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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright here's the deal, I'm new to bikes (just bought my first SV last night) and I'm trying to pick out my gear. I was considering getting one of those airbag jackets, but after reading a lot, it seems the mesh they are made of could melt when you hit the pavement (that would suck). Anyway, I've already picked out some stuff for (tpro shirt and pants), but I need some help looking at other stuff. I figured you guys would have some suggestions.

Here's the catch... I'm BIG on protection. Best ARMOR possible. I had a friend in HS wind up in a body cast only because he was wearing armor, so I'm very serious about its ability to save lives, and the nicest stuff having the ability to really mitigate some of the force.

I am in LA (so I'm looking for something for the summer for now) so I have to be prepared for heat.

Thanks Everyone!
 

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You are going to get answers as widely varied as the imagination. :)

If money is no object, then skip the Joe Rocket helmet. Look at Arai or Shoei. Most folks consider these the top of the line helmets.

For the boots, look at either Sidi or Dainese. Both get rave reviews for protection, quality & comfort.
 

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dianese leathers from head to toe, sidi boots, shoei or arai lid.
 

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Check out Shoei, Arai, or Shark for helmets. I love my Shoei RF-1000. They're in the same general price range as that Joe Rocket, but are much better quality, in my opinion at least.

For boots look at Alpinestar or Sidi. A* SMX 5's give great protection and don't look too gawdy, same for the A* Web Gortex which is what I wear. I hear a lot of people say great things about the Sidi's too.

Also for leathers, check out www.spartanleathers.com for a custom set. A few board members have them and really seem to like them. They're crash tested and inexpensive as far as leathers go.

EDIT: I'm sensing a trend here....
 

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the hjc ac-12 carbon is currently on sale at compacc.com for $200 with free shipping.

Most people will tell you if you're going to be spending $400+ to get a shoei instead.

you want the best protection? Pick up a spartan leathers custom fit 1 piece. (www.spartanleathers.com)

but I think given your location, you're going to end up with mesh SOMETHING, and compromise "best protection" for ventilation. Though I've heard that while moving at a decent clip, many perforated leathers are adequete. no experience with that myself.
 

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It money was no object, I certainly wouldn't be buying Joe Rocket. Everything I've seen from them seems to built to look fashionable, but not actually withstand any impact. Crappy zippers, thin leather, etc.

Look at:
- Sidi
- Spidi
- Shoei
- Arai

I'm also a big fan of Shift leather jackets. The expensive ones are very nice.

Don't forget a back protector.
 

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dianese leathers from head to toe, sidi boots, shoei or arai lid.
I gotta say minus one to the dainese leathers. they may be luxurious to wear, but the are made of some of the least durable leather on the market.
 

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I gotta say minus one to the dainese leathers. they may be luxurious to wear, but the are made of some of the least durable leather on the market.
I've heard that quite a few times.
 

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I agree with everyone else that you should skip the Joe Rocket stuff, especially if price is no object.

Rev'it leathers are very nice. Several of my crew use them.
http://www.revit.eu/

I still like Vanson leathers myself.

Arai helmets are the best in my view ... but get a helmet that fits well first and foremost.

I use Alpinestar boots ... always have. They fit my fat, wide feet like no other boot.

What about one of the new neck braces if money is no object? KTM sells one I believe, amongst others.

Also, for extreme visibility why not wear a day-glo vest over your gear. Being seen, especially at night, is half the battle.
 

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You could check out Aerostich if you are looking at a textile solution vs. leathers.

Rev 'it also has a textile suit, but it costs as much if not more than a decent set of leathers, $1100 I believe.

For Boot, Alpinestars or Sidi are good
 

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Get a Vanson jacket with hard armor inserts. New that set-up will be about $600. I really like my Dainese as well, but it is not quite as durable. The Vanson is thick, unyielding leather, and with armor, it looks like a football top (the armor makes it stick out on the hanger). I feel like a tank in it. I have perf for the warm weather.

Skip the Joe Rocket as others have said.

I like the Sidi boots, but check out Puma also.

Arai or Shoei lid.

For custom leathers, consider Z leathers (soCal).

I lived in LA for a couple of years and still have a house down there. For really hot days, you might want a mesh jacket. I bought a somewhat larger one under which I wear an armored shirt (shoulders, elbows, back, chest). I think it's from Velocity Gear. There are better ones out there.

Get full gauntlet gloves for safety.

Leather pants of course -- try getting ones that zip to your jacket. You could just buy a custom one piece, since money is no object. :nana:
 

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My turn! My turn! [climbs aboard my soapbox]

Helmet.....The best helmet is a helmet that fits your head. So for now, forget about the brand, or the model, or the color, or the price.

