Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Starting Out Advice

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Disco_Dave, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys,
    So i recently got my L's and am looking to get a bike and riding gear.
    At the moment I am quite keen on getting a Kawasaki Ninja 650RL (ABS) as i figure i can just de-restrict it when I am off my P's and most people tell me that I will want to upgrade if i just get a 250. The abs is also a selling point as i have been told it could be invaluable. What are your thoughts on this bike?

    Also, I am not too sure what to do with regards to gear. I dont want to skimp on safety and am willing to fork out to get all the safety gear i can. I am thinking a 2 peice leather suit would be good, boots, gloves and obviously helmet. As i understand some of the suits come with body armour as well (if not then i would like to get some).
    - Where is a good place to get all this stuff?
    - Is there anywhere that could do a "package" deal for buying all that gear?
    - What kind of coin should i be setting aside for all this gear (roughly)?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. G'day mate & Welcome!

    Firstly, pop over to the welcome lounge & say hi, tell us a bit about yourself:

    (Put your location in your profile, too, that'll help with recommendations)

    Secondly, do a bit of searching & digging, you'll find most of this has been covered, then you can come back with more specific questions for us, ie is this jacket or that jacket better, etc, etc.

    Good luck!
  3.  Top
  4. G'day Ludey and welcome to the NR forums mate. Totally agree with the above - I almost went down that path until I discovered a GS500F...they are fabulous learner/intermediate and beyond bikes, perfect for commuting, learning on, heck even touring. An affordable bike with so much more to gain !
    If you are indeed in the market for a 1 piece suit ('You Know You Want In'), Goz has very generously passed on a link (1st page in the above link) detailing Half Price 1 piece suits. The stores are located in Sydney but seeing as you're in Victoria, a quick phone call to either store will get you 'on track', in addition to any help from here within the forums (again, see the link)
    WARNING : Should you progress down this path, you will be forced to become a saggy bums club member :D
  5. LUDEY!


    First off, price is no guarentee of quality. Couple of tips I've learnt:

    - if you are buying leather, find the perfect size then try and fit into a size smaller. Leather stretches.
    - If you find a good fit of helmet, try and fit into a size smaller. The foam compresses. A tight fit when you buy it becomes a perfect fit in 6months.
    - Buy gear that is appropriate to the riding you will be doing!

    In regards to the last point, a onesie is useless for commuting. Only if you are planning to do alot of twisty rides or racing would I consider one. Summer (if it ever gets here) still has a couple of months, you may want to look at a ventilated synthetic jacket first then look at buying a leather one when winter rolls around (what I did, except in reverse). Alot of gear comes with armor, the quality of the armor varies with the product. You want a tight fit though so the armor doesn't move around should you come off.

    In so far as a helmet, arai and shoei are great brands, but you should always try and find what suits your head. Incidentally, i'm a KBC man. My head just perfectly fits their helmets. Several other I tried were tight in weird places, or I was between sizes.

    Onto your bike. Bit bigger and heavier than a 250. Having ABS is a bit of luxury that isn't supplied on any 250 (there was a rumor of the 2011 CBR having it). If you are a bigger person, they are perfect, but they do cost more money...
  6. might want to do your homework on the de-restricting. don't think it can be done legally.
  7. Welcome aboad! Check out all the 'stickies' at the top of the learners forum as they'll teach you some good stuff. Also check out this: https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=63154 I reckon it's spot on as every bike I've bought has needed some amount of mechanical messing - my first bike was a total wreck haha. Still, it helps you learn valuable things... f you're willing to put in a bit of effort. Otherwise, stick with the shiny new stuff. I could never justify the cost.

    I've got a two-piece leather suit and to be honest I never wear it. Its heavy, it doesn't breathe... but it does provide good protection so trackdays are all it sees.

    I would recommend a ventilated jacket or an all-rounder that has a removable liner. The ventilated jackets are a nylon mesh outer to stop abrasion and a cool synthetic mesh inner. Adhered between them are body armour pieces, generally back/elbows/forarms/shoulders. I would highly recommend the Joe Rocket 'UFO 2.0' as its been working well for me for over a year now and I wouldn't be without it on any sunny day. They retail for around $200~250 and also come with a zip-in waterproof liner.

