EAR PLUGS : GET USED TO IT if you haven t already. less engine and wind noise to your brain, the fresher, longer you will be.(i use the foam ones with the string that keeps them together)
HELMETS : I was an Arai guy, then a ONE trooper then now I go with the new SHOEI VFXW which just came out. Not too light, not heavy, great ventilation, great TIGHT fit (you need tight), quiet..(very quiet!) and I am certain it is the best damn protection for your head you can get anywhere with the ARAI in second.
Dont wear a black helmet. Duh! I always bring a second helmet with me at every rally. Just in case
BOOTS : Always been an ALpinestars TECH6 guy. I never liked the TEch8s cos of the booty. It adds too much weight and it adds a size to the outside of the boot. too many chances of getting it caught onto something and TECH 6s are light but strong and still sensitive to brakes and shift. I dont like the TEch10s as they are too rigid.
UNDERWEAR : I wear long sleeve top and long legs underwear. Some of it is for cool weather, but in rally you usually choose special made stuff for hot weather. Any adventure/outdoor style clothing company has it in its catalog. Choose Darker colors. The comfort of not having any sand on your skin all day is pretty good. It protects from the small scratches on your leg, butt, torso etc... it may not be much to think about the first day, but after ten days, you will appreciate the comfort. HAve one top and one bottom for each day
GLOVES : I wear hand tape spcifically designed for riding. it's French and it's called PHLYCSTOP (http://www.amis.asso.fr/PHLYCSTOP.html
) . my hands couldn't take more than 2 days of rally without it. Using this hand tape allows me to use thinner gloves like a SX glove if I want to but I usually ride with the FOX Bombers which have a carbonfiber knuckle protection. I usually ride with gloves a size bigger than my size as I hate to be tight in gloves and the hand tape addition might tighten tthe fit of your usual gloves. I change gloves after 3 days as they lose comfort features very quickly
SOCKS : In adddition to the long leg underwear, I use the FOX long socks for knee braces. It doubles the cushioning between knee braces and skin.
I change them every day. Otherwise, FOX does some bamboo fiber MX socks which are amazing for moisture wicking!
KNEE PROTECTION : I am 43 and until 3 years ago I had never been able to ride with knee braces. BElieve me I tried them all and nothing would do. I would go back to my small plastic knee cups everytime! Then PODMX (http://www.podmx.com/
) came out. They are designed by an Australian genius and he gave the dist. to FOX. These braces are the most complete package you can get. Solid construction, no nonsense and you dont even know they re there!
NECK PROTECTION : I think I was the first to have a LEatt brace (http://www.leatt-brace.com/
) in The States. I imported an early production full carbon one but now I wear their regular top of the line. It has already saved my neck (really, no pun intented!) 2 times. I do not get on a motorcycle without it. I also wear a lycra neck tube underneath otherwise, after a couple days, the side of the neck brace irritates your skin. In MX I set up the neck brace to medium when in rally I set it up to Large.
UPPER BODY PROTECTION. : This is a tough one. I've tried every pressure suit possible and the only one that fits me great is the Alpinestars Bionic. I wish they had a more rigid front chest protection for that time when you gonna hit the roadbook, but overall it is a great back protection and one of best suits around. The Acerbis Kaerta is impressive and I would love it if it didnt make feel cramped and uncomfortable. Some of friends swear by it.
PANTS : Whatever you like (try to make it match the jacket so you dont get arrested by Lybian fashion police)
JACKETS : I wear an ASW (from Brazil http://aswracing.com.br/
) Vented jacket. The neck is designed to accomodate the LEatt brace. it's got plenty of pockets for food, tools, camelbacks, sat phone etc....
GOGGLES : I use SMITH "fuel sweat X" Goggles (http://www.smithoptics.com/Moto-Series_Category_16.html
) . Dont take an MX vented goggle like an "intake", you might regret it in the dust. I use the bronze lens (tip from Scot HArden). Also, on very thin dust days, I put baby oil on the foam. if you do the baby oil trick, be very careful how you grab your goggles as you may end up ruining your lens. I usually bring one goggle with brand new lens per day. Sometimes it's overboard, but what looks like a good used lens may look like a 1000 shiny stars early in the morning when you face the sun!! Scott makes a desert goggle where the venting foam is replaced by Goretex.
ISOSTAR or similar. One dose for a whole 1.5 liter water bottle for each day to recoop at the end of the day.
Drinking plain water is not enough.
SAt phone : pre-enter in memory all numbers that you want to call. When registerin g at the PC course, give your sat # and get all #s from the organization, just in ccase. DO NOT BUY GLOBALSTAR!!! it's a worthless piece of SH..T! Get an Iridium!
If you only race in N. Africa or middle east, get a Thuraya. these phones take your Gsm CArd and you get billed thru your regular GSM carrier. Costly per minute but if you only use it for emergency, it's better. No need for pre-paid card! and it's a smaller phone I have both Iridium and Thuraya.
When traveling to rally,
I bring 2 pairs of boots. you have river crossing one day, your feet are dry when you start the next day.
I bring 2 helmets. or at least a spare visor (In case of a crash)
I bring one piece of underwear of each (top, bottom, feet) per day
I bring 2 jackets and 2 pants
I bring 2 knee braces (in case of a crash)
I bring 2 camelbacks
I bring one new set of earplug per day
When I pack up all my riding stuff, I divide equally all my stuff in 2 of the OGIO 9800LE bags (awesome bag for rally/KTM sells it) .
The point of dividing everything is that if one of your bags disappear during air travel to the start of the race, you still have
one full set of everything.
All the electronics should be in your carry on!
There's a full bag of medicine stuff you need to prep, but man! thats a long post!