What is 'Gear-Volution'? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

 9Likes
  • 8 Post By bajakirch
  • 1 Post By notacop
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 Old 03-16-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
Stromthusiast!
 
bajakirch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 515
What is 'Gear-Volution'?

My wife approached me with a request the other day...one of her co-workers is a newer rider and he wants to be as safe as he can. And he's on a tight budget. She asked if I would write up some riding gear suggestions she could share with him.

A few years ago on another forum, I used the term 'Gear-Volution' to describe how my riding gear changed (and continues to change) since I started. I thought I would share the advice I sent in case it was helpful to anyone else.

Gear-Volution Defined

Before my wife blessed my crazy idea to get a motorcycle, I had to agree to some rules. Two of those were that I keep my expenditures within a budget, and that I always ride wearing protective gear. When I got my first bike, I had very little money for riding gear. So I began a process I dubbed ‘Gear-Volution’.

The First Law of Gear-Volution: Any Protection Is Better Than No Protection.
My first helmet was a 15-year-old garage sale find I paid $15 for. My first riding jacket was a leather jacket I think I picked up in the 1980s, with leather thinner than some nylon jackets. My first foot-gear were an old pair of hiking boots. My first gloves were hardware-store leather work gloves. Luckily, none of that gear was ever put to the test, but I’m confident it all protected me better than having nothing at all.

The Second Law of Gear-Volution: Always Be Looking For The Next Deal.
Especially early on, I was constantly checking Craigslist, Ebay, garage sales, etc. for sweetheart deals on riding gear. My first purpose-built riding jacket was a CL find for $45. It was over 10 years old, but it was extremely well-built and spent most of those years hanging in someone’s closet. For a long time, I had a $50 rule: If it cost more than $50, I had to get spousal buy-in. That meant debating whether I really needed it. Who needs that? So I found a LOT of riding gear (pants, boots, gloves, etc.) for under $50. Even though our disposable income has increased since those early days, I still find it hard to pass up a great deal – my current helmet is a Shoei Neotec. You typically couldn’t touch one of those through a retailer for under $600. I was hanging out in an online MC forum late one night when a fellow forum member posted that he was selling his Neotec, used only 3 times, for $300. It was my size and the exact color I wanted. Plus, I’d been saving up money for a new helmet and had just over $300 available. I couldn’t type my ‘dibs’ fast enough.

The Third Law of Gear-Volution: Safety Trumps Ego.
I don’t really care what my gear looks like, if it matches, or what brand name is emblazoned across it. The most important thing to me is whether or not it will help protect me if put to its intended purpose. My current cooler-weather riding jacket is a TourMaster Transition 3.0 in Hi-Viz Yellow. It’s a great-looking jacket, that I bought on closeout for around $150 at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Chicago a few years ago. It replaced the Transition 2.0 that (literally) saved my hide when I slid down the road at 50 mph the previous fall. But the jacket I wear most of the riding season is a Hi-Viz mesh no-name I picked up from another forum member for $50. And here I’ll interject a quick note about Cycle Gear. I see a lot of riders crap on CG because their stuff isn’t the highest quality. Refer to The First Law…a person can walk out of a Cycle Gear with a helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves for under $300. It may not be the gear you use for the rest of your riding life, but it’s good enough to provide protection until you can find or afford something better. My warm-weather riding gloves are a pair of CG house-brand perforated leathers that fit well. When I noticed the stitching on one was fraying after a couple of riding seasons, I took it to CG and they gave me a new pair for no charge. Hard to throw shade on that.

The Fourth Law of Gear-Volution: ‘Tis Better To Sweat Than Bleed.
I’m lucky enough now to have complete sets of warm-weather and cool-weather riding gear. The mesh gear is nice in the summer, but for those early years, I made do with the single riding jacket and pants I had. For all that was good about that first jacket I mentioned above, its one downfall was that it had no venting. The same went for my first pair of riding pants. A ride on a 90-degree day would have me sweating profusely within moments. But, no matter how hot I got, I never went without. These days it seems a bit easier to find at least vented gear for a decent price. But if all you can afford and/or find is non-vented gear, so be it. And the same goes the other way – if the deal you get is on mesh gear, you can always add layers underneath when the temperature starts to drop.


If I had more time and inclination, I could probably add to my 'by-laws'. But at least it's a good starting point for someone who's serious about rider protection but doesn't want to break the bank.
notacop, badjuju, BC Rider and 5 others like this.

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
bajakirch is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 03-16-2019, 10:13 PM
Stromthusiast!
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pasadna area
Posts: 13,581
Started in the 60's with Levi denim jacket. Now I have the Helite airbag jacket and Aerostitch and BMW stuff and more in the collection.
Yah it changes over the years and the disposable income level.
Old Codger likes this.
notacop is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 03-17-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
Stromthusiast!
 
bajakirch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 515
Following the Second Law, I saw a mesh jacket in my size on Craigslist for sale by someone who stopped riding. The price was 'make me an offer'. I offered $35; I'm picking it up on Tuesday.

I don't really need another mesh jacket but it looks to be better than my current back-up mesh jacket. At $35, why not?

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.

Last edited by bajakirch; 03-17-2019 at 10:44 AM.
bajakirch is offline  
 
post #4 of 5 Old 03-17-2019, 11:20 AM
Stromthusiast!
 
Highwayman2016's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Las Vegas Nevada USA
Posts: 1,192
Garage
Yes your riding gear gets better with a disposable income increase. I always try to go for an upgrade when getting new gear. I have no problem buying from Cycle Gear, they have store brands and better brands in their stores. Sedici jackets are quite feature packed for the money. I have a 3 season jacket from them. The Tourmaster mesh jacket I got there is great. Maybe some day the budget will allow for Aerostitch but not right now. So many brands and styles of gear...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

2014 650 Strom
Highwayman2016 is online now  
post #5 of 5 Old 03-17-2019, 12:38 PM
Stromthusiast!
 
RJ44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Posts: 20
Garage
Great advice for any new rider.

Rob
RJ44 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gear Position Sensor - Mechanical or '-' ? XLonDL650 DL1000A - 2014-2016 2 05-17-2018 08:31 PM
Analysis Paralysis: The Gear Search Distresses Me Grungydan General V-Strom Discussion 12 05-16-2018 10:59 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome