So, rather than hijack DanielB’s ramblings about Airbags, thought I might start a new thread (which tends to veer in the opposite direction).
As with Daniel’s thread, no agenda to push or axe to grind, just discussion and interest in others experience/views.
In the past I’ve ALWAYS ridden with full protection, when riding solo and day riding it’s 2 piece Dainese leathers and Sidi race type boots. If touring (mostly with pillion) it’s been Halvarssons 2 piece textiles and same boots. Tail end of the season when it’s a bit chilly the leather jacket makes way for extra layers under the Halvarssons jacket.
But lately when wandering around off the bike I’ve grown tired of the heavy leathers (and to some extent the textiles too), and especially the race boots which are uncomfortable to walk in (great on the bike).
So we’ve already gone for a pair of baseball style motorcycle boots which are much more comfortable off-bike but obviously less protective on.
The leathers will probably see me out (as long as I don’t put on even more pounds) but the textiles are getting past their best so I’m toying with the idea of jeans, specifically Hood K7/AAA (S) with D30 Ghost level 1 or 2 armour.
I’d be interested to know if any of you have experience of riding jeans and how comfortable they are with/without armour.
BTW what research I’ve done raises the point that my 15+yr old textiles (and possibly new ones) are likely rubbish abrasion protection compared to a current pair of AAA jeans.
And another observation (and perhaps future plan).
In real heavy rain my textiles (Halvarssons and Hein Gericke before that) eventually leak, usually at the crotch. Also with internal Gore-tex the outer layer gets wet and heavy and takes time to dry out.
The solution - my 30yr old Frank Thomas waterproof one piece oversuit never fails (still).
The down side - it’s a pain to stop when needed and struggle into it at the roadside.
So the protection / comfort compromise, your thoughts?
In some ways my break from biking pre 2015 did me a favour as I was able to start afresh kit wise.
So I opted for some Daytona boots, expensive but all day comfortable right from the get go. As far as suits are concerned again I pushed the boat out and went for Rukka laminated textiles with D30 armour. I’ve ridden in some rear shoite weather since and they’ve never leaked and because they are laminate they don’t soak up the water like the cheaper stuff with a z liner. The only problem was in high temperatures the Rukka stuff does get a tad warm so I also have a Rukka Airman mesh suit. It has the same D30 armour and kevlar protection the other one does and has a gortex detachable liner too. The only problem is the trousers…it’s not practical to take em off at the side of the road to put the liner in so I have a pair of Aldi overtrousers as well as the gortex liner so can cover both eventualities and keep my nuts dry…
I use my bike to get to wildlife reserves etc, so need to be comfortable walking around. I bought some bike jeans last year, they are lined, so thick and warm. They are ok to walk around in spring/autumn but not in summer. Also I don’t have knee or hip armour in them. I tour in lightweight walking trousers with some old BMW gortex cordura overtrousers. The overtrousers are fine to wear on their own which is what I did when commuting or traveling somewhere where I’m not walking around. I just take them off on arrival, pop them in my pannier or topbox, grab the rucksack, camera, water and head off.
My jacket is an age old rukka air goretex unlined jacket. It still seems to be waterproof, but needs to be unzipped in summer to let the air in as it doesn’t have the modern flaps for airflow. If it gets heavy in the rain it’s time for a wash and reproof using techwash/proof products. The only problem is the velcro doesn’t work so well anymore.
I’m probably in a minority when it comes to safety kit as I use gortex walking boots as my bike boots, plus I have been known to ride in my walking trousers like last year in France when I’d been walking all day in high 30’s and just couldn’t bear to put the overjeans on…
I’ve bought an airmesh jacket at the end of last summer and it was great for airflow. I intend to use it with a simple lightweight waterproof jacket (it may not even be a bike specific one, more a walking jacket to double up it’s use).
For me, there are lots of “fashion / comfort” female riding options (or more accurately bike options, many aimed at pillion. Although why assume a pillion needs to be less protected??). Anyway, I’ll not stray onto the topic of male vs female kit in terms of protection, because I could rant for pages!!!
