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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. I just reread the thread on riding attire. I have a few questions that I hope could be answered by the many members on the forum. I plan on using my bike as my primary mode of transportation. If I use leathers, would I have to bring my work clothes with me? Do you wear street clothes under the leathers? If I chose chaps instead, do they provide protection with jeans? I understand that a leather jacket is a given, but what other type of synthetic materials are good substitutes for protection? I understand full finger gloves, but why do so many use fingerless gloves? Also, I plan on wearing a full face helmet( I know dressing up like a knight in armor). How do you keep from getting 'helmet hair'?
Thanks in advance. I do want to ride for a long time to come. I am just returning to riding after a long break, so I am concerned about my hide-and keeping it. The bike can be replaced, but there is only so much skin they can graft and I'd like to stay pretty:D Living in VA, we have a wide range of temperatures, so I want to purchase versatile equipment that protects, but is comfortable and convieant. Any suggestions? J.T.
 

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EvilMonger
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The best safety equipment is your ability to avoid accidents!! Aerostich has a catalog that explains why their material is better than leather, and they have equipment with protective knee and elbow pads that are removeable, I have bought from these people and are happy with the products and service.
 

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I have hair nearly to my waist so I just roll it up into my helmet. When I get to work I shake it out and it looks ok. Obviously I don't wear a skirt while riding but I have worn my chaps over my dress pants and bring heels with me to work. In a couple of months, I'm going to buy draggin jeans that I'll be wearing every time I do ride.
http://www.dragginjeans.com/
I have a skin condition that results in excess buildup of scar tissue so I do try to protect my skin as well, the alternative would be horrible scarring.
 

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DHARMA Initiative
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fearnot69,

I think the riding attire is up to you. I live in North Carolina and normally don't wear my leather jacket until it gets below 52F. I just wear a long sleeve shirt if it's below 65F and just a t-shirt above that. If it's cold enough, I wear thermals, chaps, jacket, scarf and full gloves. I have the scarf because I only have a half helmet and the scarf helps the ears from getting brittle and breaking off when hitting a pothole. I can't comment on leather pants with street clothes beneath, because I don't own a set of leather pants. I have seen some people that have went down with chaps and they seemed to hold up pretty well. I guess it depends on the surface of the road as to how well leathers will hold up.

I normally do not wear gloves unless its cold. I do have the fingerless gloves for cool rides and the reason I like them is because I still have full control of my fingers for grabbing the shifter, breaks and throttle.

I understand about wanting to protect your hide, and I don't blame you for wanting the best protection you can get, but I think you may have to try different combos to see what you like the best.

For the helmet hair.... Forget it. Carry a comb!! :D

Hope this helps
 

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I wear leather jacket, chaps, long insulated gloves and boots. I have a leather skullcap when I don't wear my lid. This combo keeps me fairly warm even in last nights 28 degree ride home from work. If your worried about helmet hair they make slicks to wear underneath your lid. Basically a hairnet that is supposed to keep your hair in place
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments so far. Obviously the ability to avoid accidents is the best safety equipment, but thanks for reminding me. I will check out the Aerostich site, the alien. I am just trying to getting ideas.:D J.T.
 

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Chaps leave the two places on your body that you pray never get road rashed open for road rash.
 

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Commuting Gear

Motorcycle riding gear serves three main purposes: It provides protection from cold and wind, it keeps you dry if it rains, and it can provide additional protection from injury should you crash. A rider using his or her bike to commute to work cannot always choose the weather conditions in which they operate (a sunny morning can turn into a rainy afternoon..) and should keep this in mind when selecting riding gear.

Unless you plan on keeping a selection of work clothes at you place of employment, it probably makes most sense to wear your work clothes under your riding gear. This pretty much rules out leather riding suits. Speaking of leather - I'm not a big fan of riding chaps. They provide no protection whatsoever to your buttocks and thighs should you crash, and they provide only limited rain and cold protection. Also, unless you are walking into a biker bar, people can give you funny looks when you wear them off the bike. Leather is also difficult and expensive to clean, and provides only limited rain protection. A synthetic jacket and pants or full riding suit is the best way to go. All you need is a place at work where you can stash it during the workday.

For general commuter wear it is hard to beat the custom-fit Aerostich "Roadcrafter" suit. Not only does this ballistic-nylon one-piece come with removable (and washable) linings, but it also has removable body-armor in strategic spots. The suit is also pretty much rainproof in all but the most extreme conditions. It is also liberally marked with high-visibility reflective tape, and has more storage pockets than you can shake a stick at. The only downside is the cost - more than $700 the last time I checked. As an alternative, you could get a one- or two-piece suit from other manufacturers - Firstgear, Joe Rocket, Alpinestars, Cortech, etc. - but the quality is not necessarily as good as Aerostich.

