Shopping for Gear? - Motorcycle Gear Geeks

Shopping for Gear? - Motorcycle Gear Geeks

Shopping for motorcycle gear

One of the best ways to shop for motorcycle gear would be to walk into a store to get your correct "snug" sizing/fitment and then purchase from said store, or take your sizing chart and shop online for better pricing/availability.

Expensive = Higher quality & overall protection

1. Jackets - Leather & Textile, it is highly recommended to own a leather jacket over textile. Leather is abrasion resistant and will protect your skin much more efficiently than textile material ever could during a slide. Leather jackets tend to come with higher quality CE rated armor in the shoulders and forearm area. Most jackets these days come with armor inserts for the back and chest protectors, though they are usually filled with foam padding that is considered "garbage". When possible, remove the foam inserts and upgrade them with CE rated chest pad & back protectors. The difference is phenomenal. CE certified is a European standard and it basically means replace after one use, although there have been cases where CE certified lasts longer than the first initial impact, regardless CE certified is better than a T-shirt or foam padding, and is affordable. However, if you choose textile you can at least upgrade the armor in most of the jackets and it will be much cooler to ride in, temperature wise.

2. Riding Pants - There are various options to choose from, leather, textile, and armored jeans. For your average commuter leather pants may be too much hassle to deal with but will offer the best protection. Textile pants and armor jeans are the way most people tend to go, they are most comfortable and you get a good breeze. Some textile options will come with armor in them, but this is most likely more foam padding. The armor jeans will actually have decent hard armor in the knee and possibly hip area as well, all while looking like normal jeans. Most leather pants, unfortunately, do not have inserts to upgrade the armor, they are as is, but depending how you buy, the armor should be good to go.

3. Gloves - These are important when it comes to riding in order to protect the hands that operate the main controls. There are many types of gloves you can buy from leather with no armor to leather with many armor and slide features to leather gauntlets. Typically it is a good idea to invest in gloves with a decent bit of armor to protect your knuckles and palm in case of debris hitting your fist or sliding across the asphalt. There are short sleeve gloves, very convenient to have, and there are gauntlet style gloves, longer on the wrist to add more protection. Gauntlet style are usually more expensive but offer more protection and comes with better features, such as stitching to connect the pinky finger with the adjacent finger preventing separation, wider wrist protection, palm sliders, and finger padding. Always try to buy leather gloves because if you are sliding, you're most likely going to be grabbing at the ground to slow yourself down.

4. Riding Shoes & Boots - Whether its riding shoes or riding boots, either one works well for standard riding conditions. Riding shoes are more realistic for the commuter rider, they are more comfortable to walk around in all day and offers decent protection incase of a fall. Riding boots offer better protection than riding shoes, such as toe sliders (some riding shoes have toe sliders), a tougher constructed shell, leather material all around, but are not as practical as riding shoes if the intended purpose is to go to work, school, then gym.

5. Helmets
- It goes from bucket style to full face. This will be the most important purchase you can make because a helmet is required in most areas as well as protecting your head. Depending on your riding style you can shop for your style helmet, people who ride Cruisers tend to shop for the bucket style helmet which only covers the top half of the head, however, there are many Cruiser riders that wear full face as well. Almost every single Sport Bike rider in the world wears a full face helmet. There is a misconception about full face helmets. Some people will argue that you lose your ability to hear your surroundings in a full face, not true. You will have poor visbility of your surroundings, not true. A full face does not protect your head efficiently, seriously not true. While wearing a full face helmet you are able to hear and see perfectly fine as well as having protection around your entire head. Helmets can get very expensive but the more expensive a helmet is due to the options, example; helmet design, carbon fiber material, etc. As long as your helmet is D.O.T. approved you are fine and can buy a brand new helmet as cheap as $80, bucket or full face. The obvious pros to choosing a full face over a bucket are; no bugs/debris hitting your face, if you fall and your face happens to roll right over an object like a rock, the full face will protect you as opoosed to the bucket, and your chin and every single part of your lower face is protected.

Pricing Breakdown:

- If you shop the popular brand names such as Alpinestars, Dainese, Spidi, you will pay a decent price for the gear but remember you still get what you paid for. Popular brands tend to have excellent quality as well as style and customer service.

Average minimum to maximum price ranges;

- Textile Jackets ($150-$280)

- Leather Jackets ($340-$699)

- Textile Pants ($100-$180)

- Leather Pants ($150-$480)

- Armor (Kevlar) Jeans ($80-$280)

- Plain Leather Gloves ($25-$50)

- Leather Armor Gloves ($70-$115)

- Leather Gauntlet Gloves ($100-$400)

- Riding Shoes ($90-$275)

- Riding Boots ($100-$290)

- Helmets ($80-$3,600)

Track/Race Gear Breakdown

The gear mentioned above are suited well for casual/commuter/spirited rider type people, does not mean enthusiast/track riders cannot manage in them either, but this segment will separate the more casual gear from track gear.

