Riding Gear in General - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 12:01 pm Thread Starter
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Question Riding Gear in General

I'm new to the KLT (got my first one a month ago). While the snow's still flying here, I've been getting the bike all ready (maintenance) and getting all geared up for a safe, trouble free riding season. There are so many choices for gear out there and I'm just wondering how everybody decides? For my riding suit (or jacket/pants) I'd really like to be able to go into a store and try these things on first....especially if I'm gonna drop $800 - $1500. I mean, sure, I can buy an Aerostich, and they'll guarantee the fit....and will make it right by custom fitting, etc. But, do I want an Aerostich? Are there others that offer comparable protection and durability without having to drop a thousand bucks? As I said, it would really be nice if there was a place where I could do the comparison shopping....try 'em on, feel the differences between them, check out all the pockets, liners, etc.

I'm just having a hard time buying a BMW suit or Aerostich suit without some objective, unbiased opinions and being able to put my hands on each.
I know what my hide is worth, so please don't reply and tell me to "just buy the good stuff" an be done with it. I've read dozens of threads like that, and certainly acknowledge that opinion. For the record, I don't have a problems spending the big bucks. Just wondering if any of the less expensive items are worth owning. Incidentally, those expensive items certainly have a good resale value on eBay.

As a side note, I just saw a picture of the Tourmaster Transition is this month's Cycle World mag. Does anybody own one of these? Looks like a nice jacket and is pretty inexpensive ($150) If so, what do you think about it?...and what others have you owned in comparison.

Thanks, Toolman

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post #2 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 12:24 pm
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Hey Toolman,

It looks like you've done your preliminary homework (read the threads on this topic, etc.), and, as you see, there are many, many choices out there.

I'm with you on this. Until I spend the big money on "the best" (whatever that is) gear for me and my wife we are wearing one of Cortech's (Tourmaster) 3/4-length jackets and some simple Fieldsheer overpants. I don't recall the name of the jacket but it was only $100 and indistinguishable, to me, from their other, more expensive, 3/4 jackets.

There are many choices, as you know. Some of the better-quality brands appear to be BMW, Aerostich, Fieldsheer, and Olympia. Others will chime in with their observations.

My wife and I are planning a trip to Duluth, MN where we can TRY ON Aerostich gear and they can take measurements to ensure a good fit; I hate having to send things back and forth in order to get the right size/fit.

The complete line of BMW gear should be available for examination at most larger dealers, or the IMS when it's in your area. And don't forget eBay. Joe (messenger13) is snatching up the free world's supply of BMW gear on eBay in his size, and saving tons of $$ in the process.

My goals: waterproof, windproof, vented/ventable, armored, heavy-duty/quality construction, top-notch materials, nice design/aesthetics. I'm "OK" with what I have now, but I'm really leaning towards the Aerostich one-piece suit -- fast on and off.

Boots: I'm wearing BMW's Contour boot. My wife (hard to fit feet) is wearing a pair of sturdy hiking boots.

Gloves: I'm presently using a pair of cheapy leather gloves; will get better ones as time goes on.

Let us know what you find out. This is a topic of interest to many.

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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Last edited by hschisler; Mar 7th, 2006 at 1:00 pm. Reason: added a smiley for Joe
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post #3 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 12:52 pm
 
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Toolman,

Most people will get sick of me touting the quality and my satisfaction for BMW's stuff...but I can't help it. I love their gear. I own the Commuter II jacket, the Light 'n Easy jacket, Gore-Tex waterproof 'summer' gloves, and the Tourrance pants. This year I'm looking out for a pair of Light 'n Easy pants, and any other pieces of their gear that might catch my eye. The fit, quality, and functionality is perfect!

PM me if you'd like to have more details...or we could trade phone numbers and have a 'real' conversation.

Just as a side note...if I wasn't so hooked on BMW's gear, I'd be looking into the Olympia stuff. They are aiming right at the BMW market, and their stuff appears to have the quality to hit the target.
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post #4 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 1:00 pm
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I like duo or triple purpose stuff. Since the LT has such great wind protection, suits with vents just don't quite hack it as far as staying kewl. Therefore, mesh suits with waterproof and warm liners have been floating my boat. I really don't care if I get wet in the summer, but if it's really a persistent frog drowner, then I'll cover the mesh with frogg toggs.

Look at Marsee, Rev-It and Olympia.



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post #5 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 4:51 pm
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Toolman,

You better get your maintenance done in a hurry, it is supposed to be 60 by the end of the week. I am in Southwest MI, so I know there isn't much snow on the ground.

As for gear, I am probably the oddball here. Although I did see some others with my brand at CCR this year. I have a Cycloak jacket that I have been thoroughly impressed with. Very well made and has lasted 5 years with little noticable wear.

The other brand I would recommend you look into is Belstaff. They are big in Europe, but just getting a foothold here in the states. I am pretty sure the dealer in Grand Rapids, MI is carrying them. I took a close look at their display at CCR and was very impressed.

