Commuter Tips - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Moderator
 
lesblank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,998
Garage
Commuter Tips

In the 80's and 90's I owned liter sport bikes and thought I was invincible. Well getting married, 4 grown sons and eight grandchildren later my outlook has changed. I made a decision a little two years ago to buy a bike to commute with. (Mid life crisis?) After looking around I came upon a 2001 Vstar 1100 classic with 1800 miles for $800. Perfect shape, just been sitting in owner's garage. It was too good of a deal to turn down. Changed all fluids, new plugs, cleaned inside tank, rebuilt carbs, changed fuel lines, new tires and battery. Turned key on, hit the starter and it ran like new. That was all the easy part. Now came a lot of trial and error. What helmet, jacket, gloves, rain gear and other items will work best? This forum and a lot of reading did help narrow the choices. But I could not find any good information on daily use riding gear. I would like to start this thread on what works well for true daily use. I have put over 25000 miles on my bike in two years, I'm not an expert but have learned a lot. I'll start at the top and work down. HJC CL16 helmet for spring and fall (full face with good air flow), HJC CL31 for summer (open face) and SS1100 for winter (read reviews on helmets and the main complaint was lack of air flow, great for cold weather), smoke shield for all three. Most important is fit and confort. Also have Uclear bluetooth I move from helmet to helmet, dont like listening to my thoughts all the time on my 90 minute commute so I stream music. What helmet has worked best for you and why. I will need replace the CL16 soon so please share your experience. We can continue to other gear after helmet. Please share your experiences so others can benefit.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home

Last edited by lesblank; 05-19-2015 at 09:27 PM.
lesblank is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 12:02 AM
Senior Member
 
M'Lady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 794
Helmets are very personal... it's all about your head shape and how it fits in the various brands. I believe that my head is worth a lot of time/money/protection so I only wear Snell approved helmets and I've changed from Arai to Shoei because it just fit better this time around but there are a lot of guys who will extoll the virtues of non-full face helmets and other brands. You seem to like the HJC and it's a nice lid so if the new models still fit well, stick with what you know and are comfortable with.

As for the other gear, I feel that whatever you buy has to be comfortable and make you happy because if it isn't/doesn't you won't wear it. And what is the point of safety gear if you don't wear it?

'06 VStar 1100 Classic - black with ghost flames!
Cobra sissy bar and luggage rack
National Cycle windshield
National Cycle quick release hardbags
Lindby engine guard
Driving lights mounted to engine guard

More to come when I save enough cash!
M'Lady is offline  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 11:03 AM
Senior Member
 
Annielikeslyrics's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 909
My favorite helmet is a Scorpion. It's the best fit and the quietest of my helmets. I started with an HJC and it was fine but I wanted a better helmet. I also have an ICON that I love the graphics on but that sucker is NOISY and I always wear ear plugs.

Annie
________________________________________
2003 Roadstar - "Princess"
2003 Ninja 500 R
2003 Vstar 650 Custom (sold)
Annielikeslyrics is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 05:51 PM
Senior Member
 
Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Germanton, NC
Posts: 417
HJC makes a good helmet. I have an HJC modular and combine it with a balaclava for cold weather riding. It works well by itself for spring and fall. I'm trying a 3/4 with full face shield for summer. I just added the Sena SMH5 to the new helmet.

I'm interested in this thread for the other gear commuters are wearing.

2013 Yamaha V Star 1300 Deluxe
2011 Yamaha Grizzly 700 EPS
Slayer is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
Moderator
 
lesblank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,998
Garage
Good comments on different helmets. It seems most are like me and prefer a fulll face helmet. I'm about to change over to my 3/4 style HJC33. Its starting to get hot here in Houston. Lets go to jackets. Since summer is just about here I'm using my mesh jackets. I have two I use, Detour 8016 ,http://www.jafrum.com/Shop-By-Brand/...-CE-Armor-8016 and Custom Bilt, http://www.cyclegear.com/CUSTOM-BILT...orcycle-Jacket. They are both very cost effective. I have two seasons wear on both, no issues with either. The Detour has full mesh on the sleeves where the Cylcle Gear is only mesh on the front of the sleeve. I've got the two so I can switch to keep them fresh. Riding in the hot weather its best to rotate so you can clean them. They are both good for at least one more summer. The Cylcle Gear one has a removable liner which is great for cool mornings. Both have CE amour. I do believe in protection as I think with me riding as much as I do its not if I go down but when and I want a chance to walk away.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home

