About 15 minutes before I get off of work, ShrewsieQ calls and says I might want to head home now since the sky is black and the wind is picking up. I look out the windows and see some clouds and a generally calm sky. Puzzled I ask her what direction she is facing. Before she has time to answer, I turn around and see a wall of black through the windows on the other side of the building. Hmmm. Time to gear up and get moving!
I throw on my Belstaff Adventure jacket, Aerostich AD1 pants and my JR Sonic boots, and haul butt down to the parking lot. As I'm warming up the Uly, the wind starts to pick up. I guestimate that I have time to get home before the sky opens up. So, I pack my rain jacket in the side case, strap on my helmet and hit the road. About 1/3 of the way home, I see cars in the oncoming lane with their wipers on, completely soaked. Crap. Time to pull over and throw on my rain jacket. Keep in mind, I've never worn this rain jacket since my TourMaster Transition II is "waterproof". The bright yellow Teknic rain jacket fits well over the Belstaff, except the sleeves are about 4 inches too short.
With the hatches all battened down, I hit the road and then the sky breaks free. Visibility drops, so I adjust my speed accordingly. The Bridgestone Battlax tires have always done well in the wet and the Uly has smooth power delivery, so traction is good. Using the Sena SMH5 and Siri, I send Shrewsieq a message updating her that I'm dry and safe.
Dry with the exception of my hands, so I click the grip heaters to low and concentrate on trying to see out of my rain splattered visor. (Mental note, find my glove squeegee.) Thankfully, the ride home was uneventful. I pull into the driveway after crossing some flash floods and see she has the garage door cracked open and ready for my arrival. (Mental note #2, research garage door openers.)
I peel off my gear and find only my hands and the bottom of my work pants are wet. Had I tucked my pants into my boots, they would be dry. No infamous Aerostich wet crotch and no leaks from the Teknic jacket. However, rain has some how got between the clear layer and the reflective layer on the reflective stripes. Not sure how that affects the visibility.
All in all, I actually like riding in the rain, assuming I can see.
If you ask anybody about what is the best motorcycle protective gear they will all
have different opinions. An opinion is a view or judgment formed about
something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. This article talks mainly about jacket armor but pant armor is pretty much the same and of course wear helmets, boots and something to cover the first thing that will hit the ground, gloves.
calendar slowly turns and the temperatures slowly rise, riding season is
finally coming. With the dreams of a new riding season come the dreams of new
riding gear. These days protective gear is more than long pants, long sleeve
shirt, gloves, high top shoes and a helmet. The new armor is more than the foam
I remember from many years ago. I started riding at the age of 12 and always wore
long pants, long sleeve shirts (where we used to ride, the weeds used to hurt
whipping by at 40 mph) hiking boots, gloves, helmet (thanks Mom) and
sunglasses. Really not until my legal riding age did I do the cool thing of
shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops and sunglasses I was lucky never had to have any
expensive skin grafts. Man I was Stupid Cool, now I would just say Stupid Lucky.
From what I have read there are basically four types of armor: #1 Foam Armor
My first and the 1st type of protection was purchased along with my
KLR. After my disability had put me down for a while and I wasn't able to get
up off the ground as quickly as I used to beforehand. While shopping for the
KLR I looked at some Firstgear mesh jackets and pants that had a simple foam
padding in the proper areas. I had already purchased a nice helmet with DOT and
Snell safety ratings. The foam protection really did
not provide any real protection other than skid protection which meant no more cleaning
out road rash with a green scouring pad.The foam was an open-cell foam covered in thin nylon only about a 1/2" thick.
The foam is exactly what is says it is “foam”
which is the least expensive of all the types of armor, but it offers minimal
protection. Although foam is thick and dispenses force well, it is suited only
to low-impact accidents, which is what you always hope for at the most in a crash.
