Join Date: May 2011
Location: Syracuse, NY USA
Thanked 447 Times in 307 Posts
Revzilla is the Wallmart/ Lowes of sport bike clothing. They have everything there is in one place. I am all for supporting my local brick and mortar retail shops but I am also a fan of cutting edge modern design (such as the Honda CBR250R) in all of my hobbies and tend to keep my things forever so in order to get the selection I want, I end up mail ordering much of my stuff.
If you live with bad weather as I do. You will want good gear or else your days of riding will be limited to having perfect weather coincide with the day that you happen to have off from work. Very few shops or dealerships can afford to lay out the cash to stock any variety of gear. It is too expensive for the amount of sales they can get so they just tend to pick one brand like HJC and Joe Rocket and stick with that. I would call Revzilla. They literally stock everything. And personally road test everything. They are all riders and know what they are talking about. Go for visibility. One of my Saturday bike hang outs is a leather shop that also sells textile touring gear now and it is sad to see the stigma that is still in place with the chopper crowd. For one of them to consider buying a nice, functional textile jacket with some reflective material is a tough decision because they don't want to be "teased". To me, the more safety conscious you are, the better. The more I will feel comfortable riding with you as a friend.
Jacket... I never ride in a tee shirt and shorts. I like my Tourmaster Flex 2 jacket although it is cut a little too husky for me. The functionality of a three piece is fantastic. If you want to be safe, you will want an amored mesh jacket for 70F and up. Check. With a zip on waterproof/ breathable shell for rain or cooler temps. Check. And a zip in thermal liner which takes the comfort zone down to 30F. Check. If you are skinny, there may be other gear that will fit better but spending on a good jacket is worth it. Make sure it fits so the shoulders don't bind your reach to the bars but the armor doesn't hang too low and also so it is comfortable off of the bike.
A good pair of waterproof hiking boots such as the Merrell Moab is adequate and more versatile off of the bike than expensive riding boots. These boots have a nifty enough toe to work the shifter well and are surprisingly warm and dry in cold weather. They offer full protection but feel like running sneakers.
Helmets... There are hundreds. From $50 to $700. I like my fog free pin visor as it absolutely prevents fogging. The flip down sun shade is great too. I commute 6,000 miles a year so I went right to the top with a Schuberth C3. It is very small through the wind, full featured and quiet. The Nolan is a better value if it fits well but they are said to be quite round. Nexx, Arai, Shoei, Bell, Icon, HJC. Too many to name. How far is it for you to go to Philadelphia? Throw down your credit card at Revzilla and buy everything all at once. White for the ladies and white or at least silver for the men. Helmet visibility is the one thing proven to reduce collisions above all other color decisions. I got my helmet as a scratched discount on ebay so got stuck with black and it is noticeably hotter in the sun than my daughters which is white. I added white reflective graphics. I also appreciate a full Hi-Vis theme to be very hi tec cool, modern and responsible although I didn't yet commit to it.
You will want a comm system if you go out together often. If you are over 300 pounds combined you may want a bigger engine though. A Suzuki SV650 would be the next step up.
The driver will want a good pair of gloves so you can feel the controls and don't have bunching in the palms which will tire you out. Hand fatigue will be the norm until you get a few thousand miles under your belt even with the best gloves. Mesh for hot days. The Icon pursuit perforated are good everyday hot weather gloves for errands and short trips. They fit like a glove. You can go up from there quite a ways in terms of protection. Again, hundreds to choose from. The new Rev'it Phantom looks like an amazing do it all glove for 75F to 45F and rain. Super expensive though. The new Gore X-Trafit bonded liner should give the ultimate in control for a lined glove and no issues of sticking to a sweaty hand and pulling inside out. I am adding handlebar muffs and grip heaters to my bike which may allow a thin glove like that to be used into the 20'sF where you must quit riding due to ice. The Rev'it Bastions are going back. Too thick and clumsy to the point of being dangerous in traffic and the palm bunches up. Not enough pre curve in the design. Very dissapointing for what is supposed to be a flagship glove. And, still not exceptionally warm. I will try the Held Warm and Dry next. With the muffs and the heaters, They should hopefully be enough for all day touring in cold weather and the liner is also bonded for control. I wore the Bastions over my cuffs but now feel that a textile jacket with velcro cuffs will seal better with a glove that fits inside. I want to avoid the complexity of electric garments if I can although electric pants and socks may be needed for the longest winter rides.
Wind proof over pants are a must for cold and rain. I have an old pair of Lowe mountaineering pants that are still like new. Might as well get the protection of cycle specific if you are buying new as the mountaineering clothing costs just as much. An occasional, fair weather rider can get by with heavy jeans or canvas Carhart pants to start out with. The Olympia Pro Max 2 with waterproof/ breathability and armor is recommended due to the stretch panels and "Easy Hem" custom fit leg openings.
Mail ordering everything is frustrating when you can't try it on until you get it. I think I have learned the trick to save countless hours studying the reviews and wasting money over and over again on return shipping fees...Order everything you think you may be interested in, in several different sizes. Keep what you like and return the rest before your credit card cycle comes due. This could even work for international buyers. Save one item that you know you want for a second order to use up your loyalty money. Or, take a trip to Philly!
Last edited by sendler; 10-09-2011 at 11:28 AM.