Last edited by lesblank; 05-21-2015 at 12:51 AM.
lesblank is online now  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 06:22 AM
Member
 
tre607's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North Canton, Ohio
Posts: 78
Garage
I'm an EMT in Ohio and I had a patient that broke a couple of his vertebrae in a motorcycle accident. He had on all the protective riding gear on from helmet down to the Kevlar jeans. I believe without all that gear on he would've had more issues than just a broke back. After seeing him I decided on getting an armored mesh jacket but couldn't find one that actually fit me until a couple of weeks ago. I got the Sedona mesh jacket made by River Road. It's a great jacket and it's longer in the torso than most riding jackets so the fit was perfect. For only $109 I think it's a great purchase.
tre607 is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 08:34 AM
Senior Member
 
Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Germanton, NC
Posts: 417
I promised two people that I would wear protective gear, my mom and my wife (I am 52 years old and keep my promises)......so I do wear a mesh jacket during summer. It has armor in the typical places and as mentioned by a previous poster it has a zip out liner. It works well when they temperatures are 75 or above. I carry a set of Frogg Toggs for rain gear and have had to put that on over my mesh jacket a couple of times to stay warm.

2013 Yamaha V Star 1300 Deluxe
2011 Yamaha Grizzly 700 EPS
Slayer is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Moderator
 
lesblank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,998
Garage
I started out using Frogg Toggs and really liked them at first. Burned two sets on exhaust. I'm short and leg is really close to pipe when stopped. Tried a few other brands and most would leak in major storm. Got a pair of Olympia rain pants about a year ago. They are great and don't leak. There is a heat resistant lining on inside of pants leg so no more burned pants. The velcro at bottom lets you have a good seal and the wind does not flap them around. Still use the frogg togg jacket, no leaks and it breathes. Bought a set of Tourmaster boot covers and they work great. For the hands in the rain I've got a pair of neoprem gloves, like divers gloves, I got at Academy. With this set up I can ride in any rain storm and I'm dry when I get to destination. If you have not look at Houston's weather lately we have had major rain. I just went for 10 days and had rain at least one way on my commute. What brand do yall use and how well does it work?

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home

Last edited by lesblank; 05-21-2015 at 05:42 PM.
lesblank is online now  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 06:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Germanton, NC
Posts: 417
Yep the Frogg Toggs aren't touring or regular commuting gear. I use mine to get to a dry place to wait the rain out. I agree and suggest more substantial gear for regular commuting.

Back to the jackets, I use the mesh in summer and leather in cooler temperatures. I'm looking at an electric vest to help extend my riding in the cold.

2013 Yamaha V Star 1300 Deluxe
2011 Yamaha Grizzly 700 EPS
Slayer is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
Moderator
 
lesblank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,998
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
Yep the Frogg Toggs aren't touring or regular commuting gear. I use mine to get to a dry place to wait the rain out. I agree and suggest more substantial gear for regular commuting.

Back to the jackets, I use the mesh in summer and leather in cooler temperatures. I'm looking at an electric vest to help extend my riding in the cold.
What brand of mesh jacket are you using? Being on my second season with the ones I have one might need to be retired this summer. My wife is always complaining about me buying gear. But as I sell my purchase to her: use mesh jacket for about 200 days a year, times two years equels 400 days. So I've got 2 jackets with 200 uses on them. So I ask her to show me an article of clothing she has worn for 200 times. She tells me to shut up and buy whatever I need. Works every time

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
lesblank is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome