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I am a firm proponent of ATGATT. I always wear my full-face helmet, my Joe Rocket Alter Ego ballistic jacket and pants, gloves, and Icon boots. In city traffic it can get quite hot. Make sure to take out the liner (if you have one) and open the vents. Once you are cruising - it feels comfortable.

Keep in mind that if you a heterosexual male - women absolutely dig guys in riding gear. Yes - chicks want to jump your bones when they see you in your gear. Not sure if its the uniform thing or battle armor look (you do really look like you are going into battle when outfitted) or that you look like a cop (I've received this comment from strangers) but I've had women make comments that suggest their ovaries are spitting eggs when they see me walking around in riding gear. :D So take that for what it's worth.

Mike
That last paragraph is the absolute truth
 

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I personally wear helmet, jacket gloves and pants all the time. I live in a very rural area so dont really have to worry about sitting in traffic burnin my ass up or anything too bad. I see tons of idiots flyin up the interstate in shorts and tshirts at 100 mph and it just makes me cringe. Does the helmet really matter at that point? Here in VA we have a helmet law, but other than that I guess you could ride naked if you wanted to. :eek:
 

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I'm in south florida and even with a black jacket (although it is vented and meant for summer) I'm not hot at all. We don't even have a helmet law, but do you really want 60 mph wind in your face? I would find that highly uncomfortable and very loud.
 

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Risk Management

It should be ATGATT (All the Gear, All the Time)
Though I'm not following ATGATT, I make sure that I always wear a Full faced Helmet, my riding gloves and good shoes while riding my bike.
All the gear, all the time..... nice sounding adage. However, as BikerSuz goes on to suggest, a bit impractical. I think it comes down to being practical, compromise and risk management.

Obviously a racer riding at high speeds, with a high risk of an off, is going to be well kitted up, including body armour. In many races you can see the benefit. Following a high speed tumble, often riders pick themselves and their bike up and continue racing.

Is it practical, and necessary, to get fully kitted to go 5 km to the supermarket, reaching a top speed of maybe 50 km/h on the journey? Not really....

Personally, I do not even get my motorcycle out to go down town. I use my bicycle for such trips. I don't wear a cycle helmet. I figure that at the speed I ride reaction will have my hands reach the pavement to break a tumble before my head.

Where I live now (Phuket) I have a Honda Dream 100, which suits my present needs quite well. On a typical journey I get up to about 60 km/h, occasionally 70. I always wear a helmet. That is practical, and makes sense. It does not take much of a bump to the head to sustain a serious injury.

Other than the helmet I just wear regular clothes. I know I should wear shoes, but I hate wearing them (only for work), so it is usually sandals; never flip flops. Yes, I would sustain a bit of "road rash" in a tumble, but I ride conservatively, and defensively to minimise the risk.

I use an open face helmet with some coverage down the back of the head, but ears are exposed. No visor; I wear glasses. It does not impair peripheral vision, and hearing at all, both of which are vital to cope with Phuket traffic.

Getting a helmet that fits properly in Thailand is difficult. Most manufacturers offer just one size of any model. No wonder Thai people do not like wearing helmets; most are ill fitting and uncomfortable. I took a Thai woman shopping for a helmet, and persisted until we found one that did fit. After that she was a convert to wearing a helmet, if only because the visor protected her face from the elements.

Unfortunately, the brand I have used in the past is no longer available, so next time I need a new helmet here I will have to shop around again.

So far, so good.... over 120,000 km in Thailand, (Phuket - 100,000) without an accident.

At home (NZ) and in other western countries (UK and Europe) I often travel greater distances and reach higher speeds, though still seldom much more than 80 - 90 km/h (I go for byways rather than highways). There it is always gloves (mittens actually, hard to find these days) boots, and leather jacket in addition to a helmet. Makes sense in that higher speed can lead to greater injury, so more protection. Also practical; temperatures are cooler, and in NZ weather can change quickly.

At the same time I am usually riding to get somewhere; what I wear has to be suitable for where I am going.

In the west I use an open face jet style helmet. I have never been able to get along with full face helmets. I only use a visor if it is raining heavily, very cold, or I am traveling a long distance at 90 km/h plus on a highway.

I like the feel of the wind on my face. I like to sense the environment. The scent of trees, and the taste of ocean air are part of the sensuality of motorcycling.

If high speed was my buzz I would be getting used to a full face helmet.

I have a Nolan with a visor that is protected by the peak when it is up. It stays up most of the time, but is there when I need it. The Nolan is a very comfortable helmet for me; it was a lucky find. I don't know if they make that model now.

Off road, on farms I never wear a helmet. It is totally impractical. Offs are part of the territory, but with speeds seldom reaching 50 km/h and surfaces being more forgiving than the road, serious injury is rare.

For other off road situations, it depends. More risk, more gear.

