What gear for starters? - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-14-2019, 9:10 PM Thread Starter
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What gear for starters?

Just got the bike. What should I be buying for safety and convenience? Any gadgets to recommend?

What I bought so far
- full face helmet
- helmet lock (a lock with a metal chain)
- cargo net
- bike cover

Anything else? Jacket and pants I’m deprioritizing until later.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-14-2019, 11:00 PM
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IMHO, a good pair of gloves with palm and knuckle protections would be a priority. Preferably they are leather, since it is more resistant to abrasion in the event of a skid.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-14-2019, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorge moros View Post
IMHO, a good pair of gloves with palm and knuckle protections would be a priority. Preferably they are leather, since it is more resistant to abrasion in the event of a skid.

I second gloves, rash on your body and legs can be awful and limit mobility, but with usually eventually get back to normal. rash on your hands can permanently destroy them.

Id also recommend at least trying to find a second hand jacket/boots/pants, in that order imo.

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Bike 2: tbd
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 6:14 AM
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And if you're asking these questions is it safe to say you have NOT taken a motorcycle safety course? Because if you haven't I would STRONGLY suggest you do so before ridding too far. Gear is great but it won't make you bulletproof.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Took the weekend course already thx for suggesting
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 10:22 AM
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What gear for starters?

All of it.

Not sure why you would make proper gear a low priority.

I've been riding for over 40 years on the street and track, and I won't go around the block without all of it - helmet, jacket, gloves, armored riding boots (not soft leather or work boots), armored riding pants (with knee cups).

If you've ever fallen off at speed, even moderate speed, I wouldn't have to convince you of its value.

Trust me - you want it all - all the time.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 5:40 PM
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yeah totally agree ATGATT yes it can be a pain donning a full space suit when it's 40degrees but not worth the alternative.

had a mate years ago just nipped down his GF in shorts and T shirt. it was only 2miles but he hit a patch of oil outside a filling station and came off lost most of the skin down one side including half his knee elbow and shoulder. spent years having skin grafts.
he never rode a bike again as it left him with limited mobility. not worth it. ever.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 6:10 PM
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I too am pretty much ATGATT. I got lucky and while attempting to haggle the price down on my bike, the kid threw in a super nice Icon Sanctuary jacket, which was $300 new (~$240 now). So here goes my over explained answer below. Sorry I am long-winded.

First thing I got was armored shoes. The AlpineStar Sektor vented riding shoes ($140) are amazing and worth EVERY penny! I feel protected and am comfortable enough to wear them all day. https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...r-vented-shoes

Got a full face street helmet, because I felt odd using my dirt helmet on the street and wanted something ECE or SNELL tested on top of the DOT cert. - HJC CL-17 is SNELL tested for ~$140 https://www.revzilla.com/search?_utf...93&query=cl-17

Bought some armored gloves cuz dirt gloves are flimsy. - Scorpion Klaw II - $55 https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...klaw-ii-gloves

I rode the leather all year last year, even in the heat, but this year decided to have my wife get me an armored mesh jacket for my bday cuz St Louis humidity kills. $140 https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...express-jacket

I still don't have pants though...

My only gadget I put on the bike is a clock. I started to try to look for phone mounts, RAM mounts etc...but all I really needed was a way to keep track of the time. One of the POs I guess put a nice strip of hook velcro on the handlebars, so i got a small backlit clock and used some loop side velcro we had and now I have a detachable clock...only been stolen once so far! https://www.amazon.com/AOZBZ-Display...9X8E0KG9627JN7

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Zero Gravity tinted shield (included)
Frame Sliders (included - had to cut lower fairing to fit, but absolutely saved my plastics on my first lay down)
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Fog Rearsets (these kinda cramp my legs though as I am 6' 2" - might remove)
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-15-2019, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finalgears View Post
Took the weekend course already thx for suggesting

Perfect! That course can save lives!!!

That said, read what everyone else posted. For me, bottom line is to wear everything from head to toe.

