protective gear. I'm concerned about what you said about Joe Rocket gear. I don't own any and don't want to start a flaming war, but I am wondering how accurate you are in describing their jackets. If the protection is more of an illusion and not really that good, why isn't more said about it?

Dano
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post #33 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 9:30 am
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Ron. Are you saying all Joe Rocket gear is not good? I have the Phoenix pants and really like them, but won't wear them if this is the case. I did wear them on my Harley once and noticed that the mesh did get a mark on it from touching the exhaust, but the mesh did not melt together. I am 6'4" and 300 lbs so riding gear choices are limited.

"Lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been." Jerry Garcia
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post #34 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:14 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
Helps me to justify what I spent on protective gear. I'm concerned about what you said about Joe Rocket gear. I don't own any and don't want to start a flaming war, but I am wondering how accurate you are in describing their jackets. If the protection is more of an illusion and not really that good, why isn't more said about it?
This is what my ER doc friend told me about their jackets. He graduated number one in his class from Johns' Hopkins and is in charge of Emergency Medicine at the largest hospital in Tucson so I tend to think he knows what he is talking about. His wife is an ER nurse. My wife is a first assist scrub nurse for a Plastic surgeon. My brother (who rides) is an Internist. They have all (with the exception of my brother) attended to literally hundreds of motorcycle accidents during their careers. The easy ones are DOA. After 25 years in the ER they have seen it ALL. Maybe they should write a book specific to motorcycle injuries, but I don't think it would have much of a market.

I've spent the last 24 years being heavily involved in textiles. From FAA approved fabrics used in building hot air balloons and airplane wing coverings, to seating fabrics and carpets approved for use in airplane interiors, even down to specific types of thread. Quality textiles that are DESIGNED for specific uses are technically sophisticated and extremely EXPENSIVE. They tend to be produced by only a handful of niche manufacturers - mostly in Europe.

Nylon, polyurethane and PVC (Vinyl) MESH fabrics are not designed to do anything except look good on a hangar and keep mosquitos out of your tent. The melting point is 454F or BELOW, easily obtained while sliding down pavement. Even their perforated leather jackets are garbage - thin as paper. All you need to do is compare them side by side with the "good" stuff in person and the difference is overwhelmingly apparent. You indeed get what you pay for.

I have no idea why stuff like this is not discussed more - it should be. Most motorcyclists are content to talk about oil and chrome instead. Same thing with everyone running around with acrylic windshields. You would think at some point one of the major motorcycle magazines would get down and dirty and actually be interested with safety issues for their readers - especially with all the Chinese crap running around out there. That will NEVER happen since they are beholding to special interests and big advertising dollars.

Someone should start a "Consumer Reports" style Blog for motorcyclists!


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post #35 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:26 am
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I have revisited this thread after not keeping up with it for a few days. All the first-hand accounts, photos, "crash tales", and graphic discussion of textile attributes (thanks Ron) have me thinking it's time to get the BMW Venting Machine and be done with it.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #36 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:30 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightcrawler921
Ron. Are you saying all Joe Rocket gear is not good? I have the Phoenix pants and really like them, but won't wear them if this is the case. I did wear them on my Harley once and noticed that the mesh did get a mark on it from touching the exhaust, but the mesh did not melt together. I am 6'4" and 300 lbs so riding gear choices are limited.
Since they mass produce literally hundreds of different products I have no idea if all of their stuff is not good.

All I know is that nylon, polyurethane, and PVC melt at or below 454F.


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post #37 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:35 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
I have revisited this thread after not keeping up with it for a few days. All the first-hand accounts, photos, "crash tales", and graphic discussion of textile attributes (thanks Ron) have me thinking it's time to get the BMW Venting Machine and be done with it.
Yeah, I certainly do not mean to shock anyone with graphic pictures - but the real world is out there. I'm also not a shill for BMW stuff since I think much of it is overblown and insanely priced. I did come to the same conclusion as you - and just about had a spasm when I added up the charges for jackets and pants for the wife and myself.


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post #38 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:46 am
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Kevlar?

Just took delivery of my Motoport Kevlar II air mesh jacket this am at 7:45. Haven't had a chance to ride with it yet but first impression is very favourable.

Part of the decision to invest in this gear was a feature on the Motoport website that lists the abrasion factors of common materials. Their data supports Ron's comments - Kevlar best, followed by 1000 dernier Nylon and quality racing leathers.

So the question is - how serious is the impact of good old sun on Kevlar? I have read extensively on this during my research on new gear and have not come across this, I assume, UV issue. Having just dropped nearly a grand on this stuff (thus supporting the notion that quality is not inexpensive) I would like to think that I can still be using the gear for many years to come.