1. Track/Race Helmets
- Helmets that were designed for the track differ from your normal sport tourer helmet, due to the savings made in weight, and a wider visual range. When in a full tuck a rider must have a higher visability on the horizon of his helmet, this is a feature in a track helmet that you will not find in a standard helmet.

2. Track/Race Jackets & Pants- These race jackets & pants have all the best in them as well as an aerodynamic speed hump on the back of the jacket. These can come in a two-piece or one-piece race suit. The two-piece is able to zip together to form a one-piece. The pants come with better armor placements around the knee as well as knee sliders so that the rider may drag his/her knee on the ground through a corner at an extreme lean angle. It is crucial when shopping for race suits that you get accurate sizing/fitment, a wise bearded man said, "too loose and you aren't properly protected, too tight and you slide wrong". Be sure to try one the suit before purchase.

3. Track/Race Gloves - Track gloves will always be a gauntlet style glove with all of the best protective & flexible features on that it can offer. There really is not much to say, they are fitted with nearly the best when it comes to palm sliders, knuckle protection, wrist cuffs, superior leather stitching, finger padding, finger to finger connection. They fit like a glove and are comfortable to operate the controls with whilst offering the highest protection you can have at the same time.

4. Track/Race Boots - These boots will cover more than your feet and ankle, they offer protection all the way up your shin leg area. They have a very solid construction and can also aid the rider with gripping onto his bike while leaning far over for a corner. There isn't much to say they offer great protection.

Track/Race Gear Price Breakdown:

Average minimum to maximum price ranges;

- Track/Race Helmet ($500-$3800)

- Track/Race Suits 1-2 Piece ($750-$2800)

- Track/Race Gloves ($250-$450)

- Track/Race Boots ($160-$500)

Once again, there is a lot of information left out, this is just entry level-ish to get an idea of which angle you want to lean in. There are obviously way more brands than the ones I mentioned that have much to offer as well. Each person will have their own experience of what they buy, you may end up spending a lot of money and not get entirely what you paid for. Sometimes you just happened to get a bad batch. These things happen, however, most companies tend to have excellent customer service and will gladly replace your defected products free of charge, in my experience at least.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Lol dude πŸ™ˆ you and your alpinestar gear! i remember you showing me your "collection" enough to open your God damn own shop!!!

    By the way man..
    I'm thinking of getting headsets installed in my helmet. The guys and myself were all on walkie talkies, and it's a pain in the ass to communicate with 17 people all at once! It would be a lot easier. So I'm definitely going to check out what the Internet has to offer moi!! 😁

    • Yes do the headsets they are fantastic! My fiancΓ© and I have them set up on ours and it made our (almost) iron butt so much easier and more bearable since we could easily talk to each other and listen to music.

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    • I like the 1-piece, its also more reliable since the entire waistline is connected with leather instead of a zipper. 1-pieces are badass hahaa.

    • Lmfao πŸ™ˆ alright man alright!

Most Helpful Guy

  • 1. Textile grips so you're more likely to tumble than slide compared to leather. This will also mean you might well come to a stop sooner. The reason to pick textile over leather is the versatility in terms of weather protection. I'm a gung-ho textile lover, though.

    3. If you can find a glove with a wiper blade on the thumb, you're golden.

    4. I have awesome Alpinestars boots that aren't leather, they survived two crashes and kept going, warm and waterproof. I'm wary of shoes because of possible ankle injuries. The solution for not being able to wear them all day is to stash some 'normal' shoes at work/school/in your gym bag. You can't wear biker shoes at the gym anyway!

    5. With helmets, fit is the key, price is secondary. I am a fan of HJC, they're reasonably priced and comfortable.

    One crucial thing: EAR PLUGS! For anything but a short and slow ride, protect your ears! Those little rubbery foam protectors do the job just fine, you can buy big tubs of them. You can still hear stuff around you, but the thing that will likely damage your hearing (the wind noise) is blocked out.

    • damn you're lucky! every single person I know who has gone down in textiles has always gotten eaten through to their skin. but they were going considerably fast. the stitching is very important too, maybe they just got a bad batch, it happens. oh yeah ear plugs xD how could I forget lol. I got 2 pairs, they do wonders with blocking out excess noise while I can still enjoy listening to my music.

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    • ahhh sorry that happened man, but you walked away from it so that's awesome. as for the armor being pushing to the side that's one reason I like leather, it doesn't really move. I haven't been able to test this yet and I hope I never have too but my friends that went down can vouch hahaa :D I know what you mean though, if it were leather maybe you would have slid 10-15 more feet right off of a cliff lol. that's probably.. the worst.. cause then if you still get up fine you have to climb up that cliff lol. ahh I used to wear headphones until I stopped being lazy and bought a Bluetooth system for my helmet, now its just perfect. I keep the volume a bit below moderate and can hear everything but headphones can't hear jack!