I've been riding for 30 years, mostly cruisers, and I used to never wear any type of armor. I'd have a helmet but most of the time it was my half helmet.
Eventually, I wrecked with only jeans, rain jacket and half helmet. Slowing down and bit it at maybe 30 mph. Rolled about 8 times (from what I remember as it happened in slow motion...yet so quickly!). I think the one major thing that saved me from going down is my training as a bicycle cop and the MSF course - if you're rolling...then just go with it! And I did and tried to be as relaxed as possible. Had I tensed up I think I would have had a lot more road rash.

Wound up with a knee that swelled to the size of a grapefruit but, luckily, no broken bones! And some minor road rash on my elbow.

SINCE THEN...I ALWAYS wear an armored jacket, 3/4 or full face helmet (I live in Florida and it get's sweltering hot) armored gloves and, when riding to work, armored pants. I also normally wear some kind of boot, non-armored, but it's better than Harley flip-flops!!!

I will add...whatever you chose does NOT have to break your bank account! I'll argue with anyone that you get what you pay for because I have some cheap(er) gear that's rock-solid! And then I have some more expensive gear that sits in the closet.

To answer your original question:

Minimal - helmet, gloves and jacket
Non-negotiable - helmetl
Extra - armored pants and boots

All that said...hit up Cycle Gear and your local shops. Try on as many brands and styles as you can because they ALL fit differently! When you find what FEELS COMFORTABLE and fits your price range get it. Chances are you'll be getting more gear as time goes on and technologies improve. (Plus wear and tear)
I prefer comfort first and foremost as I can always "armor up". Next I weigh price because why pay top dollar for something that will get sweaty/dry/faded/etc over a year or two. Style is last on my list. I'll try to get a match color to my bike but, more than anything, I want to be seen and maybe ugly as opposed to invisible but cool.

Have fun shopping, try things on and then write up what gear you like and don't so us knuckleheads have an idea for our next shopping excursion!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-16-2019, 9:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDiddlez View Post
First thing I got was armored shoes. The AlpineStar Sektor vented riding shoes ($140) are amazing and worth EVERY penny! I feel protected and am comfortable enough to wear them all day. https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...r-vented-shoes
I can't agree with "armored shoes".

What you are trying to avoid by wear a fully armored boot is crushing of your ankle. Shoes aren't going to do it.

If the cycle would fall over on your foot in a low-side crash, or even when stopped, you are going to crush your ankle if you don't have an armored boot on.

That's a terrible injury that will haunt you the rest of your life.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-16-2019, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilsfan View Post
And if you're asking these questions is it safe to say you have NOT taken a motorcycle safety course? Because if you haven't I would STRONGLY suggest you do so before ridding too far. Gear is great but it won't make you bulletproof.
. I totally agree on this. Gloves are also a must have.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-16-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv357 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDiddlez View Post
First thing I got was armored shoes. The AlpineStar Sektor vented riding shoes ($140) are amazing and worth EVERY penny! I feel protected and am comfortable enough to wear them all day. https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...r-vented-shoes
I can't agree with "armored shoes".

What you are trying to avoid by wear a fully armored boot is crushing of your ankle. Shoes aren't going to do it.

If the cycle would fall over on your foot in a low-side crash, or even when stopped, you are going to crush your ankle if you don't have an armored boot on.

That's a terrible injury that will haunt you the rest of your life.
. yeah tell me about it lmao 2 screws in left ankle from this. 1 rod 5 screws for ankle fusion in right ankle due to me getting tboned.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-18-2019, 11:02 AM
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. yeah tell me about it lmao 2 screws in left ankle from this. 1 rod 5 screws for ankle fusion in right ankle due to me getting tboned.
Ouch.

I'm guessing you didn't have armored boots on.

Hopefully healed well.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 9:56 AM
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Ventz motorcycle jacket intake vents for airflow:
https://www.ventz-range.com/

Most jackets come with level 1 CE armor if any. I recommend replacing the pads with level 2 armor. Put a back armor in since most jackets don't include it.
Used gear is a much better value than buying something cheaper for the same price. Just make sure you know exactly what your sizing is. My used leather Alpinestars jacket has survived 3 slides with minimal damage, whereas every other piece of gear that was new needed to be repaired.
Sweat wicking motorcycle shirts/shorts:
https://www.cyclegear.com/heat-out
The less you can wear mesh gear vs leather on super hot summer days the safer you'll be.
For those rainy days, waterproof covers:
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/bilt-...gs-rain-jacket
With this you can save money by using your summer gear, and add a cover for rain.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-26-2019, 3:11 PM
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I will be a voice of dissent.