In the end, ride defensively.
 

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i wrecked a bike in 2005, the first part of my body to hit he pavement was my back, then the back of my helmet. the sound of the helmet hitting was a loud CRACK. after slidiing and rolling down the street, i got up with a broken wrist, BUT my head was just fine due to my helmet. i feel that any state with seatbelt laws but no helmet laws are just a bit bass-ackwards!! always wear a helmet! on a motorcycle you have no roll-cage..you are your own roll cage so gear up and protect your dome!!
 

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Here in Bangkok traffic it's brutally hot. So I have my wear my open face helmet and use gloves. But other than that it's too hot for anything else.
 

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My gear

I'm waiting to hear from my dealer but on Friday he said this week for my Red ABS.

This is my first bike, and I believe it is an extremely dangerous sport, and you should dress for the occasion.

Here is my gear that I will be wearing all the time, in Phoenix. I've lived here my whole life, I know hot.

Shoei RF-1100 ((white w/ black visor for daytime, white is the most visible helmet color)
Fox Creek Vented racing jacket (I've had this for over 5 years) (very heavy, lots of abrasion resistance)
TPro Forcefield adventure harness under the jacket. (back/chest/shoulders/elbows)
Tpro forcefield shorts
tpro knee tubes
(TPro stuff has the highest protective rating of any armor that I can find. shock absorption/dispersal)
Dainese 4 stroke gloves, black
TCX S-race boots, black (these and the TCX 2.1 have the most ankle protection I can find.. I have a coworker that got side-swiped on his bike and they came very close to amputation at the ankle)

I've also been looking at lighting - Ready Made EL Wire Kits - Find an easy to make EL Wire Kit in YOUR favorite color. to wrap up my backpack.

Call me crazy.
 

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another ditto for full gear, this time from NC:

  • full-face helmet w/shield. Never understood the no-helmet thing - When someone says "let those who ride decide", I automatically translate it to "let those who can think decide". I'm all about shields, too - been in Fire & Rescue a long time and can attest to the damage that a rock can do to a human cheek, or a bug to an eye.
  • Upper- and lower-body gear with CE armor. Knees, elbows, back takes a beating if you go down. Leather is better, but textile is a decent alternative in NC with the summer heat.
  • Boots and gloves - I was in CycleGear the other day and they had a decent Bilt boot for $40. This isn't high fashion or AlpineStars quality, but it's a whole lot better than tennis shoes.
  • Rainsuit - a really good idea (at least here)
Money is not the factor it used to be - if you shop around and don't have to have the latest cutting-edge fashions, you can get gear that will help you in the event of an accident for not a lot of $$. Manufacturers are making gear that you can easily slip over your work clothes.

Ride safe! that way, your gear lasts forever.

Luke
 

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Shoei RF-1100 (white w/ black visor for daytime, white is the most visible helmet color)

....

Call me crazy.
I really like the RF-1100 - I think Shoei hit a home run with that hat.

Not crazy at all - forewarned is forearmed.
 

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Anyone have personal experience with any brand of airbag jackets. I like what I have read about them so far. Protecting the neck from snapping with a collar bag seems to be the big advantage.
 

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I went down and broke a leg on a Nighthawk 750. Wasn't going fast, just avoiding animals in the road on a blind corner. Wish I kept my helmet from that mishap. I still remember the raked asphalt scratches diagonally scratched deep into the front face shield and chin of my helmet. When you tumble off there is not much you can do to protect yourself. Wearing good equipment sort of helps.

If it were not for a full face full shield helmet, I am pretty sure my face would have been wiped clean off on the road. Other than the broken lower leg bone I walked (limped) away without a scratch due to wearing my riding jacket and gloves.

They say there are 2 kinds of motorcycle riders. Those that have been down and those that haven't been down, ...yet.

I learned my lessons well and have and will always wear a full face helmet. I get the willies a little when I see other riders wearing half helmets.

I don't like to think about it - I just wear my gear and enjoy riding.
 

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Just buy a nice jacket and helmet. If the fit is good, you will barely be able to notice it there. And a good air jacket will be usable throughout the summer as long as you aren't just sitting in traffic your whole ride.

Besides the helmet, armor isn't going to save your life in almost any crash but it will protect from injuries that might make you wish you didn't survive!
 

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Just buy a nice jacket and helmet.
... and gloves! Never skimp on the gloves... Just think about it: if you ever go down, you might or might not hit various parts of your body. But what is one part that *is* guaranteed to be involved? Your hands. You are absolutely certain to stick them out as you fall.
 

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Dress for the crash, not for the ride.

After roadracing for a few years and coming off the bike in a variety of ways, I can tell you the gear makes the difference.

Most of my riding these days tends to be DS, adventure off road stuff. I ride fully armored... for the crash.
 
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