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Greetings and Questions

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' at netrider.net.au started by Lee.JK, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Hello!

    My name is Lee and I'm from Melbourne. I recently returned to Australia from SE Asia. I'd bought the worst motorbike in the world in Laos, and took it across Cambodia and up through Vietnam where I couldn't even resell it due to how badly it was running. I ended up donating it in return for 4 large warmish Vietnamese beers (about two dollars).

    I had a lot of hits/crashes (mostly due to mechanical failures, and a taxi hitting me), and no real protective gear. I'd sometimes be stuck in the middle of no-where pushing it with my backpack and a flat in 40c heat.

    Despite these varied experiences, a psychological switch was flipped and I decided I'd get my learners and start riding as soon as I returned to Australia.

    Two weeks later I've obtained my learner's permit (it's unconscionable that the bar is that low) and today put down a deposit on a great value 2009 KLR650 with useful mods.

    Test riding it through scenic twists today gave me an uncontrollable grin. My smile has never been that huge--so much that the sides of my face were actually sore.

    I'd bought an LS2 MX helmet for $100, and a really nice Dririder Apex Sports jacket for $80. I was lucky to find both on clearance. I also had a family friend donate his Harley wet weather pants/top, 2 pairs of thick gloves, and an old disc-lock. I am very lucky to have out-laid so little.

    That being said, I know that many hold to the mantra ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time), so I'm looking to get some protective pants and boots.

    I would really appreciate suggestions as to what is the most cost-effective and pragmatic way to protect my legs and feet. I have a couple of pairs of solid boots, and I'm wondering to what degree these will suffice.

    As far as pants go, I was wondering if there were any cost-effective protective overpants which I could wear over formal pants during a daily commute into the CBD. I've heard that textile and kevlar pants disintegrate pretty quickly and am thinking of getting a pair of leathers. Overpants don't seem to be particularly popular however.

    I don't need to be super-comfortable or have the latest and greatest. I just want something which does the job for as little economic outlay as possible. My second priority would be for something which allows me to switch into a suit or casual-wear relatively quickly.

    Nice to meet you all, and if you have suggestions for a new rider, please throw them my way.
  2. Cheapest gear comes from the once a year Aldi sale. I think it's coming up in a month or 2. Quality is typical aldi, not great but enough to not upset the ATGATT crowd.

    Anyway welcome.
  3. Thanks for the heads up!

    I'm very practical and not opposed to second-hand gear, but it's more a question of what I should be looking for.

    Are pants and riding boots (as opposed to normal, solid boots) a practical necessity? Should I opt for a pair of second-hand leather pants? Are overpants or piecemeal leg pads an option?

    I'd assume that a used set of leather pants are better value/protection than kevlar jeans that Aldi might have new, but again, I'm not sure what gear would suit my needs best.
  4. No gear except your helmet is a practical necessity. It depends what your willing to risk and what you want to spend. You won't burst into flames if you jump on the bike in jeans and a t shirt. Although some people here think you will.

    With second hand gear you have to remember that it does wear. Average lifespan of a pair of pants is 2 or 3 years so second hand doesn't always mean better value. Avoid draggin jeans like the plague. They are not made to wear at all and aldi pants will do a better job.
  5. As far as I know leather gear lasts indefinitely if properly cared for.

    I used the term 'practical necessity' to distinguish between what isabsolutely necessary and what a reasonable person would do. I acknowledge that even a helmet is not a necessity (it's only a problem if you're caught or you crash) but that sort of discussion doesn't really assist me.

    I'm looking to find out what the best options are. You've graciously informed me of the Aldi sale.

    That said I'm a little hesitant with regards to kevlar jeans because they look like crap and offer minuscule abrasion protection from tests I've seen.

    I was thinking if I'm going to look stupid, I might as well do it in pants which actually protect me. Pre-worn leathers seem like a good idea because I can buy them used for less than a new pair of Aldi jeans, they will last longer, and I'll only need a single pair. In the abrasion tests I've looked at they can slide about 3 times as far as kevlar pants. I understand that not all leathers or kevlar is made equal.

    As I mentioned I was also wondering about the possibility of overpants but I take it you don't have experience with them. I'm not sure how riding boots rank in importance to ATGATT riders compared to other gear.

    I won't be travelling at breakneck speeds, and I'm pretty sure my KLR is restricted. I'm mostly concerned about a commute into the CBD which means taking the freeway (100kph). I'd like to know that if I slide, I won't grind holes in my legs.

    Thanks for your reply.
  6. I don't know too much about leathers. All I've ever owned are the kevlars.

    In all honesty boots are probably the most useful gear. People having their legs mangled from a bike sliding across them is a way too common injury. But quality makes a big difference with these and most boots don't have rigid ankle support. The difference in protection between a $400 and a $100 pair is the same as the difference between thongs and a $100 pair.

    If I knew I was going to crash and I could only have 1 bit of gear it would be boots.

    There were over pants at aldi last year. If you search this site you should be able to find last year's catalog.

    But yeah if you are on a budget buy boots first and use jeans till you can afford pants.
  7. It's a cliche but you pretty much get exactly what you pay for.

    Nothing will beat good, armoured leathers in a crash, particularly if there is any tumbling involved, but you can improve the protection given by kevlar pants with the addition of armour (either inserted into pockets or strapped around the knee). Again though, with armour, you get what you pay for. Pretty much all brands for sale meet the CE requirement, but there are still huge differences in quality.

    You get some reasonable textile riding pants that'll give you weather protection for the commute, although it's only really leathers that can survive multiple crashes or big slides. Second hand leathers isn't a bad idea either as long as they're in decent condition. Go with a reputable brand.

    If you're looking for something to wear over the top of your work clothes, make sure it's still sufficiently snug that you can't rotate the armour away from the joint it protects. This is where strap-on armour can be pretty good.
  8. Thanks for that last post. Well thought-out and exactly the sort of analysis I was looking for.

    I'm going to inspect some used Alpinestars Web Gore-Tex Boots. They aren't bulletproof, but they are supposedly pretty good for the $200-250 RRP, and I've found them for $20.

    As I mentioned I bought a new textile jacket which seems pretty solid: Search Apex Sports Touring Jacket ($80).

    The only thing I need to sort out is upper leg protection. I might wait until I see a good used pair of CE approved leathers. Originally I was thinking of armour under my normal clothing, but I guess there's no knowing where you'll actually land.

    I'll probably check out the Aldi sale regardless.

    I've spent way to much money recently, but I've seldom found an activity so engaging, so I think it's a worthy investment. Besides I'll be doing this for a long, long time. Hopefully.
  9. That's the plan :)
  10. Welcome to NR.

    Aldi pants were about $80 last year and for that amount, a good bargain.

    Winter proof, water proof and with knee armor provided so not too bad I think.

    The sale happens mid August I think and make sure to go in early. :)
  11. Don't bump into things or fall off the bike.
  12. Why bother posting?
  13. Another option for you LeeJK is to visit BikersGear in Ferntree Gully or Philip Is. for good leathers, pants and jackets. They cost less than the top brand Euro models but are priced accordingly and I have bought a jacket and pants from there and are happy with both.
    To make a general point to you, I am emphasising the importance of leathers strength, if you ever need it sliding down a road. I don't doubt Kevlar, but I am a bit traditional and like leather.
    You haven't mentioned your location but if you go over to Ferntree Gully, have a crack at the Dandenong Tourist road while you are over that way. It is a nice road to wind around.
  14. I've often asked myself this.

    what's the sound of one hand clapping?
  15. Can't recommend bikersgear. The crotch in my pants blew out within six months. Amx sale much better.