The Right Motorcycle Gear can Make or Break a Ride!
Having the right Motorcycle Gear can be the difference between a fine day... and a sweet trip... or ...a bad memory.
With the wrong gear you can be cold, wet and miserable... or hot, dry and dazed! Either of which tends to make you an unsafe rider. Anything that interferes with your concentration on the road... is a bad thing!
Having the wrong gear is an unnecessary thing... when for pretty much the same dinero... you can put together a superb outfit of motorcycle gear; especially once experience shows you how to judge what is going to work... and what won't.
I've found that having the right jacket can mean, instead of being frozen and miserable after only 20 miles... you can be warm and comfortable... at 20 degrees!... and still riding! and the only change I made, was the jacket!
Only thing is... unfortunately, I have found that, what works at six miles an hour... sometimes don't at 65! :-)
Take Carhartt for instance. They are by far my favorite maker when it comes to jackets and coats; even for cold weather motorcycle gear. Their coats kept me toasty warm at 10 below... babysittin' horses and cows... So they should take care of me on my V Star right?
Who would have guessed the standard 'Arctic' coat from carhart wouldn't do the job on my bike!... So, last winter... I'd ride to work... and be iced up pretty good at 17 miles... the distance to the ranch store... When it was only 28 or 30 degrees. The wind seemed to go right through that heavy canvas cover.
Didn't do any better with my leather 'bomber' jacket, with my vest, sweater and insulated coveralls under, either. That 17 miles from here to the parking lot was pretty much my limit. It tested my endurance... and I was failing. :-)
I quit riding if the temperature hadn't climbed to at least 30... In Northern Colorado... that cuts out a whole lot of riding!
and that, just won't do!
Now some would say; "Just put on some Heated Clothing!"... and for a lot of people that's fine... I on the other hand am just to ornery to do that without a fight first! :-) I like to keep things as simple as I can... I lean toward minimalism. I'm not fanatical about it... but it does guide my thinkin'.
That... and the fact that the lil' V Star I'm riding these days hasn't got the alternator power to run that sort of motorcycle gear!
So... I went looking this fall... and found a coat I thought might make a difference. It's still not your typical Motorcycle Gear... but it's a style that works for me!... and... it's made by Carhartt! :-)
With a tightly woven nylon shell, and a stand up collar, it cuts the wind and lets the insulation do it's job.
The first day I rode with that new coat on, it was 18 degrees when I left the house. My teeth were gritted in expectation of the trial I knew I'd have to endure for the next half hour or so. Just knew I was gonna pull in with blue lips, chatterin' teeth and painful fingers!
I pulled into the lot at the ranch store where I work now-a-days toasty warm... and surprised! I'd thought it might do a better job... I was a bit startled how much better it did! Not only 10 degrees colder than I'd ride last year... but comfortable the whole dang way.
My point? You don't have to ride the styles available at a motorcycle gear shop... unless of course that IS your style!
I for example require most of my gear to do double duty. It has to function on my bike... and on some back trail, when I climb off and go hiking. So far it's worked out pretty well. Considering how little cargo space is available in both activities... and the fact that you are out in the 'elements'... whatever those elements happen to be it stands to reason I guess.
If you want to follow your own 'fashion road' you can do just fine. It may take a little experimentation, trial and error, and experience, but in the end, if you put some effort into it... you can adhere to your own 'style' and stay comfortable, on the road, year round.
My rain gear came from REI... and is backpacking gear that doubles quite nicely and compactly... on my bike. Since I hike a lot... the boots I often wear... are hiking boots and waterproof. I have gauntlets that are basically copies of cavalry designs.
... about the only thing I ride that was created explicitly as motorcycle gear is an under helmet hood for cold weather and the helmet itself.
Now don't misunderstand... I'm not putting down any gear that is designed specifically, as motorcycle gear... Not even a little bit. Most of it works and works well. For whatever reason... the style just, usually, doesn't suit me...
So... I'm just sayin' that if it doesn't please your eye... If what you find available in the Motocycle Gear Stores doesn't fit your own personal style... there are other options!
You can ride the Motorcycle Gear that says ... This is ME!
I'll be hunting up what I can find... and posting it here... on these and whatever other items come to mind... as I continue Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road!
Categories of coming articles about Motorcycle Gear...
Motorcycle Boots that Function Well and Fit Your Style
*Update* Three Years of Motorcycle Boots
Motorcycle Chaps... a part of My obedience to ATGATT
The Nolan N103 - A top notch Modular Style Motorcycle Helmet
***An Update on my Nolan N103 after three years of riding
Your Motorcycle Jacket - Style and Function
Protective Motorcycle Clothing... Yes or No?
Winter Riding Gear (Cold Weather Gear)
Motorcycle Overalls for Winter Riding that Save You Money Too
Motorcycle Rain Gear to Keep You Dry and Riding!