    The other jacket I mostly use is a Rivett 'Urban', can be picked up for about $260. Synthetic outer thats quite waterproof, and also has body armouring in the places mentioned above for the UFO. It has a padded liner that is quite warm and will keep you toasty on all but the coldest days, or can be removed for a nice run in the sun. Either way its a nice jacket and it hasn't let me down in the 3 years I've had it. Must've done over 25,000km in it and it still looks & feels great.

    I generally don't wear protective pants, but would recommend them of course. Part of the reason for this is because I really don't like the feel of them, but then again I've only got el-cheapo kevlar jeans... so a good brand like Draggin Jeans would probably be much better.

    Helmets are a lot of trouble because many people think cost equals protection. Not really, they all have to pass the Australian Standards test and this is quite strict. I'd say $150 to $300 is a reasonable amount for a full-face helmet. I wear an M2R MR1500 'Vixen'... very little wind noise and a great fit for my head. Also a good buy at around $280. Also has a banging paintjob (shilouettes or strippers) and remavable liner (leopard print, natually). Seriously, removable liners are great because you can wash them and remove the smell of your sweaty head.

    Other than that I'd only recommend a set of gloves with knuckle protection, that feel good when you're wearing them. When trying gloves on, put your hands in the 'holding handlebars' position and see how they feel. They should feel comfortable and not pulling your fingers either in or out, and your fingers shouldn't be pressing up against the tips of the fingers too much. All of the above tend to get very uncomfortable after not too long, so find a glove that feels right for you. I would budget $50 to $100 for a good set of gloves.

    All up you're looking at anywhere between $450 and $900 for the basic gear I've outlined. Throw in some kevlar jeans and they'll add another $150 to $250 depending on the brand and design, giving a grand total of between $600 and $1150 for total protective gear.

    Cheers - boingk

    EDIT: De-restricting cannot be done legally and should only be undertaken by a licenced and approved dealership. They must send off for the parts and notify the RTA of your plans to derestrict the bike. It cannot be restricted again once this has been carried out. It will generally cost you around $250 to derestrict a bike, and cannot be done if the owner is still on a provisional motorcycle licence.
  8. Agree with all that Boingk has suggested to you, however the gloves suggestion got my attention :
    Look up Motolegion, a producer of very fine quality gloves, currently being sold for $80, Christmas deal. Check out the link - https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=117614

    Bought mine recently and am very pleased with his product.
    Additional food for thought.
  9. Thanks for the input guys.
    I just found that post with all the cost breakdowns which was handy.
    With regards to the bike i intend on de-restricting it afterwards and i dont care if i cant bring it back to LAMS as thats what i intend on using after i'm off my P's :) (assuming i go with that bike, I am thinking maybe a POS older 250 would could also make a good first bike incase i drop it and want to work on it etc. )

    I am still undecided on the leather vs. textile thing. I dont want to compromise in safety so i think i will go a leather jacket and pants. I didnt realise getting fitted out with good gear would be so expensive though (looks like will cost me close to $2k from what i have seen on the prices i could find on the net)

    I'm still open to suggestions so please keep them coming :)
  10. As far as where to go to buy gear goes that depends on where you live (or how far you're willing to travel). This place however is worth a look, was well worth the 1 hour trip for me:

    Range is good and the prices were as low, or lower, than anything I'd seen elsewhere (though I've only been to the one near the airport).
  11. You might find leather hot in summer. I can wear mine for about 9 months in Melb. (OK at the moment though). A summer jacket is pretty much essential. You'll also need wet weather gear.
    +1 for AMX or the peter stevens clearance centres.
  12. The de-restricting thing can also have ramifications from a legal viewpoint too I think..

    If you alter it, then do not do the right thing in regards to informing the RTA, its possible that if you get into a crash & yourself or others are injured, this could affect your TAC insurance, also it could affect your private insurance..

    Seriously it is a minefield, you may get away with it but if you don't, it could be costing you for years to come..