As far as footwear - unless your job is one where you can get by wearing boots you will probably have to take street shoes with you. Riding a motorcycle in most street shoes (sneakers, mocassins, wingtips, etc.) is unsafe (they don't provide enough grip to let you keep the bike upright), uncomfortable (they let wind blow up your pant legs), and bad for the shoes (the toe of your left shoe will get scuffed from the shifter peg.) I like the "lineman" style motorcycle boot - it gives good on-bike performance and doesn't look too goofy under street pants.

No matter where you live, you should wear gloves at all times on the bike. The bloodiest bike injury I ever saw was a guy who took a 5 mph spill and scraped most of the skin of his palm and fingers - apparently he still has trouble holding a pen a year after the accident. He also lost about two pints of blood before the EMT's could staunch the flow.

As far as avoiding "helmet hair" - you could try wearing a skullcap or do-rag underneath, but the best bet is to develop a hairstyle that is compatible with wearing one. Alternately, take a comb and a can of hairgoo into the washroom at work to straighten things up before you start your day.
 

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polar said:
I have a little problem with guys wearing chaps *sorry.
Me too, but I broke down and bought some last week. Hey, it's friggin' cold up here. We are 10-12 degrees below normal the last two weeks. This mornings news said the temps this weekend will be consistent with the end of December, brrrrrrrrrrr:eek: Trust me, I'll only wear them when absolutely necessary! (My best friend does'nt ride and he told me if he ever saw me with chaps he'd rip them off me, hehehe. Have'nt told him yet)
 

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Thanx for the link HH. Summer can fry ya with chaps, this might be an alternate cool.
 

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Just bad
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My ride to work is only 6 miles and mostly slow anyway, so I really don't need to bundle up. Today is our first fairly cool fall day and I broke out the soft lowers and insulated gloves. I can wear jeans at work since I'm not in front of customers very often and my boots look ok with slacks (like Dockers) if I need to dress up a little. I prefer the fingerless gloves when I can stand it as I am in a lot of gridlock traffic and thick gloves make it a real hassle to manuever the throttle and front brake at the same time when creeping along. If I go on a long ride in extended cold I have insulated coveralls that get the job done. They won't win any poser points but I'm not making a fashion statement and don't care. When I get to work I can zip out of the coveralls in a minute and stuff them in a saddlebag. I might also get my full face helmet out (its a Snell rated helmet for auto racing) if my beard starts growing icicles :)

Oh yeah.. the only time I get hat-head from the helmet is in the summer when it's hot. That's what the brush in my bags is for. Kinda goes hand in hand with the helmet wearing thing :D
 
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If you crash while wearing chaps, while you're sliding along the asphalt just remember to roll over onto your tummy and lift your hips up a little bit off the ground... should be no problem at all ... :D

I wear armored leather pants that zip into my jacket, comfortable from 35 up to about 75 degrees F. Above that I wear draggin jeans and a Joe Rocket mesh armored jacket (butt ugly but I don't care). Below that I stop for the night...

No hair, so no helmet hair to worry about ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so far, especially VRodDrew. I don't care about a fashion statement. Like most, I feel the same about chaps.(no offence intended) THANKS for the link, Polar. That looks perfect. I've also looked at the aerostich line(suggested by The Alien) and looks good. However, 700 bones seems cheap considering the potential loss in a wreck. Plus, after looking at Vance leathers....that's cheap.
I'm a nurse, so I will be changing at work. I'll use the saddlebags as storage. Getting out of the military, so I've got the boot situation taken care of. I also don't mean to be vain, but I know how a Kevlar pot tears up your hair...even when it's short. I just don't want to go to work looking like I was breakdancing on my head, with a pillow.:D J.T.
 

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fearnot69 said:
Plus, after looking at Vance leathers....that's cheap.
I'm a nurse, so I will be changing at work.
JT,

Might I suggest head to toe white leather?:eek:

It would be functional and a fashion statement at the same time.:D

wyo

Vanson will make you a custom set.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
CCOOOOLL, wyodude. I never considered that. Sounds sexy!! I'll look into it.:D J.T.
 

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VrodDrew said
I'm not a big fan of riding chaps. They provide no protection whatsoever to your buttocks and thighs should you crash, and they provide only limited rain and cold protection. Also, unless you are walking into a biker bar, people can give you funny looks when you wear them off the bike.
If you do a 20 mile ride in 40 deg temps in jeans then, do the samething in chaps. You may appreciate the chaps a little more. The guys at work have their fun with me and my chaps believe me. BUT, the women are with HarleyHottie, I get all the looks. (Heh, what can I say...) I wear them for cold weather protection. I'm not a fashion queen:rolleyes: (I know it's hard to believe:D ) I couldn't give 2 sheets what people think about me. And I get funny looks all day long anyway, I probably don't notice. But hey , It all comes down to personal choice. Like the morons wearing a wife beater and shorts on a plastic suicide machine................:D
 

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My wife and I both got chaps at Purple Hog Leathers in Yuba City north of Sacramento(They are on the web). Super fit and well made too. A bit spendy, but lifetime guarantee against tearing if I ever went down. They will replace them or repair back to new. OL has the same attitude as HarleyHottie on guys wearing chaps. I can't complain.
 
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