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Old 03-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #1
ukaser OP
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Armour for a learner...

Hi there. I'm learning to ride at the moment and looking to be as safe as possible.
I'm aware that riding a bike is never going to be safe and, as such my priority is for armour and safety equipment before anything else.
I'm looking to pick up the high velocity juggernaut armour alongside a fitted helmet, gloves and boots. I'll also be looking for some good leathers and armoured trousers.
Is there anything else I should consider?
Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
pingvin
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For what type of riding, tarmac, gravel roads or off road? If tarmac only you get leathers with good knee, hip, elbow and shoulder protection included, just add a separte back protector and ideally chest protector. Advantage with pressure suit is that you can wear other clothes on top but if safety is first priority leather is best. Perforated leathers help a lot if hot (as long as moving anyway) but not ideal if starts raining. Textile is ok too and maybe more comfortable if hot. Problem is people buy them to big so armor get out of position in a crash.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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Depends a -lot- on the riding you're doing - tailor the gear for the application.

On the street, focus on abrasion resistance. That whole sliding-on-pavement is what's going to tear you up more than the vertical fall to the ground. Leather is good here.

Offroad is where impact protection is important - rocks, stumps, logs, branches, pokey parts of the bike, etc. Since speeds aren't as high, you need something lighter to stay comfortable. Leather is bad here.

Dualsport, you're going to have to balance the two. Some days I wear my tekvest, elbow pads, and pull a windbreaker over it and hope I don't wipe out on the street. Other rides I'll pull the armor out of my adventure jacket and wear something a little more substantial underneath - that gives me the best combination of impact and abrasion protection, at the expense of bulk and heat. Commuting to/from work it's my adventure jacket and work boots.

Either way, it has to be comfortable. And there's nothing wrong with having more than one piece of gear, then mix-and-match depending on weather, riding, what you feel like wearing, phase of the moon... A lot of the gear I wear is for snowmobiling; not only because I already have it, but because of all the gear I've tried it works the best for me.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowMule View Post
Depends a -lot- on the riding you're doing - tailor the gear for the application.

On the street, focus on abrasion resistance. That whole sliding-on-pavement is what's going to tear you up more than the vertical fall to the ground. Leather is good here.

Offroad is where impact protection is important - rocks, stumps, logs, branches, pokey parts of the bike, etc. Since speeds aren't as high, you need something lighter to stay comfortable. Leather is bad here.

Dualsport, you're going to have to balance the two. Some days I wear my tekvest, elbow pads, and pull a windbreaker over it and hope I don't wipe out on the street. Other rides I'll pull the armor out of my adventure jacket and wear something a little more substantial underneath - that gives me the best combination of impact and abrasion protection, at the expense of bulk and heat. Commuting to/from work it's my adventure jacket and work boots.

Either way, it has to be comfortable. And there's nothing wrong with having more than one piece of gear, then mix-and-match depending on weather, riding, what you feel like wearing, phase of the moon... A lot of the gear I wear is for snowmobiling; not only because I already have it, but because of all the gear I've tried it works the best for me.
+1. This is pretty good advice. Armor on the street helps for soaking up the blow of hitting the pavement, and I definitely recommend getting gear with good armor, but if you crash at speed and hit something solid (like a tree or a wall), it's not going to do much for you.

The best thing is to have a pretty good range of gear available so you can choose the best kit for any particular ride!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:05 PM   #5
ukaser OP
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thanks guys, appreciated.
I expect to be riding on tarmac, purely within the city. I live in Hong Kong, so I don't expect to be doing long or particularly high speed rides, as such I'll be looking to pick up a cruiser in the next few years.

I was looking at juggernaut armour mainly because I reckoned I could wear this with just a tshirt when the weather hits the high temperatures. From what you're saying, though, it's not going to be particularly useful on road slips, etc.

I expect to come off a fair few times at first so, I guess I'm wondering if there is such a thing as 'too much armour'?

If I pick up an impact vest like that, match it up with some leathers, even an airbag vest is it going to do me any good, or just weigh me down?
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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There is a such thing as "too much".... like when it hinders your mobility. Impact vest, leathers, and an airbag ... sounds like too much.

Pick up a textile jacket and call it good for now.... something you can open the vents on for the warm days, and zip in a liner on the cool days.
Once you've been riding a year or so and figured out what you do/don't want, go from there.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukaser View Post
I expect to be riding on tarmac, purely within the city. I live in Hong Kong, so I don't expect to be doing long or particularly high speed rides, as such I'll be looking to pick up a cruiser in the next few years.?
The MotoGP guys don't wear a pressure suit, armor in a good leather suit do a good job. There's also many part leather/textile suits with leather on most exposed areas and textile on chest and inside arms etc, even some with mesh that really allows a lot of air to flow.