I used to wear armored gloves. Pretty good pair of alpinestars. the stitching started coming apart after a single riding season (they went through some heavy rains). Now I wear deerskin ropers, from aero stitch. They are not armored, but a much better glove in my opinion. They cost less. They last longer. They allow for a much better sense of touch. They fit better. They stay just as cool in the heat as a mesh glove. With silk liners, they become pretty decent cool weather gloves. I have been down in them, and they protected my right hand, which scraped on the pavement, completely. This is more than I can say for my textile jacket: I had burn marks all over my right forearm.

I also used to wear moto-specific boots. They were okay. They not the most expensive boots but they weren't cheap. Tourmasters, I believe, was the brand. They did not last (again, hard riding, lots of miles in rain, heat, stop and go dabbing, etc.). Now I wear a pair of georgia work boots--the kind with zippers instead of laces, a leather strap to keep them tight. The leather is super thick and they offer at least as good protection as the moto specific boots, though the moto boots had some plastic plates in them.

There was a study in Australia--moto safety guru David Hough wrote a piece about it--that showed people riding on the street got just as good of protection from sturdy work boots and good leather gloves as they did from moto specific gear.

I do wear a moto specific jacket (icon) and pants (revit), and I am somewhat satisfied with them, but I do hope to experiment with a light leather surplus flight jackets--goat skin or deer skin--to see if I can improve on them, at least in certain riding situations.

On the whole, i feel that with moto gear the emphasis is too often on armor, too seldom on durability, comfort, ease of movement, and a lot of other things that help us to avoid crashing in the first place.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-26-2019, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
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I will be a voice of dissent.

I used to wear armored gloves. Pretty good pair of alpinestars. the stitching started coming apart after a single riding season (they went through some heavy rains). Now I wear deerskin ropers, from aero stitch. They are not armored, but a much better glove in my opinion. They cost less. They last longer. They allow for a much better sense of touch. They fit better. They stay just as cool in the heat as a mesh glove. With silk liners, they become pretty decent cool weather gloves. I have been down in them, and they protected my right hand, which scraped on the pavement, completely. This is more than I can say for my textile jacket: I had burn marks all over my right forearm.

I also used to wear moto-specific boots. They were okay. They not the most expensive boots but they weren't cheap. Tourmasters, I believe, was the brand. They did not last (again, hard riding, lots of miles in rain, heat, stop and go dabbing, etc.). Now I wear a pair of georgia work boots--the kind with zippers instead of laces, a leather strap to keep them tight. The leather is super thick and they offer at least as good protection as the moto specific boots, though the moto boots had some plastic plates in them.

There was a study in Australia--moto safety guru David Hough wrote a piece about it--that showed people riding on the street got just as good of protection from sturdy work boots and good leather gloves as they did from moto specific gear.

I do wear a moto specific jacket (icon) and pants (revit), and I am somewhat satisfied with them, but I do hope to experiment with a light leather surplus flight jackets--goat skin or deer skin--to see if I can improve on them, at least in certain riding situations.

On the whole, i feel that with moto gear the emphasis is too often on armor, too seldom on durability, comfort, ease of movement, and a lot of other things that help us to avoid crashing in the first place.
OK...well the gloves may do the job, but that's about it...

Gloves protect you from abrasion, and a heavy leather glove will be able to withstand quite a bit of sliding before wearing through.

When you impact and slide on your forearms the burn you get is from the pressure combined with the sliding - which removes a layer of your skin. Armor helps the even the pressure. I've slid on heavy leathers, and never gone thorough, but still had burns on my forearms - can't help it. Textile jackets can withstand 1 good crash and that's it. Single use. Leather is much more durable.

As far as boots go - no way. I'm not concerned about abrasion anywhere near as much as I am with an impact or crushing injury. Armored boots have hard cups over your ankle bones that will lessen the damage from impact and the overall integrity of the boot will prevent crushing ankle injuries significantly better than just a leather work boot. If you've ever crashed and tumbled you will notice your feet tend to whip around causing impact to your ankles. You want an armored boot. Always.