#2 Hard Armor
My second and the 2nd type of protective armor came when I bought the Ducati, I figured since I was buying a lot more power I should also have a lot more protection. The other reason for the "more" protection was I saw a friend of mine get rear ended the morning of the Indy 500. That morning his GSXR became a hood ornament on an SUV and my friend never really recovered. I purchased an Alpinestars leather jacket. It was a heavy jacket
with excellent abrasion resistance due to the 1.2-1.4mm full grain leather and had CE-Certified elbow, shoulder and back protection that felt like an injection molded plastic resin lined with foam. This injection molded armor is good in both impact and abrasion and holds it's shape very well. The downside of the injection molded armor is while it hold it's shape very well it can be slightly uncomfortable while wearing and may need adjustment more often. The hard armor was not necessarily the most comfortable armor to wear but I thought provided excellent protection during my Ducati crash. A couple friends and I were tearing up the curves on 135 when I hit some grave in a ≈40 mph turn. I slid approximately 30 feet on my right side until the edge of the road where I was ejected over the bike and landed on my back. The hard armor provided excellent impact absorption and skid protection, luckily with all the protection I was wearing I was relatively unharmed, the only damage was the bike and my pride.
#3 Memory Foam Armor
The memory foam is not a piece of armor that I have owned or had the opportunity to try. From what I have read the BMW PE armor offers good impact protection while being able to conform to your body better than a lot of CE-approved armor. We do have a member of the blog that does use the BMW PE armor and I will let red review this one. Red stated "I'm using the BMW armor in my British Motorcycle Gear Adventure jacket,
so I had to cut down the back pad and trim the elbow pads. If the jacket
has been hanging weird or on a skinny hanger, the armor will mold to
that shape. When the armor is cold, it's very stiff and takes a little
while to warm and soften up. Once it's warmed up and molded to your
body, it's extremely comfortable, unlike armor with a hard plastic
shell. I can tell you that during a low speed dump, landing on an elbow and back pad, I didn't feel a thing."(red)
#4 Strain Sensitive Armor - D3O
My first experience with D3O armor was in my Klim Badlands jacket. When
I first read about D3O armor I was intrigued as to how it worked. Have you ever seen or preformed the science experiment where you mix corn starch and water to a certain consistency and when you stick your hand into it it feels gooey. When you strike it or slap it at impact like speeds it solidifies then returns to the liquid state. The D3O armor works in the same way where it give great impact absorption from wrecks and hits yet remain soft and flexible when wearing every day. The D3O remains soft and flexible even in cold temperatures as we tested earlier in January by myself, red and McMark on our sub-freezing ride.The US ski team also now uses D30 armor in their ski suits.
D3O provides tested and CE certified
body armor solutions for the Motorcycle market. These light and flexible
components are integrated as back protectors, shoulder pads,
elbow pads, hip pads and knee pads, providing the world’s leading brands with
comfortable protection. From what I have experienced and read the "pro's" for the D3O are the great flexibility that gives you the ultimate protection packed into the slimmest low profile armor on the market. The "con's" I have not yet discovered, I am a big fan.
Looks like Teknic has closed down according this thread on ADVrider. Their homepage is blank and my Google-fu only turned up a lot of vendors selling Teknic gear at closeout prices. I'll update this post if I find any additional info.
They make some good kit, hopefully it's just a rumor.
Is your riding gear looking a bit rough? Did mice or other critters make a nest in your helmet while your bike was taking it's winter slumber? Maybe the hi in your hi-viz is a bit low? Or maybe you just bought your first bike and realized that skin grafts are painful and more expensive than riding gear?
Their products range from classics to mesh gear and even adventure styled duds.
Every rider needs a black leather jacket.
Summer safety! Hi-vis and high air flow!
Ride to far off places and scare the locals!
Now that you have some new gear, you need some place to put it when you take a break from your ride. Point your browser over to Viking Bags. They have a wide variety of luggage for your H.D. / Metric cruiser or street bike.