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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all!
I am a new member here and am about a month or two away from purchasing my first v-strom. I am also a new rider in general so I have been going back and forth on what kind of gear I actually need. I am thinking about getting a standard jacket with some decent protection as well as a windproof liner and then getting some rain gear for the occasional wet commute (I will be primarily commuting). I know a lot of you guys have been riding for a long time so I figured you might be able to point me in the right direction as far as proper apparel is concerned so any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Motoport mesh kevlar and arerostich roadcrafters are excellent products. If you watch ebay, over the winter, you can get great deals on both. The roadcrafter is my favorite piece of commuting kit. waterproof and it's good from 25 degrees to 90 degrees and waterproof to boot.
 

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Boots - decent ones of reasonably low profile, protect ankles, real boots that will take abrasion. Overpants with great abrasion resistance - legs can really get torn up easy in a spill. Gloves, knuckle protection is nice, but heavy leather ropers are probably fine. I have a couple of pairs. Eye protection is a must. Good ear plugs. If the gear isn't bright, a bright see-me vest.

We also carry a trauma kit with us most places.
 

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Look into the Firstgear HT overpants, they are waterproof and just hard to beat for the quality and price. Heck depending on your waist and inseam, I can make you one heck of a deal on a barely used pair. For sure get proper riding boots, there really is no better alternative. Do not go hog crazy spending money on gear, pretty quality stuff out there anymore without breaking the bank.
 

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You definitely want protective gear. Jacket and pants with CE approved armor, solid boots, sturdy gloves and a comfortable helmet. I use frogg toggs rain gear, waterproof and breathable. regarding specifics on the gear is otherwise tough as we do not know what location/climate you are in.

Good luck, ride safe.

PS- if you have cycle gear near you, go in and check the clearance rack. I stop in there on occasion just for that reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies! I was just going to go with a standard pair of work boots but I'll definitely be investing in a decent pair of riding boots. I live and work in Western NC with a mild southern climate in the mountains. Do any of you guys layer underneath your jackets/pants in the winter or do you just use a proper cold weather gear?
 

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Trenton, there is no inflection point in the price vs. protection of riding gear. Pay little, get stuff that might not protect in a crash and also not so comfortable. Pay more, get better protection and comfort.

You want two kinds of protection--crash protection and weather protection.

Crash protection--dress for the slide, not for the ride. You want fabric with high abrasion resistance or top quality leather. Cordura nylon or kevlar are very good, and there are some other top line fabrics out. Never get polyester--it melts when you slide on the pavement. You want CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows as well as a CE rated spine protector. You might have to pay to upgrade the spine protector. CE Level 1 is good and Level 2 is better for the spine. For the pants you want knee & hip armor. Both garments can come with ventilation zippers. You can get pretty good water resistant coatings on the fabrics. You want riding gloves with knuckle armor and reinforced palms for that slide. You want riding boots for both water resistance and some impact & slide protection. Be sure the boot can not slide off your foot with all the fasteners done up.

Weather protection--Good zippers, water resistant fabric, vent zippers, wind tight neck & wrist seals. Put an electric vest on your Christmas list. Get warm insulated, water resistant, armored winter riding gloves. Wear a balaclava under your helmet in cold weather--if the brain is warm it won't take warm blood from the fingers and toes. Get a coat & pants sized to allow warm layers underneath. Gray pants aren't as hot in the summer sun.

Your helmet--It needs good summer ventilation. It needs a good non-fog face shield for cold weather. One of the dual-pane types like Pinlock work well. Your helmet MUST fit right, both the size and the shape.
Motorcycle Helmet Shapes - webBikeWorld
SHARP Helmets - Fitting Guide

WHAT COLOR? I prefer conspicuity. I really want drivers to notice me. I have a safety-yellow coat and a white helmet. (I think the white helmet is easier to spot that a safety-yellow helmet.) I don't want a hard-to-notice gray or black coat & helmet. Your choice.

You really need to buy your helmet locally from a store with a very large stock. You need to try on several to find the size and internal shape that are just right for you. Trying something on in a local store then undercutting them and buying mail order is poor practice. I buy other gear by mail order. The vendors that help pay the bills for this forum are good sources. I like Revzilla. Their advice by phone or email has worked well for me including when I put a limit on the price I'll pay, and their selection is very good. Other vendors are good as well.
 

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"It needs a good non-fog face shield"

Aint no such thing they'll all blind you at some stage. I've found the stick on variety work better for me than the pinlock ones, something to do with the thickness of the added layer. The stick on ones are very thin & seem to warm up & work better sooner.
 

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Un-layered, I can easily ride into the high 40's. Layered gets me into the high 30's and heated jacket liner and gloves allow me to ride into the 20's. I prefer the heated liner to lots of layers as I don't feel as constricted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't have much experience with full face motorcycle helmets but I do have a lot of experience with paintball masks though. No matter the quality they always seemed to fog up quickly so I would tend to agree with yesbut as far as "anti-fog" technology goes. I picked up a SS1300 helmet that advertised "anti-fog" on clearance a few months ago on revzilla so we'll see if it works as advertised this winter.
 

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The one thing I see is a lot of is folks with helmets that don't fit them:

Helmet Fit - Helmet Check

Your gear cannot work if it does not fit correctly, and this is never more true than in helmets.
 

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I will 2nd the FirstGear HT 2.0 overpants suggestion. I have rode, rain or shine, to my job the last 5 years and never had any problem. Plus they have a zip out liner for the warmer months. I also bought the Firstgear Kilimanjaro 4.0 and am just as happy. It has a zip out liner as well.
 

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The one thing I see is a lot of is folks with helmets that don't fit them:

Helmet Fit - Helmet Check

Your gear cannot work if it does not fit correctly, and this is never more true than in helmets.
Absolutely true about proper fit. One problem with too-large helmets they don't list is the risk that upon impact the head will smack against the inside of the helmet. Here we want no slack, just a comfy snug fit. The expanded polystyrene liner inside the shell needs to cushion the head from too rapid deceleration to minimize the chance of brain injury.

That site only tells one if the listed helmets meet the lowest possible legal standard, FMVSS218, and can get the DOT sticker. Better brands exceed this safety floor. Not all qualified brands are listed. It might be that only have the brands that wrote checks to support the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trade group of motorcycle and equipment manufacturers, get listed.
 
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