The job of armored gear is to spread out the force from the impact, and in the case of boots, give added crush protection. You want it. Durability, comfort, and ease of movement are secondary. Ever wear a MX boot? Movement is limited on purpose. I've never crashed due to uncomfortable gear.

Some of the gear will be single-use - but by then it has done its job.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-26-2019, 9:06 PM
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Jkv357, I think I first considered sturdy work boots rather than moto specific boots after Ron Ayres--long distance endurance rider and author books on the subject--said Red Wings were a favorite of iron butt riders.

Or maybe it's because Aerostitch has sold combat touring boots--pitching them to off-road adventure riders no less--for about a quarter century. And they have no armor. Just very good leather.

Or maybe it was when I read the DeRome study, out of Australia, which suggested that a good sturdy work boot turned out to be just as safe and sometimes safer than moto specific boots in a crash. Same was true of gloves.

Some very serious, very experienced and very safety conscious riders choose non moto specific boots.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-27-2019, 9:01 AM
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Jkv357, I think I first considered sturdy work boots rather than moto specific boots after Ron Ayres--long distance endurance rider and author books on the subject--said Red Wings were a favorite of iron butt riders.

Or maybe it's because Aerostitch has sold combat touring boots--pitching them to off-road adventure riders no less--for about a quarter century. And they have no armor. Just very good leather.

Or maybe it was when I read the DeRome study, out of Australia, which suggested that a good sturdy work boot turned out to be just as safe and sometimes safer than moto specific boots in a crash. Same was true of gloves.

Some very serious, very experienced and very safety conscious riders choose non moto specific boots.
I don't see any racers wearing them? Isn't that a pretty good indication of requirements for protective gear?

I have no problem debating the issue, and you have made some good points. People can decide what to do for themselves, based on the points that have been made.

Ride on - it's all good (until you crash...)!
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-28-2019, 10:00 AM
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Jkv357, I think I first considered sturdy work boots rather than moto specific boots after Ron Ayres--long distance endurance rider and author books on the subject--said Red Wings were a favorite of iron butt riders.

Or maybe it's because Aerostitch has sold combat touring boots--pitching them to off-road adventure riders no less--for about a quarter century. And they have no armor. Just very good leather.

Or maybe it was when I read the DeRome study, out of Australia, which suggested that a good sturdy work boot turned out to be just as safe and sometimes safer than moto specific boots in a crash. Same was true of gloves.

Some very serious, very experienced and very safety conscious riders choose non moto specific boots.
Consider the application. Military style boots are heavy, offer little to no ankle support, made of a rubber designed for high grip, and have no impact support in any area unless you wear steel toe. I’m13 years in...trust me, I know.

All of these combined mean in a crash, your soles will grip and twist your ankle from either friction or rotational forces and any impact you suffer transfers directly to your ankle. We have students drop their bike all the time because of mil boots catching the ground at lean.

Riding boots designed for street use are light, have sliders, impact protection, and soles designed for grip on the pegs but slide on the asphalt.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 8-31-2019, 5:41 AM
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I think the point for the OP [who hasn't been back to his thread since asking the question] is that anything is better than nothing. but the better the gear the more protection you get. bearing in mind most of it is one shot anyway. once damaged in an off it's scrap.
moreover if you do have a off the paramedics will probably cut it all off anyway.

I don't like leathers personal choice but use textiles for comfort. although this probably stems from the early days of biking where bomber jackets and leather pants were the norm. looked good on but totally useless in a big off .
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-6-2019, 12:22 AM
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First off I'm ATGATT...The only gear that is for safety is your helmet. After that, the rest of it is how much pain can you tolerate. Can you handle a wire brush to flayed skin to get gravel out? Can you handle broken bones? Remember your best safety gear is between your ears, use it.

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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-6-2019, 9:56 PM
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A jacket and gloves are pretty much essential on a motorcycle. Mesh jacket with liner is the most practical in most situations for a first jacket. Without these, you are going to be in a world of hurt with even a minor get off. There is also the issue of wind chill which makes a motorcycle an uncomfortable place to be without a jacket and gloves when the temp drops below 68F for any period of time at highway speeds.

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