For the ultimate in protection look for armour in d3o or SAS-Tec, they're soft till exposed to impact when they harden. I've tested it and it works!

I've got several pairs of both gloves and boots from Alpinestars...also crash tested. Comfortable and safe, don't save money here.

I prefer Dainese Wave back protector and chest protector. Not because they're safest but because they are very well ventilated (and still is good stuff). Most other back protectors leave you with a very sweaty back. Comfort is also affecting safety.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #8
ukaser OP
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hey, thanks. I had been looking at the d3o stuff - partly cause I like tech, though! Very interesting stuff.
What about the airbag vests, worthwhile or gimmick?
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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I used to commute each day to downtown Los Angeles (30 miles each way) on LA Freeways -- lane splitting a lot. I usually worn a Roadcrafter 1 piece topped off with a Hit-Air vest (www.safermoto.com). For that kind of commuting, I think the Hit-Air vest was excellent.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #10
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If you are relying on armor in a jacket/pants, that clothing should fit properly (ie:snugish) for that armor to be effective. That is a lot of the reason for going the pressure suit route (also allows for a change to other outerwear, depending on conditions with the same armor).

It has been said above.... impact resistance is prime offroad/low speed and abrasion resistance is prime onroad/high speed and how you effectively overlap these two different requirements (based on your riding conditions and climate), should dictate armor and material choices.

Someone above mentioned that MotoGP guys don't wear pressure suits and the armor is in the leathers. True, but they also have their suits bespoke tailor fitted and they are way tighter. I suspect most average joes would find that fit uncomfortable for longer rides, tours and commutes.

Proper fitting is key. It is tough when you don't have access to local retailers to try stuff on and rely on internet sales.

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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Someone above mentioned that MotoGP guys don't wear pressure suits and the armor is in the leathers. True, but they also have their suits bespoke tailor fitted and they are way tighter. I suspect most average joes would find that fit uncomfortable for longer rides, tours and commutes.
I said that :-) Happen to have a kangaroo 1 piece identical to what was worn by motoGP riders a couple of years back, extremely comfortable as much thinner than cow and very tough, have crashed on track several times.

BUT as you say, for road, I use a bit looser fit (still snug) for comfort and a bit space for underwear if cold. Had 3 big 100kph crashes (wife not happy), last one high sider but armor did not get out of position and worked fine.

So snuggish should be good enough, don't need super tight. Just my opinion anyway :-)

Not saying a pressure suit won't work though, great if wearing anything abrasion resistant above. Saw in another thread someone using pressure suit with draggin jeans kevlar shirt above for hot weather and tarmac.

http://www.dragginjeans.com/ProductI...id=ACCESSORY_1
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #12
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Check out Aerostitch and Motoport. I do not know what is available in your part of the world, but that is what I have seen work the best. They both have varying levels of protection and comfort available. Fieldsheer makes a good leather suit as well.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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Buy SOMETHING and always wear it. Maybe look at used Motoport and Aerostich and Rukka and Halverson if you want to move up more cheaply and try things out. Many people wear a jacket and jeans starting out, but most common injuries are leg.

Buy a good helmet that fits well, walk around the store for at least half-hour in it, or Cycle Gear allows 30-day home trial, wear it until the hotspots appear. If none do, that's the one. Cheek pads will break in a little bit. Check the build date, should be the same year you're already in.

webbikeworld.com has a lot of info on helmet fit and also reviews gear. They have a helmet shape page which might be useful if you find a shape you like but want different features.

I have a suit of Motoport gear and the coverage is high compared to anything else I've had. I think if Wayne could figure out how to add more he would, someday those suits will be close to 90% coverage, right now I think it's in the 60's.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
hamiamham
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been to hk. hot and humid every time. i would suggest going the route of a mesh type textile jacket and mesh pants. I have the bmw airflow jacket and pants and love them. I also wear a safermoto airbag vest. Posters above are correct; armor is not going to do you any good in a fall if it moves around so get something snug or go the route of forcefield armor's action shirt and shorts/pants that will keep the protection in place. basically you need armor for impact protection and a fabric for abrasion resistance. I also have the draggin' jeans pants but those suckers are quite heavy for the climate you will be riding in.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
pingvin
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+1 for mesh if hot, perforated leather only works at speed really. Leather will kill you if hot and city rding with lots of stops.
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