Go to a brick and morter store, and start trying on helmets. You want a helmet that fits very snug. It's going to loosen up a little bit over time. Try on lots of helmets. If it is squeezing your head, or if there is a spot that just doesn't feel right, that helmet doesn't fit. Once you find a helmet that feels good, wear it in the store for twenty to thirty minutes. If it still feels good, then make a note of the brand and model. You can buy it there, you can buy it from an internet store, you can buy it from ebay.

When you go for the more expensive helmets, you are usually paying for better venting, better materials in the shell/liner, better overall fit and finish.

For what it's worth...I have a Shoei RF1000 and a Shoei TZR. They have a very similar fit, but very different venting.

I'll let everyone else tell you what jacket and pants and boots to get.


Don't forget the gloves!! I have three pair of Alpinestars, but I have heard very good things about Held.

By the way......New Enough has good prices and terrific customer service, if you need to return something.
 

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My next gear purchase, and I will be done with it for a good long while I hope:

http://www.motoport.com/_product_35442/Ultra_Trek_1-Piece_Air_Mesh_Kevlar_Suit

IMHO this is probably the most protective gear available, for off-track riding. Here is the "Save Your Hide" page that used to be on Motoport's site, they have recently changed and somethings are either missing or haven't been put up again yet.

Aerostitch is also considered premier riding gear. I think either of these would be great, but due to my climate zone, the Kevlar mesh is more appealing. And, its available with the Quad armor upgrade. The one piece suit is designed to be an over-suit, and both brands are extremely easy to get into and out of, whether you are commuting or just stopping for a break or visit. If I were going to be on the track a lot, leather would probably be the way to go, but it isn't practical most of the time.

I think it all depends on what kind of riding you are going to be doing. All the folks that posted with "Full Bestbrandintheworld Race Leathers" likely aren't thinking of getting into and out of them very many times a day. If you are only going to be riding on weekends, for a few hours in the curves, then a leather suit might be what you are looking for. Right now, a leather jacket and leather over-pants fill my needs for my recreational riding, and my commuting. I think the Kevlar mesh will be much better. Examine what kind of riding you are planning on doing before you drop a ton of cash on one style of gear, or another. Put some thought into the positives of each type and make your decision based on that, rather than the fickle opinions of us here on SVRider.

Arai or Shoei lid
Held or Spidi Gloves
Find some boots that you can live with that are comfortable and still offer decent protection. I have Joe Rocket Sonics. Plenty comfortable, fairly protective, but not the best workmanship. I will look for Sidi for my next pair most likely.

Good luck with finding what you are looking for.


Dan


_______
 

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Helmet:
One that FITS!!
As for the brand it's up for debate, Shoei and Arai have been sitting on their laurals and the other companies have been catching up in quality. But I'd be ready to drop over $500, for a good one, but make sure it fits well, you can adjust most with different pads. I'd lean to AGV, Nolan, Shark,
Good reviews here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmets.htm

Boots:
Sidi, Alpinestars.

Leathers:
Once again lots of debate, key part would be good GP armor (hard plastic with foam interior) and I'd lean to Kangaroo leather if money is no object.
Top of the line Dainese, Sidi, Alpinestars are all good.

Gloves:
I really like the idea behind Alpinestars race gloves that have the pinky and ring finger attached with a web of leather after hearing about MotoGP and WSBK riders loosing their pinky fingers.
 

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What is "best"? Okay, I'll go. Custom made double layer kangaroo, with a third layer on impact zones. Triple stitched glued seams with at least one hidden seam using nylon or polyester thread on flex seams, and kevlar on seams that don't stretch much. No perforations as they could possibly weaken the suit. Removable keprotec liner. Cover the complete outside with velcro and ship it stock with 3M reflective tape. The tape can be replaced with pucks as desired. Provisions and room for on-body armor and a neck brace.
 

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best leathers money can buy are BKS. There are a few custom suit makers in the UK that are up to par as well.

These suits are CE rated as a whole, that means even the stitching is CE rated. A*, JR, and all the american made stuff you see is not CE rated for the armor only.

Gloves- external stitching, CE rated, I've heard good things about held?

Boots- best pair I've seen is Alpine star super techs, which is a dual layer boot. Oxtar and sidi's come close.

Bottom line is the best gear has to fit you perfectly. This will probably mean a custom made 1 or 2 pc leather suit. A good quality 2 pc would be my ideal everyday protection. For urban commuting, I would probably go with the airbag jacket and some good textile overpants.
 

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Helmets: Arai or Shoei
Gloves: Held
Leathers: Komodo, Taichi, etc.
Shoes: Daytona Boots which has a reinforced inner ankle protector with hinge
Backbrace: Knox or TPro Forcefield (Joe Rocket also sells a rebadged TPro)
Definefinitely add some sort of neck brace if you can tolerate it for track use

There are also a number of suits now available with built in airbag protection.
 
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