For those of you that have not yet heard of this stuff, check it out.

Geoff
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post #39 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:49 am
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We know it is the right thing to do is to ATGATT, but it is up to the individual to wear or not to wear.
We are big boys here and are able to make our own minds up. I have ridden without helmets before (please don't tell the safety patrol) and I have ridden in shorts and tennis shoes (ammmmmmm)!

As I commute everyday on the scoot I wear whatever the weather dictates. If I am on a ride for the day I will wear full gear.

With all of that said, you will NEVER go wrong if you do the ATGATT thangy!

Have a good day gentlemen.

Brett
2003 K1200LTC SOLD
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post #40 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 10:57 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Yeah, I certainly do not mean to shock anyone with graphic pictures - but the real world is out there. I'm also not a shill for BMW stuff since I think much of it is overblown and insanely priced. I did come to the same conclusion as you - and just about had a spasm when I added up the charges for jackets and pants for the wife and myself.
I wasn't shocked by the pic you posted. Of course it is graphic, but it served as a reminder to me to get off a dime and take care of this need. I actively look for (and review) m/c crash videos and pix -- not because of the gore factor but because I hope to learn something by watching the mistakes of others.

IIRC the BMW Venting Machine (jacket and pants) is about $800. x2 = $1600. My dealer gives his customers 10% off everything for the first year after buying a new bike. I'm still in that first year, so maybe I'll take advantage of that discount again! That, plus when I ride to CCR next month there will be a lot of potential opportunities to putting them to use -- many hours on the road, that is.

Your posts are appreciated.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #41 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:22 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickcavanaugh
I always ride with a full face helmet. 100% use

Boots are the most over rated piece of safety gear. Sorry guys, they are not going to prevent a broken ankel. They are great at keeping you feet dry.
My best friend is an ex-pathologist, used to do a lot of autopsies and surgical tissue examinations. He would occasionally get and entire leg in the lab from a motorcycle accident, with the boot still on. The leg would look like hamburger, but the foot/ankle would be unscathed after removing the boot. Broken maybe, but if you get your leg caught under your bike in a slide, I'll take a broken ankle over a ground off ankle. I've also been hit hard in the ankle by a rock at high speed, and glad I didn't have my tennis shoes on.
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post #42 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:22 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brantvol16
Just took delivery of my Motoport Kevlar II air mesh jacket this am at 7:45. Haven't had a chance to ride with it yet but first impression is very favourable.

Part of the decision to invest in this gear was a feature on the Motoport website that lists the abrasion factors of common materials. Their data supports Ron's comments - Kevlar best, followed by 1000 dernier Nylon and quality racing leathers.

So the question is - how serious is the impact of good old sun on Kevlar? I have read extensively on this during my research on new gear and have not come across this, I assume, UV issue. Having just dropped nearly a grand on this stuff (thus supporting the notion that quality is not inexpensive) I would like to think that I can still be using the gear for many years to come.

For those of you that have not yet heard of this stuff, check it out.

Geoff
In direct sunlight (UV) Kevlar MUST be protected with an outer layer or it will degrade rapidly. I've never really gotten into the research much except when it is used as rope, and then you always see it covered with a substantial protective outer braid of woven nylon, thick vinyl or teflon. Without knowing the specific weave or construction of their gear it is hard to evaluate - but I certainly think you'll be well protected for years to come, especially if the main part of their Kevlar use is underneath. Seeing how you have approximately 5 times the strength of steel to begin with - I would not worry too much about it!

Polyamides (and I am pretty sure BMW mesh gear is made from Enkalon 540T) are WAY up there on the scale as well - especially when it comes to tear strength and abrasion resistance.


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post #43 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:38 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
I wasn't shocked by the pic you posted. Of course it is graphic, but it served as a reminder to me to get off a dime and take care of this need. I actively look for (and review) m/c crash videos and pix -- not because of the gore factor but because I hope to learn something by watching the mistakes of others.

IIRC the BMW Venting Machine (jacket and pants) is about $800. x2 = $1600. My dealer gives his customers 10% off everything for the first year after buying a new bike. I'm still in that first year, so maybe I'll take advantage of that discount again! That, plus when I ride to CCR next month there will be a lot of potential opportunities to putting them to use -- many hours on the road, that is.

Your posts are appreciated.
Order it from Chicago BMW for another 10% off and they should throw in the shipping.... I know - support your local dealer and all - but an extra $160.00?


