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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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? :confused:
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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/Detour/Mens-Detour-Mesh-Motorcycle-Jacket-with-CE-Armor-8016 and Custom Bilt, http://www.cyclegear.com/CUSTOM-BILT-Cruiser-Mesh-Motorcycle-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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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. :mad: What brand do yall use and how well does it work?
 

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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.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #10
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. :D Works every time
 

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It is the Cyclegear brand - Bilt I think. I caught it on sale last year for $89. It fit well and has CE armor. I bought the silver and black version for visibility (I hope)

My buddy bought a Joe Rocket mesh 3 in 1 type jacket. Mesh with a waterproof liner and a separate quilted liner. It was a bit more expensive but it is his only jacket.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gloves are a must for daily commuting. They will keep the hands from getting sand blasted, sunburned and road rash in case of an incident. The summer gloves I have tried River Road Pecos (nice but velcro will pull mesh), Icon Anthem (ok but only lasted half of the summer and my favorites Tourmaster Intake Air. The Tourmaster lasted me all of last year and still using into second year. These gloves just fit me well. I like the cuff as they keep my wrist from getting blasted. What summer gloves have you had good luck with?
 

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i'm a daily commuter. most of my decision making is based on the weather. and given how vague and inaccurate weather forecasters are, it makes things difficult. if there is a greater than 50% chance of rain, then i'm probably taking my car. between 20%-50%, i'm making sure i have my frogg toggs with me. i strap a duffle bag from Tourmaster on the bag and keep supplies and rain gear in there. anything below 20%, and i don't bother with rain gear. i have frogg togg pants, jacket, and shoe covers. the pants and jacket also double as great winter gear giving me several more degrees of cold to ride in.

as for music, i always stream with my smartphone when i ride. i cycle between the apps Pandora, Spotify, Jango, Songza, IheartRadio, and Nextradio. if you're going to stream while you ride, i highly recommend a good pair of earphones. they make all the difference. spend a few dollars and you'll definitely appreciate the difference over the $20 pairs hanging on store shelves. i use Shure se215 buds. they are noise cancelling but i can still hear honks and emergency vehicles and such, but they are excellent in blocking out wind noise and directing the music straight into my ear canal with no loss. also, the wire sheathing is kevlar so they will never deteriorate or bind or crimp or tear.

 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The hot weather and protected leg wear is an issue with me. When weather is cooler my leather chaps are great but just too hot in warmer weather. I'm considering some mesh over pants. I have read a lot of pros and cons on product reviews. Anyone out there use mesh over pants and if so what brand. Looking for some ideas. Remember I commute daily in Houston where 100 degrees and high humidity is the norm for most of summer.
 

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Les, Check out Olympia airglide pants. They are mesh vented, have a warmer/waterproof liner and are a bit pricey but man are they great. I can even ride safely in Capris to work in the summer with these.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Boots are a must for me. Mesh tectical boots work great for the hot weather. I have used several brands of motorcycle boots but they did not hold up very long with daily use as I wear them all day long. Bates brand can be worn all day without any issues. I always have two sets to switch between to let them rest. I keep a third pair which are waterproof goretex for the rainy days. When picking non motorcycle boots I always look for oil resistant soles and leather around the ankle area. I have seen too many pictures of raw feet from motorcyclist without correct footwear and don't want to be one of them. What kind of footwear does everyone else use?
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Just made a new purchase, Alpinestars Air-Flo riding pants. Bought them a week ago and have used them everyday for my commute. Last two days in Houston is was 92° and 89% humidity, hot and sticky. My 26 mile commute takes about 75 minutes, lots of stop and go traffic. I'm very impressed as I did not get any hotter sitting in traffic than normal. Once moving I think my legs felt cooler. They say the mesh intensify the air movement and I agree. I bought these for how easy they are to put on and take off, side zipper goes up the leg and across the thigh, great for commuting. You can put on with boots on. There are average in protection and definitely better than just my dress pants. If you have thought about getting some mesh over pants check them out.
 
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