    • Not a sheer cliff, but a very steep drop, yes! I walked for maybe a minute before my knee was so swollen from the impact I could barely hobble. It was twice its normal size soon!

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 4

  • For the love of god, if your getting on a bike get leathers and a full faced helmet and armored gloves ( I don't care how hot it is)!!!

    I, like and idiot only wore jeans and a t shirt with a full faced helmet. Got in a horrible accident and road rash stings like a bitch but was nothing compared to all the fractures, punctured organ and collapsed lung. Plus my clothes practically didn't exist afterwards, they were tore to pieces.

    • eeek! I am so sorry that happened to you! I know exactly what you mean when you say you don't care how hot it is. I've read dozens of stories of people who got into that same accident giving the same advice, just cope with the heat because a fall or accident can happen anytime anywhere and its not worth it. im a super ATGATT junkie. I hope you recovered perfectly :)

    • Yea mine was a freak accident I got thrown off the back into the next lane and ran over by a van. But yea im totally healed up now just saving up money to get my leg reconstructed. I had complications due the the physical trauma.

    • i am so terribly sorry, that really sounds awful. when you undergo your procedure my best wishes are with you, hoping for a perfect recovery.

  • These jackets look really cool.. you wear all of it? All the time?

  • Great article definitely needed it!

  • I am scared of motor cycle.


What Guys Said 9

  • Yeah, the one thing that keeps me from riding is my parents would completely disown me as their son if I bought a motorcycle. They (like most of the public) think that motorcycle = two-wheeled assisted suicide. However, I also know that many bikers in full race suits or leater gear have straight up walked off crashes and falls at 100mph that should have shredded them to pieces. I totally understand the whole "all the gear, all the time" thing.

    When I do get a motorcycle in the future (250cc like I said) I'm going to make sure a lot of money goes towards gear. I'm a big carbon fiber fan so I know that's what my helmet will be. Although, as awesome as leather is, textiles do have the advantage of coolness, which would be nice on the 95F days in the summer, and I'd mostly be riding in 45mph high ways anyways. I'll probably go with armored leather though because I'd be riding for fun, not commute. Besides Football taught me that wearing armor around in public actually makes you look badass, not like some overdressed idiot.

    Thanks for the information, though. I read a similar article on motorcycle gear before but this one went much more in depth, and I'm very glad it did. Thanks for the take!

    • np man! I hope this entry level info gave you more than you need. my first jacket was a textile and it was super comfortable and a bit too cold on some days but after wearing leather I just never wanna go back. I feel so secure in it like I feel if I fell then it wouldn't hurt compared to textile hahaa. hope I never have to test that theory though. that carbon fiber helmet is gonna be so badass! they are hella expensive if you buy the ones that I linked in the picture but you can buy the cheaper one by ICON and its still a badass helmet. the ICON Ghost Carbon, $500, comes with a yellow lens, looks cool. and armor does make you look badass, no guy wants to mess with me when I get off my bike and walk into the store with helmet in 1 hand and leathers on lol. but the girls just wanna jump on me xD



  • You should work on top gear. You are a great bike aficionado.

    • nahh its all pretty basic info once you spend some time around motorcycles. I just have the time to write up an article about it on GaG that's all hahaa :D

  • Gloves, boots and helmets Are the most important. I won't do any length run without those.

    Helmets an obvious and the other two protect very delicate joints. On longer runs I'll wear jacket etc but don't underestimate the need to protect hands and feet/ ankles with gloves and boots

    • couldn't agree more. those 3 are very important.

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    • that's awesome man. his accidents were not in vain.

    • Not completely. Some you do have to learn by your own mistakes. My own mistakes allowed the gloves to perfectly prove just how valuable they are :P

  • Nice. I have an hjc helmet :P sick design on it too

    • HJC is awesome. I wanna buy at least 1 helmet from all the brands but I need more closet space..

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    • @warumnicht hahaa I got a GT-Air too. matte with a design. im on a Ninja ZX-6R

    • Good choice. :D

      I have a small 125 cagiva raptor at the moment. Once I'm 19 I can get something bigger. I'm looking forward to having more than 12bhp and 70-80mph.

      Have fun. Stay safe and all that

  • Once again. Awesome article. Will definitely use this.

  • the boots on the picture so coll.

  • Are assless chaps considered appropriate attire for motorcyclists?

    • Duh. The vibration on bare ass cheeks while the breeze hits your face is unlike pretty much anything else.

    • they are not. lol :D

    • I don't think motorcycling is for me then πŸ˜›

  • Once again, nice article about riding. All you really need are shorts, flip flops, and some cool sunglasses. Chicks can't see you and your muscles if you have a helmet and a jacket on... HA!

    Only kidding. And for this post as well: