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Boots? Jackets?... Can I 'make-do'?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by ~DadAgain~, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Ok - So I'm a complete n00b and you're all going to say "Get good gear!! - Spend at least $2k...." (after you've finished saying 'go search all the similar threads' :oops: )- and of course in the ideal world I'd go out there and spend $1000's on top-notch super-safe gear before getting astride a bike.

    The reality however, is that I have NO IDEA whether the bike thing is going to work out, or whether after experiencing mad car drivers, bitching cold rain and sweltering 40C days I'll decide it was an interesting experiement but ultimately not one worth pursuing. (I've NEVER ridden a bike before so have no idea if this is a crazy plan or a solution to all my commuting woes)

    I am therefore considering what, if any, economies can be found in my 'introduction' period until I decide that YES this is me and I need to be appropriately equiped with long-term gear. (I'm doing my Q-RIDE course the end of this month and intend getting a bike for commuting after that)

    Obviously a helmet is a non-negiotable essential - no sense in debating that... $150-$200 should see me ok?

    Gloves again - I have nothing even close to biker gloves - so I'll need to spend something - but since I wont be doing long commutes, and QLD weather never gets THAT cold - perhaps a cheaper glove might do me ok? $50?

    Jackets - I need something obviously - but surely provided a jacket has the required protection everything else is just 'nice'? Cant I make it warmer by wearing layers underneath? Cant I make it waterproof by wearing my current walking/trekking goretex jacket on top? (Yes the G-tex would be ripped to shreds if I come off - but hey teh prtection would still bere there?) $200?

    Pants? - yes ok so I'll need to get a pair of something with a bit of protection.... $200

    Boots? - What EXACTLY makes a boot a biker suitable boot? I've read some of you talking about sneakers getting worn down from gear changer - but what about walking boots? I have pretty decent gore-tex lined hiking boots that have good ankle protection from walking twists - is motorcycle protection a completely different ball-game? I get that you dont want laces getting tangled - so is the 'laces tucked into boot tops' approach inadequate even for a few months?

    Perhaps I'm being too much of a tight-ass here? is $600 too little to spend before I get a chance to even TASTE whether I want to bike or not? I may be being overly hesitant - but I guess like all of use n00bs I'm trying to work out what the 'minimum start-up costs' really are!
  2. Yes and yes. Dririder/Motodry/et al make several jackets with removable winter liners for $150-300 too. (most seem to be around $200-250 on sale) Dririder's Rally2 jacket is popular and low price, and allegedly all-weather.

    The bulk of the armour jacket may not fit under your hiking jackets. Not to worry - there's plenty of suitable 'raincoats' available for $cheap. Even a tiny portable hiking raincoat (the ones that stuff into a tiny bag) would work.

    I definitely wouldn't ride without gloves (says the guy who loaned all his bike armour to his pillion for a short ride on the weekend), as they're the part of your body which your brain instinctively sacrifices to catch you when you fall. Mine were only $45 or so though - generic AlpineStars gloves.

    Bootwise.. I've seen motorcycle-oriented 'touring'/road boots for $99-300+. The higher-end ones are fully waterproof (and aren't joking about it either), nicely insulated, lined with gore-tex and whatnot.

    I can't speak for hiking boots, but beyond weather protection, motorcycle boots typically offer:
    * Sturdy ankle support
    * Shin protection
    * Impact protection
    * Heavy abrasion protection
    * Won't be yanked off in a crash ('blundies', I'm looking at you!)

    Unlike workboots, which aren't designed to survive abrasion and offer no shinbone protection. (Have heard of Bad Things happening with riders' feet and steelcapped boots)

    There are now 'riding sneakers' from some brands which do look similar to hiking boots in concept... No shin protection, but more casual look and feel. No idea on price.
  3. I have two jackets here in QLD in medium for sale;
    a top rider air-mesh jacket (the best and most protective airmesh jacket on the market, the armour is about 3 x that of CE). (worn twice) ($200)
    a alpinestar replica 600d cordaro (spl) jacket (has CE armour) ($150)
    and a pair of either alpinestar gp1 medium (feel smaller than medium) (used) ($50)

    also a pair of RJAYs leather riding boots size 43 (used)($100)

    PM me if your interested
  4. If you're willing to order from overseas, 600 will get you a decent amount of kit.
  5. I understand where you're coming from and I sympathise. However consider that not having decent gear can affect your perception. If you're cold, wet, miserable or just uncomfortable it will colour your whole experience. And if you should crash and get hurt, that will definitely affect your enjoyment :)

    However, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg if you forget about durability and put aside any sense of style you might posess. In short, just buy the cheapest motorcycle gear you can find... ebay is your friend here. In just five minutes of browsing I found Jacket - $129, Pants $139, or leather pants , $149.
    Add to that gloves for about 50 bucks and riding boots for about 150 and there you are - a complete outfit for about 500. If you really want you can substitute army combat boots if you have a decent pair - it isn't recommended, but it will do in a pinch. Also I will say contrary to the popular wisdom, in your situation - buy the cheapest helmet you can find. If you have no ambitions to be a track hero and are a mature rider who just wants to commute, a cheap helmet will give you enough protection. If you have a low-speed off, it's more likely you'll hurt your legs and hands - those are the parts you need to protect most of all.

    Of course if you find you do like riding, most of this money will be wasted. You'll want to get better gear and this cheap stuff will probably start falling apart after about a year of regular use anyway!
    And if you find riding is not for you, you won't be able to get decent resale value on this gear either. So look at it as 500-600 dollars down the drain whichever way you go.
  6. Dude - I was in exactly the same predicament as you - go for 'reasonable' eBay stuff if you can wait or critical stuff from a shop where you can't.

    I used an old jacket for the first period of time (months) with plenty of layers underneath, but now have built up a reasonable wardrobe since starting out.

    At the early learning stage it is hard to know if you are going to stick with it, and keepng the costs down during this time is important.....

    ...as for cb250goespop - you can usually get very close to the purchase price on eBay if you resell - providing you haven't paid well over market price, of course.....GO eBay!
  7. yep i reckon you can get all kitted out for 600-800, grab a cheap helmet (200), gloves start looking round at bike shops most have discount bins, and gloves can be had for as little as (30), jacket either try ebay, or shops have (200), pants well again have a look around ebay/shops (150), and boot same again.

    All up it won't be great gear so if you decide to continue to ride, you will probably lose out, because you mostly likely replace all your gear with better stuff, but to get you started if you shop around and use ebay you should have full riding gear for no more then 800 imo
  8. On the brighter side, it will mean that you'll have spare gear to wear if/when you carry a pillion (the pillion should always wear the best armour, IMHO).
  9. It's really difficult to put a pricetag on your kit because I have no idea how big/small you are. Helmets are tricky - you might be lucky and have a head that fits into a $200 helmet, or you might have a head that will only fit into a $900 helmet.

    Also remember that motorcycle gear was designed and developed for impact and sliding - I'm not too sure whether hikers slide down hills at 60km per hour.

    If you'd like a good basic jacket - there are several brands out there that have the "all seasons" textile jacket - it has zip out layers and will convert from a mesh jacket through to a winter jacket. I think Joe Rocket and DriRider are reasonably priced ($250?)
    Make sure you get a spinal protecter - the ones that come in the jackets are pretty poxy.

    Jeans - you can get Shift jeans for $100-$150 (depending on how "fancy" you want them).

    Boots - again depends.

    Another idea is to shop around and try things on - and then see if you can source the item over the internet or elsewhere cheaper.

    I know it seems like the costs are mounting - but it's your bones and skin and comfort levels that you're mucking around with. I started out with very basic protective gear, and then when I could afford it, slowly upgraded each piece.
  10. i was in the same boat where i didnt want to spend more than 1k on gear. in the end i shopped around for what i wanted. i spent the following:

    $650 - Arai Vector Helmet (retail price)
    $72 - Tinted Visor - highly recommended (got 10% off)
    $0 - Gloves (they threw in free gloves worth about $60)
    $150 - DriRider RacerX jacket - Bargain Bike Bits on Ebay
    $108 - Icon Anthem Jeans - Netrider No1 on Ebay

    Havent got boots yet, but I am looking at some Rjays Street 2 boot (about $120) or the new Shift Street Boot.

    I could have spent less, but my head only fits the expensive helmets, which did not bother me as I know I purchased quality. Cheers
  11. You can do it for less than $1,000 and still look cool.

    Pants $200 [draggins]
    Jacket $200 [motodry or similair]
    Helmet $250
    Boots $200
    Gloves $100

    That's $950

    OH and here is some cheap skin :shock:

  12. You need to do what all clever Brisbane motorcyclists with not a lot of cash to spare do when looking for gear:


    Phil stocks heaps of new and second hand gear, most of it is cheaper than the bike shops. He also makes sure it fits properly before you buy it. If you are an odd size he can alter it, and if a zip breaks or a press stud falls off he can fix it!

  13. Yea go see Phil @ Hi-side
  14. https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?p=797205&highlight=#797205
  15. So I had a few spare moments yesterday and decided to go and take a look at teammoto in Enoggerra since they are the ony MC dealer anywhere near.

    After gazing helplessly at shelves for a while a guy did come over and offer to help but when I told him I was looking 'entry level gear' he pretty much ridiculed the idea and said "You cant really get away with spending any less than $600 on a helmet - anything cheaper just isnt going to be safe"... instantly reducing his own credibility and making his chances of getting ANY kind of a sale very remote indeed. (Silly really since I made it clear I had NOTHING so was potentialy up for a big total spend even if I was buying the cheapest stuff on the shelves!)

    Anyway - I tried on a SHOEI and AGV helmet just to get an idea of fit - so I do at least now know how big my head is. I have no intention of spending the 'recommended' $800 on one though... I go somewhere that is happy to sell me a cheaper model!

    I did also get to try on a dri-rider jacket and make sure I the size right - and then armed with this knownledge went to eBay and found myself a pretty much new air-mesh jacket for under $100. Cant complain about that!

    So after the teammoto gear salesman had scared me off spending any money on their gear I figured I may as well look at their bikes and see if they had anything that I might be interested in (or at leats that I could sit on to 'try for size'). Mr GearSalesman said this wasnt his area and passed me off to salesman #2 - Who after I mentioned I was thinking of something along the lines of a second hand but not too old ZZR250, GPX250, CBR250 (you get the idea?) proceeded to tell me the merits of the Yamaha 600cc range of touring bikes?!.... I get that they are a Yamie dealership so might push me in that direction and obviously might be keen to steer away from 2nd hand sales and more toward new machines - but these guys just didnt seem to listen to a WORD I said.

    I'm sure there are places in Brisbane where a beginner can get understanding service - but I am unlikely to darken this places doors for a VERY long time!....