    A lot of opinions seem to be buy a cheaper first bike, cos while learning is when you are most likely to drop it, then once off restrictions buy a shiny new or nearly new one that you won't be likely to damage due to in-experience..
  13. Trust us. Textile is essential. Unless you are planning to squid it up. Then that is a personal choice of yours.

    Even if you go and try on jackets on a hot day, you are going to sweat your ass off. Buy your gear for the season you are in.

    What kind of riding you planning on doing?
  14. I was under the impression that some of the good leather gear had vents in it? and i would have thought leather would be the best for waterproof gear?

    I intend on commuting (i work in the city so its appealing) and also weekend rides.

    With regards to the de-restricting i will do it LEGALLY (inform vicroads etc.). I am not talking about doing a dodgy de-restriction. I know it is illegal to de-restrict it beforehand or not notify vicroads etc.

    My main reason for not getting textile is everywhere i read the concensus is that leather is much better even that the best textiles and i do not want to compromise on safety.
  15. Leather is the best protection wise. It lasts the longest and it slows you down whilst sliding.

    However it doesn't breath regardless of whether you are doing 60 or sitting at the lights. Yes Leather gear has vents in it but think about it, they normally have 3 or 4 vents in them making up a small portion of the surface area of the garmet. Textile or perforated gear is mostly ventilated. The good ventilated gear (i've got an el-cheapo RST jacket) has >50% of the surface area as mesh... Which means when you are moving, awesome cooling. While you are sitting still, less of the insulation effect you feel in complete leather.

    Thing is, you buy your leather jacket, you'll die even on cruises in the hills at faster than 100ks and hr as soon as the mercury goes above 30ish. Being a commuter means you don't need the crazy abrasion resistance offered by triple stitched leather. Coming off at 60hr is gona hurt but the difference between leather and textile won't make much difference, provided the gear is quality. Leather, you'll probably be able to crash in multiple times. However, it will be majorly uncomfortable to ride in which becomes a problem in itself.

    I'm kinda hoping Raven will chime in here with his ATAGATT spiel :D . Being a melbournite, you'll have to carry your summer, winter, august and spring gear all the time. The textile stuff comes with water proof and "winter" liners.

    Do some research. Find how much "abrasion" resistance you require for a stack at 60, 80 and 100ks... 6 secs is what you need (roughly) at 60ks an hour. Denim lasts .5 of a sec. A single layer of leather lasts about 5 secs... Textile, depends very much on the make. All motorcycle gear depends on the make. Brand and price are not an indication. International standards ("CE"? mark?) give an indication of what tests the model has passed.

  16. Leather gear is not waterproof, in fact it can be very bad getting it very wet as it needs to be dried slowly to avoid damage.
  17. If your buying leather jacket and paints don't buy over the net .the sizeing can be all over the place you need to try on different brands .a size 48 can be size 52 in another brand .so try different brands .. Good luck
  18. True for top quality race leathers but not necessarily true for "consumer" quality leathers and definitely not true for cheap leathers.
  19. True in NSW but I believe the law in Victoria is a little different - in Vic you can't legally ride any modified LAMs bike on restrictions, even if it's a 125 with a free flowing exhaust. The onus is on the rider to know the bike isn't modified, but my reading was that a fully licensed rider in Vic can ride a modded LAMs bike, which would include a de-restricted 650..
  20. Not necessarily. Some items may have a CE logo, but it's often not the correct one, with the letters either being taller than they should be and/or too close together.
    If a product's come from Europe and carries the mark then you can be sure it's been tested since it's a legal standard in all EU countries. But as far as I'm aware there's nothing to stop Chinese/Asian manufacturers slapping a fake CE logo on anything they please and selling it to countries like Australia (since we don't have standards on motorcycle clothing). If in doubt just ask the seller which specific CE standards it meets, and whether they have any documentation to prove it (anything meeting the spec. should have some sort of certificate of compliance).
    Also worth noting that leathers can carry an official CE approval simply for having dye that doesn't run when they get wet, so you want to make sure it passes more than one CE standard.