I have rarely seen any complaints about BMW gear. Of course like everything BMW, you will pay for it. Very nice stuff and you should be able to try some on at just about any BMW dealer. That probably means Chicago for you, because the only dealer left in IN is Fort Wayne.

The Olympia gear is getting lots of play here on the forums lately. I did read somewhere that someone had met the owners at some kind of bike show. You might try to contact them and see where they are headed next. Unfortunately, we are about a month late for the IMS (International Motorcycle Show) in Chicago.

The Cycleport Kevlar stuff looks very interesting. My Cycloak jacket has some Kevlar. If you are concerned about your skin, it seems that the best you can get is Kevlar. That is not to say that other materials won't protect you in a crash. There is always good enough, but who knows where that line is.

Probably more questions than answers here. Maybe this will at least open some conversations. I am also thinking about a new jacket. Only because the Cycloak is a little much for summer conditions. If you can get air flowing into the sleeves, almost any jacket will do, but sometimes that is hard to do.

Eric

PM me if you want to go for a ride sometime!
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post #6 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 6:44 pm
 
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I'm with Joe on this one.... The BMW gear to me is great, I have the Tourguard coat for winter, early spring and fall... The Venting Machine for the summer keeps you really well vented, if it rains I have the two peace BMW rain suit which is 100% water proof..

Both coats are made of kevlar, the Tourguard has a removable cold weather liner... Wore Harley leathers, coat and chaps but the quality seems to have dropped, I bought my last Harley leather about 25 years ago, had to give it to one of my boys because I out grew it

As far as boots go there are allot of good brands out there, my choice is SIDI.........Regards Pete
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post #7 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 7:26 pm
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BMW gear is best blah blah blah,
They are probably telling you the truth, the problem I had is I went to 3 different BMW dealers in Florida and not one of them had a jacket in my size.
And a very limited selection in everything else.
However someone on this forum pointed me to cycle gear
http://www.cyclegear.com/stores/location_fl.cfm
where I was able to compare products, try things on and look at them side by side, and I think this is what you were asking for rather than someone elses opinion.
Check them out, it may work for you as it did for me.


Hans
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post #8 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 7:37 pm
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Riding Gear

Once you get comfortable in buying your jackets and pants you might want to try these people for pricing:

http://newenough.com/

Bruce
Rowlett, TX
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post #9 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 8:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
BMW gear is best blah blah blah,
They are probably telling you the truth, the problem I had is I went to 3 different BMW dealers in Florida and not one of them had a jacket in my size.
And a very limited selection in everything else.
However someone on this forum pointed me to cycle gear
http://www.cyclegear.com/stores/location_fl.cfm
where I was able to compare products, try things on and look at them side by side, and I think this is what you were asking for rather than someone elses opinion.
Check them out, it may work for you as it did for me.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), he would have to travel from northwest Indiana to central Tennessee to find one of their stores. It might be worth the trip if he can turn it into a long weekend.
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post #10 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 10:50 pm
 
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I can't speak for the other gear, since I've never tried it. That said, I shelled out big bucks for 2 (wife also) Aerostitch suits in '98 and about 80,000 miles ago. That works out to about a $100 a year, assuming you can keep your body the same size. My stitch is a little snug in winter. I'm not sure how something at a lower price would hold up, but most of the expensive stuff last a long time.

Just another way to look at it.

Rick
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post #11 of 11 Old Mar 8th, 2006, 12:13 am
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Toolman,

I just went through this process of picking out gear. I had the TourMaster Light for 5 years and Vanson perforated jacket and pants for use on my old RT. After I bought the LT in January and realized I was gonna be riding this thing pretty much everyday to work and on the weekends, I started shopping for dual/triple purpose gear. I also wanted 'over' pants, so I wouldn't have to walk into work in extraterrestial garb or do a difficult change in the parking lot.

I ended up buying Cycleport Kevlar Air Mesh. They had a jacket in my size, which is unusual, because they make everything custom. The pants will be in in 10 weeks when they finally make them. The jacket and pants have optional gore-tex-like liners that are waterproof. I also got the thermal liner for the possible cooler days. I have really enjoyed riding in the Kevlar Jacket so far. The stuff isn't as cheap as TourMaster (complete suit ~$1000), but if I'm gonna go down, the kevlar has tear resistance impossible to imagine from the nylon stuff. I have to admit the jacket doesn't look as sharp as a 'stitch' or the BMW commuter, for example, but I wasn't into appearances and besides I already have someone to ride on the back with me (and she's signed a long-term contract).

I also have the Sidi boots and they are 'the best'. Waterproof, comfortable, easy on/off.

For my wife, who only joins me occasionally on the back, I got her into a nicely cut Joe Rocket mesh for summer and Kilamanjaro for winter. She's happy with that. She has some Brand X boots (Alpinestars?) for which she chiseled our local BMW dealer down to cost. I think she likes the boots because of the deal she got more than anything else about them.

good luck with your search and let us know your decision.

Rich

Rich S~

'06 Ocean Blue Metallic LT (mine)
'15 Grey 328d (ours)
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