For comfort on and off the bike I have some single layer Pando Moto black slim jeans and some TCX Blend black boots which are lovely to wear (men’s - because bigger heel on the ladies’ plus not going up to my size ). The jeans are comfortable with both hip and knee armour in and it is pretty unobtrusive. I also have some Motogirl riding leggings which are very comfortable as well, worn with my Sidi Performer boots mainly which aren’t too bad to walk in, but do scream “bike” if you’re walking around much more than the jeans and TCX boots. The armour in these is much more obvious, so I left the knee and swapped the hip for Ghost Armour.
My very best bike - kit purchase so far has to be my Knox Urbane Pro MK2 armoured shirt - great protection, really comfortable and can be worn over just a thin base later in the summer if really warm or you can layer anything you like over it - so if I want to go to somewhere and walk about / socialise etc I can wear my jeans or leggings and hoodie / long sleeved top / whatever over the top and still be protected. I love it so much that my most recent purchase is the Knox 3 - in - 1 dual pro jacket to layer over the top; I can attest so far that it is comfortable, warm and windproof but not yet tested it’s waterproof credentials yet as it’s very new!
All that said - if I am going to be spirited, I do like my two piece leathers. I am sure it is psychological, but I feel like I can push more in them and quite like the “held - in” feeling of protection!!
So…a bit more spirited and a longer day out and I will wear my leathers. A bit less spirited and something that involves socialising or my commute and I will wear one of my other options - whatever trousers and boots I fancy and my Knox shirt with various layers over it. Stops people in the office laughing at me in my leathers .
For the rain…no style to consider here, I just want to stay dry and have the very cheap Richa Rain Warrior two piece set (men’s - women’s was almost double the price for the exact same thing - a common theme ).
What is non - negotiable to me is back, hip and knee armour and an AA - rated or more garment.
What do you think of the Ghost armour, do you know if you have level 1 or 2?
Is it very flexible?
I bought some ghost armour to wear in my jeans, it’s only level 1 but it doesn’t work in the jeans because it just rolls down and can’t support itself. It needs to be held at the top, which my jeans can’t do. It’s nice and light though, just make sure your kit can take it.
Level 2 - it is flexible once warmed to your body heat and I don’t notice it much on the bike. The knee stuff you can’t see off the bike in the trousers (it is in my jeans for both knee and hip and leggings just hip) and the hip armour you can probably notice if you look for it, but it’s not huge. The “micro lock” armour in my Knox jacket is very soft and pliable - I am pretty impressed. Moulds to you and isn’t too obvious in the garment. The back protector is especially good - it is much longer than other back protectors that I have tried and so flexible all the way up your spine that you don’t feel it.
Armoured wax cotton jacket, armoured jeans, TCX boots, Bks gloves, Arai open face lid and goggles. Same gear all year around apart from pvc one-piece oversuit for wet weather. Summer I junk the wax cotton jacket for an armoured mesh motocross jacket.
I have 2 pairs of jeans, Triumph Hero jeans which are great in the colder weather as they are double lined and Roadskin single skin jeans for the warmer weather. Both are great as they don’t really show the armour so look like standard jeans off the bike but AAA rated for when on it.
I am definitely plus 1 on the TCX Blend boots which are waterproof but can make your feet hot on warmer days, IXS Vintage boots for warmer weather. I prefer higher boots for extra protection.
I also have the Knox Urbane Pro 2 mesh shirt and just put whatever I want over the top as the Knox has all the armour. For cooler and damper weather I have the Merlin Kurkbury Cotec Jacket (wax cotton type).
The Richa Rain Warrior two piece waterproofs is what I recommend to anyone who will listen. They are cheap, easy to put on, windproof, waterproof and fold down to next to nothing and have had mine for years with no sign of degrading. For anytime I may end up in wet weather they get pulled out.
For me living up north it’s got to be something warm so I have to rely on my string vest.
And to match, some kevlar string gruds.
The vest is easy to discard and pack away in spring.
50p for the pair at the local Age Concern shop.
That has made me laugh out loud Needed cheering up today. Thanks
Sorry for slight derailment @HelmutVisor but how small do the rain warrior bits stow to? Under seat room on a Speedy is very stingy
I’m not one to brag normally but I’d just like to point out that the picture of me in my vest was taken at the award ceremony when I won the weight watchers slimmer of the year award for the fifth year running.