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post #44 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Order it from Chicago BMW for another 10% off and they should throw in the shipping.... I know - support your local dealer and all - but an extra $160.00?
Do they discount everything at 20%? At that price point I'm willing to give another guy my business.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #45 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 11:52 am
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Quote:
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Do they discount everything at 20%? At that price point I'm willing to give another guy my business.
Yep - they can be a bit slow sometimes, but they are really good about telling you how long it will be before it ships. Depends on what you're ordering. I've been real pleased with them. I like A&S out in NORCAL as well, not sure if they offer an across the board discount though like Chicago.


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post #46 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 12:05 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
At that price point I'm willing to give another guy my business.
Howard -

Make sure to go try them on first to get the proper fit. For me, the jacket was "true to size" but I had to go several inches more on the pants (6 to be exact!) Don't get me wrong - they fit great - but you may not be the size you think you are.

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
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post #47 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by rickcavanaugh
I only ride with boots on long trips or if it will rain. 25% use

Boots are the most over rated piece of safety gear. Sorry guys, they are not going to prevent a broken ankel. They are great at keeping you feet dry.

In my younger days I have wrecked with sneakers on about 10 times at speeds varying from 5 to 80 mph. Feet and ankels were fine. Shoulders, back, elbows, butt and knees never fared well.
I beg to differ... Kathy had a mishap on her F650 early this month and was wearing full face helmet, armored jacket, gloves... and SIDI boots when she had an encounter with the rail in a left curve.
Alas she broke her right arm (now on the mend), her right boot took a beating where the toes are. I am certain that she would have broken toes and sustained more damage to her right foot if it had not been for the boot. I am glad I made her buy boots 2 weeks prior!!!
Again every accident is different.
In 84 I was pushed sideways by a car and was was wearing sneakers... My left foot got dragged under the bike until it stopped. I ended up with a hole on the top of my foot and have the scar to prove it. On crutches for a few weeks and physical therapy after that.
I guess that for me protective footwear is a must.

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
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2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



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For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #48 of 54 Old Jul 31st, 2006, 2:55 pm
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Atgatt

Following this thread from the other side of the pond the biggest issue that many of you seem to have is with the heat and keeping cool and protected. Not such a big issue in Scotland. I know someone who extols the virtues of Kevlar glass handling gloves such as
http://www.gemplers.com/a/shop/list....46143593343666

You will need to add some sort of wrist strap but they are an open weave so will be nice and cool.

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

2001 K1200LT

1995 K75RT now deceased
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post #49 of 54 Old Aug 1st, 2006, 3:00 pm
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Ron has some very good points about no rating system for the Road use type safety gear. You can spend alot of money on gear that is worthless.

atgatt does not due you much good if the gear you are wearing does not protect you. I think some actually gives false senses of security.

Words of wisdom. If you ride a bike you will wreck. It is a matter of time.

I will always be most of the gear most of the time and I have had my share of road rash. I know the risks and I accept the risk

Terms of past, road pizza, road rash, break dancing on asphalt etc.

Just be aware many of you are living in a fantasy world thinking that your gear is going to protect you ALL THE TIME. I see many riders wearing full gear riding like complete jerks. When you go down on the steet, you gear does nothing when you hit curbs, guard rails, trees, mail boxes, cars......

Most of the gear was designed to minimize abrasions on race tracks (except the mesh stuff). The dangers on the street are MUCH greater than the track.
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post #50 of 54 Old Aug 1st, 2006, 3:58 pm
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I wear all the gear all of the time when it's cold and try to wear all of the gear all of the time when it's below 90 degrees. However, after 90 degrees, one has to way the risk of heat injury vs. road injury.

I bought new First Gear MeshTech jacket and pants in April with ballistic armour for a trip to Utah, in June. I wore it all of the way to Utah. I was hot in OK, TX, NM and AZ. When I got to UT, it was 103 degrees and I was cooking, smoking and melting. I put on my cooling vest which was great, but my pants (black), felt like they were going to catch on fire from direct sunlight thermal heating. The problem with the LT is it is very difficult to get air onto your body. Whenever air flows through meshtech it's comfortable, but hot as hell without airflow. I have J-pegs and if I put my legs out into the air stream using the pegs, it would defect the extremely hot air from the radiator vents straight into my face and jacket, which was worse than just burning up. I eventually switched to Draggin Jeans, which were still hot, but bearable.

The cooling vest works and is a lifesaver, though requires some extra effort to keep it charged, as well as only wearing a T-shirt under the jacket. In dry heat it's great, but I am not sure how well it would work in the humid southeast.

We need to come up with a vent system on the LT that allows air to blow directly onto you legs and body.

Dick Wood
2014 R1200RTW Quartz Blue Metallic
Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
Previous 1995 HD FXDL
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