Was the prize a vat of lard with mushy peas?
I have a pair of Sidi single layer jeans, which are my go to comfort option.
They have hip and knee armour but the advantage is that the knee armour is accessed by an external zipped pocket so can be removed once you are off the bike.
Abrasion wise they are only rated for urban riding so i wouldn’t recommend charging down the motorway in them but for everyday riding they are excellent - just like a normal pair of jeans.
I have a pair of Revit waterproof jeans which are much thicker and warmer so a bit hot in summer (hard to imagine now I know) but I usually whete a thin merino wool base layer with them.
I also have a pair of BMW Motorrad "Sommerhosen ". Lightweight textiles but the legs zip off leaving you in a pair of armoured shorts!
Jackets: Bering laminate textile, IXS leather, Merlin waxed and Dainese mesh jackets.
Boots: Alpinestars goretex, Alpinestars short boot (looks like a racing drivers boot), Furygan short lace up boot (only it zips up the side)
I always wear hip armour, it saved my pelvis once, but sometimes if I’m honest, I leave the knee armour out.
If it’s really wet, I have a Sidi one piece “boil in the bag” waterproof over suit bought off ebay for a tenner. Bit too big but goes on over everything and definitely keeps you dry. It folds in on itself to form a bum bag so goes over the grab rails on the Tiger.
Thanks Andy, I think you’ve answered my question (not the one about bike kit though).
But do they come with optional armour?
Knotted hanky’s a good tip for keeping helmet fresh too.
It’s been interesting hearing what everyone’s riding in (keep them coming if you haven’t already commented).
I reckon Saul should be talking to Superbikeshop or similar for sponsorship, this forum alone must be keeping them going.
Interesting thread, some good tips here. All my kit was over 10 years old and some starting to look a bit tatty. I recently bought a new helmet, ankle length boots (Richa) and summer gloves (RST), and plan to buy a new textile jacket & trousers plus jeans for summer touring. Those Roadskin jeans look like they could be a good option.
I currently have a Spidi leather jacket which has been excellent and remains in very good condition and a Buffalo textile jacket which is quite thick and bulky which is good for cooler weather and has been completely waterproof. My current jeans are Draggin Jeans which have a Kevlar lining and again have been excellent and remain in excellent condition, but they’re a bit warm for the summer. I also have some Sidi boots which while fine on the bike are hopeless for walking in, so I rarely wear them. Before buying the Richa boots I had some ankle height Furygan boots which were quite comfortable for walking in but are looking a bit tatty now.
Kit is such a personal thing, the only tip I would give is buy kit out of season. Winter kit is much cheaper in the summer and vice versa, shops have a clear out for the new season.
Hmmm… I tend to be one level above skip-diver here.
Waterproofs are 2nd hand Oxford Modials, bought this year… they were pretty good nick and just needed reproofing. I got a generous size so that I can layer up well for cold weather. No back protector though. Tend to wear Richa touring, waterproof boots with this gear (several years old and several treatments of wax to keep them dry) and if the weather is proper bad, got some old chunky leather gloves that sees off most of the worst.
I also use an ancient Scott leather jacket (no specific protectors, just double layered leather on shoulders and elbow). And some ageing Bullit jeans, I’ve stuck some of that flexi-padding into the protector pockets; it isn’t self-supporting so I’ve “enabled” them with a little needlework. I tend to wear Richa waterproof paddock boots with these, a few years old now but only needed proofing once so far. I have my favourite gloves (Lindstrands Gloves - Lindstrands) that I always wear with this gear and sometimes with the Oxfords. I think the model I have is long discontinued, but they are a waterproof (well, not anymore) not quite racer style, which have resolutely refused to turn themselves inside out… even when I had extra silk liner gloves stuffed in them (before heated grips and wind guards)
I also have an old Sidi one-piece spinnaker which will fit over anything I’m wearing and make it weatherproof… no safety padding but handy piece of kit to have ready in case of need.
All the above is comfortable on the bike, but I wouldn’t like to do more than a gentle amble about in them. I have often pondered on using my bike for good access to the walks I enjoy, but it seems too much faff.